ownerGeoffroy Choppin de Janvry
- Vineyard Area: 8 ha
- Soil Type: Limestone and clay
- Varieties Cultivated: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
- Country: France
Domaine Albert Morot has been synonymous with the Beaune appellation since 1820. Albert Morot founded this benchmark property as a negociant, and in the wake of the phylloxera epidemic the family began buying their own vineyard parcels in the Côte de Beaune and built the charming Château de la Creusotte to house their cellars. The estate was passed down through the generations, and Françoise Choppin was the first to focus entirely on the vineyards and the estate-bottled wines. Upon her retirement in 2000 she passed the estate to her grandnephew, Geoffroy Choppin de Janvry. Geoffroy, an agronomist trained at the Université de Montpellier, has infused the family business with a new level of expertise. Farming eight hectares of premier cru vineyards in Beaune and Savigny-lès-Beaune, and one parcel in Pommard, he seeks to remain respectful of tradition while taking advantage of new techniques to bring out the best in the terroir. He immediately turned to organics and after a few years obtained official certification. Thanks to these changes and his meticulous, loving work in the cellar, the wines are achieving new heights and incredible purity of character. Geoffroy remains modest and retiring, but his improvements have garnered him praise as one of the masters of Beaune’s crus.
Geoffroy and his team farm parcels almost entirely in premier cru vineyards, among them Beaune’s Les Cent Vignes, Les Aigrot, Les Teurons, Les Toussaints, Les Marconnets and Les Bressades; Savigny’s Aux Battalières; as well as half a hectare in Pommard. Most of the parcels are dedicated to Pinot Noir, with a small percentage planted to Chardonnay. The vines average 50 years of age and yields are kept low, between 25 to 35 hectoliters per hectare, accomplished by a green harvest in July. Later in the summer, the team pulls leaves on north-facing slopes, such as Les Aigrots, to increase aeration and encourage ripeness. The domaine has worked with the same harvesters for years, taking advantage of their sheer number and expertise to condense the harvest into five or six days. The team sorts the grapes twice in the vineyards and then again at the winery. All of the grapes are harvested by hand and brought to the winery in small containers to protect the fruit.
Vinifications have changed quite a bit since Geoffroy has taken over. During the harvest, the grapes are sorted twice, once in the vineyards and once at the winery. They are then de-stemmed and undergo temperature-controlled fermentations for four to six days using native yeasts. Instead of fermentations in oak, as had been done in the past, he has switched to open-top, stainless steel tanks—a decision which showcases the freshness of the grapes. Alcoholic fermentation lasts for about three weeks, including two daily punch-downs at the beginning to gently extract color and then pump-overs towards the end of the vinification. The wines are aged in oak barrels, approximately 30 percent of which are new, for up to 16 months. In an effort to avoid adding sulfur, Geoffroy makes a point of not racking the wines until they are ready to be bottled, allowing the carbon dioxide to serve as a natural protection against oxidation. The wines are then bottled unfined and unfiltered to preserve the natural character of the fruit.