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Mâconnais & Beaujolais

Domaine Giles Morat


Based in Vergisson, the highest village in the appellation, Domaine Morat produce wines which combine Pouilly-Fuissé’s ripe, sun kissed fruit with a modern directness and freshness.


an there be a more arresting view for a vigneron than the panorama which greets the Morat family each morning as they throw open the shutters?  To the north is the Roc de Vergisson and to the south the equally imposing Roc de Solutre, two massive limestone escarpments which dominate the landscape. On a clear day, 150 miles to the east, Mont Blanc is clearly visible.

Nestling beneath the Roc de Vergisson lie their holdings of Pouilly grown on a mix of limestone and clay soils, which the Morats have carefully maintained under an organic regime since 2001.  Essential to the freshness and clarity of expression of their wines is the altitude of between 350m and 450m at which the vines are grown. In these days of global warming these are qualities to be prized.

Based in Vergisson, the highest village in the appellation, Domaine Morat produce wines which combine Pouilly-Fuissé’s ripe, sun kissed fruit with a modern directness and freshness. It is the altitude at which their vineyards sit which gives their wines their cut, as well as the Morat’s meticulous approach to viticulture; as Joëlle said, ‘There are no good cooks with bad ingredients’.

Morat own 6ha of vineyards, 1.5 in St Veran, the rest, divided into 17 parcels, are in Pouilly Fuissé. Not surprisingly for people so dedicated to their terroir, the domaine has been certified organic since 2001. Grass and wildflowers grow in the vines, the rows are ploughed when needed. All the vineyard work is done by hand, the domaine’s small size means that everything can be completed with exacting precision. In the winery fermentations happen in vat or barrel and use natural yeasts. Very little is done, intervention is kept to a minimum, new oak used sparingly, to allow each terroir to show its full potential.

Current Vintages

White WinesVintage
Roche Mer could mean ‘mother rock’ or ‘rock of the sea’, both translations give us an insight into this wine. Two sites, one planted in 1959, the other in 1980, have poor, thin soil over limestone. They are fermented and aged in stainless steel. There’s a sense of ripe succulence on the nose here, peach. The palate is a mix of stone fruit flavours, fresh acids, and an invigorating chalky grip. Really good sense of balance here. This is a top St Veran.
Sitting at the top of a south facing slope these vines, planted in 1981, grow on Triassic Clay, a very ancient soil type that pre-dates the limestone which now covers most of it. Rich in magnesium, it is unique to Pouilly-Fuissé and, Joëlle says, is highly valued both for its drought and rot resisting properties as well as for the freshness and minerality they feel it brings to the wines. Fermented in barrels, of which only 15% are new. One can certainly imagine the clays in the wines sun kissed yet restrained flavours.
Perhaps the best vineyard in Pouilly-Fuissé, Sur La Roche covers 17ha and is shared between several growers. Domaine Morat has a great parcel, right at the top of the slope were the high-quality clay barely covers the limestone beneath. Vines planted between 1967 and 1978 with roots deep in the bed rock. 100% in oak, 15% new. Bottled after 11 months on its lees. With its seamless palate and breezy acidity this wine put me in mind of bright sunshine on a cold spring day, it contrasts the warm site and the cool rock below. Finishes with a burst of pink grapefruit.
A new wine for 2020. When the INO passed judgement on Sur la Roche’s claim for 1er Cru status they decided this parcel, the top of the vineyard, was too high, so couldn’t gain the new status. Separated from the lower parcels by a farm track, at 410m it’s 10m above the limit. That’s good news for us, as the site’s 60-year-old vines have given a terrifically tensile wine, packed with flavours of purest peach, lemons and grapefruit, driven by a deep seam of minerality, its impressive concentration lifted by mouth-watering acidity. As it sits in the glass the structure develops and one can smell the limestone. Chablis du Soleil!
This is the Appellation’s most famous vineyard and has just been accorded 1er Cru status in the 2020 vintage. It sits on a bedrock of ancient limestone which gives the wine its minerality, saline tension, and which adds lift to aromatics as varied as lavender and pink grapefruit. The Morats should be proud of their first 1er Cru vintage, this is a multi-dimensional wine with impressive character. The nose is creamier and richer, more expansive, while the wine is initially full bodied and powerful on the attack. However, the structure soon begins to have a restraining influence, giving an impression of tightness and power. This tension is compelling, a knife edge balance between the sun and the ground, which bursts into a long, mineral-soaked citrus finish. From 2025.

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