Return to the Vineyard … Domaine Batard Langelier – Muscadet
Introduction to Domaine Batard Langelier
In life, there are often lucky chances! We had the fortune to meet Jérémie Batard during a professional tasting of organic wines in Rennes.
The wines immediately piqued our interest and pleased our tastebuds, so much so that we wanted to know a little more about the winemaker, the vineyards and the philosophy of his work … So we took a road trip to Maisdon Sevre on November 9th…
History of Domaine Batard-Langelier
The family-owned domaine extends over the commune of Maisdon sur Sèvre, in Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, between Vertou and Clisson. It spreads over 24 ha spread over very varied soils: sandy loam, altered gabbros, gneiss, biotite granite. It is this wealth of soils that gives a diversity of wines.
On 24 ha. of vines, 95% of the vineyard is planted with Melon de Bourgogne, a unique grape from Muscadet, with the remaining production (5%) of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The estate was created in 1910 by Denis Batard.
In 1982 his son Pascal took over the reins, seeking to express in his wines the essence of the appellation Muscadet. The wines are vinified according to the Nantaise tradition as he had learned from his father Denis. Aware of the growing fragility of biodiversity, he turned to lutte raisonnée and abandoned chemical fertilizers in 1995.
In 2009, Jérémie joined the estate after traveling far and distancing himself from the winemaking profession. But wherever he was in the world – France, Europe or Australia – he always travelled with his love of wine! Today, this work that once seemed hard to him has become a meaningful source of passion.
His wife Claire Langelier, who is not from the region, fell in love with the area – both its wines and Jérémie! Since 2013, she has worked on the estate, the vineyard, the cellar and with the trade.
She contributes her grain of salt. Free and detached from the history of the estate, she works to help the Muscadet come out of its box and express its unique terroir.
The current team consists of Pascal and Régine Batard (2nd generation) as well as Jérémie and Claire Batard-Langelier (3rd generation)
Photo 1 : Domaine team : Régine, Pascal & Jérémie
Photo 2 : Jérémie, Claire & Pascal
Philosophy of the Domaine
Domaine Batard-Langelier seeks to enhance the Appellation Muscadet and to restore its nobility.
Pascal & Régine, Jérémie & Claire seek to express the diversity of soils in the different vintages by vinifying by plots and crafting cuvées that offer fresh and convivial wines.
“We craft all of our wines with this simple idea: that they will bring you pleasure to drink, like small sips of happiness to be shared … Wines of thirst, of meals, of conversation … always elegant.” Domaine Batard-Langelier
1995: Termination of fertilizer applications, vineyard culture according to the principles of lutte raisonnée
2014: First year of conversion to organic farming, light tillage
Photo 1 & 2: Plots with spontaneous vegetation crop cover during winter
Different types of Soil
The vineyard consists of 24 hectares:
- 6.5 ha on Clos St Vincent, sandy loam soil resting on a bedrock in disintegration phase. This mother rock is a siliceous metamorphic rock: the gneiss with 2 micas.
- 7 ha of vines on soils from weathered gabbro* and quartz clays.
- 6 ha on predominantly siliceous clay soil from crushed hornblende biotite granite, deeper soil and very weathered rock
- 3.5 ha of more loamy soils scattered over several plots
- 1 ha in the IGP appellation
* The Gabbro is an eruptive rock of green to black color which gives minerality to the wine and which confers a good capacity for ageing
Work of the Soil and Vine Training
In recent years soils have been worked. It is a light, non-deep work done with the help of a disc that lightly cuts the roots of the weeds, so as not to jostle the different soil layers, and to encourage the life of the soil.
The vegetation cover is spontaneous and natural during the winter, the first tasks in the vineyard take place at the end of the winter. The planting density is 7000 plants / ha.
We are 60 meters above the sea, and the climate is oceanic because the sea is less than 50 km away (as the crow flies).
The plots are gently sloping. The vines are trained on a specific “guyot Nantais”, particular in the region for the fact that there is 1 branch and 2 cordons distributed on 2 of 3 heads. The average age of the vines is 40 years old.
Traditional fermentation in underground cement vats lined with glass tiles, typical of the tanks of Muscadet. Today the vats are all equipped with a refrigeration unit to control temperatures during fermentations. Fermentations are either inoculated or spontaneous, depending on the vintage.
The aging on lees is typically long periods. The Melon de Bourgogne will develop all its aromatic characteristics throughout the aging on the fine lees. It varies from 7 to 24 months and more depending on the vintage.
Photo 1 : Cellar of Domaine Batard-Langelier
Photo 2 : Door to underground cement tanks lined with glass tiles
Tasting Notes of Wines Available Today –
Polaris 2017 – Grapes from a variety of parcels with soils of metamorphic rocks.
- Very intense nose of exotic fruits: citrus, pineapple. Beautiful tension in the mouth, a simple and fruity wine with a nice acidity.
Didascalie – Grapes from the Gabbro soils
- 2015 Discrete nose that opens with aeration in the glass. The saline finish is very pleasant, with notes of citrus, lime, exotic fruits but also a fine chalkiness. Very nice tension and good length.
- 2016 Saline and fresh lemony aromatics always frame this blend. The 2016, however, has a rounder and fuller mouth.
Metaphor – Grapes grown on Gneiss plot, in Clos St Vincent
- 2017: complex nose combining citrus and delicate flowers, a fresh and salty attack, floral aromas, white fruits and citrus fruits. Salivating wine, very tasty.
Oxymore – Grapes from very fine soils, 10 to 15 cm, then Gabbro subsoil
- 2013 – Very fresh citrus fruits and pith, with hints of musk melon, then notes brioche, creme fraiche, toast and white flowers. Very delicate and complex wine, opening thoroughly throughout tasting.
- 2014 – On this vintage – white peach nose, pear, honey, wisteria. Very nice freshness then round mouth, ample with a fruity mixed notes toasted. Wine of great ageability.
A range of wines with names reminiscent of literary styles