In the village of Morgon in Beaujolais, Jean Descombes was well loved, a man who never missed an occasion to party with friends. And the wine he produced was said to reflect his extraverted personality. Jean died in 1993, and his daughter Nicole has taken over the estate. For my taste, the wine's style and personality has changed very little, if at all.
Although I had tried the wine earlier, I put Jean Descombes Morgon on my yearly buy list starting with the 1991 vintage. The wine is always a winner--full bodied, fruity and powerful--when first released, but it also ages well over 10 years and longer, developing complexity and finesse similar to that of a Burgundian Pinot Noir. I now have in my cellar small quantities of Jean Descombes Morgon from most vintages going back to 1995, and the 1995 is still drinking well.
The 2008, opened Saturday night, is right in line with past vintages: medium deep ruby with aromas of dark cherries, ripe and powerful. Compared to past vintages such as 2005, I find less red raspberry and more black cherry notes, and the fruit is clearly riper. On the palate, the wine has youthful power and some tannins to lose, but it's ripe enough to enjoy right now. Tasted alongside the 2009 Beaujolais, it's in the same mode but with considerable more depth and concentration.