From the “value” village of Marsannay comes this lieu-dit by Gevrey Chambertin-based producer Denis Mortet. It was recommended to me and my dining companion by the affable Alan Hunter at E’cco Bistro. I probably would have glanced past this on the list, but Alan’s recommendation was spot on; this is why we love good sommeliers.
The wine itself is tremendously honest and full of flavour. Aromatically, it begins with rustic spice and undergrowth, joined quickly by some bright fruit notes, mostly in the red berry spectrum. I like the sinewy character of the aroma; it’s quite complex, with plenty going on, but there’s always room to move between notes, such that it never smells overwhelming.
In the mouth, a palate structure that complements its flavour profile perfectly. Here continues a run of berry fruit and lignified twigs, supported by a frame of tannin that feels expansive and textural. Although only medium bodied, the wine’s architecture is spacious and allows flavours to articulate cleanly on the palate. The overall impression is of a certain rusticity, which isn’t code for anything unpleasant, more a reflection of the wine’s straightforward character and lack of artifice.
Enjoyed this one a lot.
Domaine Denis Mortet
Price: $A200 (wine list)
A dark, rich red with edges of purple. This wine’s nose is like a bunch of dark cherries being greedily, juicily eaten by a feral animal. There’s some stink that comes in waves, but the overriding impression is of fresh juice and tart, split berry skins. At the edges, an appealing, icing sugar-like powderiness that adds some detail and presence in the higher registers. This seems a darker wine overall, though not serious so much as rich and generous. I’m not sure the animalé is entirely terroir-driven; it smells as much of boiled eggs as it does wild Pinot. Certainly within tolerable limits.
Quite soft on the palate and a little shy on entry. Perhaps because the acidity is approachable, there’s not a lot of impact at first, and the wine takes its time to build fruit weight and presence. Build it does, though; the middle palate is deeply generous and fruit-driven, showing a flavour profile composed mostly of ripe cherries and spice. I don’t know that there’s much complexity, but it’s terribly well balanced for immediate drinking and I like its relaxed personality. Tannins aren’t very fine but descend sweetly on the tongue, reinforcing the wine’s plushness. A nicely tart thread weaves its way into the after palate, and the whole resolves cleanly through a satisfying finish.