• Moreau-Naudet Chablis: The Magic Touch

    Moreau-Naudet Chablis: The Magic Touch

    Chablis continues to offer value that's seemingly more and more unmatched. While prices of white Burgundy in the Côte de Beaune climb, Chablis from artisanal producers continually over-deliver at various price points. The small domaine of Moreau-Naudet really captures the best of this current state of affairs in Chablis.Quantities may be painfully low, but quality couldn't be higher.

    Today, I'm happy to offer a wide range from Moreau-Naudet stretching from 2016 back to 2013.

    Moreau-Naudet falls into a select camp of Chablis producers who are incredibly skilled in pushing ripeness to the max the old fashioned way, serious hands-on farming. In the cellar, the non-interventionist approach is then focused on two elements above all: preserving the distinctive characteristics of each Premier and Grand Cru site, and maintaining tension and salinity to counter this riper style of Chablis. 

    Sadly, 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. The late 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."
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • 2017 Terroir de Patrick Piuze:  Chablis King-in-Waiting

    2017 Terroir de Patrick Piuze: Chablis King-in-Waiting

    Overwhelmingly it's agreed that Raveneau and Dauvissat represent the most crowning achievements in Chablis. If there was one king-in-waiting, it would be Patrick Piuze. 

    Today, I'm happy to offer the great 2017 value wines from Patrick Piuze that showcase two sides of Chablis, the Terroir de Chichée & Terroir de Chablis, both for $35 per bottle. As well as the secret gem of Patrick's Premier Cru range, the Vaillons "Les Minots".

    2017 is undoubtedly the most exciting vintage in Chablis since 2014. Many winemakers noted the sense of balance is even better in 2017. Piuze's Terroir de Chichée and Terroir de Chablis are the two standouts in this respective series. 

    Terroir de Chichée captures the most classic profile of Chablis, with crisp green apple and citrus tones, crushed oyster shells, and superior cut. The Chichée also has hints of orange blossom and a waxy texture giving an incredibly dynamic take of this Kimmeridgian limestone's archetype.

    Terroir de Chablis, alternatively, shows a more ripe and softer texture with flavors pushing into the golden orchard fruit register. But, this wine's mouth-watering acidity hits right in the back corners of the palate, delivering a fantastic juxtaposition. There's a dazzling level of clarity here that's impossible to miss. Tasting this again with Piuze's importer on Wednesday I could not but help going back to the glass over and over. 

    Premier Cru Vaillons "Les Minots" is a special parcel within the larger Vaillons vineyard exploited only by Piuze. This microclimate tends to showcase more warmth in the best sense. There's a honeyed character to the fruit that never comes across heavy or cloying. It's perfectly countered by fresh saline tones and Premier Cru length. For the 1ers from Piuze, this is tops. It's also quite a bit less expensive than perhaps the more recognizable Montée de Tonnerre and Les Sechets of Raveneau and Dauvissat fame, respectively.

    Piuze is a wizard at working with both stainless steel and oak to craft Chardonnay from Chablis' fossilized ancient sea bed that delivers the grandeur expected from these top vineyards. Like Raveneau and Dauvissat, it's the regal structure, seamless contours, and definitive cut married to this breadth that places Piuze in such elite company.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen