2017 Thomas Morey Bourgogne Chardonnay
Burgundy can be a hard place to farm – on the edge of a marginal climate, exceptionally small plots of vines, and a limited amount of land that can be planted. There’s only one thing that I can imagine could make winemaking in Burgundy even harder – having your dad as a living legend, world-renowned for his wines. Yet this is exactly the situation that Thomas Morey (and his wife Sylvie) have found themselves in:
After a career of star-studded bottles of wine, Thomas’ father, Bernard Morey, retired in the hallmark vintage of 2005. As is the custom, his estate was split between brothers Thomas and Vincent, the 10th generation of Moreys in Chassagne Montrachet. The brothers continued the domaine for two years, and then amicably split in 2007. “My idea was to revive a work tradition my grandparents had followed their entire lives,” Thomas told me. “If they could do it, why not us? Mine passed away not too long ago, and a lot of imagery came back to me. I started reconstructing their story: They provided us with such beautiful wines, and by taking this old-school approach, I hope to do the same.”
What this means for Thomas is no more chemicals being used in the vineyard. A mono-culture of grapes was also stopped – ground cover was allowed to grow, trees and other parts of the natural landscape are allowed to grow. While many would consider these practices organic or biodynamic, for Thomas they are simply the traditional way of making great wine.
The 2016 “Bourgogne” Chardonnay comes from two plots of vines in Chassagne-Montrachet. Therefore, those of you who play Insider Burgundy, now realize you’re getting a Chassagne-Montrachet at a shockingly low price.
Using two plots contributes to the complexity of this wine: The nose opens with aromas of white flowers, white peaches, wet stone minerality, lightly roasted tea and honeycomb. The palate shows the ’17 vintage – it remains fresh and quick across the tongue, lively, and full of mouthwatering acidity. To me, this wine is front and center classic white Burgundy – the kind that I chug like beer because it’s so refreshing. The complexity of Chassagne-Montrachet is certainly in this bottle – I’m just too busy happily drinking to take much notice. It came to us about two months ago, so it’s rested and ready to come out and play yet another year or two. Or, if given 10 years in the bottle, it will continue to grow in richness.
To my palate, Thomas Morey’s wines are in every way the equal to his father’s. And hardened Burgundy Fans will remember the price of his father’s wines before retirement. All wine drinkers have all experienced the regret, “I shoulda bought more when it was cheaper” – especially now with the tariff coming into effect. Don’t make that mistake now with Thomas’ wines. They are just too good to pass up.