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Bastide Du Claux, 'Malacare' Luberon Rouge 2019
France / Red

Bastide Du Claux, 'Malacare' Luberon Rouge 2019

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Sergio's Pick

Notes from Rosenthal Wine Merchant:

"Two of the hallmarks of Burgundy are the minuscule size and the fractured distribution of the small domains that line the Cote d’Or.  Centuries of division by inheritance and often family discord have fractured once-larger land holdings into microscopic parcels.  Domains have become so small (and their fractured holding so atomic) that it is has become doubtful how these domains can continue to be passed down to the next generation.  In the case of Domaine Sylvain Morey, this difficult tradition continues with the dissolution of Domaine Jean-Marc Morey. Jean-Marc’s son Sylvain and his sister Caroline split their father’s holdings in 2014, making this already small family domaine much smaller. (Domaine Jean-Marc Morey was founded in 1981 when Domaine Albert Morey was split between his two sons Jean-Marc and Bernard.)  We feel fortunate to continue our relationship with these familiar family parcels, however small they may be, through the impressive and thoughtful work of Sylvain.

Sylvain has spent the last few decades establishing his own domaine, Bastide du Claux, located south of Burgundy in the Luberon. His experience working on his own project, combined with the deep knowledge he gained working with his father, has matured Sylvain into a thoughtful and confident vigneron. He is someone who respects the traditional manner in which his father worked but also brings his own sensibility to the table. He plans to split his time between Chassagne and Luberon working in the romantic mold-filled cellar in which his father has always worked. Upon his first releases in 2014, his mark on the wines are evident. The wines have a bit more power than his father’s: they are more richly textured, while still retaining a firm mineral structure.  As done before, fermentations for the whites and reds are done with natural yeasts; grapes are always de-stemmed; and the percentage of new wood is small (about 20%). Sylvain claims to be a bit more gentle in the cellar, and his tendency is to leave the wines alone, doing little to no batonage. He has also increased the aging of the whites to 18 months, rather than bottling after 12. These changes result in wines that are bit more resolved by the time they make it into bottle.

Sylvain is content with keeping his domaine small, currently working fewer than 3 hectares.  Those of you who are familiar with the variety of wines Jean-Marc Morey produced might notice that Sylvain does not offer the same range. While he did split some particular parcels with his sister, they also divvied up a few whole parcels, since they were too small to split. Still, the bulk of Sylvain’s holdings are in Chassagne Montrachet, where he offers an impressive trio of whites: Chassagne Montrachet Blanc (.21 hectares from 2 parcels), Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru “Champs Gains” (.39 hectares) and Chassagne 1er Cru “Caillerets” (.34 hectares). In the reds, there are two Chassagne bottlings: Chassagne Montrachet Rouge (1/2 hectare from 2 parcels) and Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru “Champ Gains” (.16 hectares) and the always stunning Santeney 1er Cru “Grand Clos Rousseau” (.40 hectares)."

Southern Rhône
Syrah, Grenache, Carignan
Calcerous marl
Manual harvesting, total destemming and addition of stalks to vatting, no crushing. No yeasting. Minimal sulphiting (< 3 g/hl). Soft and long maceration between 20 and 30 degrees in grape varieties and plots separated. Assembly of free-run and press juices.