Grapelive: Wine of the Day November 27, 2020

2018 Domaine M. et C. Lapierre, Morgon Roche du Py, Cuvee Camille, Cru Beaujolais, France.
The ripe and dark fruited 2018 Morgon Roche du Py “Cuvée Camille”, named for the late great Marcel Lapierre’s daughter, who along with Mathieu are continuing their father’s tradition and taking this estate to even new heights, with this special bottling being one of the most expressive and dense in the lineup with lush Gamay purity and exceptionally made. This Morgon comes from ultra late picks from 50 to 75 year old vines set on the classic granitic gravelly and mineral rich soils which shows in the layers of rich red raspberry, strawberry preserves, pomegranate and plum fruits, delicate spices, floral intensity as well as earthy, walnut and flinty accents. There is an overt fullness of flavors in this vintage of the M. & C.Lapierre Morgon “Cuvée Camille” that stems from the late pick, it is gorgeously textural and fills the palate impressively, this is nothing short of spectacular in the glass. The color, with its dark garnet hue, violet toned perfume, depth and length all stand out and are alluring, these qualities are sure bring a huge smile to your face, as they did to mine. Even in a subdued Thanksgiving holiday with the weight of the pandemic and a sense of the historic suffering, making it hard to celebrate, this wine brought some relief and my mum and I toasted our grateful feelings of being able to spend the day together with our health and security, even though most of our family and friends were staying in place to help us and our fellow Americans. I don’t have any hard and fast rules for pairings during the holiday season, but Cru Beaujolais usually plays a part and I can’t think of many that I’d rather have than Lapierre, especially their Cuvée Marcel or this Cuvée Camille, which are always wonderful treats. Looking forward, Mathieu and Camille, while upholding the great work that their father pioneered, have now introduced biodynamic vineyard practices and these recent vintages show their commitment and passion to producing even better wines.

I am always thankful for being introduced to these great wines, with importer Kermit Lynch and his team being the main reason I got into the likes of Jean Foillard, Guy Breton, the Thevenet’s, Nicole Chanrion, Thiven, Chignard and Lapierre, all of which offered the true gloriousness of Gamay, a grape that long got unfairly maligned by the wine world. The Lapierre wines are notably riper and even flamboyant in style, they push the envelop, and this 2018 Cuvée Camille is no exception with 14.5% natural alcohol and whole bunch pop it really grabs your attention with the same hedonistic presence that you’d get from a Chateauneuf-du-Pape! Kermit says, that the methods at Lapierre are just as revolutionary as they are traditional, adding that, the detail and precision with which they work is striking and entirely different from, what we sometimes expect from the majority of mainstream Beaujolais, they work in a very natural style with Marcel Lapierre having been a leader in the move to organics in his region and bringing the natural wine movement to new heights of quality. Lynch, who originally was skeptical of “natural wine” and non sulfur, was only convinced that they had a place alongside the great wines of the world, and in his portfolio, by Marcel Lapierre and now is a champion of this style, but only those that work with such attention to detail and quality, striving for elegance and terroir clarity, which these Lapierre deliver in spades. In the cellar, Mathieu employs 100% whole cluster and native yeast fermentation, or methode à l’ancienne, all of which is done at low temperatures with primary ferments lasting for between ten to twenty days, before racking the wine to well seasoned oak foudres and fûts (large casks) for aging. The Lapierre family ages their wines on fine lees for at least nine months with very little use of sulfur, and in some cases totally without its addition. This vintage is ravishing and fun, I knew I should have bought more, but I hear the 2019s which are coming soon are just as thrilling!
($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive