TN: 2015 Bernard Moreau Chassagne-Montrachet VV Rouge

First time with Moreau, but glad I’m giving it a shot. This is a wonderful Chassagne rouge. Lots of pure red fruit, a whiff of reduction, a bit brambly. A hint of spice brings complexity. This is delicious and I can’t wait to try one of their whites that I have on deck. This is a ridiculous value.

Agreed! I resolved to buy more red Moreau myself this year, and have in fact already acted on that resolution!

That makes two of us! Based on what I have heard about the Cardeuse (largely from you), it sounds like I’ll have to pick up some of that, too…

You absolutely should!

I was thinking of doing an article on red Chassagne in TWA some time this year, if I can carve out the time, it could be a fun project.

How would you differentiate the Ramonet and Moreau styles?

I really think this is the great unsung terroir in the Cotes d’Or for red wines. William, do you think this has always been the case, or is CM a beneficiary of climate change, at least for red wines.

That is one factor, for sure.

But I also think that, as vineyards have been ripped up to plant over to white, folks have tended to keep the very best stuff - both in terms of sites, and in terms of old vines, higher-quality vine genetics. One reason we have the stereotype of Chassagne reds as being ‘rustic’ was the quality of the vine material planted in many locations. The terroirs may be adapted to red wine, but that cannot compensate for bad quality vine genetics. Today, to make red wine in Chassagne you are effectively opting for smaller return on your assets (white sells for more, easier, and producers higher yields) plus poorer cash flow (as reds typically need longer élevage than whites), so it is inevitably something of a passion project, with small plots in the best sites.

Moreau is a bit more whole cluster influenced, with those orange rind, cinnamon & peony aromas, and a more powdery texture to the tannins. Some might say that, since Moreau’s red wines began to become less oaky around the turn of the last decade, they have been a bit more consistent than Ramonet, too. But Ramonet has a wider range of different sites: Boudriotte, Clos de la Boudriotte, Morgeot and Clos Saint-Jean. I have plenty of both in my cellar and am very happy about that, back to 1961 for Ramonet and 1979 for Moreau.

The 2015 Chassagne Rouge Les Cardeuse is even better. The Moreau reds are wonderful.

That is great. I only go back to 2010 right now with Ramonet and my Moreaus are all 2016s (although I have tasted 2014s, 2015s and 2017 of the villages CM as well). I wish these were easier to find.

What are your thoughts on the 17 vs 15 Chassagne rouge?

I have enjoyed Ramonet’s reds for a few years now but you are the one who got me interested in trying Moreau’s reds (love their whites). The les Cardeuse was not on my radar until you posted on it. I tasted the 2016 les Cardeuse at the winery and you are right that it is even better. Visit to Burgundy and Champagne - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers

Did not have them side by side. Had a taste of the 2017 at the winery in 2018 so it was very young. Had the 2015 last year the evening before the Paulee grand tasting at a restaurant in NYC and very much liked it.

I have a couple btls of 16 and 17; guessing they need a few years.

Based on the 15 I just tried, I think it depends how many bottles you have. If you’ve got only a few it might be worth waiting a few years. If you’re thinking about trying one out of a half case+, I think there is definitely value in popping one open now.

I have 2 of each (16 and 17 cardeuse)

In general? In general, I would say you do frequently sense the high yields of 2017 when it comes to Chassagne rouge: translating to slightly fluid mid-palates and somewhat stringy tannins. Chez Moreau, however, the 2017 have the merits—suppleness, charm, expressive fruit tones—without any of the downsides and are delicious wines. The 2017 reds also turned out nicely chez Ramonet.

2015 is a richer, more concentrated vintage and the Chassagne reds of that year are fleshier, chunkier, more overtly ripe wines. You could open communal examples now but I would wait on the premiers crus. And both Moreau and Ramonet made lovely 2015 reds.

I want to add Domaine Jean-Claude Bachelet to the list of red Chassagne producers that have been mentioned in this article and elsewhere, btw. Lovely old vine Chassagne village and Boudriotte. The 2017s showed superbly from bottle.

If we’re mentioning other producers, I’ve really liked what Fontaine-Gagnard at least used to do with their reds. Probably still do, I just don’t have a source for them any more (well, I bet Caveau de Chassagne still ships to the US). And Hubert Lamy of white Auxey fame also make a good red Chassagne. I mostly stopped buying red burg after the 2005 vintage, but I’ve got a good stock of red Chassagne from 99, 02, 05 from the folks mentioned in this thread as well as Niellon, Paul Pillot, a couple of others that don’t come immediately to mind. None have disappointed.