2018 Boulon Morgon Cru Beaujolais
Today is Beaujolais’ Big Day. A day to celebrate, a day to thank Mother Nature for the harvest, and a day to party because the work is all done. Traditionally this day is celebrated by drinking Beaujolais Nouveau. And if you want to drink that, go right ahead – but we’ve got something that is in the exact same spirit and is so much more delicious: one of the Crus of Beaujolais, and one of the top wines from the village of Morgon.
A brief story:
Back in the early 1970s, the farm workers of Beaujolais would get together to celebrate the end of the vintage with the fresh wine from that vintage. It was a local, traditional celebration that in fact, most vineyard areas in France celebrate the same way. But unlike all the rest of France’s winemaking villages, Beaujolais had a dramatic entrepreneur who decided to capitalize on its harvest, turning it into an almost Hallmark holiday and blowing it up into a worldwide phenomena.
Now I’m certainly not against partying, nor selling an ocean of wine for partying with. But in the case of Beaujolais, the worldwide party that is Beaujolais Nouveau obscures the heart and soul of this region – its magnificent and varied crus.
The crus, or simply the best vineyards that are planted on granite soils in the north of the region that take their township names, are nothing like Nouveau and are in fact some of the most dramatic wines on Earth. And we’ve got one to share with you today: Domaine Boulon, from the Cru of Morgon.
The Boulon family are the other side of Beaujolais – the side of sixth-generation family farmers with now three generations all working together: grandparents, parents, and young daughters. The domaine dates back to the 1850s, but bottling under their own name didn’t occur until 1973. For those of you who follow Beaujolais’ crus closely, you already know the reason why. ’73 would be right around the time when the now-famous “Gang of Four” producers took the different path of naturally made, no additive, traditionally farmed Beaujolais – the exact opposite of those producers who cashed in on Nouveau.
The Boulon family quietly followed down this path of natural winemaking, calmly expanding their domaine with each generation until now, when they finally own a very special slice of Morgon.
Morgon is at the northern end of Beaujolais’ crus, and in the loving hands of the Boulons it produces a wine of deep structure and gorgeous concentration, all the while remaining at alcohol levels that aren’t going to knock you off your feet. On the nose there are loads of ripe cherries, black raspberries and Morgon’s classic wet granitic flavor that melds seamlessly into its fruit. You won’t believe it, but this is a Beaujolais that can benefit from decanting – even “little” wines can come with big flavor! It hails from the 2018 vintage, so this is great to drink now but don’t worry – and do believe me – this can easily go 10 more years in your cellar!
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