I Love Reviewing Fine Wine – A Beaujolais Cru Type Morgon

I am usually not a great fan of Beaujolais. But today’s wine is no run of the mill one; it’s a more prestigious Beaujolais Cru. There are 10 hopefully top of the line Beaujolais Cru s and Morgon is said to be one of the best. The rather large Morgon region lies in the middle of Beaujolais country and is home to some 250 producers. Dominique Piron is a 14th generation winemaker and the vines are 50 plus years old. Unfortunately the company website is not presently available. Unlike most Beaujolais, Morgon and some of the other Crus can be kept for years. Take a look at the numbers in the accompanying review. We don’t get many 92 plus wines at the price I paid ($23), probably more than what you’ll pay. The companion wine is a red blend from an undisclosed location in France at half the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review have been purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Dominique Piron Les Pierres Morgon 2009 13 % alcohol about $18.

We can start by quoting the marketing materials. “Tasting Note: From a 7 year old foudre crafted, Piron reports, ‘by a local character, who is unfortunately getting ready to retire,’ the 2009 Morgon Cote de Py Cuvee les Pierres – originating in a pebbly yet clay-rich section just uphill from Javernieres – displays both smoked meat and machine oil overlays to its rich black raspberry. A glorious and haunting floral dimension of buddleia gains prominence over time and wells-up from the empty glass. A snappy suggestion of candied tangerine rind as well as invigoratingly tart notes of berry skin and stony impingements all augment an otherwise soothing and luxuriantly mouth-coating fruit matrix, leading to a finish of strikingly vibratory intensity. This should be worth following steadily for 6-8 years. Score – (92-93+). (David Schildknecht, at the Robert Parker website, Aug. 2010).” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was very long with dark raspberries and and tinge of sweetness. I started with Japanese rice crackers that made the tangerines come out. When paired with honey-garlic barbecued chicken wings its acidity was rather sharp and the wine was multilayered. A rather dry barbecued chicken breast with a paprika-dusted skin gave this liquid the taste of dark cherries and dark chocolate. In the face of the chicken’s moister leg, its chocolate taste intensified. With one of my old favorites, potatoes roasted in chicken fat, the wine tasted of dark cherries but it was salty. Veggies were green beans in tomato sauce, and the Morgon was dark and long. But the objectionable salt simply did not go away.

The following meal centered on sesame seed covered puff pastry stuffed with spiced ground beef. The Gamay (after all, that’s what it is) was dark and almost smoky, filled with black plums. This wine has a lot to it; it was long. When I added Chinese Chili hot sauce, the wine became more acidic, but positively so. The lightly spicy Moroccan Matbucha salad/salsa, which contained tomatoes, onions, sweet red and green peppers, and tomato paste took away most of this French beverage’s flavor.

My final meal was a Middle Eastern specialty – Kube, minced beef in ground bulgar jackets swimming in an acidic broth brimming with Swiss Chard. The wine was quite acidic, going right to the edge of acceptability. A generous dollop or two of Chinese Chili hot sauce brought the oak out of the woodwork. The dark cherries intensified and sweetened. A cucumber and tomato salad that contained broccoli stems and red onion rendered the liquid long and dark, but it thinned out.

When paired with marbled Cheddar cheese this wine was toasty but its acidity was harsh. In the presence of a brushetta-covered goat’s milk cheese the drink came out round but nearly tasteless.

Final verdict. I liked this wine a lot. But, rather than go for it again I’ll be tasting some other Beaujolais Crus. If you ask me the 92-93+ rating is by no means justified. Maybe if you kept it for the suggested 6-8 years but I have no intention of doing so.

Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but prefers drinking fine wine. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his wine, nutrition, and health website www.wineinyourdiet.com .

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