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Louis-Claude Desvignes, emblematic winemaker of the Morgon and Beaujolais crus, has now left his place to his 2 children, Claude-Emmanuelle and Louis-Benoît. But the spirit of the estate remains intact. Rigorous work in the vineyard with less and less inputs and more and more tillage of the soil, small natural yields, sober and meticulous vinification; they thus obtain frank, structured Morgon wines, well representative of their terroir of origin and their vintage, generally appreciable after a few years of cellaring.
The estate :
Located in Villié-Morgon, the estate is made up of numerous buildings; the vaulted cellar receiving the customers, dates from the 17th century, it is accessible by a vaulted passageway opening onto the street to which it gave its name. 10.2 hectares are now run by the estate, entirely within the Morgon appellation but in 3 different climates: Douby is the largest area with a little over 5 ha which all go into the La Voûte Saint-Vincent cuvée, then comes La Côte du Py with about 2.5 ha and the same amount in Javernières (which is officially part of the Côte du Py but which is however a very different terroir). The entire production is today bottled and labelled with the name of the estate. This not being the case before, Louis-Claude Desvignes sold part of the production to the wine trade until 2002, the year Claude-Emmanuelle arrived at the estate. With Claude-Emmanuelle and Louis-Benoît, it is the eighth generation of winegrowers who now run the estate; the latter, who was not particularly predestined to be a winegrower, joined his sister in 2004 and, due to a lack of ad hoc studies, learned everything on the job. They are now the two co-managers. With a loyal clientele both in France and abroad, they have refined the terroir approach and adjusted the vinification according to the vintages and vintages to offer today a fair range of 4 Morgon wines, of which they are now true specialists.
The terroirs :
Near the village, facing Fleurie, Douby, with its rather light sandstone and sandstone soils, allows the Desvignes to produce a lighter and fruitier wine (La Voûte Saint-Vincent) than the other 2 terroirs. This is all relative, as the vines are 70 years old on average and tend to produce wines that are still well concentrated. Moreover, the stalks are still big and have difficulty ripening; this has led the Desvignes to destemming more, generally around 40%, but it can be more if necessary. On the Côte du Py, and more precisely Le Petit Py (North-East part of the hill) where their plots are located, 2.5 ha of old vines in a single block produce the most emblematic cuvée of the estate. On poor soils of decomposed schist (morgon or rotten rock), the vines, with an average age of 70 years, have little wood (and often also few grapes). The exposure is North-East to East, which gives a slightly later terroir. The wines produced are very typical of the appellation, they are full-bodied wines for laying down. Given the number of missing grapes and the very low yields, the estate plans to replant 5 plots in the next 10 years. Finally, Javernières, at the foot of the Py, presents a terroir very different from the coast: the soils are deep and clayey, impregnated with iron oxides. They are richer and the vine grows more easily (as does the grass). The slope is much weaker and oriented towards the South-East. It is a rather early terroir. Here, the renewal of the vines has been partly done; if there are still 4 plots of very old vines (the oldest were planted in 1914) producing since 2009 the cuvée Les Impénitents, the rest was replanted between 1989 and 1999. These "planters" (note that at 25 years old, the vine is still a planter for Claude-Emmanuelle) produce the cuvée Javernières. The bunches are larger, and like Douby, they are partly de-stemmed (the proportion depends on the vintage but can go up to 75%, 2009 barrel 100% whole harvest). There are a lot of missing grapes due to esca in the plantations, which is why the Desvignes decided to use massal selections and hand grafting rather than machine grafting in the future.
The work in the cellar :
Grapes sorted once in the vineyard go back to the sorting table under the direction of the father who looks after the grapes. The grapes are more or less de-stemmed for La Voûte Saint-Vincent and Javernières (depending on the maturity of the stalks, their size and the presence or absence of rot), Côte du Py and Les Impénitents always being in full harvest. The vatting period lasts 14 days. For La Voûte Saint-Vincent, in general, it is carried out a delestage (at 1020 density to break up the grapes and thus prolong the fermentation by releasing the last sugars), as well as one pumping over per day and 2 aerati