Christian Moreau’s great, great-grandfather acquired the 0.41 hectare vineyard parcel at the hôpital de Chablis (the hospice) in 1904. Since then, it has been owned exclusively by the family. The rocky vineyard slope, with its south exposure, is composed of Jurassic-era kimmeridgien limestone and dense white clay. Vines are pruned heavily to maintain fruit quality over quantity.
Fruit is harvested by hand into shallow bins to avoid crushing the fruit, then carried to the winery on a small trailer. Grapes are unloaded by vibration; again, to avoid crushing the berries. After sorting and pressing, the wine undergoes a cool, slow fermentation in stainless steel. Afterwards, the majority of the wine remains on fine lees in the tank for 12 months, while a small portion is aged in new and old oak.
“Domaine Christian Moreau is one of those producers that had been on the upswing in recent years and a bit like Patrick Piuze, I always appreciate my visit here–not only because of the quality of the wines, but because Fabien Moreau always gives me a candid view of the vintage. (Unfortunately, his father Guy was away on this visit.) Like many winemakers who were suffering at the hands of hail and frost, Moreau was ruing the fact that there will be no Chablis Village in 2016, decimated by hail. “And now there is massive mildew pressure and because we are certified organic, it is more of a challenge. You have to do the work before the problem hits, but the [constant] rain stops us from doing this.” Still, at least there is 2014 and 2015. “I think that there is more classic flavor in 2015 than 2013. They are bigger wines than 2014. I conducted a shorter ageing in barrel than in 2014, as I was worried about the influence of the oak, around nine months instead of 14 months. I didn’t keep too much lees, as some of the Grand Crus had been touched by hail.”
Neal Martin on the 2015 vintage, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Aug 2016
“From one hectare within Les Clos. Firm, rather closed nose, with a touch of oak. Rich, imposing, very concentrated and taut. Nutty and mineral on the palate, with some bracing austerity. Fine balance and potential, with a very long refined finish.”
96 points, Decanter, Feb 2017
“A crystal-clear Chablis, boasting white peach, apple, seashore, spice and lime blossom aromas and flavors. Though young, this is complex and harmonious, with a firm, intense aftertaste.”
94 points, Wine Spectator, May 2017
“The 2015 Chablis Grand Cru les Clos des Hospices has a clean and precise bouquet, focused with touches of lychee and pink grapefruit, perhaps not quite as mineral-driven as the 2014. The palate is well balanced with mango and dried pineapple on the entry, the oak neatly assimilated with a harmonious and tensile finish that feels tightly coiled. Give this 5-6 years if you can in bottle, because there is marvelous energy and tension.”
(92-94) points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Aug 2016