Pierre de la Grange

Pierre de la Grange:Muscadet (Loire Valley)

*For a vineyard video tour click here*

“No Muscadet estate is rendering consistently finer or more intriguing wines than Luneau‐Papin, and given the prices asked there
is no excuse for any lover of wine not making their acquaintance.”
The Wine Advocate August 2010

The man in charge of one of the leading domaines of the Nantais, Pierre Luneau-Papin, hails from a long line of vignerons. The Luneau family is well established in the region; their presence here may be traced as far back as the late 17th Century and Pierre Luneau is the thirteenth generation of his family to bear the name Pierre. Pierre and Monique, his wife, are the seventh generation of vignerons to run Domaine Pierre de la Grange, which was founded by Pierre’s forebears in the 18th Century. Muscadet savants will know, however, that that wines are more likely to be found listed under Luneau-Papin or even Pierre Luneau, than under the estate’s true name of Pierre de la Grange.

Having studied at Briacé and gained experience with Emile Peynaud and Pascal Ribéreau-Gayon, both of the Faculty of Oenology at the University of Bordeaux, it is perhaps no surprise that Luneau-Papin is one of Muscadet’s leading lights. In his immaculate winery, Pierre proceeds to vinify in small batches according to the origin of the fruit. The harvest is done by hand, also a rarity in the region, to avoid any oxidation before pressing. There is an immediate light débourbage (separation of juice from gross lees), then a 4-week fermentation at 68 degrees, followed by 6 months of aging in stainless-steel vats on fine lees. This is the classic Muscadet-sur-lie process, where the wine is kept on its lees, with a fair amount of CO2 as protection, until bottling in the spring following the harvest. The only modern technique used here is macération pelliculaire (maceration of lightly crushed berries before pressing), which varies in proportion according to the cuvées.

There are approximately 40 hectares of vines at Pierre’s disposal, with 38 hectares planted to Melon de Bourgogne located about 20 kilometres from Nantes itself. This is a landscape characterised by gently rolling vineyards and variable terroirs, which as well as the sandy soils which are perhaps the first to mind when thinking of the region, also include micaschist, gneiss and schist, and other sometimes exotic rocks of volcanic origin. The vines have a good age, forty-five years on average although some are well into their seventh decade.

2011 Vintage*click here for video* 

White wine 100% Melon de Bourgogne

2013 Muscadet “vieilles vignes”
This wine is made from old vines planted in 1974. “This cuvée comes from serpentinite, on the butte de la roche near Goulaine. It has a rather introverted nose of delicate citrus fruits and a lightly sherbetty minerality. The palate has a full a nd open character, with quite a crunchy minerality to it, and also a vibrant acid backbone somewhat more prominent than I have found in somecuvées in this vintage. Quite relaxed in terms of style, relatively speaking, but still vibrant in terms of its acid definition and poise. It surely needs more time to knit together properly. 16.5/20” thewinedoctor.com Feb 2015

2010 Muscadet “Clos des Allees” vieilles vignes – 2009 tasting note
This wine is made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne from old vines of more than 45 years. The vineyard is South facing of Le Landreau, planted on micaschist but is all from the single vineyard Clos des Allées. “The LuneauPapin 2009 Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie Clos des Allées is uncommonly lush not to mention luscious for its genre, with scents of honeydew melon, mint and licorice setting the tone for the entire vinous performance. Fresh lime and salt enliven the palate while hints of nut oils and coffee add further richness. Yet for all of that richness, this wonderful value remains juicily, consummately refreshing as well as (at only 12% alcohol)light”. Robert Parker—The Wine Advocate #190 August, 2010

NV Luneau Brut
This wine is made from a blend of 40% Melon de Bourgogne, 30% Folle Blanche, 20% Chardonnay and 10% Blanc de Noir Cabernet all from old vines of more than 40 years. The vineyard is South facing of Le Landreau, planted on micaschist and on gneiss in Vallet. It is grown only using organic fertilisers. The wine is then stored sur lie (on lees) for a period of 5 months before being bottled for secondary fermentation. The wine then remains on lees for a further 18‐24 months before being disgorged.

 2014 Folle Blanche *click here for video*

An aromatically appealing and open expression of Folle Blanche, with an attractive, fresh minerally edge. The palate has a fairly solid, firm character, with a subtle minerally streak, fresh structure, and some lightly polished fruit. It has a crisp bright character, albeit with a nice flourish of minerals here.

2014 Folle Blanche
An aromatically appealing and open expression of Folle Blanche, with an attractive, fresh minerally edge. The palate has a fairly solid, firm character, with a subtle minerally streak, fresh structure, and some lightly polished fruit. It has a crisp bright character, albeit with a nice flourish of minerals here.

2013 Muscadet “Terre de Pierre” vieilles vignes 
This wine is made from old vines planted in 1974. “This cuvée comes from serpentinite, on the butte de la roche near Goulaine. It has a rather introverted nose of delicate citrus fruits and a lightly sherbetty minerality. The palate has a full and open character, with quite a crunchy minerality to it, and also a vibrant acid backbone somewhat more prominent than I have found in somecuvées in this vintage. Quite relaxed in terms of style, relatively speaking, but still vibrant in terms of its acid definition and poise. It surely needs more time to knit together properly. 16.5/20”  thewinedoctor.com Feb 2015

2010 Muscadet “Excelsior” 
From 75+ year old vines grown on schist and mica-schist. “As I noted last year, the Excelsior bottling from Pierre-Marie Luneau is crafted from seventy-five year-old vines originally planted from selection massale cuttings in a vineyard with fine southern exposure. The deep, pure and nascently complex nose offers up a refined blend of apple, lemon, spring flowers, beautifully complex, gentle leesy tones, a great base of salty soil, lemongrass and just a whisper of the ocean breezes  to come. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and utterly seamless, with a lovely core, impeccable focus and balance, bright acids and a very long, perfectly balanced and youthful  finish. This will be a great bottle of Muscadet (it already is!), but for full effect, tuck it away in the cellar for a few years and really let it blossom fully, as it is quite tightly-knit behind its effortless structural veneer. 2016-2035+. 95.”John Gilman View from the Cellar, Jan‐Feb, 2015

2010 Muscadet Terre de Pierre de la Butte de la Roche
This wine is made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne from old vines planted in 1974. The vineyard is from the Loroux‐Bottereau village from a place called de la Butte de la Roche. The soils are a modified serpentinite of igneous origin dating back 500 million years. The wine is then stored sur lie (on lees) for a period of 12 months. All work in the cellar is designed to produce a wine that reflects the unique terroir of the Serpentinite. The pure minerality of this wine is a true expression of its terroir.

2007 Muscadet Excelsior Vieilles Vignes Schistes de Goulaine
This wine is made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne from old vines of more than 65 years from sélection massale vines. The parcel of vines “la Plécisière” is located in the village of Chapelle‐Heulin on a bedrock of schist and micaschist facing due south. Yields are kept to a very small 35‐45hl/ha, all vines are hand harvested and sorted in the vineyard. The wine is pressed in a pneumatic press before simple cold clarification . The fermentation is maintained at 20°C for a period 0f several weeks, only using indigenous yeasts. The wine is then stored sur lie (on lees) for a period of 36 months.
“The 2007 Luneau‐Papin is a beautifully complex and suave bottle of Muscadet that is fully into its apogee of maturity and is drinking beautifully. The classy bouquet offers up a refined mélange of dried flowers, meyer lemon, bread fruit, wonderfully refined leesy tones and a fine base of soil. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure and impressively complex, with superb midpalate depth, great elegance and focus, lovely, framing acids and most impressive length and grip on the wide open, discreet and classy finish. A beautiful bottle of Muscadet for drinking over the next several years. 2012‐2020. 93.” John Gilman—View from the Cellar, Jan‐Feb, 2012

2007 Muscadet Excelsior Vieilles Vignes
From 75 year old vines grown on schist and mica-schist
“As I noted last year, the Excelsior bottling from Pierre-Marie Luneau is crafted from seventy-five year-old vines originally planted from selection massale cuttings in a vineyard with fine southern exposure. The deep, pure and nascently complex nose offers up a refined blend of apple, lemon, spring flowers, beautifully complex, gentle leesy tones, a great base of salty soil, lemongrass and just a whisper of the ocean breezes  to come. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and utterly seamless, with a lovely core, impeccable focus and balance, bright acids and a very long, perfectly balanced and youthful  finish. This will be a great bottle of Muscadet (it already is!), but for full effect, tuck it away in the cellar for a few years and really let it blossom fully, as it is quite tightly-knit behind its effortless structural veneer. 2016-2035+. 95.” John Gilman