Posted by: tomciocco | August 16, 2011


The once somewhat justly trashed wines of this very ancient viticultural zone are making steady progress, to be sure. The vinegar-sour wines and the flabbily sweet nouveaux are definitely still out there, but better vineyard management, labeling, and hell, just better winemaking has thankfully been a pervasive, catching disease, and indeed because of the relative lows to which Beaujolais had fallen, its upside is still huge.

With all that out of the way, there have always been pockets of real quality in a place that many forget is Burgundy’s southernmost extension. One such example – arguably THE example – is Morgon Cote du Py.  Along with Moulin-au-Vent, Morgon is the Gamay grape showing its greatest breadth and depth.  And then at the very top – both literally and figuratively – there is the Cote du Py, which is a steep and sunny spine of a ridge  whose exceptionally poor, mineral soils produce the biggest and most ageworthy Beaujolais wines. What’s more, because this hill has long been recognized as the top of the mark for Gamay, the vineyards are old, many planted with vines over 50 years of age, and a few plots are well older than that. These wines epitomize what well-kept Gamay is capable of, which is often shockingly (Pinot Noir) Burgundian. Score one for terroir.

I came up with a first course of a goat brie salad with pears and cherries, and then a main course of seared, herbed pork tenderloin that I then slow braised with red cabbage, garlic, and red wine.








Domaine Pierre Savoye Morgon Cote du Py 2009

Sultry, “smokey” deep garnet color. Slowly evolving nose of black cherries, roasted chestnuts, motor oil, subtle asian spice, and hints of white truffle and cocoa powder. In the mouth the wine offers a medium weight, taut, firm, and “serious” structure with well-trimmed but stiff tannins and complex, unfolding flavors of strawberry preserves, ground black pepper, violet, pine sap, and brined grape leaves. Tart but fine finish. Another year or two in the bottle will fully flesh-out this wine.



  1. I will immediately clutch your rss as I can not find your email
    subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me recognize so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  2. Hey Mark-

    As I’m looking at the page now, the e-mail subscription sign-up is right next to your comment. Scroll down below ” archives”, “blogroll”, “recent comments”, and “blog stats” and you’ll see “email subscription”, then just click “Sign me up!” Thanks for reading!

    Tom Ciocco

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