Ancestry is a big deal at Domaine Luneau-Papin. The current winemaker is Pierre-Marie Luneau, who took over from his father in 2011, becoming the ninth generation of the family to make wine at their vineyards near Nantes in the Western Loire area of France. He jokes that he is so steeped in convention that his crib was a pallet case. That may not be entirely true, but tradition is certainly important for Luneau-Papin wines which are produced from grapes grown on several plots. Although there was never any question that Pierre-Marie would follow in the foot steps of his predecessors when it came to career choice, he has not been blinkered by working only in the area where he grew up. He has worked hard to learn about the wider world of winemaking. That meant taking a two year course in Bordeaux and spells working there, the Languedoc area and Australia before returning to his roots.
The quality of the production benefits from the estate having a high proportion of old vines, many of them planted more than four decades ago and some having been there for almost 70 years. The size of the region that is known as the home to Muscadet wines means there is a huge spread between the top and bottom of the quality spectrum. We like Luneau-Papin because of Pierre-Marie’s focus on the high end. In his case, this involves making smaller amounts of wine from separate distinct vineyard plots. Luneau-Papin began their conversion to organic certification in 2016 – another sign of the hard work that goes into producing the wines. The vineyards benefit from the local geology, with soil types that are perfect for cultivating old vines, and particularly good for the Melon de Bourgogne grape. The decision to produce smaller cuvées from individual plots helps create wine that reflects the character of the area.
We are particularly keen on three of the Luneau Papin wines. The Folle Blanche is one of the family’s longer-standing offerings. With the dryness that is typical of the area, this is great with fish or as an aperitif. The Folle Blanche grape is better known for its use in the production of Armagnac and Cognac. The Muscadet “Le Verger” is a great example of the Melon de Bourgogne grape. Coming from the area where the Loire meets the Atlantic, it’s no surprise that this wine is a perfect partner for seafood – we love it when it is paired with oysters or as a pre-dinner drink. There are similar characteristics in the Clos des Allées which is one of the Luneau Papin wines made from grapes that are harvested by hand. This plot is the parcel of land closest to the family home. It was planted in 1970 and thrives in the traditional soil of the area.
Anyone who is a fan of Muscadet should enjoy this trio of wines. If you haven’t tried them, now is an ideal time to do so as we are currently offering a 10% discount on all Luneau-Papin orders.