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Average critic rating : 90.5 points
Cassis, blackberry, and dark cherry as well as the tang of ocean breeze in the nose of Mortet’s 2008 Clos Vougeot lead to a continuation of salt-infused dark berries on a palate possessed of refined tannins and infectious juiciness. Admirable purity of fruit is sustained through a long, exuberant finish. What I don’t detect here is the sort of carnal depth I expect to find prominent from this cru, although a faint, peat-like smokiness as well as subtle toastiness and spiciness from barrel add nuance. Those especially enamored of singularly fruity Burgundian Pinot will find this even more satisfying than my score suggests. It ought certainly to hold up well for at least a decade, and let’s see on the way what sort of additional complexity if any it picks up. To give you an example of Mortet’s approach this year, he performed only three pigeages in the fermentative life of this Clos Vougeot, whose fruit was as usual the first harvested of the vintage. He was, he says, very conscious of trying to achieve a wine of finesse and buoyancy. ||Arnaud Mortet was one of several young Burgundy growers to remind me that he had never before witnessed anything remotely like 2008 even in the sense of a vintage about which he was forced to at one point confront the sinking feeling “perhaps the fruit simply won’t ripen.” In the event, he need not have worried, because his knack, low yields (encompassing this year three separate green harvests), and outstanding vineyards teamed-up for a fine collection. Mortet pursued a regimen of very gentle fermentative extraction – as much from stylistic proclivity, though, as from caution –chaptalizing at most a half a degree, and then only on non-cru lots. This was also a vintage with malo-lactic fermentations later than any Mortet had previously witnessed, but I suspect that if his late, great father Denis – or for that matter his grandfather – could testify, they would have said the same. Some lots did not finish until the spring of last year, as a result of which neither Mortet’s Fixin nor his basic village Gevrey were not testable when I last visited. (Nor, unfortunately, did I have opportunity to taste any of Mortet’s 2007s.) Wine Advocate.June, 2010
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