Domaine Denis Mortet
Arnaud Mortet has been at the helm of this old family estate since 2006, evolving the style away from his late father’s showier, oakier wines, to something a little more pure and lifted. An impressive collection of 12 wines from 12 ha comes mostly from premier cru vineyards but with useful wines from Fixin, Marsannay, Chambolle and Vougeot too.
His Bourgogne Pinot Noir is from his grandfather’s fruit farm at Daix just north of Dijon which also used to be the source of an interesting Chardonnay, the vines since pulled out. Arnaud’s grandfather Charles Mortet, a cousin of Charles Rousseau of Domaine Armand Rousseau up the road, started the estate in 1956 with just one hectare. It was greatly expanded in the 1990s by Denis Mortet and his wife Laurence, a farmer’s daughter so familiar with working the land. In years which are tough weather-wise, they have to work extremely hard with up to 14 people (12 is their norm, one per hectare). Arnaud works in ‘belle lutte raisonnée’ (very sustainable), but remains critical of his organic contemporaries who he says often have to do too many treatments: Imagine the crushing of the soil by the tractors, he conjectures, let alone the thousands of litres of diesel!