2017 Vieilles Vignes Morgon - Jean-Paul Thévenet
Vibrant wild cherry, pine wood, sliced strawberry. Young blueberry, fragrant poinsettia, orange peel. Baking spice and cool granite, clean peppermint and holly. Fresh cranberry and rhubarb pie erupts with electric verve it into blooming cherry blossoms and holiday spice. Expressive and alive, exuding alternating bursts of fruit, earth, spice, and nature tones. Complex, contemplative, and a bit cloudy. This 2017 Vieilles Vignes Morgon by Jean-Paul Thévenet is brilliant Beaujolais by a "Gang of Four" legend.
The Beaujolais region of France was once known for producing simple and uninspiring wine. Due to high yields, young vines, and heavy use of chemicals and pesticides the wine coming out of this region gained a reputation as nothing more than basic table wine. However, in the 1990's a group of four producers spearheaded a movement to bring wine of character back to Beaujolais. These four producers - Lapierre, Foillard, Thévenet, and Breton - were dubbed the "Gang of Four" by Kermit Lynch, the importer who is credited with recognizing their quality. This bottling, crafted by Jean-Paul Thévenet using 100% old vine Gamay from the Cru village of Morgon, shows exactly why these wines became so highly regarded. Thanks to the use of old vines, organic farming, minimal intervention winemaking, and no fining or filtration, Thévenet has created a wine here that is unbelievably pretty. It is packed with nuance yet drinks as if it were completely weightless, and it possesses just the right touch of a wild streak. This is an amazing wine that deserves all of the hype it receives.