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Domaine Denis Mortet

Stellar Gevrey-Chambertin from one of the Finest Addresses on the Côte

A man of the vineyards, Arnaud's “knack”, as critic David Schildknecht puts it, is to be driven to produce perfect Pinot fruit from meticulously tended vineyards. He is without question one of the finest growers of the entire Côte (many of his peers acknowledge as much) and as great wines are the products of great fruit, it is no coincidence that he is producing some of the finest wines in Burgundy today. There is no doubt that the wines are more refined than those produced while his father was alive, yet they share the same intensity and potential longevity.

Arnaud is continuing his father’s dream of producing more refined wines: openly getting stylistically closer to the wines of his uncle, Charles Rousseau, without sacrificing depth and intensity, or consistency across the range. Denis Mortet was already “backing off” the extraction in the pursuit of greater elegance but Arnaud is taking this even further, not only via shorter and gentler macerations but also by reducing the percentage of new oak used. At the same time, the vineyard work at chez Mortet is at the very highest level. A horse is now used to plough all 1er Cru and Grand Cru vineyards (to minimise soil compaction) and organic/biodynamic practice is now being trialled in these sites. Machines are no longer used in any of the sites and all the work, including spraying copper/sulphur is done via backpack.

Recent evolution, including the addition of three more Grand Cru plots, has combined with Mortet’s energy and talent to propel this Domaine to its status as one of the very finest producers of Gevrey-Chambertin.

After almost 20 years as a vigneron, Arnaud Mortet is still progressing like a man possessed. There is the same level of viticultural rigour for which he—and his father—have long been famous, but now there is also a new cellar, with large oak and new concrete fermenters. Significant portions of the grapes are hand-destemmed (with scissors, à la Leroy). This incredibly labour-intensive method—which requires the work of four people for one hour to fill a single barrel—involves cutting out the central axis of each bunch (known as the rachis) to ensure the berries are retained intact on their pedicels. The idea is that you get the value of whole-berry fermentation (the prettiness, fine tannins and perfume) but without the stems (which rob acidity and bring coarser tannins).

Despite these changes, which have become more and more evident in recent years, the last time we saw Arnaud Mortet he spoke with passion about how his desire to honour the memory of his father continues to drive him. Today the wines compare very favourably with those of Arnaud’s uncle, Charles Rousseau, even if the style is not the same. Denis Mortet would have been immensely proud of what his son (with the support of his mother Laurence and younger sister Clemence) has now achieved.

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“Mortet’s wines are often spellbinding creations, thrilling wines that instantly seduce with their seamless texture, filigree tannins and beguiling purity of fruit.” Neal Martin, Vinous 

“The wines are undeniably lovely, with the flesh and charm to drink well in their youth but the concentration and satiny structure to age. They're also impressively consistent. If Mortet can sustain the viticultural attention to detail that was his father's calling card across the entire breadth of his growing palette of appellations, then this domaine's position among the greats of the Côte de Nuits will be assured.” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

Country

France

Primary Region

Côte de Nuits

People

Winemaker: Arnaud Mortet

Availability

National

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