Thursday, September 29, 2022

Wine Ways: A marvellous Morgon from “rotten rock” and an ingenious Garnacha from concrete eggs. Wine+Jazz with Kate Barry

Wine Ways:

A marvellous Morgon from “rotten rock” 

and an ingenious Garnacha from concrete eggs


Kate Barry's World of Wine Tasting (and Jazz) at Le Caberet, Cork 28th October 5.30 pm. For info and tickets click here


Domaine de la Bonne Tonne Morgon (AOC) “Cote du Py” 2020, 14.5% ABV

€33 at The Vintry in Rathgar, Dublin; Manning's Emporium in Ballylickey &

Connemara Hamper in Clifden; Mary Pawle Wines

A ruby coloured gem from “rotten rock”!

This Morgan from the famed lieu-dit of Côte du Py has a darker shade of ruby than you’d expect for the Gamay grape. Intense, rich and inviting dark berry aromas, fresh and complex with a floral lift. The palate is also complex and rich, full of flavours (sour cherry, strawberry and raspberry), with a spicy vanilla character, all in balance through to a long and intense minerally finish. An amazing wine, consistent year after year, and once again Very Highly Recommended.

The producers were, and are, very happy, not to mention confident, with this one. “Let it age, if you can, to take advantage of the complexity. We would go blind on a very beautiful well-born Pinot…” Looks like a challenge to the neighbours in Burgundy!

The Morgon "Côte du Py", is the most famous climat of the vineyard. There are ten crus in the Beaujolais region and Morgon, as you probably know, is one of them. With the typical acidity, these wines can match a range of foods. One suggestion that I fancy is Moroccan Lamb Tagine with apricot. Open the wine into a carafe about 30 minutes before serving at 16°C. 

World famous for its exceptional soil resulting from ancient volcanic activity, the soil of the Py hill is composed of decomposing volcanic elements, with the presence of iron oxide and manganese. The blue rock is friable, and so the locals have been known to claim that the best Morgon are made on this land of  terre pourrie (rotten rock)!

Organic Agriculture. The work on the entire estate is manual with the use of animal traction (Vigano, a magnificent Comtois, is calling for help!) for ploughing. The vines (mainly old), on a south-west facing hillside are grassy or slightly scratched. The estate puts into practice certain elements from biodynamics (preparations, calendar). Yields are very limited (30hl/ha on average) and manual harvesting. Traditional Beaujolais vinification: semi-carbonic maceration in concrete vats for 18 days. No inputs: indigenous yeasts and no SO2 or chaptalisation. Aging in demi-muids (large casks of indefinite size). Very low doses of SO2 (<20mg/L) at bottling.


Vinedos Ruiz Jimenez Ingenium Garnacha, DO Rioja 2020, 13.5% ABV

€23.25 RRP. Mostly available in restaurants. Also at Mary Pawle Wines 

This limited production Ingenium comes in a pale red colour. Aromas are  moderately intense with stewed fruit and dried herbs in the mix. High intensity red fruit flavours highlight the palate, spicy too, but this is an elegant, smooth and well balanced wine. Just a little grip from the tannins as the Ingenium finishes dry and long. Very Highly Recommended.

Producers Ruiz Jimenez say it is the perfect option to accompany different dishes, meals, and snacks. "Either alone or with good company.”

Mary Pawle tells me this is a recent addition “to our range of wines from Vinedos Ruiz Jimenez…matured in concrete eggs  to provide greater complexity”. On the rather sparse front label (there is none on the back) you read Vino Tinto Elológico and no added sulphites.

While Garnacha is grown around the world, the vast majority of it is grown in France (here it is called Grenache) and Spain. Italy leads the distant chasing pack and here the grape is called Cannonau.

And why is the title Ingenium? The winemakers explain: “Ingenio, is in Spanish, ingenious, this is, the innate quality to invent, to create, to be original. Under this name, we present our most inventive wines. Natural, creative and of limited production. Our most inventive, creative and natural wines, with limited production.” Just three wines in this series. In addition to the Garnacha, they make a Tempranillo and also Maturana Blanca.

The Jimenez Winery is one of the better ones and Mary Pawle has quite a few of their wines on her list including the Graciano , that we Very Highly Recommended recently here.

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