des Prévelières – 2020


Quentin Morel 2022 - domaine des prevelieresTasted in Oingt with Quentin Morel (left) – pictured with his father Serge, and brother Gaëtan – 16 March 2022.

Domaine des Prévelières
Quentin & Gaëtan Morel
986 route du Layet du Bas
69620 Val D’Oingt
Tel: +33 6 89 40 85 33

What a beautiful location in the Pierres Dorées – assuming you don’t want to live near a shop!

Yes, my father bought the house and cuverie here in 1995 – prices were cheaper then(!)” laughs Quentin. “Our father was a renter of vines – it’s a few generations of the family that have been associated with the vines. Today we have 30 hectares in production – nearly 9 of those came with the house and 18 are currently owned by the domaine. Officially, our father retired not much more than a year ago but my brother Gaëtan also works here. If I’m honest, 30 hectares is a bit too big for us; if we can get to 20 hectares, all owned by us, that would be a great target – and we are not so far away from it!

Quentin is 35 and has been working for 10 years, on his own, starting with 6 hectares, organic from the start. Brother, Gaëtan, is 3 years younger and didn’t want to work in an office so discussed with their father, Serge, whose retirement was approaching, and they decided they could manage the domaine together. Serge was one of the 6 vignerons that started the group Terra Vitis – over 20 years ago now. 2021 was the final year of certification for the whole 30 hectares of the domaine so from this (2022) year all the production is AB. Some volume of wine is still sold in bulk, so as they move slowly towards 20 ha – ie fewer hectares – they will simply reduce the amount of wine sold in bulk.

The domaine’s sales are mainly in France: “From a commercial perspective, we are a small domaine and our father didn’t commercialise that much in bottle. All our vines are in the Pierres Dorées – 5 cuvées, two white – plus there’s a nouveau (primeur).

And the last vintages?
All the vines of the domaine are at 400-500 metres – I don’t call them vines of altitude – but we are not low! Only 28 hl/ha for 2021 – yes, we had a lot of frost here – we aim for 45! 2020 was certainly dry and, for us, it was a hard year to keep the freshness – we are in a late-harvesting sector, here.

The wines…

Super quality – a new name for me (and you) to look out for…

Started bottling 21s already – much of the 2020s are already sold

2020 Beaujolais Pierres Dorees, Vignes Brun
About 40% destemmed. 90% tank elevage with some 500-litre large-format barrels too
A modest volume of aroma – but with a silky impression to this darker red fruit. Mouth-filling, fine energy, it feels good in the mouth. Fresh, vibrant finishing. This is very good!

2020 Beaujolais Pierres Dorees Mont Joli
Practically the only place here in the Pierres Dorées that has granite. Here all the elevage is in large-format barrels.
Extra, white-pepper, aromatic freshness. More direct and intense, melting over the palate but clean and incisive finishing too. I like this a lot – it merits a year or two cellar time, too!

2020 Beaujolais Pierres Dorees Rongefert
Plenty of colour. Higher and lower tones – here with more perfume. More mouth-filling – every space is full. A vibrancy to this energy with an extra accent of structure – there’s no tannic grain but still a subtle dryness that exerts. Give this 18-months to 2 years in the cellar and you will be very happy. The clarity of flavour coupled with the finishing energy are simply excellent!

And Les Whites:

2021! Beaujolais Pierres Dorees Blanc Les Pierres Dorees
Pure, complex, a little white flower complexity. Direct, mineral, saline too – but never too structured. There’s a modest strictness but it’s never out of hand – a wine that remains refreshing but approachable – fine citric acidity in the finish. That’s a good one.

2020 Beaujolais Pierres Dorees Blanc Les Pierres Dorees
There’s extra width to the aromas here – and there’s more perfume of flowers and riper fruit too. Wide, incisive again, the salinity still visible but of a lower order. Still a small strictness, but less than the 21. Slightly easier wine and still a good one!

2020 Beaujolais Pierres Dorees Blanc Les Carrières
A ‘small’ parcel near the house – 1 ha surrounded by woods, below is the limestone of the Pierres Dorées – stone quarries are hidden in the woods that surround the vines – hardly ever more than 30 cm of soil before the bedrock.
Freshness and more depth of aroma – less width. Ooh – here is extra depth and texture too – yes the oak is much more visible – not quite dominating but you can’t avoid it. Sophisticated, delicious wine but for my palate I would be holding it in the cellar for 2-3 years before starting to enjoy. Potentially a great Beaujolais Blanc…

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