Back when the French still drank several liters of wine per day, many bistros would have a bottle of Burgundy on each table, for tasting. Next to that would be a chilled pitcher of Beaujolais, for drinking. Not a bad combo, if you ask me. I’ve always considered Thivin’s Brouilly a bit like that chilled-pitcher wine, full of rocks and fruit, the joyful, fun side of Beaujolais, which (as we all know) is the side they excel at. This one’s for drinking, not tasting!
In the late 1980s, a young Marcel Lapierre convinced an even younger Guy Breton to take over some old family vines in Morgon and eschew all the norms of the day: chemical farming, industrial yeasts, flash pasteurization, and sulfur. Only a brave few back then dared make the step, as the effect was to be instantly ostracized by other vignerons and more often than not having to defend their ideas with their fists in bars and streets of the village. Times have clearly changed for the better. The sons and daughters of those vignerons who once tussled with Breton are now working their family estates and stopping by for advice. The example set by Lapierre and the gang has resonated across the world, and Breton’s Morgon has become a model of perfection for many up-and-coming winemakers—pure, light in extraction, and high on spice and aromatics.
In the heart of the Beaujolais, Cédric Chignard is carrying on a tradition of crafting delicious, authentic Fleurie from his family’s holdings. The very traditional vinification consists of a carbonic maceration followed by aging in enormous old foudres—nothing fancy, but a time-tested way of working that is best adapted to the local terroir and grape variety. The combination of bright, juicy fruit and deeper earthy tones makes this Fleurie utterly drinkable today and versatile at table with many styles of cuisine.
Les Moriers is a sloping granite clos (walled-in parcel) that borders the neighboring cru of Moulin-à-Vent. Correspondingly, the wine marries the delicacy, floral tones, and textural seductiveness of Fleurie with Moulin-à- Vent’s power and structure. Proof that the Clos des Moriers is a blessed site: in recent vintages, it has repeatedly been miraculously spared by hailstorms that devastated surrounding vineyards.