Longère – 2018


Jean-Luc Longère, 2020Tasted in Le Perréon with Jean-Luc Longère, 11 February 2020.

Domaine Longère
Le Duchamp
69460 Le Perréon
Tel: +33 4 74 03 27 63

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Jean-Luc is, in theory, retired now – but only on paper as he enjoys what he does. His wife, Regine, has another 5 years to go though!

Jean-Luc on 2019:
2019 was a vintage with plenty of hail in the south – here too – about 30% losses, I’d say. The hail came 28 August in the south – terrible, but here it was in July – the parcels either lost everything or they weren’t touched. From the perspective of climate, it was an easy year though, the frost didn’t touch here – it was more a problem for the vines in the plains, not the hills. Without the hail, I’d take this year every year – the quality is very good too. The wines look to have a fine balance between fruit and tannin, 19 will obviously be less consistent than 2018 though.

Jean-Luc on 2018:
Plenty of rain in April and May and then it stopped – it was like the water was cut off. The comfort was fabulous though for a vigneron – the weather forecast was boring – always nice! For the first time in 15 years, in one parcel, I dropped some grapes – let’s call it a green harvest – there was plenty of grapes but not everywhere. I started to harvest 1st September finished 21st – it was long – with the sun on our heads, no need to rush, all done in its own time – it was easy to be patient, there was never any pressing reason to rush. Yields were different in each zone, but honestly, I still struggle to understand – no rain but no apparent hydric stress in the vines. A vintage with a strong paradox – really an enigma.

The wines…

A fine selection from Jean-Luc in 2018, though I marginally preferred his 2017s at the same stage of development.

2019 Beaujolais Villages Blanc Nos 2 Elles
2 parcels in Le Perréon. Less vigorous parcels with fewer grapes. Just bottled, the only one in bottle…
Not a big nose, but a faint cushion, and an elegant invitation. A light but fresh peach taste, saline, wide. Not a rigour but modestly mineral.

2018 Beaujolais Villages Blanc Nos 2 Elles
Bottled last February. All stainless steel.
Much more open, quite perfumed. A little extra width and richness, beautifully balanced – that’s simply excellent. I’d drink this any day…

2018 Beaujolais Villages Blanc En Verchères
Have made whites here since 1995. This is the name of parcel – half a hectare of vines on volcanic rock with some bluestone. 35-year-old vines. On a vein of blue granite, plain south but high up – over 300m. Harvested ripe but not too much to keep the spine. A little more than 15% barrel, not so old barrels…
Very aromatic – plenty of oak but not too much vanilla. Bright, fresh, more driving, very mineral, the relatively heavy accent of oak adding to the sweetness but there’s also quite a pronounced salinity in the middle and finish. Long though.

2017 Beaujolais Villages Blanc En Verchères
Round, some freshness and richness combined. A richness of texture, more a wine of width than direct. This still has some oak effect for sure but it’s more in the background and additive – it’s no longer front-of-house and it’s all the better for that! Yum!

Les rouges…

2018 Beaujolais Villages ‘Poivre et Sel’
Not made every year, not made in 15, longer elevage in stainless steel.
Round, textured – a great invitation – bravo! The palate is actually less sweet than the nose suggests – it’s wide, it’s fresh the fruit flavour rising in the finish. Another saline wine but really delicious. Bravo!

2018 Beaujolais Villages Le Vin des Roches
Partial destemming. Longer maceration – depends on the vintage. 400 m high on granite rose. Bottled just before harvest, not yet commercialized.
Round, faintly reductive but there’s a nice cushion to this attractive almost chocolate fruit. Round, nice presence in the centre of the palate – there’s obviously more structure here, the tannin is present but has no grain, a nice vibrancy of finishing, mouth-watering flavour.

2018 Beaujolais Villages “Jarre”
First press juice from the previous parcel. Despite the clarity that I loved in this wine, JL has found a slight hardness so he’s decided that a small part should see elevage in barrel to round the angles. Also bottled in August.
A suggestion of more colour. Fresh deep, less wide, a touch of the metallic to the fruit. Super-silky – great texture – slowly there’s the texture of some tannin apparent, but really micro-grained. An extra width and complexity of compliant, deliciously complex fruit flavour, perhaps touched by a little minerality. Composed, tasty, excellent wine. The nose is just a little more open after some minutes in the glass – so carafe for best results right now.

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