Profile: Kevin Descombes


Kevin 'Kéké' Descombes, 2020Tasted with Kevin ‘Kéké’ Descombes, 16 June 2020 in Villié-Morgon.

Domaine Kevin Descombes
69910 Villié-Morgon
Tel: +33 7 60 07 25 81
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This is a young domaine, started in 2013 when Kevin took on some of his father’s (Georges) vines. He started with cuvée Kéké from vines in Corcelles – “The soil always well worked. It was nice to start with good vines and a certain simplicity.” Kevin actually started with a bit more than 4 hectares, and then in 2016 began making some Beaujolais-Villages after renting 2 hectares of vines. So today there are 7 hectares and all are bottled at the domaine, though Kevin says that he’s not looking to keep growing, rather; “I want to be able to concentrate sufficiently on the vines that I have.

The oldest vines in Morgon are about 80-years-old “But it’s not a big quantity – about 30 barrels worth that have a few months of wood elevage.” More is exported than sold in France; China is an important market plus US/Canada and Japan. ‘But France improves‘ smiles Kevin.

Carbonic maceration is used for all the wines, It’s more about modifying the length of the maceration for the different cuvées. There’s no added sulfur until the wines are racked and before the bottling.

The wines

My first visit and there’s much to love here – indeed some wines that are worth searching for!

Kevin is now getting to the end of the sales for his 2018 vintage – “Yes it’s a good rich year but not too alcoholic.” Normally the next (2019) would be bottled in March, this year it’s a little later, but all will be done in the next few weeks.

2018 Beaujolais Cuvée Kéké
This sold a lot for ‘by the glass’ in restaurants, this has only concrete tank elevage.
Lots of colour but far from saturated. Faintly spiced, and quite attractive dark red fruit. Fresh – nice energy – not rich or heavy. A good flavour

2018 Beaujolais Villages
This only to be bottled this month – it’s not yet done. Double the maceration of the last – 13-14 days. Half cement and half demi-muids for the elevage.
Starting with a little low-sulfur funk but this is very inviting all the same, becoming deliciously floral with aeration. That’s a beauty for BJV – mouth-filling, a touch of tannin and long delicious, very slightly cushioned flavour. Bravo!

2018 Morgon
Not vv as it’s only about 60-year-old vines! Practically 500m of altitude above Truges. Tank elevage for this.
Nicely mouth-filling, fresh, fine mouth-watering acidity – here with a more direct structural shape. Lovely finishing flavours. The two wines are very distinct and delicious but wait for this while drinking the first two!

2018 Morgon Vieilles-Vignes
Blue-wax-topped. 80-year-old vines, 25 days of maceration – but Kevin cooled these grapes beforehand. Just starting to sell this one.
Deep, floral, some visible oak in the aromas. Sophisticated texture – beautiful – deep, hyper-energetic, intense. The oak has to fade – I’d wait at least 3 years. If you like a little oak in your Morgon, you are going to love this though! Bravo, so long too.

2017 Beaujolais Villages
First vintage because 2016 was 80% hailed – this was only 50% hailed! But in 2018 Kevin had some grapes!
Wide, fresh a nice complexity – there’s some obvious and inviting aromatic development here. Nice line and shape. A little tannic cushion but no grain and hardly any astringency. Long finishing. This is a tasty wine that holds a long, long finish. Excellent.

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