Call me hard-hearted, or wrong-headed. But as I read the outpouring of admiration and love for Marcel Lapierre following his untimely death in early October, I thought of Georges Duboeuf.
Lapierre, who tended a small family domaine in Morgon, in the Beaujolais region of France, had an impact far beyond the size of his production. He was an early and faithful adherent to a traditional, non-interventionist approach to grapegrowing and vinification. This made him a hero to the proponents of "natural" wine. And they, in turn, have positioned him in opposition to the wines they judge as industrial or even immoral, most particularly mass-market Nouveau.
Reading between the lines of the obituaries and eulogies, I suspect that these people would say that Lapierre saved Beaujolais from the likes of Georges Duboeuf—as if the cheap and cheerful Beaujolais Nouveau he popularized was the threat, the enemy.
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