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2023 Vin de France Rouge “Raisins Gaulois”

M. & C. Lapierre

It’s a wine for the present to keep parched palates hydrated with something raw and refreshing.


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“I recall many years ago when Marcel Lapierre pulled me aside and asked if I thought Kermit and our clients would like his new ‘petit vin.’ When I asked him what it was, he told me, ‘It’s a wine... that you drink like a beer... when you don’t really want to drink a beer.’ What’s not to like about that? To this day, I continue to follow his advice, buy it by the case, and drink it cold, out of a simple glass cup. Like a beer, sure, but much better.” —Chris Santini


There is something rebellious about the Beaujolais, about its wines that make you want to drink from your heart and not with your head. They’re wines that have the power to satisfy something deep within—the carnal instinct to imbibe, perhaps. And while there is no shortage of fabulous cru and village Beaujolais to choose from in the Kermit Lynch Beaujo-sphere, there is one that seems to embrace the uninhibited essence of the region like none other: Lapierre’s Vin de France “Raisins Gaulois.”
     The name translates to something straightforward and entirely fitting: “Wine of France”– meaning, nothing fancy appellation-wise–even though most of its fruit grows firmly in the region’s illustrious cru of Morgon. And “Gallic Grapes,” a nickname inspired by their ancestors once inhabiting the region, the Gauls, who used to store whole bunches of grapes in stone vats before fermentation. This technique later evolved into today’s carbonic maceration, a fruit-enhancing practice for which the region is famous. To vinify this ultra lightweight red, siblings Camille and Mathieu let young vines grow freely in order to reach yields beyond the strict limits for the appellation, which unburdens them from intensity and concentration.
     The 2023 vintage of “Raisins Gaulois” is as lively as any Lapierre has ever produced. It’s raised sulfur-free for just two months in cuve, which seems like barely enough time for fruit juice to become a wine– but that’s the whole point! Pure Gamay bottled unfiltered with a convenient screw cap and iconic label to boot. You can take it anywhere: the beach, a grassy field, a movie theater? It’s a wine for the present to keep parched palates hydrated with something raw and refreshing. Cheers to that. 

Jane Augustine

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2023
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay
Appellation: Vin de France
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Producer: M. & C. Lapierre
Winemaker: Mathieu and Camille Lapierre
Vineyard: < 20 yrs, 1.5 ha
Soil: Granitic Gravel
Farming: Organic (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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Vintage Chart

Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch

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