Jean Loron – 2016

Update 14.6.2018(13.6.2018)billn

Tasted in Pontanevaux with Philippe Bardet (right) and Jean Pierre Rodet, 26 April 2018.

Maison Jean Loron
1846 RN 6
71570 Pontanevaux
Tel: +33 3 85 36 81 20

A tasting of the Jean Loron single estates/wines that are vinified here in Pontanevaux.

In 2016 some areas yielded between 5 and 15 hectolitres per hectare, so with some understatement the team here decribed the conditions as ‘complicated.’ Their 2016 Pouilly-Fuissé won’t be bottled until June – so we will taste a tank sample. For their wines from Château Bellevue I hope to taste with their new winemaker, Tristan, at a future date, at the domaine.

I liked very much a quote from Jean Pierre Rodet during our discussion “People say Beaujolais – ah yes – granite! But look at the maps and it’s Chiroubles and Fleurie that are relatively homogenous – but the rest – certainly not!

The wines…

Some very covetable wines in 2016 here. Well done!

2016 Chateau de Mirande, Mâcon-Villages
A selction from the chateau’s 40 hectares – a blend of flats and east-facing slopes
A wine with some weight of aroma – a little ripeness showing in the depth. Hmm, nice weight and an intensity and width of ripe flavour. Insinuating intensity, mineral, saline but with sucrosity too – it’s a lovely mineral finish. I like the combination very much…

2016 Jean Loron, Chardonnay de Chardonnay
All from the village – so could be labeled Mâcon-Chardonnay – but all vinified in Pontanevaux. There are contracts with growers for more than 20 hectares
More delicatesse, a hint floral too. Rounder, softer, with melting flavour, sweetness and a growing width of mid to finishing flavour. Fine finishing – a more subtle and prettier wine of floral complexity – lovely, though I slightly prefer the contrasts of the first wine.

2016 Jean Loron, Viré-Clessé VV
A selection of old vines, also a large cuvee of more than 10 hectares – mainly from Clessé. This appellation just 20 years old now.
A little floral like the last here more weight and depth of aroma – a lovely nose. Hmm. This is quite lovely, sweetly mouth-watering, long, mineral – it’s a beauty – magnums required for the summer! Bravo.

2016 Chateau de Balmondière, St.Véran
Between Chaines and Leynes, so the southern part of the appellation – relatively small volume but an old estate and the wine is vinified there.
A little more colour but there’s no oak here. More compact nose, but more depth too, faint herb. Despite the nose this has a lot of energy and fine, fresh concentration. Wide in the finish, an almost sizzle to finishing flavour. Bigger wine than the last but today, at least, I’d take the VC.

2016 Jean Loron, Pouilly-Fuissé Les Vieux Murs
A tank sample. East-facing slopes, this a mix of of villages and future 1ers. Probably because of that, the prices are increasing… Only just starting to commercialise the 2015 which follows…
A big freshness of citrus, weight below and a touch of oak – there’s 40% barrel elevage – about one-third of that is new. Hmm – this has great shape and a compelling mix of concentration but airiness too. Saline, mouth-watering, lingering. I like the mix of airiness and ‘material’ too – lovely.

2015 Jean Loron, Pouilly-Fuissé Les Vieux Murs
Lots of depth, yellow fruit but harmonious. Vibrant, mineral, probably a touch of gas. There is oak but this has great finesse and shape – no overt richness, despite a weight of finishing flavour. I love the harmony here. Actually there was only a partial malo done here to retain a little extra acidity.

Les Rouges:
A selection of the crus with Loron’s own vineyards or operation – except Bellevue as noted above: Loron miss just three crus without their own operation.

2016 Jean Loron Clos des Vieux Marronniers VV
From Pierres Dorées, but high altitude so late harvested – some of the vines are over 100 years old – not Loron’s own property.
A big, perfumed nose of fruit – subtle pyrazine – fine fresh attractive nose. The palate flavours reflect the nose – freshness, crunchy fruit, and with a great mid-palate – I love the flavour here. Not a massive wine, but an absolutely delicious one – bravo!

2016 Jean Loron Domaine du Sabot, Beaujolais Villages
Also a late-harvested terroir as high vines – facing Lantignié.
Deeper colour. More compact, with a darker, spicier nose – less attractive than the first today. A depth of dark-fruited flavour. Like the nose a little spiced – more structure here – seemingly younger wine. Only in the finishing flavour do I find real deliciousness. It’s going to be a lovely wine – but wait a couple of years.

2016 Château de La Pierre, Regnié
A south-facing slope, very sandy.
Deep colour again. A big and open nose, of round fruit – it lacks a little focus but it’s quite attractive. Very red fruited, ripe yet fresh, lovely freshness actually – the second part of the wine I find excellent, the first part a little facile. Fine finishing, almost a little licorice flavour in there.

2016 Chateau de Pierre, Brouilly
The southern part of Mont Brouilly.
Also a deep colour. Also a round nose but with darker fruit of more focus and, hence, interest. Wide, fresh, growing in intensity, long, lingering, fresh dark fruit – there’s a balanced richness here. Super wine – excellent!

2016 Héritiers Loron, Chateau de Fleurie, Fleurie
Lost some to hail in 2016 – almost 50% – but all was lost to the hail in 2017. The wood had a lot of injuries so was hard to make the pruning but it’s pushing well in 2018. Making a big update to the cuverie for the 2018 vintage.
Deep colour. Deep, dark fruit but with a freshness of flowers above. Round, fresh, faint texture of tannin. Lovely open wine of concentration but still freshness. Super wine – still a little structural but implying patience – super finish. Excellent!

2016 Jean Loron, Chateau de Fleurie La Madone Réserve Caveau
A little less aromatic width – but such depth! Very fine, pure dark fruit. In the mouth, fresh, layered – ‘vivant’ – there’s a purity and vibrancy to this wine that is on another level – dynamic grand vin!
2016 Héritiers Loron Domaine de la Vieille Eglise, Juliénas
Half of the crop goes to the existing metayer here.
A more open nose, not the same clarity or depth of fruit but it’s attractive all the same. Supple, lovely texture and a beautify mouth-watering, delicious red fruit here – this is so juicy and delicious – bravo – drink before that last wine certainly – today there’s just a little more comfort here.

2016 Héritiers Loron Domaine de la Vieille Eglise, Juliénas Clos des Poulettes
A different soil, more clay here
A faint, saltiness and reduction – a less open nose. Round, more elegant and floral, a slightly more present tannin too – the wine has a different texture. Gorgeous fresh finishing flavour though.

2016 Héritiers Loron, Domaine des Billards, St.Amour Les Billards
Lots of depth to the colour. A wide nose with a hint of almond – like Grands-Echézeaux! – but less open below. Slowly adding a brilliant extra dimension of freshness and florals – the best thing I’ve smelled in a while! Big in the mouth, lots of sweetness of ripe fruit, delicious but perhaps a little too sweet and ripe – layers of tasty finishing flavour. It’s a very balanced freshness but I find a little sweet.

2016 Famille Barbet Proprietare, St.Amour Clos de Billards Réserve Caveau
Flat, with lots of clay here – it’s an ‘original’ in St.Amour.
A little less width of aroma but very fine depth, faintly spiced dark fruit. Ooh, this reminds me of the ‘La Madone’ in it’s combination of deep, dark, dynamic fruit flavour. A little more serious in the finishing flavours but then opening out more floral and complex – great wine!

2016 Xavier & Nicolas Barbet, Moulin à Vent
Lots of triage work after the hail, this not yet bottled. Multiple parcels
Almost a timid aromatic compared to the last wines – but it’s got a nice width with a subtle freshness. In the mouth a fine line and freshness – not a wine of width but still good texture – just a hint of grain in the middle. Fine, discreet, but complex finish. A fine wine, but it struggles to follow the volume and depth displayed by the last few wines… Jean Pierre notes: ‘In 2016 you can’t give what you don’t have!‘ I like his honesty!

2016 Jean Loron, Jean Vin de France
Mainly from granitic soils. Entry level – €7 – ‘and it’s a big success’ – 200k bottles sold in 16, first vintage was 15!
A round nose, volume, darker fruit, a little cheese – lactic? It’s much mare attractive in the mouth – with fresh, round flavour, dark-red fruit, a hint of modest tannin, and good finishing layers of flavour.

2017 Jean
A much deeper colour. The nose has a little more lift, more darkness of fruit, still the cheese of the first – which I find a little vulgar – though it’s on a lower level to the 2016. Supple, more weight, delicious flavour, more concentration. Lovely texture. Super!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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