Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge by Caroline Morey | 2018
A Perfect Red Burgundy for Sharing Now (or Later)
Caroline Morey is Burgundy royalty. The daughter of well known winemaker, Jean-Marc Morey, she inherited a portion of her father's vineyards (after his retirement in 2014). The "cherry on top" to the story is that she's married to the brilliant producer Pierre-Yves Colin, and together they share a cellar, crafting some of the world's most elite Burgundies. Their winemaking philosophies are almost mirror images — natural yeasts, larger barrels, partial use of clusters for red, and no stirring of the lees for the whites. Simple, terroir-forward wines.
I remember when the Caroline Morey wines first arrived to the United States. Five years ago, I was a sommelier working in San Francisco, and the petite Ms. Morey was "on tour," showcasing her tiny collection to geeky sommeliers and Burgundy hoarders. The line-up of mostly whites was no-short of impressive, but it's this sleeper red that I've grown to love. Upon release, last summer, I couldn't resist opening a bottle, yet I admit it, I was disappointed: the wine was closed, taut, and slightly raspy. But, what a difference time makes; it's an important lesson, not only for Burgundy, but for all fine wine. After six months, the wine had completely transformed, like a colorful puzzle finally finding its corner pieces and a few odds-and-ends in the middle.
Made from three different plots within the Chassagne appellation, the average age of the vines is 50 years old! With 30% new oak, it's a bit liberal for a classic Chassagne village-level recipe, but the wines proves (after time), that the oak invisibly melts into the intensity of the fruit and earth. With an exuberant nose of crushed black fruits, tea leaf, and spice, this Burgundy is not at its peak, but who cares... because it's pretty darn tasty now!
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