Domaine Moreau-Naudet

France, Burgundy

A domaine of 25 hectares, of which 3 are in Petit Chablis, 11 or 12 in Chablis, 3 in Vaillons, 2 in Forets, 1.6 in Montmains, 0.86 in Montée de Tonnerre, and 0.58 in Valmur. (Yes, this does not make 25 - there are further parcels of young vines in the Courgis sector - Beauregards, Côte de Jouan and Goulotte, which are currently sold in bulk).

Virginie (Mimi) Moreau is proving more than equal to the task of taking over from her husband Stéphane. Stéphane, who was influenced by Vincent Dauvissat (who recommended him to us many years ago, and who remains an influence here) was vigneron whose star burned very brightly, and the domaine continues along the lines he set, working organically, hand-picking, aiming for optimum maturity while avoiding any botrytis influence.

The cellar-work is also masterful, using 30% barrel-élevage for all the Premier and the Grand Cru, but not in such a way that oakiness can readily be detected in the wines (all the barrels are steamed rather than charred and there is no new oak except for in the straight Chablis, and then only one barrel per 100hl in order to age it prior to using for the Premiers Crus).

Mimi's daughter Neil (Nelle) is a bright new addition to the team here and together there is a calm confidence in what they are doing, and the wines - full of racy character, textural depth and complexity, seem to be better with every vintage.

The premature demise Stéphane Moreau in 2016 deprived Chablis of one of its most interesting producers, someone willing to push the boundaries in a somewhat conservative region. Harvesting ripe but clean fruit, cropped at modest yields, followed by extended maturation on the lees were the cornerstone of his approach, today deftly perpetuated under the direction of his widow Virginie. Textural but tangy, the wines do much to prove that ripe grapes and a faithful and differentiated expression of Chablis's diverse terroirs is possible. Despite challenging circumstances—Stéphane's departure coincided with a vintage that amounted to a mere quarter of a usual harvest—this is a domaine that continues to thrive and produces very fine wines. They're well worth seeking out. William Kelley, The Wine Advocate  (Aug 2018)

Lea & Sandeman is a merchant which chooses impeccably – Italy and Burgundy are among the stars in a brilliant world-spanning firmament, and of the latter Chablis from Domaine Moreau-Naudet sets a very high standard at sensible prices, even if the label design provokes heated debate... all the Moreau-Naudet crus are memorable. Liz Sagues, Hampstead & Highgate Express  (Dec 2014)