Product information

Domaine Bernard Moreau Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Grandes Ruchottes’ 2020

Chardonnay from France, Côte du Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy

$625

Closure: Cork
From the elevated line of Chassagne 1er Cru's pushing towards Grand Cru status, including La Romanée and Les Caillerets

Description

Here too there is a hint of mineral reduction lurking in the background of the cool aromas of Granny Smith apples, white flower and a vague wisp of exotic tea. There is superb intensity to the sappy and voluminous medium weight plus flavors that possess a highly attractive sense of underlying tension on the focused, balanced and impressively long finale. This beauty is quite tightly wound at present and a wine that should repay extended keeping. Highly recommended.

Allen Meadows, Burghound 92-95 Points ♥ Sweet spot Outstanding


The 2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Grandes Ruchottes is as brilliant as usual. Offering up aromas of pear, crisp green apple, white flowers, Meyer lemon, pastry cream, beeswax and freshly baked bread, it’s medium to full-bodied, deep and satiny, with prodigious levels of concentration, racy acids and chalky structuring extract. Concluding with a long, penetrating finish, it’s built for the cellar.

William Kelley, The Wine Advocate 94-96 Points

From a 1939 planting, the only vines planted by Alexandre’s grandfather Marcel and not his father Bernard; following the damaging frost here in 2016, he pulled up part of the old vines last spring. A superb wine, Alex’s longest lived 1er Cru. Only 25-35cm of topsoil on limestone bed rock. La Roche Mare – The mother rock. Incredible power, balanced with insane minerality. It always takes a little time to resolve. Alex tends to drink these at 4-8 years after they have fully resolved and express the terroir and before they develop more dominant secondary characters.

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Check out all of the wines by Domaine Alex Moreau

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

… I do want to draw readers’ attention to two growers in Chassagne Montrachet who are “killing it” at the moment. Firstly, there is Alex Moreau at Domaine Bernard Moreau. This is a domaine whose wines have risen to a whole new level in recent years. Moreau’s portfolio is a veritable tour around Chassagne’s Premier Crus, showcasing the nuances between climats on the flatter lower sectors and more limestone-rich parcels located on higher contour…

Vinous – Neal Martin 2020

Full disclaimer – Domaine Bernard-Moreau et Fils has a sentimental place in my wine history. Alex came to work with us at Yering Station in 1999, I headed to Chassagne later that year working with him for the harvest. The hospitality of his family and the people of Chassagne was boundless! Since then the Domain’s portfolio has expanded to include a presence in Volnay and the addition of the two Grand Cru’s Bâtard-Montrachet and Chevalier-Montrachet. Under Alex’s leadership, the wines have continued to push to achieve excellence. It’s with a certain amount of pride that I offer his wines to the Wine Decoded community.

Vintage 1999 at Domain Bernard Moreau

The landscape of runs from just south of Chassagne (left) across to Puligny. The Grand Cru’s are in the 2nd and 3rd photo from the right. Yes, these pic’s were taken pre-digital! Read an almost finished retrospective of the vintage in the Wine Bites Mag.

About Domain Bernard-Moreau et Fils

The winery’s roots go back to 1809 when Auguste Moreau built a cellar across from the Champs Gain vineyard and farmed his few hectares of Chardonnay and Pinot along the golden slope. The 1930s saw an expansion of the family’s vineyards under the guidance of Marcel Moreau.

Roughly 80% of the Domaine’s current vineyard holdings were acquired by Marcel. At age 14, Bernard Moreau took over the vineyards and cellar in the early 1960’s. In 1977 the reputation of this great estate was fully established under the leadership of Bernard and Françoise Moreau and the winery was named Domaine Bernard Moreau. In addition to the changes in equipment, farming and winemaking, they also purchased additional land bringing the vineyard total to 14 hectares. To help with winemaking, viticulture and sales, sons Alex and Benoît joined the Domaine after having worked in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Alex and Benoit loosely split the responsibilities of the operation with Benoit more focused on the vineyards and Alex more focused on the cellar.

As with most all great Burgundian estates, the emphasis at Domaine Moreau is on terroir. Treat the vineyards right and they’ll reward you ith superior fruit. To maintain healthy, balanced soils the winery uses organic fertilizers and no pesticides. To ensure greater flavor intensity they farm the land for lower yields through pruning, debudding, green harvesting in August, leaf thinning for Pinot Noir (on the morning sun side), and the planting of cover crops in certain vineyards to encourage competition and soak up moisture.

The 1er Cru Chardonnays are barrel fermented and aged in French oak barrels (10%-30% new). The wine spends between 12 and 18 months in wood with a little lees stirring early on 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.”

The red wines are aged in French oak barrels (10%-50% new) for 12 to 20 months depending on the vineyard and vintage. Bernard states, “For our Pinot Noirs we don’t do any racking, fining or filtration. We want to make the purest expression of the Pinot Noir from our vineyards.”

Levi Dalton spoke with Alex about his start at progression at Domaine Bernard Moreau.

The 2020 Vintage at Domaine Bernard-Moreau

Notes from Burghound:

Alexandre Moreau told me that the 2020 growing season “was again mostly hot and very dry though at least there was not much disease pressure beyond a minor attack of oidium. We picked from the 22nd of August and the fruit was clean, ripe and moderately abundant as yields ranged from a low of 35 hl/ha to a high of 50 hl/ha. Potential alcohols were really pretty moderate given the warmth of the growing season as they ranged from 12.6 to 13.4%. What I find so surprising about the 2020 vintage is how such a warm growing season could produce such fresh wines. Moreover, they are not only fresh, but the underlying terroir is really quite distinct.” As is typically the case at this address, there are a number of wines worthy of your interest though one wine that really stood out relative to its place in the hierarchy was the Chassagne villages followed by a brilliant Grandes Ruchottes.


The 2020 vintage has turned out brilliantly at Domaine Bernard Moreau—but what’s new? Alex Moreau readied his harvesters promptly, as it takes eight days to pick the whole domaine, and began on August 20th. Yields were good, and the cellar is full (which is not the case in 2021), with alcohols moderate, the highest being 13.4%. As usual, the fruit is crushed before pressing (which lasts up to three and a half hours), briefly settled and barreled down (François Frères is the predominant cooper here) for vinification with plenty of lees, Moreau doing nothing to discourage quite protracted fermentations, which he finds build texture and complexity into the wines. For my palate, the results are some of the finest white wines produced on the Côte de Beaune, and they occupy a prominent place in my personal cellar. The market is certainly taking notice, and prices are rising fast, but readers won’t want to miss the 2020s.

William Kelley, The Wine Advocate


Nature is a tough taskmaster. Alex shares a depth of insight rarely explored. Just how do the best winemakers deal with tough vintages? What goes through their brains? How far ahead do they need to think?

You’ll hear Alex talk of the unknown, of thinking 3 years ahead in the vineyard, and, of the choices needed when your vineyard produces just two barrels instead of 12. The footage is ordinary, the words authentic.

92-95 Points

Here too there is a hint of mineral reduction lurking in the background of the cool aromas of Granny Smith apples, white flower and a vague wisp of exotic tea. There is superb intensity to the sappy and voluminous medium weight plus flavors that possess a highly attractive sense of underlying tension on the focused, balanced and impressively long finale. This beauty is quite tightly wound at present and a wine that should repay extended keeping. Highly recommended. ♥ Sweet spot Outstanding

Allen Meadows, Burghound

94-96 Points

The 2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Grandes Ruchottes is as brilliant as usual. Offering up aromas of pear, crisp green apple, white flowers, Meyer lemon, pastry cream, beeswax and freshly baked bread, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and satiny, with prodigious levels of concentration, racy acids and chalky structuring extract. Concluding with a long, penetrating finish, it's built for the cellar.

William Kelley, Parker's Wine Advocate

Where in the world does the magic happen?

3 Rue de Chagny, 21190 Chassagne-Montrachet, France

Chassagne-Montrachet
Côte du Beaune
Burgundy
France