DOMAINE BERNARD MOREU ET FILS
“Alex and Benoît Moreau’s reputation for exceptional Chardonnay continues to gather apace…on the evidence of the outstanding results of recent vintages, the sky now seems to be the limit for this historic domaine” – Dan Keeling, Noble Rot Issue 16.
Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils in Chassagne-Montrachet is today under the stewardship of Bernard’s sons Alex and Benoît. Alex’s main task lies in the cellar and Benoît tends to the vines, although they are closely interlinked and work together in the majority of aspects. The domaine was created in 1809 by Auguste Moreau and has been in the family ever since. During the 1930’s Marcel Moreau was responsible of attaining more vineyards, that expansion accounts for about 80 % of the vineyards holdings of today. Bernard, whom the domaine is named after, took over the production in the early 1960’s at the young age of 14. It was under Bernard Moreau in the late 70’s that the domaine really began to be recognised for its astonishing wines.
Today the Moreau’s farm 14 hectares of vines, largely in the commune of Chassagne-Montrachet but some tiny holdings are located in Volnay and Saint-Aubin. Chardonnay dominates but some Pinot Noir is also grown, Moreau being known for producing some of the best reds in Chassagne-Montrachet. Bottlings include Morgeot, Grandes Ruchottes, La Maltroie, Les Chenevottes, Chevalier-Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet to name a few. Like the vast majority of great estates in Bourgogne the focus lies on terroir, therefore it is a given for Alex and Benoît to farm the vineyards in a sustainable manner. Pesticides and herbicedes are completely eschewed, instead plowing is applied, and when needed only organic fertiliser is used. Yields are kept low through pruning, debudding, and when appropriate green harvesting around August. Cover crops are used, and grapes are only harvested by hand.
Alex and Benoît belong to the new generation of talented winemakers in Bourgogne whom are characterised by formal studies and international experience — but the wines go through classic Burgundian winemaking. Whites see whole bunch pressing, lengthy fermentations which is the preference here, carried out by ambient yeast, extended ageing on the lees without stirring (12-20 months), and new oak ranges between 10-50 %. Bigger barrels is the melody and when the percentage of new oak gets higher Alex is thorough when choosing the degree of toasting (low-med) in order to not impart excessive oak influence.
Alex and Benoît holds the talent to really show the diversity of Chassagne-Montrachet’s different terroirs, each wine truly expressing its specific origin, something far from all vignerons are capable to do. Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils is today one of the most exciting producers in Côte d’or. Crafting intense, elegantly textural, utterly delicious wines full of balance and finesse.