More Beaujolais

Tomer Gal has been importing Marcel Lapierre's Morgons for a few years and now he's finally added a few more members of the Beaujolais Crus inner circle of elite producers (christened the Gang of Four by American importer Kermit Lynch, although the rank includes more than four worthwhile producers by now) to the Burgundy Wine Collection portfolio. Which is about time. I love Lapierre, of course, but I've told him several times that, as excellent as Lapierre is, he's not even the best of the Gang: having tasted the Thevenet Morgons from 2008 through 2010, I know where the crown belongs.

But such considerations should not concern us. I'm just glad that Tomer has made these wines available.

Jean Foillard
Jean Foillard, Morgon, 2011

Pure red fruit on the nose, with a crest of wet, upturned earth that conjures, for this city boy, a man and his horse plowing the fields. And just look at the picture above to see how happy that man is in his element. Lean, yet very moreish, with a saline, palate cleansing finish. Needless to say, tasty. (Nov. 16, 2013)

99 NIS.

Jean Foillard, Morgon, Cote du Py, 2011

There is more presence here, a better sense of wine-ness, a closer affinity to the Cote d'Or, in a way, more about minerals/rocks than about earth/mud. The fresh red fruit has more weight and better delineation, and the effect is deeper, with more of the soft tannins of the regular edition, only finer-grained. A fine effort, well worth the price increase, as great a house wine as you're likely to find. (Nov. 20, 2013)

140 NIS.

Charly Thevenet, Regnie, Grain And Granit, 2011

This is the sole wine that the son of Jean-Paul Thevenet makes, and he makes it from a lesser known cru, but the vines are quite old, about 80 years old, and I think it shows. The nose presents simple, yet enticing aromas of cherries, beets, cured meat and earth. The palate is polished, without being modern or over-sleek, tasty and saline. Any deficit in the complexity of the wine is made up by its depth and the elegant way it penetrates the taste buds. Delicious and the most immediate and gratifying of the lot. (Nov. 22, 2013)

120 NIS.

Jean-Paul Thevenet, Morgon, Vieilles Vignes, 2012

This spins on as idiosyncratic path as the best of Rene Engel, although the path is even bumpier. This takes so long to open that I have to wonder whether it was ruined in transit, much like a bottle of 2010 earlier this year, but that's because it needs time to compose itself and kick out the jams. Just like Engel. Anyway, expect an earthy personality, in a year or two, with the veneer of a country don. (Nov. 24, 2013)

Finally, the historical leader of the pack:

Lapierre, Morgon, 2012

In stark contrast to the Thevenet Morgon, this is already tasty and fairly complete, and much brighter and clearer than the Foillards or the Thevenet Morgon. This and the Regnie seem cut from similar stylistic clothes - and since, with the passing of Marcel Lapierre, the domaine is run by son Mathieu, my first thought was maybe the new generation is forging its own identity, except this is also very similar to previous Lapierre vintages. Whatever, the wine shows an earthy aromatic complexity that I believe will be more pronounced in a year or two, a fleshy, sweet mid-palate, and a long saline finish. (Nov. 28, 2013)

130 NIS.