Tasted in Beaune with Jean-Marc Dufouleur, 25th March 2015.
Domaine de Monts Luisants
51 Rue du Faubourg Madeleine
Tel: +33 3 80 24 00 96
Jean-Marc Dufouleur runs a very small domaine of 3.39 hectares that covers, as he likes to say, 3.5 appellations; Morey Saint-Denis En Pierre Viront, Morey Saint-Denis Monts Luisants and Morey Saint-Denis Genavrières. And the half? Well there’s also one barrel of Clos de la Roche – or not – as it’s just been replanted. Virtually all the vines are in the same corner of Morey, all are located on the hillside and indeed the various plots touch upon each other.
Jean-Marc says That he’s nothing to do with the other Dufouleurs – at least in terms of domaines and vines – but of-course they are all related, not just the Dufouleurs of Nuits, but there’s also his brother Philippe who works a domaine of Beaune and Savigny vines, plus runs the Jardin de Lois accommodations in Beaune.
Jean-Marc’s father bought parcels of vines over dozens of years, and for a few years there were a couple of metayeurs, but all the vines came back at the end of 1999, so 2000 was the first vintage for Domaine des Monts Luisants.
“I try to make the best possible – the grapes are of-course pre-eminent”says Jean-Marc, “But there are lots of things that can go wrong. For all things it’s important to know when to stop, and I don’t do cuisinière.”
Everything except the villages vines are ploughed, the villages plot, despite a great position, is planted across the slope, so it’s too steep to use a tractor across that slope – so they have tried a horse – but it’s the same problem, as the upper edge of plough sticks out of the soil!
12-14,000 bottles are produced on average, though only 6,000 in 2003 – “It’s never the same yields, it’s the vintage that decides though the target is always 35-38 hl/ha.” The wines are mainly exported, but Jean-Marc says that they supply some good restaurant addresses in France too.
The grapes are from Morey, but the cuverie Cuverie is in Beaune. Fibreglass tanks of 25 hl are used for the fermentations, Jean-Marc says that he started with concrete, but working alone he finds the fibreglass tanks ultra-practical. There’s manual pigeage before the grapes are pressed ‘softly’ in a Vaslin but it’s a long press – maybe this is why the wines don’t obviously show whole cluster aromatics. “Elevage is variable, 12 months is good, but I’ve 2 vintages such as 2003 with such a structure it didn’t seem to understand the barrels, also 2013 where I did the opposite of most years where I harvested before most people. But with 50 harvesters I was done in 1.5 days – it was ‘only’ 12 degrees but it was correct – a wine that never fatigues…” Contract bottlers are used.
Jean-Marc prepared 3 wines to showcase the style of the domaine. My own interpretation of the style is large-scaled flavours, that are just a hint rustic but have quite some character. Given Jean-Pierre’s comments whilst tasting, I took the 06 and 03 away with me to revisit the next day. The 03 was rougher, perhaps faintly oxidised and much less interesting, but the 06 retained a lot of interest – it was easily my favourite of these wines.
2000 Morey St.Denis 1er Monts Luisants
Nice medium-plus colour. Sweet, deep fruity dark red fruit – this is very inviting – the longer you wait there is much extra complexity such as notes of leather – I prefer it at the start. Nice texture and a slowly growing acidity – the flavour intensity mounts and there is a super mid-palate density and weight of flavour – long-lasting, faintly perfumed flavour. Overall good freshness here to match the weight and complexity of the flavour. Still very much a baby!
2006 Morey St.Denis 1er Monts Luisants
A soaring nose of fresh fruit – almost blue-shaded and floral. Velvet, mouth-wrapping flavour that like the 2000 builds weight and concentration, perhaps more modestly than the 2000 but this I find super, maybe a little more supple than the 2000 but still a baby again. Really tons of flavour, again with a lovely perfumed finishing flavour.
2003 Morey St.Denis 1er Monts Luisants
‘A little monster…’ Deeply coloured. A deep, tight ball of dark powder fruit at the base it is recognisably the same impression as the last two wines, slowly growing a floral, modestly whole cluster impression. Wide, with sweetness too – suddenly there’s a width of ripe grainy tannin but wait – the impression slowly melts on the tongue. Impressive but certainly narrower and less expressive than the other two in the mid-palate and finish. ‘You are right it needs a carafe and tomorrow it will be like the other two!’ eventually a touch of salinity to see…
On the 2003 Jean-Marc notes “I find this wine incredible, it has mot moved at all since it was bottled – I think it will age brilliantly – I can’t put a number on it but why not 50 years(?)”