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About Domaine Denis Mortet

Charles Mortet set up his estate in 1956 with a single hectare of vines. True to the tradition in Burgundy, he sold most of his production to merchant houses. In 1978 Denis joined his father, along with his wife Laurence. They were respectively 22 and 20 years old at the time. As Laurence’s family were farmers, she quickly took to working in the vineyard to her great satisfaction. Little by little, Denis developed bottled wine sales.

He succeeded his father in 1993 and created Domaine Denis Mortet. At the time it represented some 4.5 hectares within the districts of Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny and Vougeot – but this was just the start to the establishment’s vineyard. In 1993 the company acquired the parcels of the Premier Cru Lavaux Saint-Jacques in Gevrey-Chambertin, as well as vineyard plots in Motrot, in Vellé, in Champs, and La Côte des Longeroies in Marsannay. In 1997 it purchased the district area, La Combe du Dessus. This was followed in 1999 by the acquisition of the vineyard of Chambertin Grand Cru. And of Premier Cru parcels and the Derée locality in 2000. At present, the estate comprises 11.2 hectares. In 2000 Denis’ son, Arnaud entered the company. He and his mother have been in charge since 2005.

A man of the vineyards, Arnaud’s “knack”, as critic David Schildknecht recently put 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 colleagues 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 Denis’ dream of producing more refined wines: openly getting closer stylistically to the wines of his uncle, Charles Rousseau, without sacrificing depth and intensity or consistency across the range (which Rousseau has often lacked). Denis 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 chez Mortet is at the very highest level. Horse is now used to plough all 1er and Grand Cru vineyards (in order to minimise soil compaction) and organic/biodynamic practice is now being trialed in these sites. Machines are no longer used in any sites and all the work, including spraying copper/sulphur which is done via backpack.

The yields remain very low (much lower than Rousseau for example) and, according to my understanding, the fruit selection (triage) is also much more severe. Lower yields and stricter triage will always result in richer, more intense wines, at least when the wines are young.

Mortet’s vineyards are things of beauty. Every vine is tended by hand and leaves are removed if damaged in any way. The Allen Meadows notes above comments on the renown that Arnaud Mortet enjoys amongst his peers for his vineyard work. Everyone who knows Arnaud is well aware that he is a perfectionist by nature and that he is driven by the desire to honour his father’s legacy. He has made a wonderful start. The continued evolution of Domaine Denis Mortet is certainly going to be very exciting to watch (and taste!)

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Domaine Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin 'Mes Cinq Terroirs' 2015

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About the Wines

Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroirs 2015

90 Points

"A ripe yet reasonably fresh nose is composed of notes of plum, warm earth and violet. There is good size, weight and power to the solidly concentrated and well-detailed medium-bodied flavors that possess excellent complexity and length for a villages level Gevrey. This excellent effort should drink well both young and with age is and well worth your attention."

Burghound

92-94 Points

"The 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroir comes from five parcels from around the appellation and it includes 30% whole bunch and 30% new oak. It has a vibrant bouquet, a melange of blue and black fruit that lends it a Fixin-like personality. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannin that are filigree. This has a silky texture, perfectly judged acidity and disarming purity on the finish. This is premier cru quality--period."

Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate