FEED | SEARCH://
               Why Big Red Diary?

Profile: Domaine Albert Morot (Beaune)

domaine-albert-morotAlbert Morot was founded in 1820 as a négociant. In 1890 they purchased seven hectares of vines and also the buildings that they currently occupy on the route de Bouze. Geoffroy Choppin de Janvry became responsible for Domaine Albert Morot in 2000 when his aunt retired. The domaine was being run together with the négoce business as late as the 1980s by the uncle of Geoffroy, but when the uncle became ill Geoffroy’s aunt decided to stop the négoce to concentrate on the domaine vines. The uncle died in 2000 and without children, Geoffroy was next in line for the rôle at the domaine – brought up in Paris he had studied agromomy at Montpellier University.

Today there are 8 hectares of vines; 1.80 ha of Savigny La Bataillière, seven premier crus in Beaune – only one white (Aigrots) – and some villages Pommard from 2008. Geoffroy has also started to buy a little extra grapes to augment his production, for instance there were 5 barrels of Champimonts when I visited. The cuverie and particularly the cellars could certainly accommodate much more wine – with two large sub-levels, three vintages could fit in here – even in 2003 the temperature stayed at a steady 13°C in the lower level.

The Approach

Soil is worked in a bio way. The vines see a vendanges vert and later in the growing season the team remove leaves on the northern side of the vines to improve aeration. Generally a low yield of 35-40hl/ha is achieved.

The harvest is usually a quick thing – there are many hands so it requires only about 5 or 6 days. Triage is done at the vines, leaving sub-standard bunches on the ground but there is also a vibrating followed by triage table at the domaine too. Everything is destemmed here. The cuves are stainless steel – Geoffroy changed from oak in 2005, he thought the summer of 2003 had dried the vats a little too much – he anyway likes the simplicity of operation and cleanliness that stainless steel brings. Cuvaison starts with 4-5 days of pre-fermentation maceration and lasts in total about 20 days. The wines are not racked until bottling as Geoffroy prefers to preserve the wines with their carbon dioxide rather than rack and have to add sulfur. There is no fining or filtration here.

The Wines

Visited and tasted 28th July 2010. It was a little early to taste some of these barrels, but they generally showed to high level. Based on the wines below I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend

2009 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Les Aigrots Blanc
Near the Clos des Mouches, these chardonnay vines almost always give a nice freshness. 40% new oak, not racked. The five barrels here are the totality of the whites at this domaine. Slightly savoury aromas. Fine, balancing acidity. This seems a very nice prospect – and one that I’d buy.
2009 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Cents Vignes
30% new oak for all the reds. Forward, wide, dark red fruit. A little gas but I take clear note of the structure and intensity.
2009 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Toussaints
Dark red fruit. Lots of concentration and very precise red fruit – this could be a 2008. The flavour holds very well in the finish – this will be super.
2009 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Aigrots
Youngest wines of the domaine, but too much malo…
2009 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Marconnets
From high on the slope, it’s colder here and seems to deliver an extra freshness. These are the oldest vines of the domaine planted 1955 looked after in a bio fashion, but are treated by helicopter as Geoffroy doesn’t want to lose any of the vines to the tractor’s tyres! Lovely depth to the fruit aromas. The darker fruit flavours really cling to well to the inside of your mouth – super.
2009 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Bressandes
From above Toussaints, always more balanced, rounder and longer. Wide aromas of dark red fruits. This appears to offer a fuller fruit effect and lots of depth too. This is the most complete cuvée yet – very impressive.
2009 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Grèves
The domaine has 0.12 hectares, their smallest cuvée – Geoffroy would be much happier if there was more – ‘it’s not so easy to ferment such small amounts’. Jellied dark fruit – lovely purity. A dark-fruited intensity at the core. Not perhaps as complete a wine (half-finished today) as the Bressandes, but…
2009 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Teurons
Teurons always give good tannin ripeness. Clearly reduced, though more powerful and structured.
2008 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Toussaints
Very pretty red fruit and dark red cherry. Good width and slightly grippy tannins – but not grainy. I find a lovely acid balance here.
2007 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Teurons
Very fruity – a wide red fruit horizon. Depth of concentrated, almost jammy fruit – lower acidity after the 2008 – but intense and mineral too, particularly the finish. This is super for an 07.
2002 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Teurons
This shows a lovely mix of bright and precise berries and currants. Mouth-filling concentration, just enough acidity and full of flavour. It’s a joy to drink now.. Dark-edged fruit, the structure comes in quite late in the mid-palate to make the point that you’ve called early – but the demeanour remains friendly…
2000 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Teurons
More baked fruit aromas but the nose remains forward and fresh. Quite silky, tighter than the 2002, the structure still announces itself quite late though there is less of it. Here I find a little floral addition to the fruit.

7 responses to “Profile: Domaine Albert Morot (Beaune)”

  1. pablo

    Hi Bill
    I miss an entry for this tasting in the notefinder.
    You should once look at your spams, because I send you a mail sometimes ago(kisseo birthday-card)
    When are you in Beaune again?

  2. Audun Golberg

    I have to tell this story:
    About 20 years ago I visited Morot and Madame Chopin, now retired many years ago. At that time she had a good selection of older wines for sale, and amongst others I bought 2 Beaune 1er Crus from 1972. The prices were about 150 Franc. After a car journey, lasting many days around in France and back to Norway, with the bottles in the boot, containing up to 40-50 deg C, I only hoped that some of the wines had survived. I was therefore greatly surprised when I pulled the first, a 72 Teurons. (I pulled a 72 first because I expected this to be the lesser of the vintages I bought). The wine was just incredible, with an intensity I had never experienced in a wine before.

    Later, in 1998, the other 72, a Marconnets, was part of a tasting of older Burgundies that we had in our wine club. And, it outshined everything else, such as a Leroy Gevrey-Chambertin 85, a Leroy Beaune Perrieres 83, a Leroy Lavaux-St. Jacques 1972, a Lafarge Clos de Chenes 83, a Faiveley Corton 85, and even a Echezeaux 87 of H. Jayer became short. Like the Teurons it had a wonderful flavour of mushroom, stall, forest floor and more that I don’t remember now. It was definitely not a broad shouldered wine, rather the opposite. But the intensity and balance was a class above the rest. 3 hours later the wine was still up there.

    Besides being a credit to Morot, this is also a credit to the underrated vintage of 1972, which was “plagued” by rain in the summer and a very cold autumn. Maybe it was not a plague at all? The growing season became very long, and the the cold, and windy, autumn gave grapes with high acidity, while the wind dried the grapes perfectly.

    Audun

  3. Audun Golberg

    Hi, Bill,
    I wonder if 96 could be something like the 72. It also had a long, cold and windy autumn, didn’t it? Anyway, I keep them to see if I am right.

    Cheers, Audun

  4. Audun Golberg

    Agree with you there. So, the 96 might be even better than the 72….

    Audun

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?