Jean Loron – 2017


Tasted at the Château Bellevue in Morgon, with Frédéric Maignet 05 May 2019

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

A look at Loron’s very impressive range of Beaujolais, but this was to be merely the introduction to their much fuller range of white Mâcons.

Frédéric on 2019:
The frost that did the damage was the first wave in April. Some domaines will be jealous of their neighbours – it’s the same in the Mâconnais – some domaines are really ravaged. The last 3 weeks have been quite cold so we aren’t looking at an August harvest like we were – but everything moves – it’s dry though, that’s for sure. The frost affected mainly the early opening vines towards to bottom of the slopes – a classic Spring frost – it was -3 to -4°C there, all the chardonnay was impacted to a greater or lesser extent.

“In the Beaujolais crus, we have lost some Moulin à Vent and some Fleurie too – but again, always the bottom of the slopes. Currently, we’re not all that optimistic for recovery in the chardonnay as the opposing buds are less fertile in chardonnay than they are in gamay – but it’s still too early to say. There are some significant losses in Mâcon, Pouilly, Davayé, Loché, St.Véran and the Mâcon-Villages – less so for red. I certainly think that it will impact the volume in the market – though there is a good volume of 18s You can always do a saignée with reds to increase the proportion of solids for the reds – you can’t for the whites.

Frédéric on 2017:
2017 brought a very rainy March but there was still a deficit of rain in the first half of the year. Except for the problems with hail in the Beaujolais Crus – it seems a great vintage. We didn’t do all the malos in our whites in 2017, we wanted to keep some more tension and the best aromatic impression – probably about 70% of the malos done.

The wines…

Frankly, there are some great reds here. My initial focus (plan!) was the whites and many are indeed excellent, some are even great – but it was the reds that offered the most lasting impression.

Les Rouges:
A selection of the crus with Loron’s own vineyards or operation.

2017 Beaujolais Villages, Rift 69
69 is the department – I had to ask! The ‘rift’ is the fault that separates Beaujolais and Mâconnais. Frédéric confides “Always low sulfur here – 10mg free at bottling, but we don’t want deviance!”
Lots of colour. The nose is a little tight, bulky, not showing much. Full, mouth-filling depth, drive and depth of flavour. Some finishing bitters and a width of mouth-watering flavour – bulky, not much delicacy, but very long with a graphite style to the flavour. “I would carafe this,” says Frédéric, “As the elevage is a little reductive.

2017 Château de la Pierre, Brouilly
In a zone with much blue stone base – like Cote de Py.
Deep colour again. Rounder – fuller – a more open nose of textured, comfy dark fruit. More energy, drive and transparency of flavour – plenty of concentration/intensity here. Super, fabulous wine to wait for. Bravo!

2017 Château de Bellevue, Fleurie
Dark colour, but less depth of colour. Higher tones to this red berry nose. ‘Nice’ volume, a little stewed aspect to the red fruit – they suffered from the hail here and I think that it shows, but the finish is vibrant, interesting and currently shows a bit of astringence. This needs 2-3 years to settle and the tannin to diminish…

2017 Château de Fleurie, Fleurie
A little more depth to the dark colour here. The nose is darker-fruited – less of fresh red berry – it’s brooding but attractive. More mouth-filling. Darker fruit in the mouth too – a touch of astringence again, but less. This has fine clarity and seems to me to be a much better bet. Very good!

2017 Domaine de la Vieille Eglise, Juliénas
A normal harvest, no problems here in 2017.
A deep and concentrated looking colour. Silky, wide, dark fruit – it’s a great invitation. Fresh, driving, a wine that’s structural but not too structural – a wine to wait for, but a super wine – really excellent. A mix of herb and flowers in the finish today.

2017 Jaques Charlet, Julénas Clos des Poulettes
Lots of colour. Ooh, that’s a nice nose – framed with pretty floral notes. Drive, less overt tannin – lots of freshness – a direct wine – even more than the last but with great, open, fresh flavour – bravo! I love.

2017 Heritiers Loron, Domaine des Billards St.Amour
Like all here – very deep colour. A very open nose of dark, fresh fruit, a little less floral – but there are still some notes. Essentially a fine clarity to this nose. Wide, energetic, complex – super wine. Depth to the flavour and the flavour complexity. Excellent – I love again – a great finish too.

2017 Famille Bardet, St.Amour Clos des Billards Réserve Caveau
Again, impossibly deep colour. Ooh, there is a beautiful fresh width, but below is tight! More structural, architectural shape like a great Clos de Vougeot – there is everything around it – complex fruit, just enough padding, and a width, a length, of great fruit. Bravo – simply grand vin!

2017 Chateau Bellevue, Morgon Les Charmes
Lots of colour – I can almost omit to mention, as all are like this! A fine nose of high and low tones, of freshness, of clarity – it’s a great invitation. Supple, but lots of structure behind – none if it is hard or sharp – this, barely astringent. Tons of material and of-course to wait for – excellent, maybe great wine.

2017 Château Bellevue Morgon Corcelette Les Clos
From directly behind the Château. A little narrower aromatic but a nose that goes much deeper – perhaps aided by a faint reduction and an accent of barrel. Big, energetic, concentrated wine – more astringence and here there’s a little oak showing. A brilliant wine but certainly for the patient. I can only say bravo!
2017 Jean Loron, Moulin à Vent La Roche, Réserve Caveau Vieilles-Vignes
Almost impenetrably deep colour. There’s a touch of vanilla oak and oak spice – but at the same time it’s azeotropically pulling out attractive floral accents with it for the ride – ooh, that’s so good – though tight below. Big, but no fat. Energy, but not too much – astringence? – barely. Depth of flavour – other-worldly. This is great wine – first wait for the oak to fade and then for it to open out – I could drink it today – but do it a favour – wait 10 years – bravo!

Les Blancs:

2017 Rift 71
The first white without added sulfur, from Macon-Chardonnay. ‘We only have the lees as antioxidants in white – it’s not easy.’
A big nose, a generous nose, some vibrance of ripe quince fruit aroma, the aroma even suggesting malic. Fresh but also lots of volume in the mouth. An impression of gas, still. Wide, open, fresh, mobile but at the same time quite generous flavour. This works very well. Nice wine with a finishing touch of tannin.

2017 Beaujolais Blanc Les Belmonts
From Pierres Dorée.
Not a very overt nose, but one with freshness and salinity. Supple, wide, fresh, complex – lots of good energy, neither hard nor showing rigour. This is very easy to drink – indeed it’s delicious. Excellent BJ Blanc.

2017 Jean Loron, Côteaux Bourguignone Blanc Duc de Belmont
A mix of Beaujolais and Maconnais.
Plenty of yellow colour. A little weight of ripe yellow citrus, maybe even quince in the depth. Mineral, direct but with plenty of good texture. A little more rigour here, but the finish is wide and tasty. Even with a small saline touch. Good wine.

2017 Jean Loron, Mâcon-Villages La Crochette
A little lighter colour. Hmm – that’s a nice nose – lots of complexity here, saline and floral – attractively so. Mineral, a little padding to the texture. Wide, easy, but concentrated and tasty – for what it is, this is really excellent and a more than pleasant finish.

2017 Jean Loron Chateau de Mirande Mâcon-Villages
A selection from the chateau’s 40 hectares – a blend of flats and east-facing slopes
A much more freshly floral nose – narrower though. More direct, more overtly mineral, but with depth and concentration too. Layers of flavour here. This is very good indeed and very different. Starting more direct, finishing more comfortably. It seems a very fine year for these wines. Very tasty finishing. Lovely wine.

2017 Jean Loron, Mâcon-Lugny
Good volume and aroma -very Mâcon style but with nicely ripe lemon notes. Direct, mineral but slowly melting with flavour – more lime-style fruit here. Supple finishing, wide too. Super again for the label.

2017 Jean Loron, Mâcon-Peronne
A tight nose, almost suggesting a little reduction and salinity – it’s suggesting little else! Wide, good depth of flavour and good energy too – saline, slowly melting, starting with a little rigour. Good but lacking a bit of generosity… I like the finish though.

2017 Jean Loron Chateau de Loché, Mâcon-Loché
Medium lemon-yellow. This has a more open and quite vibrant nose – it’s a nice invitation. Plenty of volume in the mouth, lemon citrus, good energy. I find this really excellent. In fact for the label and price – bravo!

2017 Jean Loron, Mâcon-Vinzelles
A little less colour. The nose showing a depth of mineral-style, flinty aroma and a little touch of more floral notes above. Wide, nicely mouth-watering. Supple a wine whose flavours melt over the palate. Actually, it’s delicious finishing. The last wine is much more impressive until the finish, this a little better in the finish. Excellent.

2017 Jean Loron, Mâcon-Solutré
Like the Mâcon-Loché – a little more colour. Hmm – quite the saline nose here – but a certain engaging sweetness below. Bigger in the mouth – a little more mineral rigour. Good shape and energy and a very tasty finish – lovely wine – but a little behind the last two wines for me…

2017 Jean Loron, Mâcon-Fuissé
A more delicate but very attractive nose with a little yellow citrus in support. Like the last wine – lot’s of mouth-filling presence and quite a mineral impression –only slowly showing more delicacy and deliciousness. A wine that grows and grows on the palate – the finish is just so tasty. Excellent again – and so long too.

2017 Bourgogne 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. It only says ‘Bourgogne’ on the back label.
A nose of modest width but a lot of depth – only a modest invitation to drink though. A lot of gas – vs the other wines here. Only slowly showing some interest with width and fine clarity. And a shimmeringly delicious mid-palate flavour. Super but very different to the rest of the ‘family.’

2017 Château de Balmondière, Saint-Véran
Quite a tight nose – a little overt salinity in the higher tones – tight below – no oak to see. Drive, freshness, lime fruit, not a lot of sweetness but drive and concentration for sure. Like a few here, it is the middle and finishing flavour – where the wine relaxes over the palate – that distinguishes the wine – it’s a modest start and a great finish again.

2017 Jean Loron, Saint Véran Les Ombrelles
Ombrelles – A brand rather than a place.
A nose that needs a little coaxing from the glass – but with time it’s there – more lime fruit and a super clarity of aroma. Plenty of volume, lovely texture and plenty of weight to this wine. It could be even better with a touch more acidity, but the combination of texture and flavour is still mouth-wateringly delicious – quite mineral, but delicious – and you can easily see the extra finishing length here.

2017 Jean Loron, Viré-Clessé Vieilles-Vignes
A selection of old vines, also a large cuvée of more than 10 hectares – mainly from Clessé. This appellation just 21 years old now.
Plenty of colour to this wine. Ooh, but here is a big aroma – slowly tightening but very attractively full of citrus and salinity. Big in the mouth – the biggest for sure, so-far. Full, layered, nicely textured and with energy and decent acidity too. A little lime fruit but sweet. Long finishing. Bravo in its style – a big but tasty wine.

2017 Jean Loron Chateau de Loché, Pouilly-Vinzelles
A good volume of aroma with a freshness of aroma that suggests oak but has nothing overt. A little texture from gas – a grain. Open, quite vibrant in its lime-fruited minerality. Supple. Big but never too big wine. A mouthful of interest – excellent – and with a super finish – it’s really great here.

2017 Jean Loron Château de Loché, Pouilly-Loché
Plenty of aromatic weight, here with a little more fresh drive to the aroma. Colder wine. Plenty of energy and minerality together. Supple again but a wine that takes more time to settle and relax over the palate – be more patient here and enjoy the Vinzelles first, but here is excellent wine again.

2017 Domaine des Sansonnets, Pouilly-Fuissé
A more overt yellow colour. A rounder nose, deep, almost toasty with a subtle, perhaps oaky, reduction. In the mouth this is vibrant and concentrated but fresh and open too – there is architecture here – but also plenty of oak. Easily the greatest white so-far, but with a little oak to eat – wait 2-3 years but great wine.
2017 Jean Loron, Pouilly-Fuissé Les Vieux Murs
A little less colour. A little more overt, musky, oak on the nose – not much more today. Lots of volume – once again a certain architecture to the shape of this wine. Depth of flavour – again with plenty of oak flavour – but essentially it’s the shape, freshness, the depth of flavour and the length of finish that excel here – I wouldn’t drink one for at least 3 years – I don’t like to taste the oak – but it’s a great wine! Bravo!

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