A few years ago, when I visited my parents in Florida, I gave them a mixed case of wines for Christmas. My friend Gregg Perkins from Jacksonville was working for a retail chain in the Sunshine State and helped me put together a selection of three bottles each of four different wines.
One of the wines was Marcel Lapierre's Morgon 2005. When I tasted it, I liked it so much I bought a case for myself in 2007, at a price of $17 per bottle. Several bottles have been enjoyed since then, and a few are left.
I opened one the other night. A beautiful pale garnet in color, it burst forth with cherry liqueur, kirsch, cinnamon and chocolate aromas. Supple and silky, it was soft, with freshly crushed cherry, matched to a light-bodied frame and a long, tangy, minerally finish. I rated it 90 points, non-blind. The 2005 vintage was excellent in Beaujolais. Nonetheless, this Morgon exhibits a more delicate style, with fine intensity.
Beaujolais is made from the Gamay grape, and while you may associate the region with drink-me-now Beaujolais Nouveau, wines from its 10 crus are worth looking for. These smaller appellations, such as Morgon, offer distinctive character and are home to artisanal producers.