When friends called to say I should stop by on Friday night because they'd opened a couple of interesting bottles of Morgon, I figured the least I could do was add a third to the mix. After a wee glass of the Crémant de Loire "Brut Sauvage" NV from Château des Vaults (Domaine du Closel) to whet the whistle, we started off with my contribution to the trio.
Morgon (Lot S), Marcel Lapierre 2007
$22. 12.5% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA.
Marcel Lapierre makes three lots of his regular Morgon each year, in roughly equal thirds: one that sees no filtration or addition of sulfur, one that is unfiltered but does get a petite dose of sulfur, and a third that is both lightly filtered and sulfured. Lapierre's US importer, Kermit Lynch, will not bring completely unsulfured wines into the States, so "Lot S," if I'm not mistaken, is the unfiltered, lightly sulfured bottling. The lot designation appears on the wine's back label, along with a date (02/05/08 or 2 May 2008, in this case) that I assume signifies the bottling date, a bit of information I'd love to see on all wine labels.
Firm and tensile but delicate, very pure, direct and focused, this is pretty, pretty wine. Lithe, with an unmistakably natural aromatic and flavor profile. The nose is creamy and fresh, giving up vanilla-laced small red berry fruit. One of my partners in crime had complained of encountering bottles earlier in the year that were showing green and olive-y (and I see that B-guy has found some volatile acidity issues). No such problems here, as this bottle was just lovely. Served with a slight chill, I could drink it all day.
Morgon Côte du Py "Cuvée Spéciale Fût de Chêne," Domaine Savoye (Descombes-Savoye) 2005
$18. 12.5% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Fruit of the Vines, Long Island City, NY.
The "Cuvée Spéciale Fût de Chêne" is Pierre Savoye's vin de garde, bottled after spending 6-8 months in oak foudres and capable of aging, in the producer's own words, from 8-10 years. Opened the day before, this was a little worse for wear but was nonetheless still showing remnants of its breed. Completely pinotisé, dark-fruited and subtly spicy, even a bit prune-y, with brooding, slightly briary tannins. I think this could indeed develop for a few more years in the bottle. But once opened, drink up.
Morgon "Vieilles Vignes," Daniel Bouland 2008
$22. 13% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Weygandt-Metzler, Unionville, PA.
In spite of having been open for a day, Bouland's Morgon, which hails from 60-90 year-old vines in the climats of Corcelette, Douby and Delys, was showing by far the most primary of our three wines. Still painfully young, which isn't surprising given the wine's youth, though I found it to be showing well relative to many other '08s I've tasted of late that are tight, lean, chalky and/or unexpressive at this point in their evolutions. Very good fruit expression, with lots of ripe red cherry and cola nuance, bolstered by a zippy, juicy mouthfeel.