- Morgon, Beaujolais, France
Thank you to importer Louis/Dressner for this Desvignes profile:
(Click here for more on Desvignes on the LDM website)
Louis-Claude Desvignes is of the sparrow-type Beaujolais vigneron: raven-black hair that is, more often than not, standing in various directions, bright eyes and prominent nose, and a well-pitched, humorous cackle. His energy level is also twittery, and he barely stands still for a minute during a tasting in his cellars, offering a bottle of this and a bottle of that: various experimentations, filtrations, perhaps an older vintage of something educational. The seriousness of his winemaking, however, is never in doubt.
Now retired, Louis-Claude has passed the estate to his children Claude-Emmanuelle and Louis-Benoît, the eighth generation to work this land. Emmanuelle joined in 2001 and Benoît in 2004; while little has changed stylistically, their arrival has brought some major shifts. 100% of the production is now estate-bottled (Louis-Claude sold about 50% of his production to négociants); the estate is now certified organic; and the two have started a small négociant, so far producing two single-vineyard expressions of Morgon.
The family's historic vineyards have been within the cru for generations. Their first cuvée comes from multiple, complimentary plots blended together to produce "La Voûte Saint-Vincent". The majority of their vines are on the Côte du Py in the center of Morgon, the fruit of which is of far superior quality to that produced in the outlying areas of the appellation. If there were a classification of vineyards in Morgon, Côte-de-Py would be a premier cru and Javernières a grand cru. They are located on the best exposition of the hill, with soil of decomposed schist, and Javernières is a plot within the Côte-de-Py with a little more clay.
In the past years, Desvignes has been picking the fruit later than the other vignerons in the area with a mind to get fruit of optimal ripeness. The wine is vinified by the traditional cru Beaujolais method with a grille to keep the cap submerged. Recently, the fermentation has been longer and more controlled than in the past in order to extract the color and material that are the most obvious virtues of this wine.
Morgon is, along with Moulin-à-Vent, the most age worthy of the Cru Beaujolais and Desvignes wines are fine examples. The wines age terrifically and take on the character of Pinot Noir, or pinotize (the term used in Beaujolais). When young, the character is of dark cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant. With age, the wines become more earthy, velvety with cocoa and coffee tones.