Dominique Piron’s family history in Beaujolais spans more than four centuries, with his oldest known ancestor born in Morgon in 1590. Since then, there have been 14 generations of winegrowers in the family. Dominique seeks to create characterful terroir wines that are fruity, subtle and elegant from his sloping vineyards of fragmented granite and schist. These are wines that showed us what we’d long been looking for from Beaujolais but had almost given up hope of finding.
The vines for Piron's Beaujolais-Villages surround the crus on the hills of the northern half of Beaujolais. They mostly have an east-facing exposition and have sandy granitic soils comprising small stones that store the sun's heat and then release it gently during the night. This helps conserve the natural freshness of the fruit. These vines at 50 years old on average. 100% Gamay grapes are harvested by hand, selected on a sorting table, and given a very gentle destemming (80% of the bunches) before fermentation takes place in cement and stainless steel. The fermentation never lasts longer than 8-10 days in order to preserve freshness. When the cuvées are chosen for the final blend, wines with juicy fruit, complexity and fine structure go to the Beaujolais-Villages as opposed to the simpler straight Beaujolais.
Such a generous and expressive wine for this humble appellation with plenty of violet and herbal aromas and healthy tannins. Ripe black cherries on the mid-palate and a lively mineral finish that pulls you back for more of this beautifully crafted red. Drink or hold. Rating: 91 Points; James Suckling
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