Domaine Bernard Moreau & 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 esponsibilities 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.”
NOTES FROM BURGHOUND.COM
Benoît Moreau told me that the 2015 “growing season was, somewhat ironically, easy and stressful at the same time. The season itself was relatively straightforward yet the stress arrived when it became clear that the harvest was going to be very early given how hot it was. This is to say how to choose the right moment to pick so we obtained ripe fruit where it was possible to preserve the freshness in the wines. Ultimately we chose to attack the picking on the 28th of August and brought in super-clean fruit and the highest potential alcohol we had was 13.1%. As such we were very happy that we started as early as we did because had we waited much longer we might very well have had wines that exceeded 14%, which isn’t at all our style. Given that it was clear that the whites would be very rich we chose to lower the percentage of new oak. One interesting aspect of the whites is how stable they have been relative to dissolved oxygen. In fact, in 20 years of doing this I have never seen such stable wines as they have required very little in the way of sulfur additions.”