About this WINE
Domaine Pierre Morey
Domaine Pierre Morey is, unsurprisingly, the own domaine of acclaimed winemaker for Domaine Leflaive, Pierre Morey. While he is more famous for this latter role, Pierre owns 11 hectares of his own vines in his domaine, which was founded in 1971, two-thirds of which are white. He has several holdings in Meursault, Pommard and Puligny-Montrachet, as well as a few Grand Cru plots.
The Meursault branch of the Morey family, originally from Chassagne, dates back to 1793 when Alexis Morey, visiting Meursault at dead of night with a clandestine priest (this was during the ‘terror’ years of the Revolution) fell in love with a Mademoiselle Millot and married her. A multitude of inheritances (Alexis had 31 grandchildren) and difficult economic circumstances at various times meant that Pierre Morey’s father Auguste had only a few simple vineyards of his own, though he supplemented his supply with sharecropping contracts, most notably with the Domaine des Comtes Lafon. Pierre took these over in the early 1970s but in 1984 the Lafon family announced their intention to take back their vineyards as the agreements expired over the next few years, since Dominique Lafon was planning to work full time at the domaine.
Fortunately Pierre was shortly afterwards hired as general manager of Domaine Leflaive (from 1988 until retirement in summer 2008), while he also set up his negociant business, Morey Blanc, to replace the loss of the Lafon vineyards. He has also been able to purchase a few plots of vines himself. He has now been joined in both domaine and the negociant business by his daughter Anne.
The vineyards have been farmed organically since 1993 and biodynamically since 1998. The white grapes are crushed before pressing, with very little clarification of the juice, while Pierre likes regular lees stirring until Christmas – rarely thereafter except in years with higher acidity and late malolactic fermentation such as 1993 and 2007. Typically the wines are raised in one third each new wood, one year old and two year old, before racking into older barrels before the next vintage, and bottling the following spring.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
Morey is sometimes ignored between its two famous neighbours, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin, but its wines are of equal class, combining elegance and structure. Morey-St Denis, being that little bit less famous, can often provide excellent value.
The four main Grand Cru vineyards continue in a line from those of Gevrey-Chambertin, with Clos St Denis and Clos de la Roche the most widely available. Clos des Lambrays (almost) and Clos de Tart (entirely) are monopolies of the domains which bear the same names.
Domaine Dujac and Domaine Ponsot also make rare white wines in Morey-St Denis.
- 64 hectares of village Morey-St Denis
- 33 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (20 in all). Best vineyards include Les Charmes, Les Millandes, Clos de la Bussière, Les Monts Luisants
- 40 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard. Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays, Clos de la Roche, Clos St Denis and a tiny part of Bonnes Mares
- Recommended Producers: Dujac, Ponsot, Clos de Tart, Domaine des Lambrays
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.