2017 Thomas Morey Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Embrazees
Along with the delightful 2017 Thomas Morey Bourgogne Chardonnay (see previous email), we also have two pitch-perfect premier cru Chassagne Montrachets from the Morey family. A fun study in two totally contrasting terroirs, they will make a believer out of anyone that the place makes the taste.
The family has been farming these plots for decades, and I thought for your upcoming tasting of terroir, you might like to hear what the Moreys have to say:
“Morgeot derives from two named plots: ‘Les Brussonnes’ and ‘Les Fairendes’. The first of these was planted in 1986 and is a recent acquisition which first was included in our cuvée of Morgeot in 2005. Half of the vines in ‘Les Fairendes’ were planted in 1964 and the remainder in 1974. This property has been in our family for a long time and was owned by my great-grandfather at the beginning of the last century.
“’Les Brussonnes’ is on a slight slope, the soil porous, shallow and with small stones overlying bedrock. ‘Les Fairendes’ lies above ‘La Boudriotte’ on deeper soil where rocks break the surface. Up-slope, the stony red soil is shallow but gets deeper lower down the slope where the soil is white, heavy, compacted and clayey.
“This handsome portion of the Morgeot appellation produces excellent white wines – meaty, opulent, rich, unctuous and less mineral than those from “Ruchottes” or “Caillerets”. These wines have real complexity. They are rich and well-balanced and need at least 5 to 7 years to reach their peak.”
“Lying in the southern part of the Chassagne appellation, it rubs shoulders with the 1er cru Santenay plots ‘La Comme’ and ‘Les Gravières’. This 1er cru plot occupies one of our most elevated situations.
“Brought back under cultivation in the early sixties, this climat was totally abandoned after the phylloxera crisis due to its distance from the village. The truffle-bearing oaks which had grown up there had diameters of 40-50 cm, testimony to a long period of disuse.
“The slightly-sloping ground is banked, the soil not very stony and, up-slope, fairly deep and compact, resembling white clay.
“Two parcels, equal in area, planted in 1973 and 2002 respectively, yield this wine which generally offers great delicacy, elegance and minerality. In youth in can be a touch acidic but this is a guarantee of its keeping qualities.”
This climat which lies at the southern extremity of the Chassagne appellation adjoining the first Santenay vineyards is the most highly reputed of our domaine. Completely abandoned after the phylloxera crisis, this vineyard was brought back into cultivation as part of a reorganisation carried out by my grandfather Albert Morey in the late fifties. The vines currently growing here were planted in 1961.
This gently sloping hillside is of very stony red soil, rich in fossils, not very deep, and with underlying broken rock, poor in nutrients, which allows water to filter through. Stony soils like these are very warm as the stone captures and holds the sun’s heat – hence the plot’s name “Les Embrazées”, which carries the sense of burning heat.
The wines from this terroir are highly aromatic and already enjoyable in their first year. At this stage they have a fresh and delicate perfume of white flowers and white fruits which continues to evolve with time. Likeable and with good concentration, they are at their very best in their fifth year but can take longer ageing when the vintage is right.
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