The late Marcel Lapierre was the first of a group of winemakers in the northern Beaujolais – dubbed ‘the gang of four’ by the great Californian wine merchant, Kermit Lynch – to have come under the influence of Jules Chauvet, winemaker, chemist and viticultural philosopher. Chauvet had rebelled against the increasing hold that the agrochemical industry had gained over viticulturalists from the 1950s onwards, though it was to take some thirty years of environmental carnage before his voice really began to be heard. Lapierre had taken over the family domaine from his father in 1973, and 8 years later he became a student of Chauvet. Joined by other local vignerons Jean Foillard (whose wonderful Morgons we also stock), Guy Breton and Jean-Paul Thévenet, the rebels rejected the status quo and reverted to an entirely traditional form of viticulture and winemaking, eschewing the use of chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides and instead using only natural products, with old vines, hand-harvesting of fully-ripe grapes fermented under indigenous yeasts, with whole-berry fermentation in cuve and maturation in oak barrels, none of which are younger than 3 years, and with minimum intervention during the winemaking process. There is no fining or filtration, and the wines are bottled with only a tiny dose of SO2.
Since Marcel’s sudden death at the end of the harvest in 2010 the estate has been run by his son Matthieu and daughter Camille, who have consolidated his legacy by taking the domaine’s 20 odd hectares fully biodynamic. Their 2022, of which we have just a handful of cases, is delightful, with characteristically dark cherry and smoky mineral fruit, intermingling with raspberry and cranberry, a rich earthiness, and wonderful vivacity and joie de vivre. It will carry for at least 3 to 5 years.
We also have a few bottles of 2022 Morgon Cuvée Marcel Lapierre, which is sourced from a plot of 100 year old vines on the domaine’s finest decomposed granite soils. Orders are limited to one bottle per 5 bottles of the straight 2022 Morgon in a case of 6 bottles.
MARCEL LAPIERRE Morgon
|2022||MORGON Cuvée Marcel Lapierre||39.95||39.95|