Arnaud Mortet, the young wine-maker of the Denis Mortet domaine, is the latest in a line that began with Charles Mortet, who created his domaine with a single hectare of vines in 1956. Like many of his neighbours, Charles Mortet sold all the wine he produced to the trade. In 1978, his son Denis joined him at the age of 22 with his 20-year-old wife Laurence. They soon began bottling and selling the wines and Laurence, who was the daughter of farmers, acquired a taste for vineyard work. As the true gardeners they were, it was through the quality of their work with the vines that Denis and Laurence would break into the market at a time when wine growing was neglected.In 1993, they officially took over, with 4.5 hectares of vines, and the domaine took the name of Denis Mortet. The first recognition came in 1995, when La Revue du Vin de France named Denis Mortet the best wine grower in France. The number of vines increased and the domaine went from success to success with an easily recognizable style, consisting of a colorful wine of fine density, with mature tannins and a well-integrated woodiness. Although Denis loved fine wines, all his efforts, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, focused on the density of the wine at a time when many wines had lost their soul through dilution and acidity. Dilution is often a sign of very high yields and acidity a sign of grapes harvested too early to limit the risks associated with harvests of mature grapes.
In 2000, his son Arnaud joined him and began a long apprenticeship under his father. On January 30, 2006, Denis Mortet died at the age of 51 and Arnaud Mortet bravely assumed control of the domaine, with the help of his mother Laurence, and gradually stamped his own sensibility on it.
The growing isn’t 100% organic: “We no longer use herbicides or insecticides. But we do still have problems with mildew. I don’t want to risk losing part of my harvest. I want to keep open the option of using an appropriate tool if there are any problems. That’s why we haven’t yet applied for organic certification.” Nevertheless, a respect for the terroir is fundamental to the domaine, which accounts for the great quality of the wine. A crucial point is that the yields are between 40 and 45 hectolitres per hectare on average, about 45 hectolitres per hectare for the young vines, between 30 and 35 for the old vines. This intensive work has been amply rewarded by the latest vintages that the domaine has been able to produce. It is not always easy to succeed a father who was both media-friendly and unanimously recognized for the great quality of his wines.
FOOD PAIRINGS AND SERVING
It is best served at about 55°F. You can store the wine in a wine refrigerator at the same temperature, which helps the wine extend its longevity. This wine is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes.
*Top Value* A brooding but notably fresh nose combines notes of various dark berries, humus, earth and distinct sauvage aromas. There is better concentration, weight and volume to the medium-bodied flavors that deliver plenty of punch and minerality on the admirably complex, balanced and lingering finish.
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