Marcel Lapierre, who passed away at harvest's end in October 2010, ushered in a revolutionary return to traditional winemaking in Beaujolais that started in his home village of Villie-Morgon, eventually spreading through France and around the world. When Marcel took over the family estate in 1973, grape growing and winemaking had settled into a post-war dependence on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and commercial yeasts. Lapierre, under the tutelage of a viticultural sage named Jules Chauvet, lead a small group of like minded vignerons in a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: start with old vines, never use synthetic herbicides and pesticides, harvest late, use natural fermentations, and minimize the use of sulfur dioxide. "I'm just making the wine of my father and grandfather," he said, "but I'm trying to make it a little better." Marcel was joined by his son Mathieu, and together they took their natural wine philosophy further by adopting organic and biodynamic vineyard practices.
2012 is the third vintage where the combination of expectation and traditon are solely on the shoulders of Mathieu. Like his father, he is "trying to make it a little better." But nature can be cruel, dishing out in 2012 what several old timers called one of the toughest vintages of modern times - poor spring flowering, followed by hail, followed by summer rains. It is an extremely small vintage and marks the second shortfall in three years.
We have just received our allocation of the 2012 Lapierre Morgon, as well as the 2012 Lapierre Raisins Gaulois. Raisins Gaulois is from vines mostly in the cru of Morgon with a bit of A.O.C. Beaujolais fruit as well. It is bright and refreshing and perfectly epitomizes the estate's core principles.
From 3 until 5 pm on Saturday, we will taste the 2012 Lapierre Morgon and Raisins Gaulois and toast to "trying to make it a little better." Please join us.
2012 M. Lapierre Morgon - $28
2012 M. Lapierre Raisins Gaulois - $15