Thibault Morey has vineyards that surround Montrachet, and while he don’t have a plot in the mightiest white grand cru of them all, he has many top-level appellations in his portfolio.
Thibault has two – no, three – plots located very close to the promised land. One is Chassagne-Montrachet Les Blanchots Dessus, just a few metres south of Dominique Lafon’s Montrachet. The second is Chassagne-Montrachet Dent de Chien, located only metres above Montrachet. Then there is his Bâtard-Montrachet, located a wall- and road-width below Domaine Leflaive’s holding in the mythical vineyard.
The Morey-Coffinet estate
Domaine Morey-Coffinet was established in 1978 by Michel Morey, the son of Marc Morey of Domaine Marc Morey, the estate founded by Marc’s father Fernand just after the First World War.
The Coffinet name comes from Michel’s wife Fabienne, who is the daughter of Fernand Coffinet and Cécile Pillot, Paul Pillot’s sister. The Coffinet estate dates from 1860 but, as frequently happens in Burgundy, has evolved into two related domaines – Morey-Coffinet and Coffinet-Duvernay
Morey-Coffinet was formed by joining a third of the Marc Morey estate (the remaining two-thirds are owned by Michel’s sisters) with part of the old Domaine Coffinet, which included the parcel of Bâtard-Montrachet. The rest of the Coffinet estate has become Domaine Coffinet-Duvernay, owned by Fabienne’s sister Laura Coffinet, who runs the domaine with her partner Phillippe Duvernay.
Michel Morey has now been succeeded by his son Thibault, who oversees Morey-Coffinet’s nine hectares of vines, and who is doing a great job making gorgeous wines in beautifully vaulted cellars in the southern end of Chassagne-Montrachet.
The estate has a lovely collection of vineyards, including 0.65 ha of Chassagne-Montrachet En Caillerets and 0.80 ha of Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanée.
More interestingly, perhaps, is that Thibault also has small holdings in Chassagne-Montrachet Dent de Chien and a perfectly located plot in Blanchots Dessus (just south of the Lafon plot in Montrachet, as noted), as well as a nice chunk of Chassagne-Montrachet En Remilly (0.35 ha). Furthermore, small holdings in Bâtard-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles complement the Chassagne holdings. While some of the plots are rather small, it’s hard to find a more exciting portfolio in Chassagne than this – with the exception of the mighty Domaine Ramonet and its generous grand cru holdings.
Thibault also makes beautiful reds from Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumes, Morgeot, and Clos St. Jean – the latter having been planted by his father 30 years ago in the area behind the estate.
Domaine Morey-Coffinet practices organic and biodynamic viticulture, and has been certified biodynamic since 2018. Lastly, Morey-Coffinet also has a small negociant business – Maison Morey-Coffinet.
So without further ado – to the Bâtard!
The Morey-Coffinet plot in Bâtard-Montrachet
Domaine Morey-Coffinet has one of the smaller plots in the fragmented Bâtard-Montrachet vineyard. It is the 25th-largest owner, with a 0.1303-ha section located in the middle part of the large Bâtard appellation, representing half of the original Domaine Coffinet’s holding. It is in the Chassagne part of course, just below Leflaive’s Montrachet.
The plot – cadastre no. 175 – was planted in 1996, and goes almost from top to bottom of the Bâtard vineyard (see below).
The Coffinet family’s original holding was divided with Domaine Coffinet-Duvernay, which now has the 0.1304-ha plot just north of Morey-Coffinet.
The history of the Morey-Coffinet plot
Bâtard-Montrachet is a large vineyard, with part in Chassagne and part in Puligny. The Morey-Coffinet plot is in the middle of the Chassagne end.
Traditionally, Chassagne-based producers have had a strong position in the its part of Bâtard-Montrachet.
Lavalle, in his 1855 book on the wines and vineyards of Burgundy, mentions neither the Coffinet nor Morey family as owners of Bâtard-Montrachet. Yet when Rodier authored his work in 1920, the Chassagne end of Bâtard had quite a few well-known estates from the village amongst it owners – including the Morey and Coffinet families. This fits with the history of the two domaines: Coffinet founded in 1860 and Morey in 1919 – both after Lavalle’s work appeared.
Rodier lists the Coffinet Freres, who were the original buyers of the current Morey-Coffinet plot, coming as it does from Fernand Coffinet, Thibault’s grandfather.
For good measure I have also included the Puligny-Montrachet part of Bâtard-Montrachet.
A feisty, youthful Bâtard
The best Bâtard-Montrachet I have tasted from Thibault – so far – is the 2019 version. From vines planted in 1996, it is a youthful-feeling Bâtard, light-footed and refined. It will presumably improve over the coming decades and gain complexity. But the 2019 has a lot to offer already.
Domaine Morey-Coffinet Bâtard-Montrachet 2019
The Bâtard is a truly outstanding wine with delightful intensity – a very refined Bâtard. Make no mistake: It has all the power you would ever want, but the vivacious style and structure of the 2019 vintage really lift this wine to a different and very interesting level. Absolutely a vin d’émotion…
(Drink From 2032) – Outstanding+ – (94-96p) – tasted 10/03/2020 –
References & Sources:
- Jules Lavalle, Histoire et Statistique de la Vignes et Des Grands Vins de la Côte d’Or (1855)
- Batault-Morot, E. Plan statistique des vignobles produisant les grands vins de Bourgogne. (1861)
- M.R. Danguy et M. Ch. Aubertin, Les Grands Vins de Bourgogne (1892)
- Camille Rodier, Le Vin de Bourgogne (1920)
- Clive Coates, Cote d’Or (1997)