Morgon Marcel Lapierre (Beaujolais, France)

Mogan Marcel Lapierre

2009 is a fantastic Beaujolais vintage. Not that anyone really cares. Unlike Bordeaux 2009 there are no hyped-up sales campaigns, no 100 point Parker scores and sky-rocketing prices, no-one talking about investment potential or a booming Far East market.

It is a crying shame. Good Beaujolais is one of the wine world’s best kept secrets. Light, fruity, refreshing and chillable, it is an easy-going, no-strings-attached sort of wine. Uncomplicated vinous fun for the dinner table.

Actually, this wine from Marcel Lapierre is a good bit better than that. Marcel is one of the region’s stars and has been at the forefront of biodynamic winemaking in France for nearly three decades. Burying cow horns at the autumn equinox may be all the rage among a certain sort of vigneron nowadays but that certainly wasn’t the case back in 1981. Marcel also eschews full carbonic maceration (the usual way of vinifying grapes in Beaujolais) in favour of just a couple of days under gas followed by more traditional vinfication in ex-Burgundy barrels he picks up from Domaine Prieure-Roch in Vosne-Romanee.

Mogan Marcel LapierreThe 2009 is just wonderful. Last summer was perfect for grape growing in the Beaujolais vineyards to the north of Lyon. The growers started getting excited as soon as they crushed the grapes and they saw the deep colour of the juice. It was evident that this was going to be a year for rich, concentrated wines.

Lapierre’s Morgon (which includes some grapes grown on the Cote de Py, the village’s unofficial Grand Cru) is deeper in colour than previous years but everything is relative. It is still a vibrant light ruby in the glass with lifted floral red fruit, fine tannins and crisp acidity. It is bright, refreshing and elegant, unmistakeably Gamay in its flavour profile but reminiscent of very good red Burgundy in its structure.

Where it differs from very good red Burgundy is the price. £16 does not buy you very much from Chambolle-Musigny these days.

30th September 2010

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