Arnaud Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin "Ma Cuvée"
Arnaud Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin "Ma Cuvée"

Arnaud Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin "Ma Cuvée"

Burgundy, France 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$155.00

Arnaud Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin "Ma Cuvée"

If you want brooding, spice-laden, almost impossibly deep Pinot Noir, there’s no better address on the globe to focus on than the Burgundian village of Gevrey-Chambertin. Boasting some of the most hallowed terroirs on the planet, this hamlet also has some of the most famous estates, with names like Rousseau, Bachelet, and Dugat-Py among the top tier in the entire region. But these days, the man getting the most acclaim, the most buzz in the press, is the supremely talented—and still quite young—Arnaud Mortet. Just a swirl, whiff, and sip of today’s towering “Ma Cuvée” is all you need to understand the hype, but until you have a bottle in hand here’s a note on Mortet’s 2021s from Allen Meadows of Burghound,he may well have made the wines of the vintage.” He may well have indeed. It's a spectacularly elegant take on the power of Gevrey, a true “instant classic.” But of course it is painfully limited, so make sure to take a few minutes during your holiday to grab some before it is gone!

The first to put the Mortet name on the Gevrey map was Arnaud’s grandfather, Charles, in 1956. His son, Denis, joined the team and, by the mid 1980s, he had taken over the winemaking responsibilities entirely. Around the same time he struck up a friendship with the iconic Henri Jayer, and considered him both a friend and mentor. In 1991, Charles retired, and Denis took his half of the vineyards to start Domaine Denis Mortet, and within a few years his wines were among the most sought-after in the village. Arnaud Mortet joined his father in 1999, and took over the family estate in Gevrey-Chambertin when Denis unexpectedly passed away in 2006. Thrust into the leadership of this already world-renowned domaine, Arnaud quickly rose to the occasion, and soon began to make small adjustments and improvements that would take the estate to new heights of acclaim. In 2016 Arnaud acquired a few vineyards from a neighbor, but given French AOC laws, he bottles these as simply “Arnaud Mortet” instead of Domaine Denis Mortet.

Arnaud is first and foremost a farmer, and his vineyard prowess is quickly becoming legendary. The estate is now fully organic. Cover crops are used to return nutrients such as nitrogen to the soil, horses are used for plowing, and in general almost everything is done by hand, especially in the very wet and challenging 2021 vintage. In the cellar he has slowly dialed everything back, especially from the days when his father was known for super robust, richly fruited wines with very healthy amounts of new oak. Today Arnaud uses very gentle extractions, around 80% whole clusters–but with the interesting innovation of removing the core stem–and limits new oak to about 33% on the village and Premier Cru wines. Elegance, balance, and terroir transparency are the calling cards of his skill. 

With his meticulous vineyard work, Arnaud was able to meet the challenges of the 2021 vintage head on. Yields were way down, some 80-90% less than normal, but what fruit they did harvest was pristine. The “Ma Cuvée” is sourced from seven top lieu-dit parcels, including “La Justice” and “Champs-Chenys,” and is Arnaud’s most precocious and youthful Gevrey. Indeed you can enjoy this wine already with just a brief decant, though losing a few bottles in the cellar for five to 10 years would be ideal. Serve in a large Burgundy bowl at around 58-60 degrees and you can marvel at the haunting aromas of wild blackberries, Morello cherries, violets, blood orange zest, dark chocolate, baking spice, fennel, and hints of earl grey tea. The palate is medium weight, with gorgeously silky fruit, and a core of earthy, saline minerals. Pair with any roasted or braised meats, roasted game foul, or crispy duck breasts with cherries. This is true blue-chip village Burgundy, and deserves a good home in the cellar of any Pinot Noir devotée. But don’t wait for Santa—grab some now before it is gone!

Arnaud Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin "Ma Cuvée"

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