Wine Advocate 92
"The irreplaceable and virtually irrepressible Marcel Lapierre succumbed to unrelenting melanoma just after the 2010 harvest was completed and will be sorely missed among us. His son Mathieu who had been assuming an increasingly important role at the domaine in recent years has admirably advanced their labors in this vintage, resulting in wines that display the levity and digestabilite as well as textural caress and subtle complexity that one has long associated with the crafts of this domaine. Lapierre picked from September 20 through the first week in October and achieved normal crop levels. Mathieu Lapierre might refine his fathers methods but it seems unlikely that he will deviate from them in fundamental ways, and he believes that "we in Beaujolais are in danger of losing our vinous identity" thanks in part to the ambitions of growers who take their inspiration and methods from the Cote dOr."
"Mathieu Lapierre believes that the prolonged, relatively cool carbonic maceration he favors promotes natural antioxidants so that a wine like this has impressive stability from the open bottle despite its absence of sulfur. If you have a cold cellar, try to save a portion of this for 4-6 years. " ~DS
"Probably the most sought-after Beaujolais vintner working today, Marcel Lapierre works organically in the vineyard and uses very little sulfur in the cellar. The result is a wine that is both powerful and elegant, with an exceptionally pure fruit expression and marked minerality. Serious beyond its price point."
"At a time dominated by the standardization of tastes, the aim of our process is authenticity. By combining technical progress with old methods, "Domaine des Chenes" team reachs to make the white juice black Gamay express the originality of the region, ground composed of rotten rock (decomposed granite). Heir of Villie-Morgon soil, the Morgon of our vineyard reveals dominating fragrances of cherry and liquorice, with a violet note for the Cote du Py."~The Winery
"Nobodys wines taste like Marcel Lapierres. He is the source of a whole new school of winemaking, turning the hands of time back to wine the way Mother Nature envisioned it. Tasting it can change the way you taste wine." ~Kermit Lynch
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Little would we know that when Marcel Lapierre took over the family domaine from his father in 1973, he was on the road to becoming a legend. In 1981, his path would be forever changed by Jules Chauvet, a man whom many now call his spiritual godfather. Chauvet was a winemaker, a researcher, a chemist, and a viticultural prophet. It was he who, upon the advent of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the 1950s, first spoke out for "natural wine," harkening back to the traditional methods of the Beaujolais. Joined by local vignerons Guy Breton, Jean-Paul Thévenet, and Jean Foillard, Marcel spearheaded a group that soon took up the torch of this movement. Kermit dubbed this clan the Gang of Four, and the name has stuck ever since. These rebels called for a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: starting with old vines, never using synthetic herbicides or pesticides, harvesting late, rigorously sorting to remove all but the healthiest grapes, adding minimal doses of sulfur dioxide or none at all, and disdaining chaptalization. Sadly, the end of the 2010 vintage was Marcel's last. He passed away at the end of the harvest--a poetic farewell for a man that forever changed our perception of Beaujolais. His son Mathieu and daughter Camille confidently continue the great work that their father pioneered, now introducing biodynamic vineyard practices and ensuring that Marcel's legacy lives on.