Return to the Vineyard: 2020 Muscadet Harvest at Domaine Batard Langelier

Maisdon sur Sèvre
October 2020

Today, we are visiting Jérémie Batard’s Muscadet vineyards, Domaine Batard Langelier, whose family estate covers 27 hectares.  Since he came to join his father on the family estate in 2014, Jérémie has become more and more involved to take over.

The 2020 vintage will have been a test vintage, since Jérémie has led the team of pickers and the vinifications alone.

At the beginning of October, the alcoholic fermentations are all finished and the tasting these “wines in the making” are already very aromatic. More and more vats are being vinified with lower sulfites. The Metaphore 2020 cuvée should once again be without added sulfite.


In this report your will find:

Vineyard activity of the moment : the “prétaille” – or “pre-pruning”
Vine growing cycle since fall 2019

  • Early budburst
  • Flowering in ideal conditions
  • Harvest at the beginning of September

News

  • Plantation of 1.3 ha 
  • New vintages to come with the acquisition of vineyards on Monnière st Fiacre and Château Thébaud.
  • New cellar to accommodate the entire harvest

List of wines available at the estate

Pre-pruning the vines of 2020’s harvest

✂️🌿🍃🍂 Now harvest is over in Muscadet, a new job begins: “pre-taille”. It’s all in the family at Domaine Batard Langelier and today’s lesson in “pre-pruning” is with Régine Batard, Jeremie’s mother. She will spend the next period pruning the branches that have carried the 2020 grape harvest, before Jérémie passes to make the final pruning. Lots of leaves 🍁 make the job a bit tricky, but the electric pruning shears are a huge help! 💪

Autumn 2019 to Spring 2020

The fall of 2019 was mild and not very humid. At the estate, it is the season of pre-pruning (as seen on the video above) and co-plantations (300 vines per year to replace the missing ones).

Jérémie left the soils to rest, and only intervened at the end of the winter with a “decavaillon” plough.  This soil till breaks up the “cavaillon” or mound under the vine stock – which formed with the last ploughing – by turning it over.
This year it was April 12. It was necessary to finish the plot with a pickaxe … and with a team of several people because it is a physical job and long work.
By this date, the budburst had already started due to an absent winter and the development of the vine then went into overdrive until the end of the summer.

2020 was a year without much pressure Mildew and Oïdium.  Jérémie prefers to use less-concentrated treatments earlier in the season to protect the vine as well as possible.
Even if he only uses contact products approved for organic cultivation, the idea for Jérémie is to reduce the doses overall. To do so, he uses :
– orange peel essential oils that he adds to Bordeaux mixture to help dry out the spots of Mildew.
– sap from pine trees to help the products stick better to the leaves of the vine and thus increase their effectiveness.

Flowering in ideal conditions

The flowering took place very early this year, on May 19th – almost 3 weeks in advance. The timing of the flowering took place in ideal conditions and assured an early harvest, likely to be a good vintage with good quantity.

Several colder days in June slowed down the development of the vine which had gotten a little carried away, allowing the winegrower to breathe a little, or almost!

Then the heatwaves came.  Due to low rainfall this year, some plots of vines showed the first signs of water shortage.
At the end of June, Jérémie began green harvesting to compensate for this lack of water and help the vines to regulate their sap distribution on fewer fruit. 

Harvest Starts Early September

July and August were two hot and dry months punctuated by saving rains at the end of August that allowed the vine to continue maturing and the grapes to plump with juice.
These rains delayed the harvest. A first tour in the vineyards on August 28th allowed the crew to sort out the already ripe grapes but the harvest really started on September 1st and ended on September 14th (the same start date of the 2019 harvest).

A Promising 2020 Vintage

Today all the alcoholic fermentations are finished, they have been fermenting beautifully.

Some vats seem to have started malolactic fermentation, all will stay on their lees over the next several months …

Metaphore 2020 fermented SO2-free.  The vat is very aromatic with honeysuckle and lychee notes, the mouth has a very smooth texture, the wine is full, and the aromas are very pronounced.

Spring Plantings 2020

The estate was further enlarged in May with a 1.3 ha planting on a plot of soil rich in gneiss.

The rooting seems perfect and these young vines are very beautiful and already well developed. The cultivation is practiced organically like the whole vineyard today. 

Two Muscadet Crus for Batard Langelier

Cru Château Thébaud

Since 2019, Domaine Batard Langelier has owned 0.5 ha of vines on the excellent cru Château Thébaud. The soil is generally sandy with stones (from disintegrated rock) and shallow. The vines are located on a subsoil of granodiorite (calco-alkaline granite) and gneiss from this granite.
The wines must remain at least 18 months on lees before they can be released under this Cru. Bottling is planned for next Spring 2021.

The wine tastes beautiful, with a lot of finesse. We find fruity notes of peach, melon, a hint of flint. The mouth is long and aromatic, with both volume and tension.

Cru Monnière Saint Fiacre

Photo Below
The plot is on soils rich in gneiss. 
The 2019 presents notes of lemon, lychee, jasmine flowers, in the mouth the acid is frank and clean, a wine with a lot of tension and a slightly bitter finish – very pleasant.

New Harvest Reception Cave at Batard Langelier

Jérémie settled in the village, and he bought an old house that he is renovating. But while the renovation work is not yet finished and the move is not for right now, the cellar is already occupied 🙂 It contains several vats of 24 hl to 30 hl, and … typical of the region, cement tanks lined with glass tiles are buried underground.

Range of Muscadet Wines Available

For more information or to request price lists

Polaris 2018 – young vines planted on deep metamorphic arena soils 
Very fresh wine. On the palate a subtle combination of floral and white fruit (peach, pear) aromas and melon. Precise, pleasurable, and crisp wine.

Didascalie 2017 – vines planted on rich Gabbro soil
Very crisp palate, the aromatic rather intense, mixes citrus fruits (lemon, lime) and salty notes. Slightly bitter, finish very pleasant. 

Metaphore 2018 – vines planted on gneiss soils in the Clos St Vincent – sulfite free wine
Supple on the palate, the aromatic tends more on very ripe yellow fruits (nectarine, peach), mouth with a touch of residual sugars for balance.

Oxymore 2016 – Vineyards planted on shallow soils (10 -15 cm) on Gabbro mother rock
Luscious, round mouth with a silky texture. Wine matured on fine lees for two years, allowing the development of notes of toasted bread, hazelnut which are added to pear, jasmine, citrus fruits, pleasant salinity. Nice length.

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