ABOUT THIS WINE:
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.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER:
Alice and Olivier de Moor live and work in Courgis, a small village 7km southwest of Chablis. 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. While the division of labor principally consists of Olivier in the vines and Alice in the cellar and office, both are equally omnipresent in every role and all decisions are made together.
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 and sold off the rest. They were still employed elsewhere, but quit that fall after leasing their Saint-Bris vines: 0.55HA of planted in 1902 and 0.40HA of Sauvignon Blanc planted in 1950. For the next three years, they worked their four hectares of vines while tending the vines of other winemakers to make a living. In 1996, they planted a large plot in Chitry (the parcel is 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. Aging has traditionally been in Burgundian barrels of different ages for the Chablis wines, the Bourgogne Chitry and the old vine Aligoté, with young vine wines and Sauvignon aged in cement and stainless steel tanks. Over the years this has evolved: 228 liter Burgundian barrels are still the most common vessel, though demi-muids and foudres of various sizes have joined the fray along with enamel-lined stainless steel tanks and even a few amphoras.