2022 ChevernyDomaine du Salvard
France | Loire
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by Dixon Brooke
More than any other grower, Marcel Lapierre did pioneering work that paved the way for what we do today as a company. I feel fortunate to have joined many casual gatherings at the rough-hewn oak table in the courtyard of his domaine in Les Chênes, a hamlet of Villié Morgon. His cuverie, cellars, family home, and some of his vineyards were all there, and it was the heartbeat of the entire Beaujolais region. As I lived only an hour away in Beaune, I went often, and he was the type of person who made sure that a foreigner with a funny accent felt comfortable. Wine would be poured, saucisson would be sliced, and (most importantly) conversation would flow—open debate reigned and nothing was off the table, so to speak. Several of the most memorable bottles of Beaujolais I’ve ever tasted were served there. A magnum of his 1989 Morgon looms large. Marcel was always generous and gracious with his time and knowledge, and he had an insatiable curiosity and ever-present mischievous sparkle.
I know he would be extremely proud of the way his talented son and daughter, Mathieu and Camille, have maintained the standards he set during his storied career. They have continued to imbue their wines and the domaine that bears Marcel’s name with the same spirit, and the wines are as good as ever. Lapierre is still on the cutting edge globally of what can be achieved with zero-intervention, totally free winemaking, which of course must by definition start with maniacal viticulture that produces grapes that can stand up to the rigors of their technique (or lack thereof!). The Lapierre name remains a benchmark for the greatest Gamay produced on planet Earth. Their new and recently delivered 2021 vintage is delicious proof.
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