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Domaine Longère

DSC00303Tasted in Le Perréon with Jean-Luc Longère, 18 May 2016.

Domaine Longère
Le Duchamp
69460 Le Perréon
Tel: +33 4 74 03 27 63
www.domaine-longere.com

Here is a super village house dating from 1845 – there’s an equally lovely cellar below too – Jean-Luc says the cellar was renewed in 2001 – before that, it was black!

Jean-Luc is the 6th generation of the family here, starting full-time in 1988 – before it was his aunt – but he is the first generation selling wine direct to the consumer, before that, the wine was sold to Dubeouf. In 1989 sold 169 bottles – not bad considering he had no clients! “I chose to keep the domaine small” he says “So I work only 5 hectares, but I sell everything direct. 20% of my production is chardonnay – unlike the 2% of the region – my fist planting was in 1995, now I’ve also about 15-20% rose and 10% bubbles too – the core of my production is Beaujolais Villages though.

It was really early that I decided to change the environmental aspect of the domaine, there’s no certification here, but we plough our own route with perseverance and conviction. I already began changing the pruning of the goblet-trained vines to allow ploughing in 1987 – and it takes close to 10 years to achieve.

I decided to ask a dumb question: Can chardonnay also be pruned goblet – I don’t think I’ve ever seen that(?) “Taille goblet of chardonnay can certainly be done, but it delivers almost no grapes, that’s why you haven’t seen it!

The wines…

2015 Beaujolais Villages Rosé
“It’s real wine, not a sub-wine, it comes from the same vines as my best wine… For this vintage because it was so warm, I only made from high vines that were not direct south-facing.”
Pretty, almost vibrant fresh fruit, it’s like bowl of melon and strawberry mixed. Round, supple a little fat, growing width really a lot of intensity here but then finishes with a lively fresh line of slightly saline, mineral flavour – super!

“My reds have two styles – I like to explain the differences to visitors…”

2014 Beaujolais Villages
Here a soft extraction with whole clusters.
A super, round, inviting well of red fruit. A little fat, mouth-filling – bright fruit flavour perhaps a hint of CO2, the flavour grows a little more intense and has almost the same finishing style as the rose. Now the nose is really super – Excellent!
2014 Beaujolais Villages Le Vin des Roches
This is 50% destemmed in this vintage with a longer vinification and 20-30% of older barrel elevage.
Also a seemingly calm nose like the last, but here with an opening depth of dark fruit. Beautiful texture based in a little tannin that grows in aspect, but the wine above is silky. Here is a considered wine, layered flavour, dark flavour – wider in the finish with a persistence to the tannin, the finish also has hints of the last two wines but a width of structure plays a larger part. Serious wine – wait 5 years and enjoy! The nose grows and has a calm silky aspect that reminds me of the aromas from Mee Godard’s wines – that’s clearly a compliment!

Two exceptional wines, the later less exuberant than some so might get lost on a table of many but I think it super…

2013 Beaujolais Villages Le Vin des Roches
Here is a much tighter nose, fresh and silky but much less overt – at least to start with. Here is a serious structure – plenty of fine tannin and a dark, tight, almost malevolent fruit – this is actually a super thing, but clearly for drinking after the 2014. Dark almost suggesting licorice or black olive – but not with any of the bitterness that that latter suggestion brings. A super line in the finish that’s mineral and long. Super – but wait – really. Proper serious wine! The nose is a hint more open with time…

For the whites, Jean-Luc has the same idea as for the reds, with two cuvees; one relatively fast fermentation and elevage in tank then bottled to capture and guard the fruit. The second En Vercheres (the parcel) 30-35-year-old vines vs 15 years for the first. “I don’t wait too long as I don’t want it too ripe. 20-25% in barrel elevage. Two tastes, two universes – one grape!

2014 Beaujolais Blanc
A little like the reds this is wide with a certain freshness but not overtly high-toned. A suggestion of custard to the fruit. Round, supple certainly fruity a sweet pear fruit, but then unexpectedly tightens into a fine long, mineral finish – I wasn’t expecting that! Almost a hint of austere tension in the finish.

2014 Beaujolais Villages Blanc En Verchères
A nice aromatic note that’s either a hint of reduction, barrel or both – but certainly no vanilla. Supple, layered, good concentration – this is a mineral wine, but with nice mouth-watering flavours, a good finishing width too. Long and mouth-watering, a hint mineral again but with none of the austerity of the last. I’m still no convert to BJ Blanc, but at least this I would happily drink!

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