Domaine Bernard Moreau Bourgogne Blanc 2017
The 1er Cru Chardonnays from Domaine Bernard Moreau are barrel fermented and aged in French oak barrels (10%-30% new). The wine spends between 12 and 18 months in wood with regular lees stirring for added texture. Says Bernard, "The spirit of our winemaking is to not touch the wine too often. For Chardonnay our aim is to produce very clean and precise wines which are not too austere. We like the minerality and purity."
Bernard Moreau is a viticulteur based in the village of Mancey, in the northernmost part of the Macon wine region. He has been in charge of his 8 hectare family domaine since 1982, when he took over from his father. The vineyards are planted with 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, and 30% Gamay vines. The Bernard Moreau Bourgognes transcend their origins and are among the finest estate-bottled Burgundy values available. Moreau adheres to the principle of sustainable agriculture. He takes great care to ensure that his vines are in excellent health by constantly observing the vegetative cycle and the natural environment. His observations allow Moreau to take the minimal necessary measures and avoid synthetic chemical treatments. Moreau plants grass between rows and leaves vine cuttings on the soil as mulch in order to control erosion and enrich the microbiological vitality of the soil. He ferments with only native yeasts.
A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. While the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here—soil type, elevation and angle of each slope—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one or two rows of vines. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.
Burgundy’s cool, continental climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. In some years spring frost and hail must be overcome.
The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red and white are produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne. The Mâconnais produces soft and round, value-driven Chardonnay while Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy, is a paradise for any lover of bright, acid-driven and often age-worthy versions of the grape.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.