The heading says it all. I have seen nothing on the subject, though many wines sems about to be released.
I am wondering about this too. Flatiron Wines offered Lapierre Morgon 2015s today and described the vintage thus:
"The 2015 vintage is ripe, and the fruit is especially fine. It’s something like 2009, but with a touch more structure."
Look forward to hearing from those who have actually tasted the 2015s…If the 2015s are really like the 2009s, I think I’ll buy (even) more 2014s while they are still available.
A 2015 Christian Ducroux Exspectatia tasted last night was brawny, dark, and tannic, with intense concentration, but definitely not a fruit bomb.
I tasted very few so far - some bottled Beaujolais Villages and Moulin-à-Vent out of cask at Richard Rottiers, the different Morgons (not bottled yet) from Domaine Mée Godard and the Brouilly Reverdon from Château Thivin. Hard to say anything reliable after so few wines, but my personal plan is to not buy very much from 2015. The wines I tasted so far are incredibly structured, very tannic and quite rich (also in alcohol) and that’s a description I also heard from two more growers and a merchant who has tasted the 2015s at a few domaines.
Yikes, the Dutraive Grand Cour is at 14.5%!!
Ha…you noticed that too. I thought I saw somewhere one of their cuvees being 15%…
And those alcohol levels will be the norm, not the exception, I’ve been told. Dutraive is not even a grower known for letting his fruit hang as long as possible. I’ll definitely buy a few bottles of the wines I always buy, but way less than in 2013 and 2014. The Beaujolais that tastes like Côtes du Rhône is interesting for me here and there, but not in large quantities.
I’m one of those people who loved the '09 vintage, so this might be right up my alley. I like lighter, more “classic” vintages too, but I’m not at all opposed to relatively high levels of ripeness. '09 and '11 are probably my two favorite recent vintages. 14.5% ABV seems like it would be quite high even for '09, though. Coudert and Lapierre are already in the market, so I’ll have to try those soon. I’ll report back when I do.
I had a bottle of the 2015 roilette, and it was definitely a riper style of wine, which was not at all to my liking. I’ll still try the Tardive, since I loved the 2014 so much, but I’m kind of bummed this
I’ve tasted a bunch (I was in Beaujolais visiting our 3 producers earlier this year), and the 2015s are slightly similar to 2009 in terms of fruit. Not to say they’re riper, but the fruit is definitely more forward than the 2014s, with a lot more power and structure. Alcohol levels are a bit higher, but if you were careful you can get balanced wines.
I think the 2014s will please classicists, the 2015s will please the average consumer, but pleasure can be had in both vintages.
A note on alcohol: stated ABV is 13% on Coudert and 13.5% on Lapierre. 14.5% seems crazy for Beaujolais.
Well, here’s my brief impression of a couple of 2015s. I’m tasting these out of a Zalto Burgundy stem, and both are pop and pour.
Coudert Clos de la Roilette initially displays a very ripe fruit profile with black cherry at the forefront, as well as some red fruit character that is mostly sweet and ripe. There is some tart red fruit as well, but it is very much in the background on the nose. I would say this is riper than a lot of '09s, but I don’t remember the '09 of this wine clearly enough for a direct comparison. There are plenty of fresh floral notes as well, and a bit of underlying earth. The alcohol is even a little noticeable with a subtle heat, which I find very unusual for this producer. That ripeness follows through on the palate, with quite a bit of concentration for this bottling. I don’t get the heat so much, but there is a bit of that alcohol-related sweetness. It’s well integrated, not harming balance in the least, but it does seem to make this wine stray from what I think of as typical Beaujolais or typical Roilette. I have to say I’m a little surprised by this.
Lapierre Morgon also seems to be a bit of a bruiser from the initial smell. This is more red fruited, as expected from Lapierre, but there is a hint of what I can only call a liqueur-like element to the fruit, and there is also some of that black cherry that I find a bit unusual for this wine. This also has a lot of spice notes and a hint of brett (not enough to bother me, and I am very easily bothered by that). All together, just based on the nose, I can really relate to comparisons of very ripe Beaujolais to the Southern Rhone. The palate is similar, with the fruit profile being almost entirely sweet, featuring just a hint of tart red fruit, but a bit more black cherry. There is still an airiness that I associate with Lapierre Morgon, but the flavors almost seem to contradict that, being quite rich and concentrated for Beaujolais. This is quite complex and a very good wine, finding better integration of alcohol than the Coudert despite the label showing it half a point higher, but people looking for a classic expression will not find it here. This is definitely riper and more powerful than the '09.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan of the '09 vintage in Beaujolais. Some of the wines came close to that line for me where they were almost too ripe, but I don’t remember finding any that crossed it except maybe Lapierre Cuvee Marcel, which I actually think will be a stellar wine with lots of time in the cellar. For me, both of these are a bit riper than I prefer my Beaujolais, although I can appreciate both, especially the Lapierre, once I adjust my expectations. These are not chuggable summertime reds. They are concentrated and ripe. I still find Beaujolais character in the Coudert, but I think I would very likely place the Lapierre in the Southern Rhone in a blind tasting, which kind of shocks me given the producer.
I pretty much have to buy some Coudert Cuvee Tardive every year, so I’ll do the same with this vintage, but other than that, I’ll definitely want to taste before buying more than 1 bottle of any 2015s based on these two wines, which are generally two that I like a whole lot in almost any vintage. Frankly, I’m unlikely to buy another bottle of either. That said, I am likely to suggest them to customers who I think will enjoy these styles, and there are quite a few people who I know will enjoy them a lot more than I do. I’m interested to see what producers of really elegant Beaujolais like Charly Thevenet and Chermette have done in 2015, because I suspect I might find something there that I really enjoy, but I’m definitely going to tread lightly as far as personal buying when there are several other vintages that I really like still in the market.
That’s great feedback, thank you!
My only update after following these wines over 2 days is that the more I went back to the Lapierre, the more brett I got. I don’t know if it was aeration or just me, but by the second night it was too dominated by brett for my liking. The only other vintage where I’ve seen bottles of Lapierre with this much microbial influence was 2009, where I had a string of bottles that were outright faulty due to brett and lactic acid bacteria, to the point where the wines literally smelled like Gueuze. It makes me wonder if the pH in these really ripe vintages is too high for the tiny amount of SO2 he adds to help keep the wine from tipping over that edge. Obviously that’s a wild theory based on only a few bottles, but I’ve had quite a few bottles from other vintages without any problem.
Many thanks for the two notes, Doug. Very helpful. I’m a big fan of the 2009s, too, and they’re slowly starting to lose their baby fat. With 2015, it’ll be interesting to taste a few more within the coming months. Maybe it’ll be a year for cooler crus like Chiroubles, Saint Amour or the Fleurie vineyards high up the Hill? Don’t know yet, but what I tasted so far seemed borderline ripe to me.
pH could be a factor, but so could residual sugar / unfermentable sugars, which are likely higher in big, ripe vintages, giving the brett something to feed on.
FWIW, I expect low-level brett from Lapierre, at least in recent releases.
There were very high Brett counts in the vineyards in 15, making no/low SO2 vinification quite dicey, especially if there is already a population in the winery. We got away with it, mostly. One cuvée had a small bloom in barrel.
The folks I spoke to in Beaujolais while there earlier this year all spoke to the ripeness of the vintage and the high alcohol levels. In fact, Marcel Lapierre’s 2015 was not yet done fermenting when we were there in early June so that must have just been bottled if you are already seeing it on the shelves!
I personally won’t be buying 2015 as that is not what I am looking for in Gamay. I loaded up on 2014 as a result and am happy with that decision thus far.
FWIW The blog ‘Not Drinking Poison in Paris’ paints a very ripe vintage where care is needed to avoid heavy wines.
Ripe Beaujolais can be fun for early drinking though IMO if one sticks to trusted producers. Sometimes these wines show better for my tastes a bit cooler than the leaner vintages should be served.
It was on the shelves in late July. Saw it both in Fleurie as well as in the Perardel store i Beaune.