Spotlight on White Burgundy: Pierre Morey “Morey-Blanc” Meursault Premier Cru Genevrieres 2001
The last example of Meursault I wrote about was not an example of the typical style for the Village, rather bearing a unique fruit characteristic likely from both the climat and vintage. Pierre Morey is a reliable producer of typical Meursault. Further, Genevriers is one of a trio of Premier Crus that are considered to be the very best of the village. Add 12 years of age, and you have a serious learning experience.
Top Vineyards and Aging White Burg
Genevrieres is one of the holy-trio of Meursault Vineyards along with Charmes and Perrieres. This clay-dominant vineyard faces east and sits at 240-280m above sea level. Several top producers, including Lafon, consider Genevrieres to be the best vineyard in Meursault, even over the famed Perrieres. It typically produces Chardonnays with flavours of lime, honey and hazelnut.
One of the great challenges with white Burgundy is the premature oxidation (“premox”) problem. This is particularly acute for top wines from leading climats like Genevrieres that are built and meant to age. How can one of the world’s top wines be plagued by such a travesty? It makes it difficult to collect white Burgs for aging for more than a handful of years – all the investment in time and money for naught when most other white wines do not have this problem. As I’ve mentioned before, there is no definitive understanding of the cause of this problem.
While a few of the very top producers have avoided this problem, I have never read Pierre Morey to be amongst them. Luckily for me, then, this 11 year old bottle had no signs of premox.
Pierre Morey is the winemaker for Domaine Leflaive, one of the leading white wine producers in Burgundy. While he makes a number of excellent Domaine wines, his full range is found under the “Morey Blanc” label, which uses purchased fruit (though vinified at the Domaine) but also includes wines from many leading vineyards. He has been farming organically/biodynamically since 1991 and seeks a similar approach from growers from whom he purchases fruit.
The Morey family itself is one of Burgundy’s oldest, having been in the region since the 18th century. There are now many Morey domaines, but Pierre’s remains the most famous for whites, having started his Domaine in 1971, inheriting both plots and share-cropping contracts from his father (including several for Comte Lafon, which has since reclaimed them).
This 2001 1er Cru is at peak right now. Pouring a fully mature dark gold colour, the nose does not present any problematic signs of premox, but instead candy apples and pears along with butterscotch and honey. While 2001 is a ‘lesser’ year, the wine is impressive, powerful and opulent on the palate, demonstrating what classic fully mature Meursault is all about. It is a huge contrast to the older Bonneau du Martray Corton’s I tasted, being fleshier, more hedonistic and less intellectual (and less complex). This is not the same quality material as the Corton wines, but it is delicious. Its easy drinkability is one of its best qualities. And, I paid an insanely low (basically unheard of) price for this – it goes to show what lesser vintages and backed up stock can do.
Very Good+ to Excellent
$20 at Garagiste (normally around $120-$150 retail)