Profile: Domaine David Moreau (Santenay)

Update 19.12.2012(18.12.2012)billn

david-moreauTaking the road up the hill, towards the Château, from the central square in Santenay, you will see on your right the signs for the producer ‘Jean Moreau’. The business has changed hands, even if the location and signs have not.

Domaine Jean Moreau started life in Santenay-le-Haut but moved to this location in the 1960s. David Moreau took on managing the domaine from his grandparents, making his first vintage in 2009 – it was David’s great-grandparents who ‘started with a few vines‘. David also has experience working in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and in New-Zealand, whilst closer to home he has also worked with Olivier Lamy and the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

This domaine extends to nine hectares; David is currently labeling the produce of 5 hectares under his own label, and the remaining four under the label of his grandparents. Give-or-take, the domain produces 80-90% red wine and almost everything is exported ‘I’m a young domaine‘ says David ‘so not so well known in France.

I aim for as little intervention as possible in the cellar, I leave that for the vines.

David says he doesn’t have any certification for how he works in the vines he just says ‘vraiment raisonée‘ – sustainable viticulture is his description. Grapes are hand-picked and then sorted at the domaine – perhaps as much as 15% whole clusters may be retained, but this is vintage dependant. Aging in barrel lasts about 12 months before assembling into tank.

The wines of the domaine have a very impressive silkiness, yet David practices plenty of pigeage – but he notes that this pigeage is normally quite early in the fermentation – afterwards he prefers remontage. The whites are aged in 300 litre barrels.

The wines…

Tasted with David Moreau in Santenay, 14th Dec.

The 2011 reds were all assembled in tank for bottling sometime in January; the 2010s had been bottled in February this year. I have (obviously) many caveats about 2011 reds, but this is a range that I might even take a chance on(!) – proportionally I think the 2011s brilliant, the 2010s merely very good! More modestly David says that ‘2011 was a small harvest, but brought very nice grapes.‘ As for his 2012 harvest, David says he’s thankful; despite the various bouts of hail he still managed 28 hl/ha for the domaine versus 30 hl/ha in 2011.

Already one of the best addresses in Santenay!

2011 David Moreau, Maranges
Three parcels make up this blend, one with clay, one with sand, and a limestone one from the Clos Roussot.
The nose is dark, a little spicy and a little powdery too – but there is some aromatic concentration here. The fruit seems a little powder in flavour too but it’s also mineral and a little salty – bravo – excellent villages!

2011 David Moreau, Santenay Cuvée ‘S’
Named in homour of David’s grandmother – Simone – from Les Cornières, one of their first plots of vines. David says that there are lots of millerandes from these parcels
There’s more weight of aroma here, a little mustiness needs to lift – but lift it does. Very silky wine indeed, mineral too. Dark crystaline, jellied fruit. The last drops in the glass smell gorgeous.

2011 David Moreau, Santenay 1er Clos Rousseau
Planted in 1962. This plot was the first 1er Cru owned by the family.
Lovely depth to the nose – again rather dark red fruit. Once more, we have a wine that is very, very silky – as good as any Volnay could offer. The concentration grows in your mouth, slightly spicy too. ‘Impressive’ – hmm – too small a word.

2011 David Moreau, Santenay 1er Clos des Mouches
This is from the Chassagne side of the appellation; there’s very little soil here (20-60cm) but waht soil you find has plenty of red colour. Thise was only replanted in 1964 after pxhylloxera. The bees from this place are the emblem (on the label) of the domaine.
There are hints of reduction here – though the nose is anyway rather shy. This is clearly from the same family as the previous wines; very fine tannin provides the silk – the polished dark fruit is possibly emphasised by that faint reduction, but it’s fading all the time. Excellent.

2011 David Moreau, Santenay 1er Beaurepaire Blanc
The nose is wide and just a hint padded. Round and understated but with acidity in reserve. Good density and and some minerality. There’s a little extra complexity in the finish, which offers a nice minerality. Good.

2010 David Moreau, Maranges
Pretty, high-toned red fruits. More mineral and energetic than the 2011 – but less obviously plush/concentrated. Love the growth of acid-led flavour as it peaks in the mid-palate.

2010 David Moreau, Santenay Cuvée ‘S’
Beautiful aromas, less dark-red than the 2011 and like the Maranges, more direct than it’s 2011 equivalent – but the concentration slowly grows before slowly fading. Very good.

2010 David Moreau, Santenay 1er Clos Rousseau
Pretty red fruits with an engaging complexity. The flavours are wide and mineral, supported by lovely acidity and a growing intensity of flavour. Seems to get wider and wider. Also godd stuff.

2011 David Moreau, Santenay Blanc
From old vines at the foot of the slope towards Chassagne – Les Prarons. Elevage was 1/3 in barrel and 2/3rds in tank.
Seems a little tight, but the aromas build concentration; there’s a nice floral note developing. Nice, actually very nice mineral notes, good concentration and a beautifully balanced flavour profile. Very good indeed.

Domaine David Moreau
4 rue de la Bussière
Tel: +33 (0)3 80 20 61 79
Fax: +33 (0)3 80 20 64 76

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

There are 2 responses to “Profile: Domaine David Moreau (Santenay)”

  1. Peter Bamford5th December 2013 at 10:17 amPermalinkReply

    Hi Bill,

    Great report as always. Last night your good friend David B put on a tasting of these wines – all three vintages of each in most cases. I completely agree that the producer is doing remarkable things: bright, pretty colours; saturation then succulence; high and fine acidity.

    This was an in-bottle tasting of course, which might be why it was now possible to see a little pyrazine influence on the ’11s I’m afraid. At least, that’s what I took it to be. I haven’t tasted tonnes of ’11s, but in the great majority I’ve got a little vintage signature within the aroma, which I’ve consistently noted as incongruous pink fruit and pink ham. Thinking that through now, pink ham might mean cured meat, which might mean the chemicals in that process, which might mean the metallic aspect I’ve heard cited as a pyrazine marker.

    Anyway, I’ll still now be looking out for David Moreau wines in general, so thanks again.



  2. David Bennett7th December 2013 at 10:44 pmPermalinkReply

    Bill, it was a pleasure to show David’s wines . The 10s were standout wines. The cuvee s in particular for me has all the character of Santenay with clear great winemaking and a sense of true terroir. The 1er crus were stunning in all vintages with Mouches showing better than Rousseau at this stage. A day late, and retasting them, the 11 cuvée s, was deeeeelish and “better” than the 10. Oh, my, how wines confuse and confound.

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