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Duboeuf Morgon Jean-Ernest Descombes 2004

Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
    750ML / 0% ABV
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    750ML / 0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The story behind a wine often mirrors very closely that of an individual. Take, for example, Jean Ernest Descombes, an immensely engaging figure of our Beaujolais region, high-spirited, always ready to have a good time. He succeeded in creating one of the finest estates in Morgon, his wine, to which he offered 30 years of intense devotion. He was forever welcoming to his cellar journalists and wine professionals, so they could savor some of his fantastic wines. Those who met this unusual man will never forget him. An extraordinary grower, he deployed his talents in the vineyards as well as in winemaking. Three-fourths of his vines are more than 50 years old, planted in the choicest locations, such as the favored climats of Le Py, La Roche Pillée, Les Pillets and Bellevue. The amazing wines produced at this estate have garnered an impressive list of awards. After Jean Ernest's departure to the vineyards of paradise in October 1993, his daughter Nicole took over, with an enthusiasm that would have warmed her father's heart. In tribute, she likes to say that the personality of a wine always conjurs up the person who made it. Her father's Morgon is anything but an exception to this axiom. How fascinating is the destiny that links, in the course of a lifetime, man to wine, mortal to immortal, Mozart to music, Michelangelo to art. Such blissful encounters reflect flashes of eternity on those fortunate to be near.

    This first-class Morgon shows perfect balance and a sumptuous bouquet of black currant, plum, violets and old fashioned roses. Elegantly smooth on the palate, revealing several layers of fresh red berries, especially cherries. The silky, prolonged finish signals completely ripened fruit.

    Food pairings: Beef Wellington, venison, festive dinners

    Critical Acclaim

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    Duboeuf

    Georges Duboeuf

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    Georges Duboeuf, France - Other regions
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    For over 40 years Georges Duboeuf has been the Beaujolais region's most renowned négociant and is today regarded in the wine world as the "King of Beaujolais." Born in 1933 in Pouilly-Fuissé, the son of a winegrower, Georges began selling his family's wines from the back of his bicycle to now-legendary local chefs such as Paul Bocuse and Paul Blanc. In 1964, Georges realized his dream and founded his own company: Les Vins Georges Duboeuf.

    Over the years, Georges has developed long-standing relationships with the region's top growers and winemakers. Georges is involved in every aspect of his enterprise and is known for his passion and his legendary palate. In 2003, the Duboeuf family opened a new, modern winery in Romanéche-Thorins. The following year, the Duboeuf and Deutsch families jointly purchased Chateau des Capitans in Juliénas. With annual sales of 30 million bottles, Georges Duboeuf is one of the world's best-known French brands.

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    Beaujolais

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    The bucolic region often identified as the southern part of Burgundy, Beaujolais actually doesn’t have a whole lot in common with the rest of the region in terms of climate, soil types and grape varieties. Beaujolais achieves its own identity with variations on style of one grape, Gamay.

    Gamay was actually grown throughout all of Burgundy until 1395 when the Duke of Burgundy banished it south, making room for Pinot noir to inhabit all of the “superior” hillsides of Burgundy proper. This was good news for Gamay as it produces a much better wine in the granitic soils of Beaujolais, compared with the limestone escarpments of the Côte d’Or.

    Four styles of Beaujolais exist though most is sold under the basic Beaujolais appellation. The simplest, and one that has regrettably given the region a subpar reputation, is Beaujolais Nouveau. This is the wine that is made using carbonic maceration (a quick fermentation that results in sweet aromas) and is released on the third Thursday of November in the same year as harvest. It's meant to drink young and is flirty, fruity and fun. The rest of Beaujolais is where the serious wines are found. Beaujolais-Villages, which must come from the hilly northern part of the region, offer reasonable values with some gems among them. The superior section are the cru vineyards coming from ten distinct communes: St-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnié, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly. Any cru Beajolais will have its commune name prominent on the label.

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    Delightfully playful, yet at its best capable of impressive gravitas, Gamay is responsible for juicy, berry-packed wines from Beaujolais and parts of the Loire Valley. While it has received some criticism for its role in Beaujolais Nouveau—a decidedly young, charming and fruit-driven wine—the Gamay grape is very capable of producing serious wines. The variety is also widely planted in Savoie, Valle d'Aosta and Switzerland, and has recently found success on a small but growing scale in Oregon.

    In the Glass

    In its simplest form as Beaujolais Nouveau, a wine released just a couple of months after harvest, Gamay is fresh and full of cranberry and cherry candy flavors. But Gamay is capable of much more. The region of Beaujolais is divided into Villages and Crus, where granite-rich soils and conditions are perfect for Gamay. The Villages and Crus wines, given more time on the vine and in the winery, are capable of improving with age and offer dark blackberry or ripe cherry flavors with enticing aromas of baking spice, violets and dark wet earth.

    Perfect Pairings

    Gamay is delicious on its own; the simpler bottling can even benefit from a light chill before serving. It is the quintessential picnic red and goes well with simple charcuterie, country pâté and terrines. Gentle tannins and bright acidity make it a great option with Asian food, even dishes with a bit of spice. Gamay is also great with poultry, especially duck or Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce.

    Sommelier Secret

    Within Beaujolais, there are ten different Crus, or highly ranked grape-growing communes. Each one has its own distinct personality—Fleurie is delicate and floral, Côte de Brouilly is concentrated and elegant and Morgon is serious, structured, and age-worthy, capable of rivaling some red Burgundies.

    SOU140522_2004 Item# 89185