2020 Domaine M. et C. Lapierre, Morgon Roche du Py, Cuvee Camille, Cru Beaujolais, France.
Usually rich, dense and textured, the 2020 version of Lapierre’s Cuvee Camille is more poised and lighter on its feet than the last few vintages with sublime balance and fresh details, it delivers a full array of pure Gamay goodness on the bright red fruited medium bodied palate. This release has still has the Lapierre signature hedonistic ripeness, but it has a taut focus, mineral notes and it is very heightened example of Morgon and it is lovely with a range of food that helps bring out all sides of this pretty dark ruby hued Cuvee Camille. The nose is stony, raspberry laced and lightly floral before revealing a mix of red berry, plum, cherry and strawberry fruits, along with tangy herbs, crushed granite, walnut, peony/lilac and anise accents. The acidity is vibrant, with 13.5% natural alcohol, about a point less than the norm and the wine is youthful at this stage, but I suspect it will fill out in a few years, though it would be tough to keep from opening this stuff.

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. What sets this Cuvee Camille, named after Mathieu’s sister, who helps run this famous estate, apart, is the Roche du Py plot with its 50 to 75 year old vines that are set on the classic granitic gravelly and mineral rich soils. These low sulphur Lapierre Morgons are some of the most coveted and sought after wines in the wine world and always are wonderful treats, I highly recommend exploring their collection, especially this rare offerings.
($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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