2019 Guy Breton Morgon Vieille Vignes
Also known as "Petit Max" by his friends, Guy Breton is certainly a name in everyone's ear ever since Kermit Lynch dubbed him, together with Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Paul Thévenet and Jean Foillard, as Beaujolais famous "Gang of Four" in the '80s. The essence of their philosophy: take a step back, appreciate and cultivate old vines, apply organic farming practices, avoid the use of sulphur, let natural ferments do their magic and help the terroir express itself through minimal intervention. Following these principals, each of them has ever since proven that Beaujolais is more than just 'Nouveau' and can indeed produce meaningful, complex and wonderful wines.
Breton loves wines that are easy to drink, and his are typically the lightest in color, the lowest in alcohol, and the least tannic of the Gang of Four. He took over his grandfather's domaine in 1986 and is nowadays farming 4 hectares organically, with around 80% being planted in the Morgon appellation. The age of his vines varies, with the oldest 80-year-old vines dedicated to his “Vieilles Vignes” cuvée. After careful selection of grapes in the vineyard, vinification begins with carbonic maceration at low temperatures. Fermentation occurs naturally and lasts usually between 15 and 21 days. Once the process is finished the grapes are pressed in an old wooden press. The wines are then aged in used Burgundian barrels before they are bottled unfiltered and unfined.
Old vines from one of the so-called ‘Gang of Four’, which included Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Paul Thévenet, and Jean Foillard, so from that, you may understand the ethos and style of his wines.
Cherry and spiced strawberry, something of a ginger biscuit character, dried roses and a smattering of sweet herb. Fine and precise, a rain on pebbles sort of mineral feel, loose with pleasure, but tight and controlled, in a way. Finish is long, fresh, and again stony. It’s a beautiful expression of Morgon. Beautiful. So lucid.
Gary Walsh - The Wine Front