Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Alex Moreau, 15 November, 2017.
Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils
21 Route de Santenay
Tel: +33 3 80 21 33 70
Alex on 2017:
“17 was a good harvest. There’s quality, maybe a little more than was expected in white, but we can be happy with 38 hl/ha. Clean grapes with no rot – in both colours. The harvesting date was complicated as it always is with an early harvest – we started on the 30th. I think that the rain was helpful to de-stress the vines as only a few days earlier it was 35°C. But from the 30th of August we more agreeable temperatures. I’d still have preferred a couple of weeks later harvesting – but we can’t choose!”
Alex on 2016:
This vintage was a little different! The frost was terrible, affecting many communes, but here it really was a catastrophe; all of the 1ers on the northern side of Chassagne, towards Puligny and St.Aubin, were terribly damaged. In the centre of Chassagne, Maltroie and the Clos St.Jean were less affected, towards Morgeot there was also less frost. Early on we thought we would only have a bourgogne, a villages and a Chassagne 1er, but a couple of premier crus still made it through, though some like Chenevottes, Champsgains and Vergers delivered zero wine – okay 4 cases of fruit, which combined and put into the villages. Our Chenevottes, normally has 120 cases of fruit – but 4 could be filled in 2016. There’s a lack of consistency between domaines and also in some domaines – how do the make a wine with 2 barrels when you normally have 12? And what do you do with the barrels? Whatever the choice, it will be different to the usual style. It will, likely, impact the 2017s too, as more oak must be bought.
“Here our volume was minus 70%. When you see the quality, the quantity is such a frustration. I’m happy, the positive thing was that I didn’t have to change the style of vinification, I was very careful when decanting, as there was a lot of disease pressure at the start of the year. We kept the style of the domaine and have good concentration but also energy too – we avoided being too rich.
As every year, this is a first-class address with a number of covetable wines. Generally the elevage here is a little later than many domaines – there could be even more don’t miss wines in another 2-3 months…
Only one wine has been bottled:
Bottled at the end of August. All from the commune of Chassagne, all barrel but none new.
A nice depth of aroma here, slightly smoky/spicy. Supple entry, growing width, becoming more intense. Really a wine of villages quality – bravo!
2016 St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
This is assembled and fined – still in tank
Ooh – now that’s an attractive nose, again the impression of a faint smoke but gorgeous, transparent fruit in support – I love the depth here too. Supple, layered, beautifully silky, this is certainly a wine with richness of flavour, some oak is surely adding to this. Good texture but what a balance too – really super, but I don’t think I’d guess where it came from.
Of course a few cases of 1er cru are included. Assembled and fined, in waiting, probably somewhere between November and January for bottling – lets see
A little brighter up top, but lots of width in the depth of aroma. Extra freshness, more energy, still a beautiful texture and here is the width and playfulness I expect from this wine – really a beautiful thing – bravo.
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Maltroye
This is assembled, not yet fined – wont be bottling before the springtime.
Less overtly deep but a lovely width of aromas, inviting aromas. Lithe, almost a little wiry muscle. Fresh intensity, good texture – almost a grain of tannin, really holding a super line, an intense line of flavour in the finish. Great stuff.
From 2 parcels in the 60 hectare Morgeot – La Cardeuse and Farendes.
More volume and more overt aromatic complexity – this already makes me think that I’ll love it! Not the most massive volume today, but still mouth-filling, lots and lots of complexity gnawing away at the palate – wide, great textured with beautiful balance. You should wait a little time for this, but honestly, it won’t be easy as a) there isn’t much and b) it’s simply so great!
The next three are all still in barrel – but sadly only 1 barrel of each:
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Caillerets
Not been racked, still this is a very clean if slightly tight nose – just the faintest reductive accent. More layered, certainly further behind in the elevage, with a guarded rigour to the shape, but so much mouth-watering complexity here. Surely a great wine in the making as there’s a very fine finish
Not the biggest impact nose but still with plenty of volume – super inviting. More mineral and precise than the Caillerets, more mouth-watering delivery of deliciously complex flavour – this is showing so well – great wine.
Above la cabotte on the chassagne side
A big, nose, directly fresh and complex and mineral and, fortunately, exquisitely inviting. Supple but with a fresh, mouth-watering delivery, this is simply ultra-delicious already, great wine by any standard – just over-delivering in fresh complexity – bravo!.
“Like the whites, only the Bourgogne has been bottled. The difference I think that the reds were a little less frosted as the vines were in a better shape – but in terms of the amount of grapes to harvest, there wasn’t much difference!”
2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Like the white, all from the commune of Chassagne
Ooh, a hugely attractive, deep nose of pinot! Like the white this also this has volume and a great extra flesh from the concentration. The fruit style is a little conserve, very concentrated and a little darker than many but with energy and tastiness – very yum, just a modest tannin.
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles-Vignes
Assembled, waiting in tank, some sulfur last week
More freshness, more complexity in the depth of the nose. Really more volume in the mouth, finer fruit, mouth-watering complexity – there’s plenty of tannin – you really should hold your horses, but whilst much less easy, this is also much, much finer than the bourgogne. Great finish!
Good volume of aroma but this wine concentrates more on the bass notes – fine purity of deep and dark fruit. Less direct sweetness, more refined, much finer tannin, melting flavour – really lots of volume and with seeping, delicious, dark fruit of super clarity. Also to wait for but a beautiful wine!
Last one from the barrel:
2016 Volnay 1er Cru
2015 was the last vintage of Volnays Santenots. Here Caillerets and Clos des Chênes – combined as so little of each – about 30% is Caillerets – and still only about 300 litres of wine.
A nose with a little texture of whole cluster (was about half wc) and a good perfume. Good volume in the mouth, plenty of fine-grained tannin but also so much invigorating complexity too. It’s neither ultra pure Caillerets nor weighty, riper, Clos des Chênes – it’s its own thing, and it’s delicious. Fine finishing with a little tightening tannin – I’d take a first look in 2-3 years time… very yum.