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Benchmark Burgundy
The new drops have been coming in heavy the last couple of weeks but perhaps none garners as much excitement at Gnarly HQ as the arrival of our annual allocation from Chablis royalty Alice and Olivier De Moor. The De Moors are based in the village of Courgis - about 7km south west of Chablis itself - where Olivier grew up. Alice is from Jura and the two met while working for a large estate in the area. Together they have forged a new path in Chablis, growing organically, eschewing sulphur at any point during the harvest or fermentation, and vinifying all of their cuvées by gravity in Olivier's grandfather's cellar. These are some of the most exhilarating expressions of the Chablis terroir we have tasted, prominently imbued with a salty, sea spray mineral tang from the seashell rich Kimmeridgian clay and limestone this region is famous for.The Chablis of Alice and Olivier De Moor may not (yet) receive the same reverence as those of the legendary René and Vincent Dauvissat or Francois Raveneau, but ask around in any cave à vins in Paris worth their salt and you're guaranteed a knowing grin, perhaps followed by a gentle plea to keep the secret. You will find six exceptional cuvées in store and online now, four Chablis, as well as a small amount of the De Moor's cult Aligoté and Chitry.2020 De Moor Bourgogne Aligoté: An incredible expression of Burgundy's 'second' grape, wonderfully textured and saline with pure citrus and green apple aromas and a fine thread of oyster shell minerality.2020 De Moor Bourgogne Blanc Chitry: Chitry is a small village about 12km south-west of Chablis itself where the De Moors have two small parcels of Chardonnay planted in the 1990s. Fermented in old oak and aged on the lees for around a year, it's packed with ripe citrus - grapefruit and lemon - with a savoury richness that hints at hazelnuts and toast.2019 De Moor Vendangeur Masqué Chablis: This is a cuvée made with different plots of grapes each year, and is the perfect introduction to the world of the revered De Moor cuvées. Lemons and pastry with a saline twist.  2020 De Moor Vendangeur Masqué Chablis: More taut and mineral driven in its youth than the superb 2019 with intense sea spray salinity, pure and linear citrus fruit and a touch of smoke.2020 De Moor Chablis Bel-Air et Clardy: This is a blend of two parcels vinified separately, both planted in 1993 and located 300 metres apart. Bel Air grows in rocky Portland limestone while Clardy is a much purer chalk limestone. The combined result is one of our favourite De Moor wines, very mineral and finely chiseled on first impression but with immense savoury, saline depth that builds and builds on the palate.2019 De Moor Chablis Premier Cru 'Mont de Milieu': Mont de Milieu is a 0.8 hectare premier cru vineyard made up of very old vines planted in the 1930s and some relatively newer ones planted in the 1980s. Fermented and aged for over a year in 228l Burgundy barrels this is rich, spicy and electrifying premier cru Chablis at it's best.