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Natural Wine

De Moor Bourgogne Aligote

$53.72

Alice and Olivier De Moor are true Chablis superstars, and their wines are highly sought after. It’s fair to say that they have led the natural/authentic movement in the region.

Courgis is a small village 7 km southwest of Chablis where Alice and Olivier de Moor live and work. It is where Olivier grew up, and his “old” cellar, the part where he ages his Chablis in oak barrels, is underneath his grandparents’ house. From the hill where Courgis sits, the view is of vineyards over hills all the way to the Chablis Grands Crus. Olivier says the landscape has changed a lot in his lifetime, that all the woods, bushes and fallow land that dotted the hills have disappeared in favor of vines.

Alice is from the Jura, and the two met at a large Chablis estate where Olivier was in charge of the vineyards. Both are enologists, graduates of the Dijon enological school, with enough knowledge to take a radically different direction for their vines and wines than their neighbors. They began their estate by planting three plots of Chablis–Bel Air, Clardy and Rosette–in 1989. Of their first harvest, in 1994, they kept only 15HL. They were still employed elsewhere, but quit that fall after leasing their Saint-Bris vines: 0.55HA of Aligoté planted in 1902, and 0.40HA of Sauvignon blanc from 1945. For the next three years, they worked their 4HA of vines while tending the vines of other winemakers to make a living. In 1996, they planted a large plot in Chitry (called Champagne) with Aligoté and Chardonnay.

The De Moors have worked their vines organically since 2005, a rarity in their area. In 2002, they stopped using large harvest bins and replaced them with small boxes where the grapes are not crushed by their own weight. In 2007, they built a large and high-ceilinged winery, allowing them to do all their cellar work by gravity. In 2008, they purchased a second-hand pneumatic press to treat the grapes in the gentlest way possible. There is no SO2 used at harvest or during the vinification.

The De Moors have a 2.5-hectare parcel of mainly Aligoté down the road from Courgis in a village called Chitry-Le-Fort. They planted the parcel, named Champagne, starting in 1995 (it also includes some Chardonnay that goes into their Bourgogne Chitry bottling). The exposure is northwest and the soils are 25-30 centimeters of clay over hard limestone rock. The farming is certified-organic and the harvest by hand. The fruit is destemmed, gently pressed and fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts and without sulfur in tank. The wine goes through malo and is aged on its lees without bâtonnage or racking in mainly enamel-lined steel tanks for close to a year. Bottling is generally without fining or filtering in the fall following the vintage; it is the only time a touch of sulfur is added to the wine. 

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