2014 Domaine Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Lavaux St-Jacques 1er Cru


Domaine Denis Mortet in Burgundy was founded by Denis Mortet in the early 1990s. He died at the age of 51, after taking his own life in January 2006. In his brief, but highly acclaimed passage from the winemaking scene, he rose to become a colossal figure in Burgundy, fashioning wines from relatively modest vineyard holdings which punch far above their weight. He rose to fame with an exceptional range of wines from the 1993 vintage.

He believed with a deep passion that the work in the vineyard was everything. But there was an essential contradiction to his work: he yearned to make wines of finesse and style, but everything he did in the vineyard and cellar tended towards sumptuous wines of almost unparalleled weight and opulence, which achieved cult status and a devoted following. But the harder he drove himself, the further from his stated aim he went. Only now, under son Arnaud and the watchful eye of his mother Laurence, are the wines achieving the minerality and elegance (and seemingly without sacrificing weight) that Denis sought.

At the domaine everything starts in the vineyard, where every measure is taken to produce the finest, ripest fruit possible, creating a style of wine which, as Denis used to say is “a pleasure to drink young or old.” This is an estate of young vines – 25 years old – and where village wines are tended as if they were a Grand Cru; thus all the reds see 100% new oak. Denis Mortet’s immaculate vineyards are the key and no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of excellence.

The number of cuvées of village Gevrey has fluctuated in recent years. It was reduced to just one in 2005, two in 2006 and then expanded again to four in 2007: Gevrey on its own, Combes Dessus, En Champs and vieilles vignes. Other cuvées which have appeared from time to time include En Motrot, En Derée and Au Vellé.

The Domaine’s 10 hectares encompass 14 different Appellations, including two Grands Crus – Clos-de-Vougeot and Chambertin – and are a far cry from the days of his father, Charles, who started off with only one hectare.

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92-94 Points Allen Meadows
Once again there is a background application of oak visible on the intensely earthy and beautifully complex nose of dark berries, fruit, earth, violet and animale scents. There is good size, weight and power to the overtly muscular and stony flavors that possess terrific punch on the firm, austere and built-to-age finish that exhibits simply terrific depth and I particularly like the balance here. In a word, impressive.

92-94 Points Vinous
Bright, deep red-ruby. Fascinating, slightly wild nose combines black cherry, licorice, violet and sexy oak spices. Boasts a wonderfully refined texture and superb inner-mouth stony tension to the high-pitched flavors of dark berries and violet. Less creamy than the Champeaux as it’s still youthfully imploded but communicates an impression of full ripeness without loss of acidity. Compelling fruit intensity is perfectly leavened by saline minerality. This utterly compelling premier cru finishes with suave, fine-grained tannins and terrific length and lift. This wine is never high in alcohol, according to Mortet, who added that even the 2015 weighs in at a moderate 12. 8%.

Additional information

Sub Region

Gevrey Chambertin