I recently picked up this fun little wine from my friends at the Wine & Cheese Cask in Somerville, MA… The wine was advertised as “nice, fruity fun, but with enough sappy concentration that it will match with anything.” The advertisement also offered a warning: “One bottle may disappear before dinner is over. It may disappear before dinner is prepared.” As you might expect, such words piqued my interest.
I’m glad to say that there is truth in advertising here… mostly. The wine is certainly fruity and fun and there is enough breadth across the palate to give the wine some legs. The acid level makes the wine a good partner with many cuisines, but the decided absence of tannin may cause the wine to flag in the face of truly prodigious dishes… a hearty, grilled steak for instance might cause this imp of a wine to flinch.
The wine is also my first domestically acquired Vin de France. The story behind the wine goes like this. The producer, Marcel Lapierre owns a lot of property in Beaujolais, mostly in the Cru of Morgon. Actually, Lapierre is something of a celebrity in Morgon, earning a reputation for making some of the finest wines in the appellation. Both of his Morgon wines are from vines that average between 60 and 100 years of age and have dramatically low yields. The subject wine, however, is made from grapes harvested from much younger vines (average age less than 20 years) and the grapes are taken from plots within and without Morgon. Because Beaujolais lacks a Vin de Pays designation, the only thing a wine producer can do when using grapes from across AOC appellations is to designate the wine a Vin de France. Given the provenance of the wine, I’m just fine with the situation.
The wine is 100% Gamay, grown on the classic granitic soils of Beaujolais. While I did not detect much in the way of mineral or stone, the wine does have that unmistakable Gamay nose and palate that suggests ripe, fruity grape juice, just squeezed from the press. Good thing too, because a quote from Marcel on the Kermit Lynch website states emphatically: “Our ideal is to make wine from 100% grape juice.” Somehow I thought that was every winemaker’s ideal, but what do I know… Our price here in MA is around $12.99 per bottle pre-discount – a good value in my book.
My tasting note:
Ripe, fruity nose with sweet cherry and wildflower hints. Medium-bodied with moderate-to-firm acidity and supple tannin – good balance. Youthful with a juicy, lively palate. Extremely quaffable. Moderate length with a smooth, albeit simple finish. Some hint of spice and pepper showed vaguely on the aftertaste. Drinking, or should I say quaffing, well – not for aging. Although, the wine is closed via Stelvin, so I would expect the wine to remain fresh and lively for a few years to come. Good value.