There is a tendency among wine snobs to dismiss Beaujolais and all wines made from Gamay as simple and unworthy of aging. There are, in fact, many ageworthy Gamay wines (mostly Beaujolais Cru), and I challenge anyone who thinks otherwise to try the Morgon of Jean Descombes at eight-plus years of age. A gorgeous full-fruited, red cherry wine when young, it takes on special nuances, similar to those of Pinot Noir, when given some time in the cellar. I've bought Jean Descombes Morgon nearly every year since the 1991 vintage, and I sample them all from time to time to see how they are developing. My favorites at the moment are 1995, 2004 and 2005. The 2002 has been disappointing until now, but this bottle seems to indicate that it may be a late bloomer, just now coming into its own.
The color is a brilliant ruby, and the bouquet is best described as pretty rather than powerful. The bouquet opens slowly to reveal dark cherries, pomegranates and violets. Flavors are ripe and plump on the mid-palate with concentration and depth that become more apparent with every sip. The after-taste, though, is what makes this wine special. It just keeps on coming at you several seconds after you swallow.