We'll always beat the drum for the new vintages of Lapierre's wines, but in 2015 the immediacy and unbridled joy of Morgon is on full display. No producer in Beaujolais surpasses Lapierre in their execution of plush and satin textured Gamay. The historical significance of Marcel Lapierre is firmly ingrained into the history books of French winemaking. Since 2010, Marcel's children Matthieu and Camille have carried on the natural approach that had placed their father in the hearts of winemakers and enthusiasts across the globe.
The amount of personal pleasure I've gained in drinking the wines of Lapierre over the years is immeasurable. In college, my growing interest and fascination with French wines started with those of Marcel, and memories of opening single bottles with friends will forever be entrenched in my mind. Whenever California-focused customers ask about familiarizing themselves more with French wines Lapierre is at the top of my list. They appeal to each of our senses, and strike the soul in a way we should demand of all wines.
Much like Marcel's last complete vintage, 2009, the 2015 marks a definitive moment for the domaine where a hot and dry growing season is gauged brilliantly. Harnessing all of the ripeness and power of vintages like this can be tricky. There can be difficulties in preserving that quintessential fresh, mineral spine from the decomposed granite slopes of Morgon. Lapierre's track record with vintages like 2003, 2005, and 2009 illustrate not only how well they judge picking and fermentation, but make the strong case these are the vintages where the wines truly strut their stuff. It's easy to be unapologetic and bold when you have the finest tended parcels of 100-year-old Gamay vines in the region.
Marcel Lapierre took over the domaine in 1973 from his father, and in 1981 his encounter with Jules Chauvet set him on a course that would literally change the world of wine. Chauvet's strong words against using pesticides, herbicides, and cultured yeasts launched a shift toward natural viticulture and winemaking in Beaujolais. And along with Jean Foillard, Guy Breton, and Jean-Paul Thévenet the Gang of Four was unofficially founded. Their practices spread quickly and the proof in the pudding made clear this natural route was one that yielded wines of authenticity and joie de vivre. Sam Imel of importer Kermit Lynch offers the truest words one can ask for on the Morgons of Lapierre,
“They are meant to be devoured.”
2015 Lapierre Raisins Gaulois
$17 per bottle.
From vines 20 years old and under.
2015 Lapierre Morgon
$34 per bottle.
From vines 60 years old.
2015 Lapierre Morgon 1.5L
$73 per bottle.
2015 Lapierre Morgon Roche du Py Camille
$48 per bottle.
From vines 75-years-old within the Côte du Py site.
2015 Lapierre Morgon Cuvée Marcel Lapierre MMXV
$48 per bottle.
From vines over 100-years-old.
2014 Lapierre Morgon 1.5L
$72 per bottle.
2014 Lapierre Morgon "Camille" 1.5L
$109 per bottle.