Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Alex Moreau, 06 November, 2018.
Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils
21 Route de Santenay
Tel: +33 3 80 21 33 70
Alex on 2018:
“2018 – happy! No maladies, such a clean harvest and a full harvest to boot. Also in the old vines we made the rendement – 50-52 hl/ha – we havent seen that for so long! That was without much water in the growing season, so we didn’t expect so much juice – nature was generous. We started 30 August – that’s 3 times in August in the last 5 years – of course part of that is choice, but we had the phenolic maturity and what we didn’t want was too much alcohol – it’s far too easy to be too late in an early vintage. We had 12.5 to 12.9° in the whites. Fine! They are fermenting slowly…”
Alex on 2017:
“Not the same weather despite another early vintage. Almost frosted the same day as in 2016, but we just avoided it. Based on the time of flowering we expected 3-4 September for our harvest but there was a period in August that was so warm that the sugars started to explode – so we knew it would be earlier – again 30 August for us. After the 2016 vintage we would have been happy with any volume of harvest, but still there were premier crus with only 31 or 38 hl/ha. In August I was worried that the sun might hide the terroir a little, marking the vintage but after 12-13 month of elevage I could see that the differences between the cuvées have been well-preserved despite the attractive nature of the wines. For the reds we needed to keep attention in 2017, not to extract rustic tannin, so softer extractions were the order of the day. I think it’s a vintage that will satisfy a lot of buyers; it’s accessible but not simple – the connoisseurs will like it as much as people who just want a nice glass of wine.”
I had delayed my visit by a couple of weeks as Alex thought the wines in tank far too troubled to taste – but the wait brought wines of more clarity and, as you can see, great expression. It’s a great vintage at this domaine…
2017 Bourgogne Chardonnay
All from the commune of Chassagne, all barrel but none new. The only bottled wine – done in August.
Wide, a tempting aroma with a hint of spiced richness. Hmm, I sink into this, a certain roundness and richness – lots of material here. Waves of mineral-inflected finishing flavour and so long. A great mineral wine – Excellent!
2017 St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
Assembled, fined, to be bottled in December.
A much more forward nose, round, some green herb and citrus. Supple, concentrated, a richness again, yet complex and with energy – I would like a touch more acidity but it’s mobile and delicious over the palate – some slightly toasted oak in this sample.
Same stage of elevage as the St.Aubin.
A more golden fruit, fresh and with a suggestion of mineral depth. Hmm, more direct and fresh, muscled but with a smiling face – energy, a hint of salinity. Great villages this year – bravo. Great persistence too. A suggestion of barrel on the end of the palate again. ‘Yes im happy with this – it’s important because it’s 50% of our production!‘
The 1ers are at a different stage – racked with fine lees in August but still in elevage, no fining yet.
More weight with a certain ripeness, but freshness of aroma too. Hmm – wider, more energy and more growing intensity. Complex, saline, great stuff – I love…
This fermented very slowly, it only finished its sugars in May to June.
Wider, more airy nose – very fine. Ooh a little rounder, with an excitement and layers of melting fresh flavour in the finish – this is my new favourite – bravo! ‘Yes always the wine with the lowest pH and the most energy…‘
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Maltroie
A little more power to the ripe but fresh citrus, here with some floral and faintly mineral inflections. Likewise on the palate an overture of energy and complexity – always delicious, energetic flavour. Long, vibrant finishing – Excellent!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Chenevottes
Hmm. Silky, complex – oh so an inviting nose. A little extra mineral tension here, but wrapped in the attractive texture of the vintage, slowly melting over the palate – such a delicious a thing with admirable depth – yes! – But today I’d take one of the previous two wines…
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
From 2 parcels in the 60 hectare Morgeot – La Cardeuse and Farendes.
A weight of aroma coupled to a fresh width, always subtly complex. Ooh, sleek, fresh, stony, melting with even more intensity of flavour. Today I prefer this style to that of the last, but like the last this is a wine for the more patient – profound and powerful in the finish.
A pretty but exciting reduction. Ooh, line, lithe, concentrated, touched by a mix of barrel and reduction. Mineral, ooh a great finish that’s complex and multi-dimensional. A wine that’s hard to read at the start, but grandiose in the finish!
75-year-old vines. Barrel sample, not yet racked.
Round, golden-yellow citrus, with a faint touch of barrel too. Round, composed, layered, fresh but not over-excited. A rich depth of mid-palate flavour, big wine – almost Bâtard style to this wine and very complex in the finish – though a lot of that is still barrel today. Certainly excellent, probably great!
Above la cabotte on the Chassagne side. Also a barrel sample.
Not yet a full-scale nose but a vibrant mineral line fills the panorama. Mobile, fresh more direct than round yet still a wine of volume. Intense and mineral in style – hyper-classic, and great wine too. Profound finishing – bravo.
Probably for bottling at the end of November.
Pow! A big, explosive nose of dark-red Chassagne fruit. Plenty of volume in the mouth, concentrated, deep, dark fruit, a modest touch of tannin with a hint of salinity. Rumbustious, fun, concentrated, a few rough touches and totally endearing – bravo!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Cardeuse
More complex and pure – no, clarity is a better word for this nose. Wide, less round than the villages but growing… there’s more mid-palate density here, plenty of fine tannin and a slowly melting, almost spiced, complexity in the middle. Wait for this, you have lots if time to enjoy the villages first… A nice hit of almost steely finishing flavour. Excellent wine!