"Morgonner," literally "to Morgon," is the term that Beaujolais fanciers use to describe what happens to an older Beaujolais that matures into a complex, earthy wine with the grace and style of a Burgundy. It's not every simple Beaujolais that will do that - most, frankly, are never better than the day they go into the bottle. But Morgon - and particularly Morgons grown on the crumbly "roche pourrie" ("rotten rock") soil of a hillside called the Cote de Py - can produce a delicious exception to the rule.
As we've discussed on occasion, 10 of the Beaujolais villages have earned the right to use their own name on the label in place of the broader "Beaujolais." In addition to Morgon there's Brouilly, Cote de Brouilly, Chenas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Julienas, Moulin-a-Vent, Regnie and St-Amour. Known for fresh, refreshing fruitiness more than power or structure, these red wines are made from the Gamay grape.
Despite the different grape and distinct region and geology, Beaujolais is categorized as part of greater Burgundy, and may bear the name "Burgundy wine." Of all the villages, Brouilly, Cote de Brouilly, Moulin-a-Vent ... and perhaps most of all, Morgon ... have the ability to show this kinship in wines that, especially with a year or two of age, can seem positively Burgundian.
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Two from Morgon
Very dark garnet, with delicious and complex aromas of cherries, raspberries and earthy notes of dried tobacco and cocoa. Crisp and tart raspberry and juicy plum flavors add a hint of soft tannins surprising in a Beaujolais. An exceptional wine, certainly capable of improving for several years. U.S. importer: Kysela Pere et Fils, Winchester, Va. (July 21, 2001)
FOOD MATCH: An excellent match with a summer rendition of veal osso buco with a light fresh-tomato sauce.
Domaine Calot 1999 Morgon ($14.99)
FOOD MATCH: Quaffs well with Thai-style lemon-ginger sausage on a carrot-tomato puree with hints of wasabi and ginger.
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Serving wine with food
For this week's Wine Lovers' Voting Booth, we would like to get a taste of wine lovers' attitudes about serving wine with food, as we ask, "When you have wine, what percentage of the time do you have food with it?"
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Brancott (Montana) Sauvignon Blanc
This month's featured wine is a New Zealand 2000 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, labeled "Brancott" in the United States and "Montana" in the rest of the world. Next week we'll announce the featured wine for August. To participate, or learn more, click to http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/wt101.shtml.
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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.
Vol. 3, No. 27, July 23, 2001