RSJ's 30th anniversary: 1980-2010

2010 was a very special year for us as the RSJ Restaurant celebrated its 30th year. We held a number of special events through the year to mark our 30th birthday.

36th Year: 1980-2016

Another milestone with events happening during our 36th anniversary year.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pierre, Monique and Pierre-Marie Luneau, Domaine Luneau-Papin

Pierre admires bunches of 2008 Melon de Bourgogne
destined for Excelsior

(23 and 24 September 2008)
I visited Pierre and Monique Luneau, our good friends and suppliers of Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine, on Tuesday and Wednesday. They are in the middle of harvesting – initially concentrating on the top wines that are picked by hand. I just caught this part of the harvest in time as they finished late Tuesday. When I arrived they were picking a vineyard in the nearby commune of Chapelle-Heulin. These grapes will go into Excelsior, the Luneaus’ special cuvée that spends around 36 months sur lie. Of course there was a celebration party last night for the pickers, who I gather downed a considerable quantity of Muscadet.

The rest of the harvest will be machine picked, except for a small parcel of vines in the commune of Le Loroux-Bottereau. This special vineyard is on one of the highest hills in the region. It overlooks the Marais de Goulaine, the marshland that floods during the winter, as well as the Château de Goulaine and the city of Nantes in the distance. The soil is volcanic and is called serpentine – as it was originally molten lava. These vines were bought in March by Pierre-Marie, Pierre and Monique’s son, who has been working with them since 2005.

View from the new acquired vineyard over the Marais de Goulaine and to Nantes

The Luneaus started picking on Thursday 18th September. Pierre expects the harvest to continue for another week to 10 days. Fortunately the weather forecast is pretty favourable apart from rain today. Yesterday was magnificent – sunny, blue skies and around 21˚-22˚ C.

Although the quality seems good – 10.5%-11% potential alcohol and 5.7˚ acidity, the amount of wine is well down due to the frost of 7th April. “Depending on the parcel of vines the frost destroyed between 20% and 70% of our crop,” said Monique. “Normally we would make around 55 hl/ha – 60 hl/ha,” added Pierre. “Before we started harvesting we had hoped to make 25 hl/ha but, in fact, we are going to make around 20 hl/ha.” Having visited several other Muscadet producers 20 hl/ha appears to be the average with some producers even worse hit making only 12 hl/ha.

"Where's my wine?": Pierre can't believe
that the 2008 vintage is so small

With Pierre today I tasted the must from various parcels including the Clos des Allées, Les Pierres Blanches and Excelsior. They seem very promising, although I can’t claim to have much experience of tasting Muscadet grape juice and assessing what the final wine will taste like. Then I tasted 2007, 2006 and 2005 Excelsior, which are on their lees in tank. The 2005 will be bottled in November. Following this I tasted a number of 2007s in bottle and two further vintages of Excelsior – the rich 2003 and the fine 2002. Pierre’s first vintage of Excelsior was in 2001.

No comments:

Post a Comment