Denis Mortet Fixin Vieilles Vignes 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Arnaud's wines are reaching new levels, as the winemaker looks back to more traditional viniculture techniques. He keeps the yield very low, uses gentler macerations and a smaller percentage of new oak, and has increased the severity of fruit selection. A perfectionist by nature, and driven by a desire to honor his father's legacy, Arnaud is making superbly finessed and precise wines, as he continues to evolve this domaine.
Inhabiting the northern reaches of the Côte de Nuits, the Pinot noir vineyards of Fixin abut Gevrey-Chambertin and produce wines of similar character. The appellation is full of well-reputed Premier Crus that offer some very fine Pinot noir, even if not quite delivering the exact precision and elegance—nor price tag—of a Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Cru. These are Les Arvelets and Les Hervelets, Clos de la Perrière, Clos Napoléon and Clos du Chapître. A classic Pinot noir from Fixin will be rich in dark fruit, underbrush and exhibit good structure and minerality.
One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).
Tasting Notes for Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, typically diominated by red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles showing black plum and more delicate styles of Pinot giving citrus qualities. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age Pinot Noir can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.
Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Noir
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of salmon or texture of tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
Sommelier Secrets for Pinot Noir
For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.