Today, much of Chablis is still harvested by machine, and use of herbicides and pesticides is prevalent. Much of what we've become accustomed to drinking from these famed limestone slopes is a crisp and lean wine that's really just the result of early picking and industrial farming focused on high yields. Stéphane Moreau knew there was an alternative route to take after becoming enchanted with the wines and the more natural approach by the revered Vincent Dauvissat.
Stéphane joined his father, taking control of the family domaine in 1999, and flipped everything on its head. Today the regimen is full organic farming with biodynamic principles, natural yeast ferments, and harvesting 100% by hand. Relentless focus in the vineyard means picking, here in the coldest region in France for still Chardonnay, is pushed as late as possible to ensure maximum ripeness.
The style here is supremely textural and deep Chardonnay, still with an unmistakable Chablisienne oyster-shell mineral component. The wines exemplify that ultimate ideal of density without weight. Moreau-Naudet joins the likes of Thomas Pico (Pattes Loup) and Alice et Olivier De Moor to embody this style perfectly.
Allen Meadows of Burghound was one of the first to highlight the success here,
"I find Moreau to be one of the most exciting young growers in Chablis and his wines are well worth the trouble to get to know if you haven't yet tried them."
Stéphane's Chablis and Petit Chablis are great introductions to the house style, and to the newer wave of exciting producers of the region. Both bottlings thrill in their perfect harmony of bright citrus, orange peel, crushed rocks, and finishing with hints of cream. The Petit Chablis is the more fruit-forward and round of the two. The Chablis shows more salinity and a mineral streak, both of which really soften beautifully with just a few minutes in glass.
2014 has proven to be one of the most exhilarating vintages for white Burgundy in the last several decades. The combination of ripeness, dry extract from thick skins, and bright acids makes them ones for the cellar. Quantities here are extremely limited- We highly suggest taking advantage of the best value in Chablis today.
2014 Moreau-Naudet Petit Chablis
$28 per bottle.
2014 Moreau-Naudet Chablis
$32 per bottle.