2022 Domaine M. & C. Lapierre, Le Beaujolais, France.
The pure and deep ruby red Le Beaujolais from Lapierre is beautifully textured and expressive Gamay, made from old vines, that shows off dark berry, plum, cherry and cranberry fruits, along with crushed flowers, cinnamon, wild herbs, chalky stones and a touch of loamy earth. Lots of bright intensity adds lots of life and zest to this silken and forward Beaujolais, it will be a joyous quaffer for the next few years. I’ve been a fan of Lapierre for close to 20 years now and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate Kermit Lynch, at his 50th Anniversary portfolio tasting in San Francisco, who really discovered and brought top Beaujolais to America, and to meet Mathieu, who was very amused by all the attention he and his wines were getting. I also got to sample Lapierre’s newest Le Beaujolais, which is sourced from 70 year old organic vines, on sandy granite based soils, and three parcels that, as Kermit Lynch explains, are just across the village line of Morgon in Lancié, a neighboring commune of Villié Morgon. This no oak Beaujolais sees a semi-carbonic maceration without SO2, as well, much like this Morgon, for 10-21 days, and spends six months in “cuve” (vat), all of which make it highly quaffable and seriously compelling too!

Continuing the work of their late father and legend Marcel Lapierre’s traditions and faithfully following the teachings of Jules Chauvet’s natural wine practices, Mathieu and Camille Lapierre, as mentioned in prior reviews, make some of the best Gamay wines on the planet. Domaine Lapierre is arguably one of, if not the top quality natural wine producer and an inspiration to thousands around the world including famed importer Kermit Lynch, one of the late Marcel Lapierre’s early admirers, and while the domaine was always organic the sister and brother team of Mathieu and Camille have converted to biodynamic. Marcel Lapierre took over the family domaine from his father in 1973, and according to Kermit, he was already on the road to becoming a legend, but In 1981, his path would be forever changed by Jules Chauvet, a man whom many now call his spiritual godfather (and the godfather of natural wine). Chauvet was a winemaker, a researcher, a chemist, and a viticultural prophet, in much the same way Nicholas Joly was with biodynamics in the Loire Valley. It was he who, upon the advent of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the 1950s, first spoke out for “natural wine,” inspired most of generation of Beaujolais winemakers to follow the old traditional methods of the Beaujolais. While not quite as impactful as Lapierre’s top Morgon bottlings, this lively and fresh Le Beaujolais is a really addictive wine and a savvy buy, providing loads of vinous fun.
($32 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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