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Our early visits to Domaine Louis-Claude Desvignes (maybe 15 - 20 years ago) always seemed to be on cold, rainy days in January. The tannic structure of the young wines, unusual in Morgon, was fairly intense, so it was always a great relief and a great pleasure to get to the elegant mature wines which showed beautifully at 5 to 15 years of age. Here is an apt description of Louis-Claude from our friends at Louis-Dressner Selections:
"Louis-Claude Desvignes was of the sparrow-type Beaujolais vigneron: raven-black hair that was, more often than not, standing in various directions, bright eyes and prominent nose, and a well-pitched, humorous cackle. The seriousness of his winemaking, however, was never in doubt.... Louis-Claude passed away in 2021; at that point he'd been long retired, having passed the estate to his children Claude-Emmanuelle and Louis-Benoît, the eight generation to work this land. Emmanuelle joined in 2001 and Benoît in 2004; while little has changed stylistically, their their arrival has brought some major shifts. 100% of the production is now estate-bottled, and the estate is now certified organic."
The family's historic vineyards have been within the Morgon cru for generations. The majority of the vines are on the Côte du Py in the center of Morgon, the fruit of which is of far superior quality to that produced in the outlying areas of the appellation. If there were a classification of vineyards in Morgon, Côte du Py would be a premier cru and Javernières a grand cru. They are located on the best exposition of the hill, with soil of decomposed schist, and Javernières is a plot within the Côte du Py with a little more clay.
New in 2020 was the outstanding "Javernireres - Aux Pierres," already recognized as one of the finest wines of the Beaujolais! "Aux Pierres" comes from a 0.57-hectare plot of 90-year-old vines on a steep, east-facing slope, with historic top quality massale selections. The soils are iron-rich, red clay with schist, pyrite and decomposed volcanic rocks. The farming is in conversion to organics, soon to be certified like the rest of the Desvignes estate. Half of the bunches are left whole with half destemmed and put together into closed concrete vats for a partly carbonic fermentation; maceration is 13-14 days with a submerged cap and no punchdowns. Minimal SO2 is used. The wine is aged in 30-hectoliter concrete egg for 10 months. The Desvignes family considers "Aux Pierres" to be a true vin de garde. The 2022 is an extraordinary wine!
We've added the superb 2020 Georges Descombes Morgon and the Alain Coudert's 2022 Fleuries to today's offer (these are our last bottles of the Cuvee Tardive) as well as the always delicious Domaine des Terres Dorees Beaujolais L'ancien Vieilles Vignes Nouveau!
Wines arrive Tuesday 11/21, 10% case discount applies.
Claude-Emannuelle and Louis-Benoit are the seventh generation of winemakers at Desvignes and the domain was one of the first in Morgon to "estate-bottle" beginning in 1955. "The spirit of our vinification is between the Beaujolais carbonic maceration and a Burgundy vinification," she says. The parcel "Javernieres," on the lower southeast corner of the Cote de Py, is considered by the Desvignes as their best terroir. Here the thicker topsoil with more clay and iron oxide gives a more generous wine. The 2022 seems a bit softer and more generous that the "Cote de Py" showing a deep red/garnet color, with aromas of black raspberry, cherry and strawberry, floral and elegant. The palate is beautifully textured with chalky red and black fruits with floral, spice and citrus notes. This has an elegant and full-bodied roundness, but with the acidity and tannin to allow long-term aging. Serve a bit cool and enjoy now, best after 3 to 5 years and then until 2035+ David Lillie
The 2022 Desvignes Morgon "Cote de Py" is from 2.2 hectares of parcels on the Côte du Py, which is famous for its roche pourrie or "rotten rock" of manganese-rich, decomposed schist and its structured, long-lived wines. The vines are around 70 years old and have a cooler NE exposure at the top of the hill. They are certified-organic and harvested by hand. Generally around 50% of the bunches are left whole with the other 50% destemmed and put together into closed concrete vats for a partly carbonic fermentation; maceration is 13-14 days with a submerged cap and no punchdowns. The 2022 Côte du Py was aged in concrete egg for 10 months. This is a beautiful wine showing a bit more density and black fruits than the Javenieres. The color is a deep black/red with light rim. The aromas are deep and elegant - blackberry, black cherry, earth and licorice with mineral, sous-bois and citrus notes. The palate is dense and deep with black fruit liqueur, ripe and well structured with firm tannins. Black fruits, firm acicity and mineral flavors merge in the long finish - a wine to cellar for five years and then enjoy until 2035, but the tannins are supple and the sapid fruit makes this enjoyable young as well. Lovely wine. David Lillie
2022 Desvignes "Aux Pierres" - 2020 was the first vintage from this new parcel in the historic lieu-dit of Javernières at the foot of the famous Côte du Py hill. "Aux Pierres" comes from this 0.57-hectare plot of 90-year-old vines on a steep, east-facing slope. The soils are iron-rich, red clay with schist, pyrite and decomposed volcanic rocks. The wine is aged in 30-hectoliter concrete egg for 10 months. The Desvignes family considers "Aux Pierres" to be a true vin de garde. While we loved the austere elegance and depth of the 2021 "Aux Pierres," it has taken a more "solaire" and generous vintage to bring out the greatness in these old vines and this unique terroir. "Deep, dark red/black color with light rim. Aromas of black cherry/boysenberry liqueur, deep and meaty with violette, earth and dark chocolate.The palate is dense and supple and beautifully ripe with black fruit liqueur backed by firm, fresh acidity and mineral flavors. The finish is long and sapid with red fruits and violets, seamless, sapid and with very elegant silky tannins. The aging potential here is obvious, but the wine is delicious now in it's exuberant youth. Best in 5 to 15 years. A recommended tasting in 2032: 2022 "Aux Pierres" and 2022 Ducroux "Expectatia!" Sensational wine!
2020 was the first vintage of "L'Aube à Javernières" and the first Desvignes wine to not be 100% cru Morgon, coming from a parcel of 20 to 30-year-old vines in deep clay soils on the edge of Javernières, just below the Cote du Py hill. The grapes are harvested by hand and the winemaking is consistent with most of the Desvignes wines, undergoing semi-carbonic fermentation and aged in concrete with no punchdowns. The 2022 is a fresh and exuberant expression of Gamay with beautiful ripeness, showing red fruit and cool herbs on the nose, backed by earthy acidity that creates wonderful tension and a long finish that makes it a versatile pairing partner. Absolutely delicious and a great value for anyone who loves serious Beaujolais!
Georges Descombes has created another superb Morgon in 2020 - not as bright perhaps as the 2014 (pictured) but with a similar balance of alcohol (13%), freshness and very ripe sappy fruit. The wine shows a bright, vivid red/black color with earth, violet and citrus notes mingling with lovely raspberry and blackberry aromas. The palate is ripe, silky and well-structured with fresh, velvety raspberry, cherry and blackberry fruit, with earth and mineral notes bringing texture and length to the sappy, lingering finish. This is a beautiful Morgon to serve cool with farm chicken, grilled pork and lamb, cow cheeses and charcuterie over the next 4 - 5 years. David Lillie
We have had the pleasure of selling every vintage of Alain Coudert's "Cuvée Tardive" since it's creation in 1994 (or was it 1995?) and the 2022 is certainly one of the best! Although the vintage is marked by ripeness and generous alcohol (14%) we found the 2022 to be less forward and more firmly structured than the equally sunny vintages of 2018 - 2020. From average 80 year-old vines in clay with manganese in addition to granite soils near Moulin-A-Vent, fermentation in whole clusters with native yeasts in open-top, neutral wood vats with the cap kept submerged; the maceration for Tardive is approximately 18 days, aging takes place in old foudres. The 2022 shows a dark black/red color, with elegant aromas of ripe blackberry and black cherry with violet, licorice and earth. The palate is deep and tight with black cherry, blackberry and strawberry liqueur, licorice and spice, backed by firm acidity and intense mineral flavors. The finish is sensational with fabulous purity and depth, showing very firm tannins and slightly bitter black fruits. Please hold five years, and drink until 2040. Very little is available, 6 bottle maximum, please. David Lillie
This is a reliable, delicious and crowd-pleasing choice for the whole family... There is no shortage of ripeness in the 2022 "Clos de la Roilette" Fleurie from our friend Alain Coudert, but despite the 14% of alcohol, this wine is just delightlful, showing charming, pure raspberry fruit with aromas that are delicate and floral but lush and deep at the same time. The full-bodied palate is beautifully textured and balanced by bright acidity with earth and mineral flavors beneath the lovely dense fruit. Serve this gorgeous wine a bit cool over the next five to eight years, pure enjoyment!
2022 is certainly a vintage for mags!
100% Gamay. Always our favorite Nouveau! The Terres Dorées L'Ancien vines are Jean Paul's oldest vines at 40-60 years old. They grow on the sandy clay-limestone hills in his home village of Charnay in the southern Beaujolais and yield small, thick-skinned berries. The farming is organic and harvest manual. The earliest harvest of these vines goes into his Nouveau. Unlike any other Nouveau out there, there is no carbonic maceration (true for all of his Gamays). The bunches are destemmed, the fruit crushed and fermented with native yeasts in tank, notably with no chaptalization; it is aged briefly, though longer than most Nouveaux, and bottled in time to land in the states by the third Thursday in November. The 2023 version shows lovely aromas of ripe cherry and blackberry with citrus and floral notes; the palate is dense, sappy and ripe with deep red and black fruits and hints of earth, citrus and cocoa. This is a seriously delicious Nouveau and bodes well for the 2023 vintage wines to come...