Benoît Moreau – 2020

Update 28.11.2022(23.12.2021)billn

Benoît Moreau 2021Tasted on the border of Chassagne and Santenay, with Benoît Moreau, 04 November 2021.

Domaine Benoît Moreau
5 rue aligoté
Zac du pré fleury
21190 Chassagne-Montrachet

Since 1990, Benoît Moreau worked at the very well thought of, 15 hectare family domaine, Bernard Moreau in Chassagne-Chassagne. Latterly he shared its running with his brother Alex but, for some time, he thought more and more about taking his own road.

Benoît eventually quit the family domaine in 2020 after announcing his intentions to the family one year earlier. This lead-time gave him the opportunity to build up his new facility in Chassagne, such that he could be sufficiently prepared for harvesting his own vines in 2021. To prime the pump he was helped out by friends who sold to him the produce of some great vineyards to get him started in 2020 – some family vines were coming but they were only planned to arrive in 2021.

I got the chance to visit Benoît and taste his 2020s in the new cuverie. “Yes, I’m starting to do quite a few tastings,” tells Benoît, “And that’s because I’m doing my best not to poach any clients from the family domaine – so I have to meet a lot of new people. I started with 4.2 hectares in 2021 so that means I’ll have several thousand bottles to sell in 2 years. So whilst the lack of clients to start with focuses the mind, it does offer me the chance to start as I mean to go on – with a proper 18 months of elevage before bottling.

Benoît, with a friend from the Côte de Beaune, has also invested in some well-placed vines in Beaujolais – Chiroubles and Morgon – sitting on the hillside between Bellevue and Truges. These have been worked biodynamically from the start and had their first harvest in 2021. In fact, all the work is biodynamic though that’s only just been installed in Beaujolais where they have begun the certification process. For the newly arrived 2021 domaine wines, they have already been worked Biodynamically by Benoît since 2013 but were not previously certified – that process is also now underway.

Benoît on 2021:
2021 was just a bit more than half a harvest – St.Aubin, in particular, En Remilly was the worst with 12 hl/ha. The worst was in the crus but Bourgognes and Villages were closer to normal volumes, so I finished with 25-30 hl/ha.

The wines…

This vintage is a fine introduction to the work of Benoît Moreau. The first couple of wines I was wondering if the richness was sufficiently balanced by the freshness – thereafter I didn’t give it a second thought – excellent wines – a couple that are really worthy of a special search.

These 2020s were all small contract purchases, covering 10 different labels from Bourgogne to Grand Cru. It will be cork for all these wines, Benoît plans to bottle the Bourgogne in December and the rest starting from March 2022:

2020 Bourgogne Blanc
This was declared as Bourgogne Côte d’Or – vines in the commune of Chassagne – but he’s not yet sure how it will be labelled. It was racked before harvest and is currently on fining.
That’s a nicely floral and wide nose. Supple, concentrated but with plenty of energy too. Salinity and really showing a finishing concentration and complexity.

2020 St.Aubin 1er Champlots
Tasted from barrel
A narrower nose with a vibration of energy – that’s a fine invitation. Deep, concentrated again but here’s a bit more of up-lifting energy. Layered flavour, some floral extras too, rich but delicious.

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet
This assembled, like the Bourgogne
A little more width of aroma and just as vibrant as the last. Extra freshness here – this has energy, depth of flavour and tons of complexity. Thats a seriously super villages!

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Jean
A more concentrated but nicely fresh width of yellow citrus, modestly floral too. Intense, cool fruit, layered and very mouth-watering – juicy finishing. The faintest accent of barrel but that won’t hang around for long!

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Champsgains
Wider, fuller and more floral. Vibrant, faintly reductive and mineral, again beautifully mouth-watering- complex and long – contemplative finish really a great finish.

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Fairendes
More airy, fresh citrus fruit complexity. Really a great attack of pure flavour – mineral, mobile, layered concentration of flavour – that’s a super wine

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Remilly
That’s a beautiful nose, complex, deep and inviting almost a suggestion of spice. Mouth-filling, full of energy, melting with flavour – a wine of impact and modest oak flavour that I would wait 5 years before returning to it could be a great one.

2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Combettes
An airier and very attractive width of aroma. Mouth-filling – there’s extra attack here – but really lots of middle and finishing concentration too. Never heavy – thats really super impressive wine.

2020 Corton-Charlemagne
Less overt fruit aroma here but it shows an airy width. Nicely structural, well-defined shape and style again. So much concentration but with flavour thats never heavy and melts in fine style over the palate – another wine for keeping but also another potentially great one if the nose comes out to play…

2020 Bâtard-Montrachet
Very elegant for Bâtard, complex, floral and inviting. Freshness wraps this wine, again with great concentration – not the slightest suggestion of heaviness. Then a width of finishing flavour that opens, wider and wider, and a faint accent act of phenolic texture. Thats a very fine wine, concentrated but elegant, if less overtly concentrated and structured than the last couple of wines.

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