2022 Domaine M. & C. Lapierre, Morgon, Marcel Lapierre Cuvée MMXXII, Cru Beaujolais, France.
One of the world’s great wines, the Lapierre Cuvée Marcel comes from 100 year old Gamay vines set on Morgon’s sandy decomposed granite soils, and always shows power, concentration and exotic ripe fruit, and this 2022 is no exception with gorgeous layers of candied cherry, plum and dark berry fruits on the beautifully textured full bodied palate along with a touches of savory and earthy elements, anise, walnut and framboise leading the way. The Lapierre Marcel Cuvée is only produced in exceptional vintages from the domaine’s oldest vines, as importer Kermit Lynch explains, are in the Côte du Py area and the special lieu-dit of “Le Douby” located near the border of the Fleurie appellation. Brother and sister Mathieu, who I just met for the first time at Kermit Lynch’s 50th Anniversary tasting, and Camille Lapierre run this historic estate, that was first established back in 1909, that is known for its natural style all organic 100% Gamay old vine wines, with grapes picked late, all of which are made using traditional “semi-carbonic” whole cluster method.

As noted before in my reviews, the late and legendary Marcel Lapierre, who was a champion of this style natural wine, proved that Gamay can be monumental, age worthy and thrilling wines and the domaine continues to be a leader of this category. The wines show an intense attention to detail and quality, as I’ve noted before, always are striving for elegance and terroir clarity, which these latest Lapierre Beaujolais, like this one deliver in spades. In the cellar, Mathieu, who took over from his father, 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, which usually is close to 9 months before bottling. For this wine, Lapierre did the noted semi-carbonic maceration, with the must protected from oxygen by CO2, without SO2, which lasted for between 15-36 days in closed vat, typically conical wood, and then aged in used Burgundy (228L) barrels for the 9 months. Like all the wines here at Lapierre, this one was bottled unfined and unfiltered to promote transparency and capturing all the terroir nuances in the finished wine. These wines are always wonderfully expressive and this one in particular is as good as Gamay gets, I highly recommend them.
($55 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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