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Average critic rating : 93.0 points
From 50-year-old vines that usually yield a generous 40 hectoliters per hectare, or thereabouts, the 2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St Jacques has a very succinct and focused bouquet with mineral notes interwoven throughout the black cherry, blueberry and iodine scents. The palate is medium-bodied and is showing some of the 60% new oak at the moment, although there is sufficient fruit to absorb it. This has fine symmetry and focus with quite a long, tender finish. This is a sublime Gevrey-Chambertin to enjoy over the ensuing two decades, possibly more.||Arnaud Mortet has been at the helm of Domaine Denis Mortet in Gevrey-Chambertin for a number of years now, since his father’s untimely passing. Over that time he steadied the ship and consolidated their position as one of the appellation’s leading lights. This year he took a major decision in reintroducing the “Mes Cinq Terroirs” label since he felt that the young vines had “come of age” so to speak, now worthy of blending with the “Vieilles Vignes” and the parcel in “Les Echanges." Tasting this wine in barrel it was an astute decision – the wine is a great success. He was candid about the challenges posed by the 2013 growing season… |“It was tough. Very difficult,” he remarked before recounting the travails that had been repeated countless times during the week. “We picked on 30 September and over the following ten days. It was raining so we had to make many tries through the vines and make use of the sorting table.”|Interestingly, Arnaud told me that he undertook a slightly longer cuvaison, unlike Louis Boillot in Chambolle-Musigny, who just an hour before had mentioned a shorter cuvaison. |“We chaptalized by about 1.2 or 1.3 degrees,” he continued. “The pH came in around 3.1 or 3.2 but then 3.45 after malolactic that was not completed until the period between July and September. The wines had the same malic acid level as the 2008s but there is more ripeness in the 2013s, so the wines are more generous and long-term. The wines were very difficult to taste at the beginning and I was very worried. I had never known a vintage like it. But then after the malolactics they changed remarkably.” |Arnaud’s wines are relatively modern in style with perhaps more use of new oak then his peers, although the only cru I felt it might be excessive was his Clos de Vougeot. It has been said that his father aimed for intensity of fruit but with elegance: not an easy balance since one is usually at the expense of the other. There is an ineluctable compromise. However, I feel that Arnaud is edging closer to that ideal with every vintage. Stylistically they often remind me of the wines from Claude Dugat just up the road. The wines are made in small quantities so they can be difficult to find, although there is nothing new there. But do not ignore his “lesser” crus such as his Bourgogne Rouge or lovely Marsannay les Longerois that punch above their weights. | eRobertParker.com.December, 2014
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