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The wines of Morey-Coffinet 12/05/2006 (TNB)

Morey-Coffinet is not a domaine one hears a lot about, but they make very characteristically Chassagne whites, rounded and fruity, as well as rather good-value reds. Taking the whites first, there is a village Chassagne and of the premier crus we tasted La Romanee, Caillerets and Fairendes. I like the Romanee from high up the slope towards the South of the village and particularly the Fairendes, which is an enclave in Morgeot (a large rambling vineyard, much of which is entitled to more particular names) also down at that South end towards Santenay. This is the end of Chassagne where historically a lot of red wine was made, but Fairendes does seem to be an excellent terroir for whites. Morey-Coffinet has very old vines here, which also perhaps explains why this seems to be a particularly fine and ageworthy wine. The estate also has Puligny Pucelles and Batard Montrachet, both with quite young vines. These wines are very true to terroir and there is definately something "Grand Cru" about the Batard, but they don't (yet) have that extra depth that old vines bring to the Fairendes particularly.

It did not seem to be the time to discuss the premature oxidation problem and I am not aware of any of this producers bottles being effected. They said they were making wine to drink in 4-5 years after the vintage and the rounded fruit and leesy complexity suggests medium-term cellaring. The Fairendes and of course the Batard (at least once the vines are a bit older) seem to me to be candidates for slightly longer keeping. As at so many estates, batonage (lees-strirring) is seen as a very important part of the winemaking. While this doubtless contributes to the forwardness and complexity, there is a suggestion that this leads to shorter-lived wines - one might compare say with Jobard whose wines are unapproachable in youth but age magnificently - he does no battonage at all, I believe. But if you want a fairly early-drinking, forward but elegant and complex white Burgundy at a reasonable price, this is a very good source.

It's a commonplace of Burgundy trivia that more red wine is made in Chassagne than white: I wonder if it is true any given the difficulty in selling the reds? Anyway, I thought Morey-Coffinet's reds offer tremendous value and you would do well to distinguish them from more expensive wines from more prestigious villages. I rather liked the high-toned and perfumed premier cru Clos St Jean but the rounded, richer Chaumes was also good, as was the Morgeot.


Tasting report added to Fine Wine Diary 02/07/2006   Return to top