For the month of November, we sat down with wine enthusiast and educator, Madison Powers Varunok also known as @vin_decanted on Instagram. Madison has always loved food and wine, she enjoyed them leisurely. After taking WSET classes in New York she fell in love and became extremely passionate about wine. Wine combined and embodies everything she loved: history, geography, and food. She enjoys learning about the different wine regions and why geography plays such an important part in the making of wine. From there she joined the society of wine educators and took classes to be a certified wine specialist and worked at a boutique wine store in New York. At this time, she became the person to ask for recommendations or direct any questions to. Madison started her Instagram to enlighten people and help them navigate the vast world of wine. Her Instagram took off and through that, she created her company to provide wine tastings, dinners, and, classes for those who want to learn more.
What wine did you choose for November?
For the month of November, I chose Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon. It seemed fitting since there is a lot of hype around Beaujolais this time of year. Every year on the third Thursday of November, the new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau is released. These are the first wines of the vintage and provide a sneak peek into what we are to expect. They are only harvested in September and October, which means they’ve only been fermented for a couple of weeks when released. As a result, they are super light, fruity & easy-drinking. With the huge celebrations surrounding the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau, people often forget about the more “serious” side of Beaujolais. Therefore, I wanted to feature a bottle of wine from Morgon, one of the Beaujolais crus known for producing powerful, complex wines.
What can you tell us about Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon?
This Beaujolais fits with the season and is a fun wine to enjoy with friends & family over the holidays. It is made in Morgon, one of the 10 Beaujolais crus located in Northern Beaujolais. This part of the region has steeper slopes and granite soils, which produce wines with more power than regular Beaujolais.
Domaine Marcel Lapierre is my favorite Morgon producer. Originally founded in 1909, Marcel took over the vineyard from his dad in 1973. Around this time, Marcel joined together with other winemakers to promote returning to more traditional, natural winemaking styles of previous generations. Though natural wine is often viewed as “hippy” and “different, “ it is truly the original way of winemaking and as traditional and old world as you can get. In the early centuries, they didn’t use pesticides, relied on old vines, didn’t add sugar or sulfur...the list goes on. So when Marcel took over the Domaine in the 1970s, he transitioned to this method of winemaking and has become a beacon in the natural wine-making movement.
What is the flavor profile of this wine?
Because this is a natural, hand-harvested wine, it is extremely expressive of the Morgon terroir. You can expect red classic fruit flavors such as raspberries and strawberries, along with some earthy & mineral notes. It aged barrels for 9 months, which provides subtle notes of cinnamon & clove.
Why is this wine great for the holidays?
This special bottle is perfect for your Thanksgiving table. It comes in multiple sizes, so regardless of the size of your gathering, there is a bottle size that will fit your needs. Its flavors mimic those on your table, with red fruit, earth & baking spice. Because it was produced from old, low-yield vines, the wine is concentrated with a medium body & fine yet noticeable tannins. It can stand up to your turkey without overpowering your sides. Truly the perfect Thanksgiving wine!