Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru – Les Monts Luisants
The idea of owning your own vineyard, however small, is full of symbolism. When you undertake no manual work, it is like a second birth, as if in your unconsciousness there was but the shortest of distances between owning and working a piece of land. The owner of a vineyard, even if he does not understand much about wine, is a prisoner of this amalgam. When he offers a bottle of wine to his friends, he is at once farmer, wine grower, oenologist and consumer. It is grotesque, but that is the way it is. A city dweller’s complex of having no link with the land is broken in one go and gives him at once a new dimension, which he can not help but be proud of. I have taken note of this syndrome and have to be very careful not to attribute to myself the talent of the Seysses family. They are unlikely to hold it against me, since it is the only personality disorder which I suffer from and it is all the more homage to their worldwide success.
I am a miniscule co-owner of a parcel of Monts Luisants, which is vinified by Dujac and bottled on the domaine. Each year instead of a vulgar piece of paper representing a dividend, I go to the domaine to collect the fruit of my vines in the shape of a few marvelous bottles. This intense pleasure of returning home with a boot full of the earth’s produce after having walked through the rows of vines on the higher slopes of Morey-Saint-Denis, is a pleasure that I do not wish to share: it is an initiation, a ritual journey.
I thank Jeremy Seysses, Jacques and Rosalind’s son, for accepting to prepare a short piece on the Monts Luisants and so spare me writing an analysis beyond my competence.
The vineyard is located in Morey- Saint-Denis, at the top of the slope, in an area classified 1er Cru. The altitude is between 300 and 340 meters, in a full eastern exposure. The top soil is composed of Comblanchien limestone that was eroded into gravel during the last glacial age, with a very high active limestone content.
This location results in easy ripening conditions for the grapes while keeping a high acidity, a mark of quality in white wines. The berries are always very healthy as the soil drains very well and is not very fertile.
The vineyard leased to Domaine Dujac is entirely planted with Chardonnay and farmed organically and biodynamically.
The wines from the Monts Luisants are usually powerful, defined by strong minerality and a firm acidity. Honey, citrus fruits, anis and linden flowers are recurrent aromas. The minerality contributes to giving the wines a lot of length.
On the winemaking front, the grapes are crushed by foot before pressing. The must is settled for 24 hours and then put in barrel. Fermentation is spontaneous, with indigenous yeasts. The proportion of new oak is less than 15%. The élevage is minimal, with very little lee stirring and racking. Bottling happens about 16 months after harvest.
2008 : A cool vintage, picked late, at the very end of the month of September. The wine is elegant, restrained and concentrated, as the crop was small. A lot of citrus fruit, with a lot of energy, excellent balance, this is a very good vintage with real aging potential.
2009 : A vintage in stark contrast with the previous, sunny and warm, with a larger crop. The wine is rich, with the alcohol slightly higher than usual. Candied fruit and fennel aromas can be found in the nose, but in the mouth, the acidity and minerality are constants for this vineyard and the wine remains balanced.