Though Jean Descombes died in 1993, his jolly visage still appears on the labels of his Morgon wine, a Beaujolais cru. Morgon is one of 10 villages whose names are allowed to appear on the labels of their wines; those names are emphasized over the term Beaujolais. Descombes’ daughter Nicole took over the winemaking duties when her father died. The wine has been bottled and marketed since 1980 by Georges Duboeuf. Beaujolais, south of Burgundy, is the land of the gamay grape, or, as it is officially known, gamay noir a jus blanc; it is a cousin of pinot noir.

Of the 10 Beaujolais crus, Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent represent the more robust end of the range. Indeed, the Jean Descombes Morgon 2008 is full-bodied and resonant, teeming with black currant, black cherry and plum flavors so peppery, so fleshy that the wine is savory, almost lip-smackin’ good. The typical youthful gamay spicy vividness and brightness is couched in notes of briers and brambles and a hint of black olive. Completely delicious but with an edge of minerals and dusty tannins. Jean Descombes Morgons usually age well for 10 or 12 years. Excellent. I paid $17 for this wine; prices nationally range from $14 to an unaccountable $20.

We drank this with a ham to which LL applied a plum and horseradish glaze.

Imported by W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Harrison, N.Y.