The Next Generation of Beaujolais

The Next Generation of Beaujolais

If you’ve been with Dedalus for a while now, or are just a French wine aficionado, you’ve probably heard of the Gang of Four: the revolutionary Beaujolais winemakers who rejected the industrial winemaking status quo and instead forged a new path, honing their craft the old fashioned way. No herbicides, minimal intervention in the cellar, and a lot of care for what goes into the bottle. These winemaking pioneers in Beaujolais are Jean Foillard, Guy Breton, Marcel Lapierre, and Jean-Paul Thévenet.

Charly thevenet and his father Jean-Paul Thevenet

Of the four, Jean-Paul is perhaps the most reserved. There’s something special about being a revolutionary winemaker, yet quietly farming the same five hectares with the same grape year after year. Maybe it’s because he knows how good his Morgon is. It would fit with the principle that propelled him to greatness in the first place: don’t mess with the wine.

It’s a quality he has passed on to his son, Charly, who also makes wines in Régnié, another Beaujolais Grand Cru. When he’s not tending to his own old vines, Charly works with his father. Together they have converted Jean-Paul’s vineyards into a beautiful organic and biodynamic site. Their collaborations manifest handsomely in this bottle named “Tradition.” It’s an apt moniker and an interesting one. Yes, passing the practice of winemaking from father to son is a tradition. But also, in this scenario, is a tradition of rebellion against convention. Against the status quo.

In that way, this wine is a reminder to follow your gut, to trace the traditions that perhaps have been lost to the past, or are jeopardized by the present. In another sense, it’s an incredible bottle that, for all the years of labor, of knowledge built by doing, is worth far more than the current value placed on it. Enjoy this wine with family (born or chosen), as a reminder that each generation has something to learn from one another, and that when we listen to each other, that synergy can create something transcendent.

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Jean Paul Thevenet Morgon Tradition 2020