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Domaine Sylvain Morey, Santenay 1er Cru “Grand Clos Rousseau”Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France 2017 (750mL)

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Domaine Sylvain Morey, Santenay 1er Cru “Grand Clos Rousseau” Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France 2017 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol
This isn’t the first (or last) time you see Sylvain Morey on SommSelect. Sylvain’s reputation precedes him, a young giant towering above the competition in the insular world of Burgundy. He picked up where his legendary father, Jean-Marc, left off, crafting noble Burgundies of extraordinary texture and heart.

Where Jean-Marc’s wines delivered traditional restraint, Sylvain’s glimmer with astonishing purity—his calling card. While his limited portfolio focuses on the wines of Chassagne-Montrachet, today’s Santenay Premier Cru “Grand Clos Rousseau” is the undisputed darling of the lineup. We all froze upon tasting it, palates vibrating with juicy, saturated earth and fruit. Only a few barrels are produced, from a jewel-box .41-hectare plot planted by Sylvain’s grandfather, Albert, in 1974. Late-ripening vines generate Pinot Noir with tight-grained structure and concentration for long-term aging or powerfully delicious drinking today. It’s the type of overachieving, heartfelt Burgundy that I feel personally responsible for sharing with you all. But with less than 30 cases stateside, bringing Sylvain’s latest masterpiece home will take a little hustle on your part. Don’t sleep on this under-the-radar superstar!

Sylvain’s impact on the Morey wines was instantly recognizable upon his first vintage in 2014: they had more texture, more minerals, more life. I’m so grateful that Grand Clos Rousseau was among the parcels he inherited from Jean-Marc, part of only three hectares he currently works in total. His lutte raisonée farming style (literally “reasonable fight” in French) goes beyond organics to pinpoint the individual needs of his vineyards and tends to them with the utmost precision. Chemicals, fertilizers, and have no place at Domain Sylvain Morey. And while Sylvain does not produce the same variety of wines that Jean-Marc did, he focuses his considerable talents on both reds and whites from Chassagne-Montrachet. This Santenay as a notable exception, an absolute tour de force with a limestone spine and full-fruited body. Sylvain’s restrained, intuitive strokes of winemaking take this wine to new heights; few Premier Crus I’ve had—from any Burgundian appellation—purr with this resonance. 

“Grand Clos Rousseau” comes from 46-year-old vines carefully tended by Sylvain himself. Exquisite hand-harvested clusters are sorted, about 50% are carefully de-stemmed, then the must is cold-soaked for a full day. Fermentation starts naturally as yeasts awaken to warmer temperatures, and generally lasts for a full three weeks. The 2017 enjoyed 20 months of aging in 35% new French oak, which gives a little depth and toast to the velvety fruit. 

In the glass, dark cherry fruit laced with Asian spices and licorice unfurls luxuriously following a half hour decant. Those notes are followed by succulent forest berries, crushed earth, plum, tea, and cedar spice on the palate. Sure, it’s a  young Premier Cru Burgundy, but one that’s already powerful, sleek, and impeccably balanced. Sylvain’s Midas touch smooths Santenay’s natural tension and turns it to pure velvet. There’s going to be a lot of pleasure in checking in on this wine over the years. I can’t think of a better pairing than some chicken cordon bleu, oozing with gruyère cheese. You’ll understand why Sylvain is considered a “cult” winemaker...because this tastes like heaven.



Domaine Sylvain Morey, Santenay 1er Cru “Grand Clos Rousseau” Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France 2017 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionCôte de Beaune / Burgundy
  • Sub-RegionSantenay
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendPinot Noir
  • Alcohol13%
  • OakFrench (35% New)
  • Service Temp.55-60° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stems
  • DrinkNow-2027+
  • Decanting60 Minutes
  • PairingChicken Cordon Bleu

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionCôte de Beaune / Burgundy
  • Sub-RegionSantenay
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendPinot Noir
  • Alcohol13%
  • OakFrench (35% New)
  • Temp.Serve at 55-60° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stems
  • DrinkingNow-2027+
  • Decanting60 Minutes
  • PairingChicken Cordon Bleu