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A Trio of 2015 Beaujolais


I am surrounded by Rhone-loving wine friends of whom Phil and Lou have extolled the virtues of young and old cru Beaujolais. Relatively new to this group, to me that is not his appreciation, is Bill. After a long lunch at Black Sal, Bill and I both walked over to MacArthur Beverages to pick up a few bottles. Bill recommended I try the latest release of Marcel Lapierre’s Morgon.

The 2015 vintage is reportedly strong in many regions of France and based on three different wines I had this past week, it is a potent vintage in Beaujolais. In fact, I liked the 2015 Lapierre, Morgon so much I returned to the store a second time in one week so that I could share a bottle with my brother-in-law. He too is a Rhone lover but during long stays in France and Switzerland, he and his wife would travel down to purchase Morgon in bulk from cask.

During our lunch Bill described a limit in expression for Beaujolais which could be experienced at relatively low cost. The 2015 Lapierre, Morgon must represent that limit for a young wine. It is generous in fruit yet already complex, clearly a wine to drink within a few years than one to hold on to. What caught me is the crispness of the wine which makes for the perfect delivery of the flavor. Stock up and start drinking!

Almost as impressive is the 2015 Chateau Thivin, Cotes de Brouilly, also imported by Kermit Lynch. For flavor think purple, black, and mineral. The acidity is dialed down in comparison to the Lapierre, making fine, cutting delivery. This wine is one to age for the short-term. Also in need of a little age is the 2015 Domaine du Vissoux (Chermette), Cuvee traditionnelle, Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes. Recommended to me by Warren, this is a finely textured wine, with focused, grapey flavors that should open up with slight age. I thought it drank best on the second night.

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2015 Lapierre, Morgon – $25
Imported by Kermit Lynch. Alcohol 13.5%. The nose reveals earthy waves of aroma mixing with vintage floral perfume that speaks of complexity. In the mouth the dense flavors are of spiced red and black fruit with just the right amount of lively acidity. In fact, the wine is almost crisp with a moderate structure for the rather short term. With air subtle, sweaty and earthy sweet fruit come out. One bottle developed a hint of banana whereas another was a touch more pure. **** Now – 2019.

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2015 Chateau Thivin, Cotes de Brouilly – $24
Imported by Kermit Lynch. Alcohol 13%. Darker, more purple and black fruit, remained focused throughout consumption. The wine is impressively mineral with a cutting vein of acidity. With good stuffing, this wine could stand a year or two to open up. ***(*) 2017-2022.

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2015 Domaine du Vissoux (Chermette), Cuvee traditionnelle, Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes – $18
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. Alcohol 13%. This is a focused, linear wine with black and red fruit woven with moderate tannins. It is grapey in flavor with a little spice in the end where there is a finely textured and dry finish. *** 2017-2020.

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