Denis Mortet Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2018
Intense and earthy, it reveals flavors of sour cherry and fresh cherry that continue into the long finish. Its powerfulness increases with time, it becomes more refined and silkier. It has the elegance of a fine ageing wine.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 91-94
Barrel Sample: 92-94
A supremely talented vigneron and currently at the helm of Denis Mortet, Arnaud Mortet is routinely praised for his work in the vineyards. Founded by his grandfather, Charles, in 1956, Arnaud took control in 2006 after the death of his legendary father, Denis. He continues his father’s legacy of making refined, elegant wines along with his sister, Clemence, and his mother, Laurence.
Arnaud’s wines are reaching new heights as he embraces more traditional vinification and viticulture techniques. The majority of the vineyard care is accomplished by hand, including horses plowing all 1er and Grand Cru vineyards to minimize soil compaction. Since 1996, chemical fertilizers and herbicides have been avoided in the vineyards, using crop cover of chickweed to help provide health of the vines. Yields are kept very low, and small crates are used to protect the berries during harvest. In the cellar, grapes see gentle macerations and a reduced percentage of new oak. The grapes undergo a strict triple sorting upon arriving at the estate, and the wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
A perfectionist by nature, Arnaud makes superbly finessed and precise wines as he continues to evolve this domaine.
Containing the largest Grand Cru in all of the Côte d’Or, Vougeot, the village, takes its name from the small stream flowing through it, called Vouge. Over three quarters of the village retains Grand Cru status, and a single vineyard at that: Clos de Vougeot (or simply, Clos Vougeot). Its mass—over 50 ha—retains the single name chiefly for historic reasons.
But today, Clos de Vougeot contains over 80 owners and shows significant soil and slope variations within its boundaries. The top, bordering Musigny and Grands Echezeaux, is calcareous and gravelly on oolitic limestone and exhibits wonderful drainage. The middle sections are limestone, gravel and clay with less of a slope. The lower part has little slant and is mostly made of clay. Historically the diverse parcels were blended but today the abundance of owners means that everyone has his own style. Exploring and understanding them is part of the allure of Clos de Vougeot.
In general a fine Clos de Vougeot when young will be dense and dark but juicy, with a pronounced austerity, and needs a good ten years to bring it to its full potential.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”