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Senior editor and tasting director Bruce Sanderson joined Wine Spectator in 1993. His tasting beats are Burgundy in France and Piedmont and Tuscany in Italy.
Bruce Sanderson

A Top Cru Beaujolais with a Little Age

Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2005

Bruce Sanderson
Posted: June 22, 2009

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.

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Beaujolais, plus our quick lists of Top Values and Easy Finds among French reds.

Adan Farinas
Miami, FL —  August 4, 2012 12:34pm ET
Bruce, I just purchased the 2011 Lapierre Morgon. I get the sense from your article that drinking it later rather than sooner will have its rewards.
Bruce Sanderson
New York —  August 6, 2012 2:36pm ET
Adan, I think the Lapierre Morgon from a top vintage needs 5 years to really hit its stride. But it may be difficult to keep your hands off it; it's also delicious young. I hope you have a few bottles to follow over time.

My colleague Alison Napjus visited Beaujolais last December and tasted some 2011s from barrel. She says it's more classic in style than '09, but with ripe fruit and flesh. The '10s are more elegant and higher in acidity, with red fruit flavors.

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