Christian Moreau, former director of J. Moreau & Fils in Burgundy's Chablis region, is unveiling a new project in Chablis. Three wines of the new Christian Moreau Pére & Fils label—a Chablis 1999, a premier cru Vaillons 1999 and a small amount of grand cru Les Clos 1999—will reach wine shops in the United States this spring.
The new wines are made from purchased grapes, but Moreau will regain the use of his own premiers and grands crus vineyards in 2001, after the expiration of his contract to supply grapes to J. Moreau & Fils, which is now owned by Burgundy giant Boisset. Among Moreau's vineyard holdings are 25 acres of grand cru Vaudisir, Valmur and Les Clos, including the tiny Clos des Hospices, a coveted 5.3-acre monopole, or single-owner vineyard, in the heart of Les Clos.
Joining Moreau as winemaker is his son Fabien, who studied enology at Dijon University. "There will be no more vins de table," said the elder Moreau. "I want to stay on the small side and control the quality." To achieve growth from 250 cases to 6,500 cases annually, Moreau purchased one of the William Févre wineries from Bouchard Pére & Fils.
The new Christian Moreau Chablis, Vaillons and Les Clos, not yet rated, will sell for about $17, $28 and $50, respectively. Frederick Wildman & Sons of New York, whose contract with J. Moreau & Fils ended recently, is the importer, continuing the relationship that Christian Moreau's father, Guy, began in 1938.