Domaine Bernard Moreau Chassagne-Montrachet 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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 Côte de Beaune village of Burgundy most famous for its beautifully textured and powerful whites, Chassagne-Montrachet reaches farthest south in the Côte d’Or, save for the village of Santenay. It has three Grands Crus vineyards: Le Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet. Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet overlap with and are (confusingly) shared with the village of Puligny-Montrachet. But Chassagne-Montrachet bears sole ownership of the Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru.
The beauty doesn’t stop there as the village has a great many outstanding Premiers Crus wines and village level wines. Most famous Premiers Crus vineyards include Les Chenevottes, Clos de la Maltroie, En Cailleret and Les Ruchottes. Also, village level wines offer many lovely examples of what Chassagne-Montrachet has to offer, but at more approachable price points and perhaps less demand of waiting.
The best sites in Chassagne-Montrachet have complex soils of sedimentary rock and limestone (with less marl). Whites, which are by law composed of 100% Chardonnay (as in all classified white Burgundy from Côte d’Or), have steely power, bright and concentrated citrus, stone or tropical fruit characteristics and attractive textures ranging from plush to tactile, grippy and mineral-driven.
There is some fine Pinot Noir produced from the village. These wines tend to be high-toned and earthy, with wild herb aromas and suave tannins.
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.