On Friday 26th January, we welcomed Arnaud Mortet, known as the winemaker of Domaine Denis Mortet, to Hong Kong. But it was not for Domaine Denis Mortet that he was with us, but rather, for his new Domaine Arnaud Mortet. This exciting venture sees Arnaud producing Gevrey-Chambertin wines under his own label.
Arnaud Mortet with his wife Chrystelle
Prior to tasting the wines, Arnaud mentioned that the 2016 vintage would be the debut vintage of Domaine Arnaud Mortet, as he and his team were responsible for the entire vintage instead of taking it over half-way as some might have speculated. Both Denis and Arnaud Mortet wines are farmed and made by the same team and with the same facilities. The vines acquired by Arnaud which led to this new domaine are in very good condition, however it will take another 4 – 5 years for him and his team to slowly transform the vines into the true “Mortet style”.
The flight of tasting started with the village Gevrey-Chambertin, which was open and approachable, led with expressive ripe red fruit flavours. Arnaud explained that a noticeable difference is expected when comparing these to Denis Mortet’s village Gevrey-Chambertin, since Arnaud’s came from parcels stretching down East from the Grand Crus, which results in wines that are more elegant and fruit-driven; whereas Denis’ came from parcels near Brochon, giving firmer and more powerful wines.
Arnaud Mortet explaining the location of his plots
Next, we tried to the Premier Cru range, beginning with the La Perriere, followed by the Lavaux Saint Jacques. Situated just below Mazis-Chambertin, La Perriere is among one of the more “feminine” representations of Gevrey 1er Crus, and the wine well reflected such a characteristic with a fine and silky mouthfeel. It is also notable that La Perriere was not previously made by Domaine Denis Mortet, and Arnaud is very excited about exploring the full potential of this terroir. Lavaux Saint Jacques, on the other hand, is a full, rich and muscular wine with a long memorable finish. This wine is a real gem and shows huge potential. Arnaud highlighted with pride that one of his three parcels is located directly adjacent to the famed Clos Saint Jacques, with the average 70-year-old vines being the icing on the cake.
We finished, naturally, with the Grand Crus; Mazoyeres-Chambertin and Charmes-Chambertin. The Mazoyeres-Chambertin turned out to be my personal favourite of the evening, easily approachable with a complex nose of red fruit range, earthy and a smooth, solid mouthfeel which had a lasting finish. “Seductive” would be the word to summarise this wine. The Charmes-Chambertin that was sampled after was firm and powerful, an authentic “masculine” representation of a classic Gevrey Grand Cru quality. Overall these wines showed great promise, and created a buzz about the tasting room. Without doubt, wines to watch over the coming years.
Full Tasting List
Arnaud MORTET, Gevrey-Chambertin 2016
Arnaud MORTET, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “La Perriere” 2016
Arnaud MORTET, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Lavaux Saint Jacques” 2016
Arnaud MORTET, Mazoyeres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2016
Arnaud MORTET, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2016
– Chris Cheng