Jean-Marc Morey

Morey-logo Jean-Marc Morey (2010) Morey-Santenay-Grand-Clos-Rousseau
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The Morey family is an extensive one with deep roots in the village of Chassagne Montrachet. Jean-Marc Morey created his own domaine in 1981 upon the retirement of his father Albert, who, at that point, divided his estate between his two sons (Jean-Marc and Bernard, Jean-Marc’s brother). Albert Morey was one of the first in Chassagne to bottle his own wines, beginning that tradition in 1950. Drawing upon the rich experience he obtained while working with his father, Jean-Marc has developed a very personal style that reflects a deep commitment to the concept of “terroir” and eschews the facility and homogeneity that characterizes many “modern” renditions of Burgundy (both red and white). We have had the pleasure of representing the wines of Jean-Marc Morey since the 1994 vintage.

Rather than splitting individual vineyard plots in half, the brothers decided to divide the holdings among the different appellations. In that way, the already small holdings were not fragmented further, as is common in Burgundy. Jean-Marc has 8.25 hectares of vineyards spread over the villages of Chassagne, St. Aubin, Santenay, and Beaune. Production is fairly evenly divided between white and red wine. The average age of the vines is over 35 years. Chardonnay yields average around 48 hl/ha; Pinot Noir yields are much lower, frequently coming in between 30 and 40 hl/ha. Jean-Marc does not believe in using the “green harvest” to control crop size. He prefers to control production very early in the season by removing excess buds at the moment before the vine expends its energy producing surplus flowers and clusters.

From the southern part of his holdings, Morey produces the great red Santenay 1er Cru “Grand Clos Rousseau”, the classic Santenay Rouge “Comme Dessus” as well as a small amount of Santenay Blanc “Les Cornières”. The bulk of his holdings are in Chassagne which enables him to produce a stunning array of whites that includes separately vinified and bottled wines from the 1er Cru lieu-dits of “Chaumées”, “Champs Gains”, “Caillerets”, and “Chenevottes”, along with his village wine; in red, he produces the fine 1er Cru from the “Champs Gains” vineyard and the equally regal 1er Cru “Clos Saint Jean”. As one turns the corner to St. Aubin, Morey exploits the the lovely 1er Cru vineyard of “Charmois” to produce a white of character and great value. Finally, from his beautifully situated plot in Beaune, he presents the elegant and complex red, Beaune 1er Cru “Greves”.

Jean-Marc Morey favors traditional vinification methods. He uses only wild yeast. For his white wines, the juice goes straight from the press into barrel for fermentation. With the gentler pneumatic press, he does not need to let the must decant to remove excessive particulate matter before fermentation. After fermentation, the wine rests on its lees and benefits from bâtonnage during its aging. His Pinot Noir is destemmed before going into cement tanks for fermentation and maceration. The red wines are also allowed to age on their lees while undergoing malolactic and further aging in barrel, adding complexity and roundness to the wine. Only about one quarter new oak is used and sometimes less. For Jean-Marc Morey oak is a necessary part of the “elevage” but it is an element that should never overwhelm the fruit or the “terroir”. The white wines are bottled the year immediately prior to the succeeding harvest and the reds spend an additional six months in barrel before being bottled in the late winter/early spring of the 2nd year after harvest.

Morey-Chass-Mont-Bergerie Chassagne Montrachet Blanc La Bergerie: Morey has four separate parcels at the village level in Chassagne. « La Bergerie » is situated in the northern sector of Chassagne near the border with Puligny. The vines here were planted in 1960, 1963 and 1975 making this a cuvée of distinctly old vines. Elevage is done in barrel with about 20% of those barrels being new. We generally put up a small amount of half bottles of this cuvée as well as full bottles.
Morey-Chass-Mont-Chaumees Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chaumées: The “Chaumées” vineyard is situated on a gentle slope that is in the northwest corner of Chassagne on the border with Saint Aubin. As is common with the 1er Crus in this section of Chassagne, the “Chaumées” from Jean-Marc Morey is an elegant, floral wine that is more welcoming in the early stages of its development than some of its brethren from other parts of Chassagne. Morey owns .37 hectare in “Chaumées”, annual production is about 2700 bottles. The vines were planted both in 1958 with a second parcel being replanted in 1989.
Morey-Chass-Mont-Chenevottes Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes: The “Chenevottes” vineyard is in the northernmost sector of Chassagne, bordering on Puligny. As such it qualifies as the most elegant wine of this group. Morey owns .22 hectare in “Chenevottes”. The vines therein were planted in 1980 and another part in 1991.
Morey-Chass-Mont-Champs-Gains Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs Gains: Jean-Marc Morey has a significant holding in « Champs Gains » of a bit more than one hectare. Three-quarters of a hectare is planted to Chardonnay to produce his white from the vineyard situated in the heart of the appellation. The vines were planted in 1967, some in 1971 and the most recent in 2009. Morey’s “Champs Gains” is a full-bodied, “fat” wine with lots of structure.
Morey-Chass-Mont-Caillerets Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets: Morey exploits nearly three-quarters of a hectare of vineyards in this most prestigious « cru » of Chassagne. The Morey vines were planted at four different times: 1951, 1965, 1973 and 1983. The vines sit on a plateau of deep clay under a stony limestone and are on a steep slope providing excellent drainage. The Caillerets is clearly the top white wine in Morey’s cellar.
Morey-Beaune-Greves Beaune Blanc 1er Cru Greves: Some years ago, Jean-Marc Morey grafted some of his vines in Beaune « Greves » over to Chardonnay from Pinot Noir to produce a rare but generous white from the Beaune appellation.
Morey-Santenay-Comme-Dessus Santenay Rouge Comme Dessus: Morey works a parcel just shy of half-hectare in size. The vines therein were planted in 1993. The subsoil in this sector of Santenay has a strong clay composition. The elevage is in barrel, approximately 25% of which is new.
Morey-Santenay-Grand-Clos-Rousseau Santenay Rouge 1er Cru Grand Clos Rousseau: In our opinion, perhaps the top red wine in the Morey range. The parcel is about one-half hectare in size and the vines were planted in 1993. The “Grand Clos Rousseau” from Morey is a classic rendition of the best of Santenay: intensely aromatic with notes of truffles, earth and red fruits, well-structured with a substantial backbone of grainy, sweet tannins.

Chassagne Montrachet Rouge 1er Cru Clos Saint Jean: One of the best sites in Chassagne for reds and Jean-Marc Morey captures its qualities well: quite spicy with a more supple note to its tannins although it is far from shy. He exploits .18 hectare of vines that were planted in 1987.

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