Back up the Truck #2: Great White Burgundy

Posted by CrushWine

After the incredible support we received from our loyal customers during our 25% off "Color War" sale, our first offer back had to be top-notch

While many vintners espouse a "winemaking begins in the vineyard" philosophy, it is especially true with today's pick.

Winemaker Olivier Morin lets the terroir do the talking with his Cuvée Olympe - a selection of his absolute best hand-harvested grapes from the oldest Chardonnay vines on his property.

The extremely high quality of his vineyards and his attention to detail in all steps of the winemaking process create a wine that shows up much more expensive Chablis.
While Morin's wines have only been available in the US for 3 vintages, he is a best kept secret to French connoisseurs.

How does Morin do it?

Morin's vines are planted in kimmeridgian soil that in includes a large amount of Calcaire (sedimentary rocks made up almost entirely of calcium). The calcium in these rocks comes from "Exogira Virgulae," the tiny oyster fossils also found in the Grands Crus vineyards of Chablis.

To make the most of the incredible raw material, all vineyard work is done without machines so the vines can plunge deeply into the soil and give the most accurate sense of place.

Morin uses no chemicals in the field and vinifies with only natural yeasts and a minimum of SO2. The grapes are gently pressed and spend 12 months in barrel + 6 additional months on the lees in tank before the finished wine is bottled unfiltered.

Here are our tasting notes:

"A wine of incredible concentration that combines richness with excellent minerality. While the flavors are precise, there are almost too many of them to name - there's something different each time you go back to the glass. Shocking complexity for the price"

This is an excellent opportunity to stock your cellar with grossly undervalued White Burgundy from a small-scale producer making large-scaled wines.

We were so excited about the quality of the 2004 Cuvée Olympe that we bought all that remained for the vintage. However, there's just not that much wine to go around. We quietly put a bottle in the tasting room last week and demand was so brisk that we rushed this email out to reward our loyal supporters before none remains.

Where in the World?

Formally established in 1549, the village of Chitry (pron. Shee-tree) is a tiny farming village of 350 people situated next to the village of Saint-Bris 5-10 miles southeast of Auxerre, southwest of Chablis.

Chitry resides in Yonne, one of the four communes of Burgundy, along with Côte-d'Or, Nièvre, and Saône-et-Loire.

The name Chitry also applies to the wine growing appellation whose vineyards encircle the village. After being classified as "Chablis Village" or "Bourgognedes environs de Chablis" for nearly 100 years, the AOC was formally established in the early 1990s.

While the village itself is in a valley, the vineyards are well exposed on a sort of elevated ring around the town and rest on calcium-rich kimiridgian soil.

20 growers make about 50,000 cases of red and white wine from the vineyards of Chitry, with production split equally in thirds between Aligoté, Chardonnay, and red grapes (Pinot Noir, Sacy, Gamay, etc.).

While 230 hectares (568 acres = .88 square miles) are eligible to be designated "Bourgogne Chitry" wine from only 140 hectares is bottled using the Chitry name — the rest is bottle under the "Bourgogne" appellation.

Back up the Truck?

When someone on the Crush team finds an especially good wine, we often go to Crush Managing Partner Bob Schagrin's for a second opinion. We can tell he is as excited as we are about the quality when he exclaims "Back up the truck!" after he tastes.