Tasted in Morey with Jean-Louis Amiot, 03 November 2015.
Domaine Pierre Amiot Et Fils
27 Grande Rue
Tel: +33 3 80 34 14 18
Jean-Louis Amiot explains that the domaine, now in its 5th generation, came from his father who began bottling in the 1970s. The domaine covers a little less than 8 hectares, producing 30,000 bottles from 12 appellations, about 85% of which comes from the commune of Morey. Prior to the 1970s they had sold all their produce to the grand maisons of Beaune, indeed they still retain a strong contact with Joseph Drouhin for about 20% of their production.
The whole family lives in and around the buildings, under which a small old cellar has been twice extended. When Jean-Louis’ father stopped, his brother Didier joined in 1991, and maybe a 6th generation is on the way smiles Jean-Louis.
Jean-Louis says that he and Didier stay traditional in their approach, with focus on the soil, hoping that the maximum difference between the different plots are visible – “We are raisonée, not bio, but much of the operations are timed to the lunar cycles.” In the cuverie they have concrete tanks with thermo-regulation. About 30-50% new oak is used for 1ers and GCs, working with 4 coopers to reduce chances of ‘surprises’ including some blind tastings with their different coopers. About 50% of their production is exported, whilst “trying to remain fair on pricing, which is harder difficult as there have been some recent replanting.” Jean-Louis is currently the president of the Morey appellation, but with a smile he tells me that “Everything outside the bottle is hot air. The vines and the cellar are the key points.”
Jean-Louis on 2014:
“The vendanges went very well. There was a little triage, unlike 2015 where really there was nothing. Some parcels were touched by rot, but the overall maturities were good. There was a little reduction and quite long malos, but the results are fine. No stems were used in 2014 but some in 2015 as they were clearly riper. 2014 was okay for yields, but there was 20% less in 15.”
I would say quietly competent wines here, but that would be damning with faint praise. How about quietly excellent?
2014 Morey St.Denis
Various parcels including a little 1er Cru – 7 different lieu dits.
Deeply coloured. Starts overtly perfumed, almost with a pyrazine edge, but that quickly goes. Lovely in the mouth with a weight of concentration, dark red fruit. A long line of finishing flavour that’s still a hint bitter from the oak, but really lovely – really a special length for a villages.
Sited near Charmes-Chambertin
A hint of spice over darker fruit. Bigger, rounder, well-textured, a hint of tannic grab in the mid-palate but really a joyful dark wave of sweet fruit. Like the last wine the finish is really super, both are.
2014 Morey St.Denis 1er Millandes
A little tighter on the nose – just a suggestion of florals. Here is a more architectural, mineral and direct wine. – it demands your attention with great energy and fine complexity. Certainly less ready or charming today, but there’s great basic material – give this time.
2014 Morey St.Denis 1er Ruchottes
A hint of reduction. More supple than Millandes, nice over the palate, wider but still a hint mineral, really nice juice here, the tannin is more discreet than the previous wines.
2014 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Combottes
A darkly silky nose. Here is plenty of tannin, but an extra higher-toned dimension of fruit flavour – an excellent finish too!
Deeply aromatic, Bigger, richer, and super in the mouth, really lovely wine here. Small note, great wine!
How about some 2013s?
2013 Morey St.Denis
Deep, almost a macerating raspberry note at the base, becoming ever more overt. This has a lovely weight and texture – dark red fruit, ripe and supple. Really rather tasty – like all these wines there’s impressive persistence of flavour. Not an obviously higher acidity.
2013 Morey St.Denis 1er Aux Charmes
Open and pretty, rather a floral perfume here. Bigger in the mouth, a more intense mid-palate too, really some intensity here with a trace of bitter chocolate. The intensity slowly fades leaving a little tannic texture. Super.
2013 Morey St.Denis 1er Millandes
A more discreet nose, but slowly adding a layer of fruit/floral aroma. Here the intensity is cushioned by a little extra sweetness and some richness. Again there’s some tannin in the finish. Long…
2013 Morey St.Denis 1er Ruchottes
Deep dark fruit – as before – but here somehow much silkier. In the mouth too, there’s more silk but no less intensity but it’s cushioned with more richness, again a slightly bitter chocolate finish. Mouth-watering in the finish but only modestly so as there is still plenty of tannin for the flavour to seep through.
Wide, inviting, perhaps a hint of licorice, quite large in the mouth, some richness of texture too but behind is certainly some minerality and waves of concentrated fruit. Excellent
Wide with an impression of texture, slowly adding some higher-toned notes, the aromatic base remaining rather discreet. More muscular, beautifully if less richly textured, again a base of minerality here. Super finishing persistence. Excellent once more…