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Average critic rating : 92.0 points
The 2013 Chassagne-Monrachet 1er Cru Les Grands Ruchottes comes from the domaine’s oldest vines planted all the way back in 1939. It has one of Moreau’s more expressive noses with hints of almond, melted butter, walnut and Mirabelle, gaining more and more intensity in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with a keen line of acidity. There is plenty of citrus fruit here, accompanied by orange peel and a dab of marmalade that segues toward a harmonious, quite tensile finish. This is divine.||Though I have been following the wines for a number of years, this was actually (perhaps unforgivably?) the first time that I have visited the domaine, located not far from the Château de Chassagne. I met Alec Moreau at the winery to taste through his 2013s: a vigneron with good English having apprenticed in New Zealand, subsequently starting work with his father Bernard in 1995 and undertaking his first full vintage in 1999. Their portfolio consists of their own vines supplemented by purchased fruit, although they undertake the harvesting of those parcels themselves in order to maintain quality, including the two grand crus. | |“The 2013 was a vintage that was hard from the beginning,” he explained, echoing the sentiments of practically everyone in Burgundy. “The spring was difficult and it was trouble getting into the vineyard to spray. Half of our 14 hectares of vine had to be sprayed by hand because we could not do it by tractor. The flowering was a bit late so we knew the picking was going to be likewise. When you have a hard vintage you have to make crucial decisions that would affect the final quality [of the wine]. We were supposed to pick the 3 October, but we picked the 28 September as we were afraid to lose some acidity and we could see a bit of botrytis beginning to develop. We only work with natural yeasts so alcoholic fermentation can sometimes take up to five months. This year it took 6 or 7 months to see which direction the wines would go. I feel that it is a vintage where the style of the domaine comes through, so it is hard to speak of a general style of the vintage. But I feel that it is a vintage to drink younger.”||Readers will already know that I have a lot of admiration for the wines of this domaine that ought to be better known. Certainly in 2013 I feel that the vintage plays to their strengths within a consistent portfolio of white wines, the reds seemingly more affected by the vintage, in particular the Volnays that were missing a little substance. Still, there are many splendid white 2013s here that are clean and crisp, extremely focused and brimming over with minerality right down to the Bourgogne Blanc. Those on a budget should check out Moreau’s over-achieving Chassagne-Montrachet Village, those with more spare pennies, the wonderful, exuberant Chassagne-Montrachet Maltroie. The two Grand Crus are impressive although it is the Chassagne premier crus where the real excitement lies. | eRobertParker.com.December, 2014
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