From: Burgundy, France
Taste: This is an outstanding white wine with a complex aroma of white flowers, citrus rind, and sea salt. On the palate, this wine is vibrant, energetic, and has an excellent texture and persistence. The wine's bright acidity is balanced by a distinct minerality that comes from the region's Kimmeridgian and Portlandian limestone soils.
Pairing: This fresh and invigorating white wine can be served as an aperitif, or served with light appetizers, such as a selection of cheeses or olives. For seafood lovers, this wine is an excellent choice for pairing with fresh oysters or river fish. Its bright acidity and mineral notes complement the delicate flavors of seafood. The wine's acidity also cuts through the richness of charcuterie and cured meats, making it an ideal pairing for a charcuterie board.
Of course, dishes like Escargots de Bourgogne or Quiche Lorraine also fare amazingly well alongside this wine. The wine's acidity and minerality complement the rich, creamy flavors of these dishes, while its brightness helps cut through their richness.
For vegetarian pairings, this wine pairs well with dishes that feature fresh, seasonal produce, such as roasted vegetable tarts, grilled asparagus, or mushroom and spring pea risotto (check out Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe for Risotto with Asparagus and Pesto below). Its bright acidity and minerality complement the earthy flavors of vegetables and mushrooms, while its vibrant character adds a refreshing note to the dish.
Risotto with Asparagus and Pesto
By Martha Rose Shulman
At a Glance:
While this 14 hectares domaine has been in the Morin family since around 1650, Olivier joined the domaine in 1992 after 10 years as a radio announcer and late night DJ.
One quarter of the domaine is planted in Aligoté, one quarter in Pinot Noir, and one half in Chardonnay — all in the village of Chitry, a neighboring appellation to Chablis.
The exceptional exposure of the vineyards, the meticulous care, and the cleanliness of the grapes allows Morin to vinify with very little SO2 and using only natural yeasts.
Morin’s Chitry Bourgogne Blanc and Bourgogne Rouge gain their complexity from the kimmerigian soils of the region. They are clear, precise and mineral, and among the great values in the region.
We first learned about the wines of Olivier Morin on high recommendation from the owners of the superb restaurant, Les Tonelles, located on an island in the Loire River near Savennières (now called Une Ile in Angers). This winery is yet another story of a winemaker who exceeds the expectations of his humble appellation and produces wines of great character and value.
Though this 14 hectares domaine has been in the Morin family since at least 1650 (the records do not go farther back), Olivier followed an unusual path to winemaking. After oenological studies in Beaune, he worked for 10 years as a radio announcer in the day and as a DJ at night. Tired of the night life, he returned to the domaine in 1992 to work with his brother Christian.
One quarter of the domaine is planted in Aligoté, one quarter in Pinot Noir, and one half in Chardonnay. The soils are worked manually so that the roots plunge deeply into the soil and give a true expression of “terroir” to the wines, an expression of minerality which comes from the kimmeridgian chalk soils in which the vine are planted – the same soil as Chablis. No chemicals are used in the vineyard and the grapes are hand harvested. The grapes are gently pressed and the wines are aged on their lees. The wines are bottled with little or no filtration. The domaine has received numerous citations in the French press, including a mention in the Revue des Vins de France as part of the “nouvelle generation” of winemakers in Burgundy.
The exceptional exposure of the vineyards, the meticulous care, and the cleanliness of the grapes allows Morin to vinify with very little SO2 and using only natural yeasts. When we asked Olivier about the connection being a DJ and being a winemaker, he replied that the goal in both cases was to give pleasure to people – then he added, with a smile, "but I think the pleasure is longer lasting and more interesting with the wine."
Morin’s 14 hectares of vines are farmed thoughtfully and sustainably. He uses natural grass cover, no herbicides, organic compost, and green harvests to ensure that the best quality fruit. Since 2020, all vineyards have been farmed organically and will be officially certified in 2022. The cellar is half-buried in the hillside above the village, which allows him to work by gravity, eliminating the need to use pumps to transfer the wine. All fermentations use native yeasts and wines are bottled with little or no filtration and minimal use of sulfur. In addition to the wines produced from his own vineyards in Chitry, Morin purchases small amounts of Irancy and Chablis from longtime friends who farm with a similar sustainable philosophy. Morin has the demeanor and confidence of someone who knows one of the world’s great secrets, and is honestly delighted to share the wines of Chitry with anyone who comes to seek them out. The wines are a joyful expression of pure minerality - precise, delicious, and true.
Morin deftly explains why Chablis is more famous than Chitry. In the early 20th century, a farmer earned more with cherries than with grapes. Because it's located in a natural amphiteatre, cherries ripen better in Chitry, plus it's a bit closer to the larger town of Auxerre. As time progressed, most growers in Chitry chose to grow cherries, while those in Chablis were "obliged" to stick with grapes. Despite all this, the Morin family has always been dedicated to grape growing. Olivier's grandfather was the first person to plant Chardonnay, and his father was the first to estate bottle wines in Chitry.
Chitry is located next to the village of Saint-Bris, right near Chablis. Like the terrific wines of Jean-Hugues Goisot, Morin's Bourgogne Blanc Chitry's gain their complexity from the kimmerigian soils of the region. Morin's Chitry Blanc, or "Baby Chablis", is fermented all in tank to preserve its freshness and purity. The Bourgogne rouge is fermented in tank and then aged in barrel for six to nine months. The resulting wines are clear, precise and mineral, and yes, very Chablisien indeed. They also make a small amount of a top cuvée of Chardonnay called "Olympe" from their best hillside parcels and aged in large casks for 12 months followed by 6 months in tank. It can easily age for 10-15 years, revealing the potential and pedigree of Chitry's undervalued terroirs.
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