Lemon peel, stone drenched in white peach, a sprinkle of freshly torn white flowers … Jo Landron’s stellar Domaine de la Louvetrie rewards both the seasoned lover of Muscadet and newcomer alike. Crisp, light and mouthwateringly refreshing, Mr. Landron’s sublime 2016 efforts only confirm his already heroic status of organic wine-making in the Loire Valley. Moreover, the single vineyard Les Houx ranks alongside other legends like Pepière’s Clisson. Our advice? Buy cases.
2016 Domaine de la Louvetrie Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie
Tim’s note: Fresh as ever, this “introductory” Muscadet is smooth, crisp and decidingly generous. With its approachable fruit and classical acidity, Loire 2016 is about as charming a vintage as you can get–and Landron’s effort here plays up those strengths very nicely. Best bring two bottles to the party. The first will disappear immediately.
2016 Domaine de la Louvetrie, Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie “Les Houx”
Tim’s note: The more serious older brother, Jo’s single vineyard (old vines) bottling requires two to three years to find its groove and uncoil. Landron’s more serious bottles take time, but patience will be deeply rewarded. This is a penetrating portrait of mineral and herbs, made even more compelling with its layers of intricate fruit and striking composure.
More about the Wine:
It seems Jo Landron has two primary missions in life: First is to elevate Melon de Bourgogne to become a heralded gentleman/lady of society, ie. become “a noble” grape variety. Second is to have an epic mustache while accomplishing that. Though Melon de Bourgogne has yet to ascend to the patrician ranks of Chardonnay or Riesling, Mr. Landron’s sincere and serious effort (not to mention exceptional winemaking) has risen Melon de Bourgogne to be recognized and talked about much more than ever before. Hipsters love it, somms now adore it, Loire fisherman swear by it, and yes, we chug it too. Anyone who loves Muscadet has, almost by law, has to enjoy Jo Landron’s wines.
For as colorful and eccentric as Mr. Landron is (again, just take another look at that mustache) his own past is surprisingly dull. Born and raised near Nantes, his Dad was a farmer who like most grew grapes and sold them off in vast bulk. The story becomes more interesting when Mr. Landron steps onto the stage in the mid 1980’s after viticulture school. Instead of following in his father’s footsteps, Landron courageously pursued something very few had before–producing single vineyard expressions of Muscadet. Financially, this was a tremendous risk and not only that, but Landron was encouraged by his close friend Guy Bossard at Domaine de L’Ecu (you will be seeing them in a Flash shortly as well) to pursue bio-dynamic viticulture, which is far more expensive and much more physically demanding. Landron’s parents thought their son was mad, and in the face of possible financial failure, Jo Landron sort had to be.
But the risk paid off. Landron has become an icon in the appellation and he has propelled Muscadet Sèvre et Maine to be an important source for intriguing, original crisp white wines.