Domaine Jean-Marc Morey

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Country of Origin: France
Location: Côte de Beaune, Burgundy
People: Jean-Marc Morey, Owner & Winemaker

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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).

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 green harvesting 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 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 them. 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 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.