2018 Domaine Moreau-Naudet, Chablis, White Burgundy, France.
Virginie Moreau, who has bravely carried on after the tragic death of her husband Stéphane in 2016, along with her winemaker have continued the excellence found at Moreau-Naudet and this gorgeous 2018 regular Chablis AOC bottling is a stunningly pure terroir driven wine of class, substance and detail with lovely mineral tones, classic lemon, green apple and peach fruits and incredible texture, this Chardonnay way over delivers for the price. Subtle aromatics, that highlight the wine’s stony nature, nice refreshing acidity and secondary elements that include saline, melon and hazelnut all contribute to the depth and pleasure in this vintage. This sublime pale straw colored Moreau-Naudet Chablis proved to be excellent as both an aperitif and main event wine with an array of cuisine from an appetizer of seared scallops to a primary tuna dish, it even got better and more rounded with air, but kept it’s fabulous crisp focus throughout.
The Chablis AOC, in the brilliant Moreau-Naudet lineup, is the only wine in their cellar that sees any new oak, with this cuvee providing the seasoning for those barrels which end up in the Premier Cru program after the first fill. Even so, as Moreau-Naudet’s importer Grand Cru Selections notes, it is always just a few new barrels that are being added to replace far older ones and actually only constitute a small percentage of the final blend, and of which you really cannot notice, especially in this 2018. The fermentation at Moreau-Naudet is always natural and spontaneous with indigenous yeasts, followed by a long maceration and elevage on lees, with a fantastic result in the wine’s textural quality and richness. The wine is usually aged for an average of 18 months depending on the vintage in a combination of stainless steel and 600-liter French oak barrels, with a majority of the Chablis AOC cuvee, typically two-thirds, sees just the stainless. There is a lot to admire at Moreau-Naudet and while the Premier Cru and Grand Cru are exceptional offering and highly sought after, I recommend not missing out on the regular Chablis bottling!
($40 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive