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2021 Morgon “Tradition”

Jean-Paul et Charly Thévenet
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For the first time ever, we are offering the Thévenet family’s other Morgon bottling. In contrast to their benchmark old-vine cuvée, this one is made from younger vines—fifty to sixty years “young”—from the climats Douby and Les Charmes. Aged entirely in concrete tanks, it features less concentration than the Morgon we’ve come to know, but more than makes up for that in charm. Ça morgonne, they say in the Beaujolais, meaning there are those irresistible aromas of sour cherry, violets, and sweet spices that define Gamay grown within this cru. It feels weightless on the palate, grounded only by a tingly impression of minerals. Serve it nice and cool for maximum refreshment.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2021
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay
Appellation: Morgon
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Producer: Jean-Paul et Charly Thévenet
Winemaker: Charly Thévenet
Vineyard: 50-60 years old, 2 ha
Soil: Sandy granite
Aging: Wine is aged in concrete tank
Farming: Biodynamic (practicing)
Alcohol: 12.5%

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About The Region

Beaujolais

map of Beaujolais

After years of the region’s reputation being co-opted by mass-produced Beaujolais Nouveau and the prevalence of industrial farming, the fortunes of vignerons from the Beaujolais have been on the rise in the past couple of decades. Much of this change is due to Jules Chauvet, a prominent Beaujolais producer who Kermit worked with in the 1980s and arguably the father of the natural wine movement, who advocated not using herbicides or pesticides in vineyards, not chaptalizing, fermenting with ambient yeasts, and vinifying without SO2. Chief among Chauvet’s followers was Marcel Lapierre and his three friends, Jean Foillard, Guy Breton, and Jean-Paul Thévenet—a group of Morgon producers who Kermit dubbed “the Gang of Four.” The espousal of Chauvet’s methods led to a dramatic change in quality of wines from Beaujolais and with that an increased interest and appreciation for the AOC crus, Villages, and regular Beaujolais bottlings.

The crus of Beaujolais are interpreted through the Gamay grape and each illuminate the variety of great terroirs available in the region. Distinguishing itself from the clay and limestone of Burgundy, Beaujolais soils are predominantly decomposed granite, with pockets of blue volcanic rock. The primary vinification method is carbonic maceration, where grapes are not crushed, but instead whole clusters are placed in a tank, thus allowing fermentation to take place inside each grape berry.

Much like the easy-going and friendly nature of many Beaujolais vignerons, the wines too have a lively and easy-drinking spirit. They are versatile at table but make particularly good matches with the local pork sausages and charcuterie. Though often considered a wine that must be drunk young, many of the top crus offer great aging potential.

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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

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