Moreau-Naudet Chablis 1er Cru Montmains 2019 (75cl)Moreau-Naudet
90-93 points – Jasper Morris MW (Inside Burgundy)
“The domaine has one plot in Montmains itself, two in, butteaux and one in Vieux Mulot, old vines across the piece. The sample taken from tank has not yet fallen clear and has a grilled hazelnut reduction. However we can already see the quality in the generous depth of ripe fruit supplemented by a surge of energy at the back. Full-bodied, almost spicy, with a tasty long finish. Tasted: September 2020.”
Stéphane Moreau took over his family domaine in the 1990s and over the last 20 years has elevated it to become one of the top producers in Chablis. A dedicated artisan, Stéphane applied pre-industrial farming techniques to make truly distinctive wines, many of which came from vines that are more than 50 years old.
He used balanced and ripe grapes to avoid the overtly green flavours that mark many classic Chablis. To that end, he was often one of the latest pickers, but only selected the healthiest grapes.
Stéphane worked his land organically and as a vigneron, his star burned brightly but was extinguished all too soon. He passed away before the 2016 vintage and his wife Virginie Moreau now continues his legacy. She is honouring and evolving his winemaking practices, remaining true to the essence of the domaine.
Virginie’s methods are very similar to some of the best growers in Burgundy. She ploughs the vineyards, practices organic viticulture, harvests by hand, presses the whole berries, uses natural yeasts, and only low amounts of sulphur. She has demonstrated masterful cellar work, using barrel-elevage in an intelligent way to avoid any flavours of oakiness emerging in the wine.
Virginie uses steamed barrels rather than charred, reserving new oak for the straight Chablis, and even then, in a very limited way. As a result, her wines are full of racy character, texture and complexity.
“Textural but tangy, the wines do much to prove that ripe grapes and a faithful and differentiated expression of Chablis's diverse terroirs is possible. Despite challenging circumstances, this is a domaine that continues to thrive and produces very fine wines.” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate