Vineyard: From La Roche Pilée vineyard in the heart of the Morgon appellation at the base of the famed Cote du Py hillside (1.70 hectares).
Orientation: South facing with a slight slope.
Soil: "Decomposed granite and crumbly schist referred to regionally as "rotten rock". Natural composting kick-starts bacterial activity in the soil that is very beneficial to the vines.
Viticulture: 60-year-old vines with a very low yield. Extensive pruning to further limit the yield; No chemical pesticides, fertilisers or herbicides used, giving a totally natural wine; all bunches are picked by hand and very carefully sorted to retain whole bunches.
Vinification: No sulphur pitched for fermentation. Semi carbonic maceration for up to 12 days. Using an old vertical press, pressing is very slow and gentle, crushing only the fruit and not the seeds.
Aging: In barrels on fine lees between 5 and 13 months. The barrels are old as the aim is to allow the wine to breathe without giving it a woody taste. The end of alcoholic and malo-lactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels. Light sulphur is added after malo-lactic fermentation and at bottling to ensure the wine keeps well over time.
Production: 750-900 cases
Notes: La Roche Pilée replaces "Bio-Vitis" in the Guignier lineup. This was always a single vineyard cuvee and so a name change was in order. Seductive, structured and round with a fine mineral line running through the middle of the wine, this Morgon promises a few good years of evolution.
Publication: Wine advocate
The 2016 Morgon Bio Vitis comes from the lieu-dit of La Roche Pilée and it spends six months in barrel. It has a lifted, quite stony bouquet that translates its terroir with some conviction. The aromatics are well defined with brambly red berry fruit and a hint of pressed rose petal. The palate is slightly herbaceous on the entry. It does not possess the flesh and depth of the 2015, although it is balanced with well judged acidity, just tapering in a little toward the finish.
Publication: View from the Cellar – John Gilman
The lieu a` dit of “la Roche Pile´e” lies just below the Co^te du Py on the hill, with the bottling from Michel Guignier hailing from sixty-plus year-old vines, which are farmed organically. Monsieur Guignier barrel-ferments and ages this wine in old casks. The 2016 is the first labeled as hailing from la Roche Pile´e, as Monsieur Guignier used to sell this bottling under the “Bio-Vitis” label in the past, though it was always from this single vineyard. The 2016 is a lovely wine, as most of the hail in Morgon missed this hillside in the village, offering up a deep and still quite youthful bouquet of black cherries, cassis, dark soil tones, gentle smokiness, espresso and gamebird. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nascently complex, with a rock solid core, moderate, ripe tannins, fine focus and grip and a very long, still quite primary finish. This will be both sappy and soil-driven once it has blossomed, but it is a bit buttoned up behind its structure today and deserves a bit of time in the cellar. 2020-2045.
Publication: Other Press
Rating: 92 (W&S)
This comes from a four-acre parcel at the base of the Côte du Py, where Guignier’s 60-year-old vines grow in decomposed granite and schist. Guignier works organically, fermenting whole bunches without added yeasts, then finishes the fermentation in barrel, aging the wine in old, neutral oak. This is fresh, with a deeper, more concentrated fruit presence than Guignier’s 2016 Vieilles Vignes (also recommended here). The flavor is vermillion red, darkened by mineral tannins to blueberry and black raspberry. The brisk grip of those tannins shows its youth in bright, lasting flavor, a lively young Morgon for the cellar.