Clos de la Roche. Clos St Denis . Clos de Lambrays. Clos de Tart. All Grand Crus you’ve probably heard of. How about premier crus Les Millandes, Les Faconnières, or Les Chenevery? Maybe not so much? They all have one thing in common: they all lie in the commune of Morey St Denis, one of the most overlooked of the great Cote d’Or villages. It’s unfortunate that this commune is so oft-forgotten, as it is a source for great premier cru and village level wine.
There are several explanations for why Morey St. Denis is so frequently overlooked. One is that it is the smallest of the Cote de Nuits villages* at just under 140ha of vines, with 40 of which are GC. Another is that it is situation between the better known Gevrey Chambertin to the north and Chambolle Musigny to the south. In fact, before the AOC laws, the wines were mostly sold as either one of its immediate neighbors. Stylistically if fits between the two as well, it’s not as sturdy as Gevrey or as fine boned as Chambolle, which is not to say it lacks identity.
That identity often includes a certain meatiness, both red and black fruits, and tender tannins which make the wine both recognizable, and at times hard to pin down. The soils contain ample amounts of clay, which lends weight and richness to the wines. The overall quality (and value) of the wines are probably the highest in the Cote d’Or- it’s as sure a bet as you will find in Burgundy at the village and premier cru levels. Dujac, Ponsot and Hubert Lignier all call Morey St Denis home. Other excellent examples can (and should) be had from Domaine Michel Magnien, Lignier-Michelot and Domaine Arlaud. Next time you’re looking for an excellent Burgundy, don’t forget about Morey St. Denis.
*okay, Vougeot is smaller. So is Fixin. Please don’t bring up Brochon, Premeaux, Comblanchien or Corgoloin.
In this HDH Blog series, Juicy Details, Senior Consignment Operations Associate, David Larson, delves deeper into the world of wine. Whether he’s discussing soil types of specific vineyards, laws within different appellations, or the weather of a certain region, these fascinating tidbits of knowledge help lift the veil on fine and rare wines and reveal what sets the best wines apart from the rest.