Tasted today with a virtual connection to the winemaker of J.Moreau & Fils, Lucie Depuydt.
J.Moreau are one of the most export-oriented labels of the JC Boisset group of Nuits St.Georges, because of that, this label is much less well known in France than their export markets. Here was a chance to catch up with Lucie and some early-bottled 2020s and a couple of later-bottled 2019s.
This producer makes wine from 250 hectares on contracts from all around the Chablis region. Lucie says that she has a slight preference for the southern side like Chichée and Courgis but that, amongst other, Béru and La Chapelle de Vaupelteigne also bring nice aspects to the quality of their wines. “We have about 30 partner vignerons on long contracts – we really do consider each other as partners and each of those producers brings with them the histories of their parcels.
“We press the largest part of the grapes ourselves but some from Courgis and Beru, for instance, all come as must as that’s the easiest way for those suppliers… We try to keep the maximum amount of sediments during our elevage, not just because it helps against oxidation but because I also like the extra richness that the lees can bring. Our fermentations are initiated with a ‘pied de cuve’ which are of course the local yeasts. I think the extended contact with the lees and keeping the lees in suspension does is really important and it doesn’t have to be the same as the mechanical process of batonnage. The extra protection afforded by the lees coupled with the full malolactic fermentation brings very good stability to the finished wine too.”
The Chablis and Petit Chablis are made in stainless steel with an elevage of 6-10 months, vintage dependent. The crus, some part can be with barrel elevage with various barrel sizes from 228 to 500-litre for 14-18 months – so relatively long. So all four wines tasted below were bottled at roughly the same time, despite there being two different vintages represented. The first two wines utilise the new version of Nomacorc and the team here are very happy with the performance, to date. It’s cork for the 1er and grand cru wines.
I also asked Lucie about this year’s 2021 vintage so far:
“Well, we have perfect weather for both oïdium and mildew as, so far, it’s been a wet vintage and this weather, of course, follows on from the frost of April. We are waiting for a period of dry weather that will help rid us of the mildew, if, probably, not completely the oïdium.”
A few words from Lucie on these vintages too?
“2019 was quite a low volume vintage so these are concentrated wines whose aromas remind me of 2009 – actually I thought them a little meagre and lacking personality early in the elevage but they have really grown into a proper Chablis personality. For a time during the 2020 vintage, because of the heat, there was some blocking of maturitis so the wines are more intermediate in the style of their maturity.”
2020 Petit Chablis Les Petits Dieux
Was bottled in April – a large market is Scandinavia
Pale yellow. A nicely pure agrume nose. Wide, mouth-filling, mouth-watering with citrus style – there’s weight but also plenty of minerality that keeps the freshness. This is drinking excellently already and the finish is surprisingly long. Super…
2020 Chablis Gloire de Chablis
A May-June bottling. This the result of more than 80 parcels of vines.
Just a little more colour. The nose is rounder and concentrated but less fully open than the PC. More direct and higher-toned flavour. Great shape and juicy style – a more grapefruit style to this wine – perhaps with a faint floral/pyrazine top note. Wider finishing and just a little longer finishing. Nicely textured too. That’s a fine villages.
2019 Chablis 1er Vaucoupin
‘One of my favourite 1ers with a strong personality,’ says Lucie. ‘It’s amazing that there are vines here as there is practically no soil – just rocks but these are also old vine.’ This only in bottle for 2 months.
A width of sweeter aroma, faintly oak and acacia spiced. A mix of richness and minerality – direct in style but with no lack of width. Extra finishing growth of flavour – that’s a wine that impressively grows in presence in the finish. Still keep it back a couple of years as I sense (more than really taste) the barrel. Wait 2-3 years for this impression of the elevage to fade.
2019 Chablis Les Clos
Two parcels – both mid-slope – ‘an intermediate’ soil for the cru – these vines usually harvested early as the maturity comes quickly here. This was bottled this year at the end of April.
A larger nose, plump but not fat, ripe but not too much – a melange of fruits – this is really a wine of mouth-filling volume. Comfortably textured, round – almost too easy flavoured – but the finish is a big one, a little creamy and ripe – far too easy to drink today, but I’d keep this in the cellar for some time hoping for a little extra ‘strict’ in the style.