Tasted in the Château Bellevue with Tristan Larsen (right), 23 February 2021.
Tristan on 2020:
“Like in 2019 we had heat and dry – we are becoming used to the dryness it seems – it was heterogeneous but depending on the parcels – some blockage and low rendements in Moulin à Vent – quite a lot of grilled grapes here, but in the higher parcels of Morgon, fewer dried grapes but a few more rosé grapes – they brought a bit of extra acidity to the wines – brought a nice surprise actually. This was our first vintage with a white – the third flowering, 20 hl/ha – not bad for the third birthday, the vines in Pierre d’Orée under the road to organic certification. Here 60% of the reds are now worked organically too. We had a decent volume for the vintage though – those that were lower – ie under 30 hl/ha – were balanced by the more prolific parcels. Some slower fermentations and wines that have really surprised, we are very satisfied with their quality.”
Tristan on 2019:
“There was no frost here, though a little in Moulin à Vent – but we guess only 5% losses the two episodes of heatwave slowed down the maturity for sure. I think key in 2019 was the choice of harvesting dates – in some places the acidity sank and the sugars increased – 5 days could make a massive difference. In 19 and 20 we vinified without sulfur – the quality of the grapes allowed that – and I think this helps keep a little freshness.”
An estate that never seems to make less than excellent wines – sometimes great – I ordered the Côte du Py, I couldn’t take it with me as it wasn’t yet labelled!
Like in 2012 and 2014 there is no Morgon ‘Clos’ they decided against…
2019 Morgon Les Charmes
2009 was the first vintage for this cuvée. This is the only wine not bottled – will be done in the Springtime
A silky width of aroma, slightly darker red fruit, a little tight to start but attractive and slowly adding a little perfume. Here is a good combination of depth of flavour and a freshness of structure. This will keep very well, I would wait 6-12 months before opening my first bottles.
2019 Morgon Grand Cras
2nd vintage here.
Much more open, fresher, more direct and higher-toned – that’s a lovely nose. Supple, layered flavour, growing in intensity – there’s a density to the flavour here but not in a bad sense of that word – there’s material here. Open, properly structured. Complex finishing – a bit of barrel here but subtle and attractive. That’s simply excellent.
Also the 2nd vintage here. From Javernières – practically 100-year-old vines – about 50% in 228-litre barrels and one of 500-litre.
Another aromatic step here with an extra-floral perfume – that’s top. Concentrated but also direct and fresh – there’s an airy quality to this wine despite the obvious concentration. Layered finishing flavour, faintly saline, the only place here there’s a suggestion of barrel – grand vin here – I ordered some!
2019 Fleurie Mongenat
Near La Madone a mix of 40-year-old vines and some planted in 2015.
That’s another larger-scaled nose – lots here including florals with a little salinity. Cool fruit, direct, faintly velvet texture from the small grain of tannin – airy style again. I really like the open, cool style of this wine – I think it also excellent, as a minimum – lovely wine.
This will be a ‘reserve caveau’ wine, so won’t be hitting the market for at least 3 or 4 years…
A width of aroma, faintly accented with a barrel complexity – but that will probably be gone by the time you can buy it – also a fine perfume, less forward than the previous two wines. Extra – concentrated, fabulously textured, a little twist of freshness. A wine with everything except a mouth-watering invitation to take another sip – but that’s today. Hyper-impressive – great wine in 8-10 years – even greater in 20…