About The Wine
One of our best “value” Burgundies—and I use that word more specifically for wines that actually perform at a much higher level than their price, not just a cheap version of a Burgundy—has always been Morey’s red Monthélie appellation wine. Sourced from six different biodynamically farmed parcels, it showcases some almost forgotten savory and earthy Burgundian notes that have often been overlooked or neglected in lieu of the more modernly styled, flashy, fruit-forward Burgundian profile that dominates the attention of many of the new-to-the-game Burgundy drinkers. Monthélie and the many often described “lesser” appellations away from the main face of the Côte d’Or and tucked back closer to refreshing forests and cooler climates, are terribly undervalued for those seeking wines appropriately matched up for a meal with all of their savory goodness. Pierre Morey’s Monthélie 1er Cru usually goes into their appellation wine because the parcel is so small that it’s not worth bottling alone. However, in 2017, the yield was sufficient to bottle it alone for only the second time ever, making it truly a rare treat from this cellar.
Morey’s website describes this vineyard as a beautiful plot, ideally situated on a steep slope with access to the advantageous southeast exposure. (As far as I remember I haven’t seen these particular vines in person, though I’ve visited Pierre and Anne’s other vineyards many times as well as some in Monthélie over the nine years working together, so I’ll take their word for it because every one of their vineyards is beautiful.) It should be noted that the appellation has two valleys with the bigger one shaped like a (rad!) snowboard or skate-park half-pipe that carved all the way north through the Combe Danay, with a smaller valley tucked behind the south hill of Volnay, in more of an amphitheater shape where the vineyards crest at the top of the hill. The smaller amphitheater valley is the location of the majority of the premier cru sites, but this tiny 0.14 hectare premier cru plot comes from Les Clous, located in the half-pipe wind tunnel of the Combe Danay. The vines were planted in the mid-1960s on limestone rock-filled clay topsoil and limestone bedrock.
So, what does it taste like…? JD Plotnick, one of our extremely astute colleagues who services the majority of the top restaurants in Los Angeles on behalf of our company, to write notes on the 2017 wine. He explained: “Upon opening, the nose is a mix of mossy damp earth and bright red raspberry fruit (almost cranberry-like), with hints of purple and black fruit as the wine gets more air, all while staying pretty firmly within the red spectrum. On the palate, the sweetness of the fruit makes it easy and pleasurable as it maintains a fine and somewhat serious character. Early on the wine’s finish is long and shows its premier cru quality. Continuing to unfold in the second glass, it expresses more pronounced minerality as a savory umami character emerges, and there is a great balance of richness and extremely generous bright crunchy fruit. Two hours in, a strong, sappy resinous darker core emerges and balances the bright snappy fruit as it continues to build upon and integrate the duality of its strong earth and fruit qualities. More than five hours into the wine’s evolution it maintains tremendous lift while its savory qualities and more red and slightly purple floral tones begin to take shape. Riding the line nicely between immediate pleasure and a bit of seriousness, this is an exceptional young Burgundy. And it doesn’t need age to become delicious, though it will certainly gain more complexity with another ten years of cellaring.” (tasted October 2020)