I buy my Lapierre's in Wetteren near Gent these days, at Leirovins, and when it suddenly dawned on me that he had both the Sans Soufre and the Légèrement Sulfité version of the Morgon 2011, I had an idea. Why not do a little comparative tasting over a few days ? To see how the bottles were when just opened and how they evolved during the next few days. For isn't sulfite also a preservative ?
This should mean that both bottles, made from the same vineyards and grapes in the same year, would show some difference, but would it be big or very limited or not at all ? I wondered, and as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, I decided to test it. I paid 15 euro for each bottle. In between tastings the bottles were kept in a cool cellar with the cork on.
Morgon Sans Soufre, Marcel Lapierre, 2011:
Day 1, early afternoon: A bit darker than the other. In the nose more minerality and less fruit, at first very timid and when it opens it smells earthier with fruit that is more serious, less fun. After a while iin the mouth there is more fruit coming, but it's fruit from a bio-shop, also riper than that from the other bottle. Very big difference in the finish. Day 1, in the evening: even more closed, and after serious swirling in the glass something like wet earth and soot, idem for the mouth feel.
Day 2: again rather closed, and what could be tasted tasted almost like a Bordeaux, very serious and straightforward. swirling it around in your mouth, it got more complex with a nice acidity, well structured, quite ok now. Day 2, later that day a ripe red wine, fruit but with leaves and branches and a bit more "vin naturel";
Day 3: spicy and fruity, and in the mouth very soft with nice acidity, but the complexness is gone
Morgon, Légèrement Sulfité, 2011:
Day 1: red fruit, fresh, dried herbs, a nice beaujolais; in the mouth starting very fruity, tender and nice, soft and broad and a bit of a teaser; very good and rather long. A few hours later still soft fruit, light chocolate touch, yoghurt, fresh and fruity;
Day 2: The wine starts to pinot ("à pinoter") ! Smells now 100% like a good burgundy pinot noir ! Amazing. In the mouth now very soft and also strongly reminiscent of a pinot noir, and a nice one.
Day 3: great. The spiciness is completely gone, only the fruit remains. A bit shorter but oh so good and tasteful. the fruit is soft and nice and accessible. Until the last glass a pleasure to drink.
To my surprise I liked the Légèrement Sulfité most. The bit of added sulfite seems really to help the wine ageing. It was certainly more friendly, the Sans Souf was more agressive and difficult, brooding even. Interesting experiment.