Antoine Sunier Morgon 2019

93 View From the Cellar

This old-vine Morgon from the highly regarded sector of Grand Cras has an earthy and energetic profile reflective of its rocky soils. There is a plushness and drinkability that gives early enjoyment, but the structure promises a few good years ahead.


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Country: France

Region: Beaujolais

Appellation: Morgon

Variety: Gamay

Terroir: Ancient alluvials and very rocky. South-facing.

Winemaking: Picked from 60-year-old vines from the lieu-dit Croix de Chevre in the Grand Cras at 270 meters in altitude and then aged for 8 months on the lees in 90% neutral burgundy barrels and 10% concrete tanks. Naturally practicing and certified organic.

When starting out, Antoine Sunier’s two biggest influences were his older brother, Julien Sunier, and natural wine legend Jean-Claude Lapalu, with whom Antoine did a stint following his studies in Beaune. Through some serious hunting, Antoine was able to find organically farmed vineyards in Régnié and Morgon, with an average vine age of at least 45 years.

The winemaking starts with hand-harvesting of the grapes with careful sorting of the bunches in the vineyard. Fermentations occur using the traditional carbonic method in closed concrete vats with no de-stemming and only including indigenous yeasts. The fermentations last between 8-15 days, at which point the grapes are pressed and flow, with the help of gravity, into a combination of 80-90% used Burgundy barrels (8+ years old) and the balance in epoxy-lined concrete tanks. The élévage lasts 7-8 months, at which point the wines are bottled without fining and filtration and only a small addition of SO2 at the bottling.

The Sunier brothers are some of the most warm-hearted and ebullient winemakers you will ever meet. They exude warmth and have intensely contagious smiles. It is hard to resist these fine-spirited people and the wonderful wines they craft. They embody so much of what makes the region of Beaujolais and its wines so special.

View From the Cellar 93
Antoine Sunier’s Morgon is also produced from sixty year-old vines, located in the lieu a` dit of Croix de Che`vre (which is a section of the better known Grand Cras). His 2019 Morgon is an excellent wine on both the nose and palate, with the bouquet wafting from the glass in an expressive blend of cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, woodsmoke, violets, cumin and a lovely base of soil that seems likely to turn beautifully autumnal as the years roll by. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and tangy, with just a touch of natural wine wildness to its personality, a lovely core of fruit, fine minerality, suave tannins and a long and complex finish. This is an outstanding bottle of Morgon, that is quite tasty already, but will continue to improve with bottle age. I do not have a real sense of its potential longevity, due to that bit of natural wine wildness when it is first poured. But, there is a fine structural chassis and it seems that twenty years is at least likely. 2020-2040+?


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