I love Burgundy but it is an incredibly expensive habit to keep. When I want a beautiful Burgundian-like wine and don’t want to shell out the big bucks, I uncork a bottle of Marcel Lapierre Morgon. I just tried the recently released 2015 vintage and was drawn into the romance of this wine yet again.
Aromas of wildflowers and cherries lead into flavors of cherries, violets, raspberries, and cloves. This Cru Beaujolais also has waves of acidity that brighten the smooth, juicy palate. With a few hours of air, the flavors really harmonize. Approachable now but still a baby so I would give it a couple of years if you have the patience. One of the best values in wine, year after year! (13.5% alcohol, $30)
While I definitely don’t need a reason to sip Gamay, the recent warm weather in Sonoma is making it even easier to reach for a light-bodied red. My house red for this summer (and for many of the past few summers) is Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois. This 100% Gamay comes from organically farmed, young vines in Morgon and Beaujolais. There is as little intervention as possible in the winemaking process which allows this wine to be a pure expression of the Gamay grape.
Raisins Gaulois pours a bright ruby color in the glass and offers aromas of jubilant, red fruit. In each sip, there are tastes of tangy raspberries, cranberries, and red cherries followed with a juicy finish. Refreshing, lively, and delicious! Best enjoyed slightly chilled. (12% alcohol, $13.99)
There are some “go-to” wines that you can almost always find in our house and among those wines is Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois. Marcel Lapierre was a genius winemaker and his legacy still carries on through his family and the wine they produce. His Raisins Gaulois is 100% Gamay from Beaujolais and is made without any addition of S02. This natural wine is made with indigenous yeasts and bottled unfiltered.
The wine pours a cloudy, ruby color in the glass and opens with aromas of bright, red fruit. The palate is filled with juicy tastes of red cherries, cranberries, and red currants with hints of earth and minerals. It displays such purity that each glass is hard to put down. I seriously love this wine and think it’s incredibly hard to find a better Gamay for under $15. Best served slightly chilled! (12.5% alcohol, $14)
I have been on a Gamay kick lately. I am uncorking bottles that are young and fresh along with bottles that are more serious and Burgundy-like and have been mesmerized by both. Last weekend, I picked up a bottle of Le Telquel because it caught my eye (yes, it’s Gamay but I am pretty sure the cute dog on the label may have also swayed my decision). Le Telquel comes from the Loire Valley in France and is imported by Louis/Dressner Selections. It is made by Thierry Puzelat, who makes his wine with as little intervention as possible. Something about this Gamay just did it for me…
Le Telquel is a simple wine yet the purity is complex. The aromas are intriguing and the palate is musky, bright, and fresh. There are tastes of juicy red berries and spice that are entwined with racy acidity. Pure and unadulterated. This Gamay is definitely heading to the top of the list of my personal favorite wines for under $20! Serve slightly chilled and allow time to decant. (12.5% alcohol, $17)
Beaujolais is often overlooked due to an unfortunate commercialization and dumbing down of the wines from the region in the past. Thankfully, there are some fantastic producers putting out delicious wines and you can generally count on something great from Marcel Lapierre. The winery’s 2011 Raisins Gaulois is 100% Gamay and a steal for around $12.
Aromas of red cherries and strawberries are followed with tastes of more fresh, red fruit. Your taste buds are met with a medley of raspberries, cherries, and cranberries. There are also hints of pepper and lively acidity in this food friendly, light-bodied wine. Smooth, simple, and delicious! Serve slightly chilled. (12% alcohol)
My Wine Rating – B+
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with grilled chicken, baked salmon, or roasted duck.