Interview Mathieu Lapierre dans Sommellier Journal

le 30 septembre, 2013 Presse Pas de commentaires

Winemaker Mathieu Lapierre is the 31-year-old son of the late Marcel Lapierre, unofficial leader of a group of producers—called the “Gang of Four” by importer Kermit Lynch—who restored the pres- tige of Beaujolais wines in recent years. With Guy Breton, Jean-Paul Thévenet, and Jean Foillard, the elder Lapierre stood at the forefront of two move- ments that became inexorably intertwined. First, he fought against the postwar diminishment of his region’s reputation—brought on by mass produc- tion, overfertilization, high yields, and the world- wide phenomenon of Beaujolais Nouveau, which rendered the far more modest production of tradi- tional cru wines economically irrelevant. And sec- ond, several years after inheriting the winery from his own father in 1975, he began making wines by a more natural process. He stopped fertilizing his vineyards and initiating fermentation with com- mercial yeast, and he greatly reduced the amount of sulfur dioxide used to preserve the wine.

In October 2010, Marcel Lapierre died of mela- noma at age 60. By then, Mathieu had been working alongside him for five years, establishing himself as a worthy successor. Since then, he has enthusiastically stepped into his father’s role as the standard bearer for world-class natural Beau- jolais. Complex and engaging, he’s able to articu- late his opinions about wine and the surrounding world as eloquently in English as in French, hav- ing worked as a chef in Chicago and on Vancouver Island before starting his winemaking career.

Over three sessions in the kitchen of his moth- er’s home and at the winery of a friend, Damien Coquelet, he talked with me about the movement toward less-manipulated production in Beaujo- lais and beyond.

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