2018 Domaine Tortochot En Primeur
Scratch beneath the surface in Burgundy and you find numerous small, family-owned estates, out of the limelight, but making superb wines. In Gevrey-Chambertin, Tortochot is a paradigm of such domaines; too established to be included lists of 'rising stars', hence overlooked and somewhat undervalued.
Tortochot has not gone completely unnoticed. Neil Martin has variously described this as 'a name to keep an eye on' and more recently as 'one to put back on your list'! An hour or two spent with Chantal Tortochot dispels any notion that 'traditional' means staid or dull. On taking over from her father, she qualified as an oenologist and stopped selling her Gevrey fruit to negociant Joseph Drouhin, instead choosing to bottle her own wines. Working with consultant Sylvain Pataille (who is on lots of people's 'lists'), she converted the domaine to organic viticulture.
Each time we taste here, we are struck by how the wines taste the way we think red burgundy should taste...but what we really mean is, like burgundy tasted when we first got to know and love it (three decades ago!) but with none of the vices of the wines of those times. This is a traditional producer moving with the times, introducing techniques like whole bunch fermentation and moderating the use of new oak. Words like 'classic' and 'elegant', crop up in our notes. With their structured tannins, these are wines which need five to seven years to reach their peak.
Tortochot's vineyard holdings in and around Gevrey
The Gevrey 'Les Corvees' is blissfully low in new oak influence (100% first-year oak), allowing for a very pure expression of red fruits and (with age) savoury-meaty aromas. The Morey 'Aux Charmes' is a great value premier cru wine, combining bright red fruits and a juicy enjoyability. For us, the Gevrey premier cru Lavaux St Jacques is a star turn of the domaine, with many of the attributes of the neighbouring (and far more expensive) Clos St Jaques.
Tortochot's grands crus are where the real value lies, with prices per six bottles less than the village wines of some of the so-called ‘blue-chip’ domaines of the Côtes de Nuits. We would encourage you to buy for medium to long-term drinking, but those with a speculative outlook should also be considering Tortochot.
View the wines offered below.
Prices are ex-VAT per case of 12 bottles, unless otherwise advised. DP = duty-paid ex-London. IB = under bond ex-London.
|Red||2018||Tortochot - Chambertin grand cru||75cl||£795 per case of 6||IB|
75% new oak (medium toast). Smoke, brambles, game meats and earth all jumping o... Read more
75% new oak (medium toast). Smoke, brambles, game meats and earth all jumping out of the glass on the nose! I asked re the char level because of that intense smoke aroma but am assured it is from the terroir. Broad and mouth-filling on the palate, a significant step-change from the other grand cru wines, superb. RKL Close
|Red||2018||Tortochot - Clos de Vougeot grand cru||75cl||£660 per case of 6||IB|
Tortochot's 21.33 ares (approx 0.2 ha) holding here comprises just seven rows of... Read more
Tortochot's 21.33 ares (approx 0.2 ha) holding here comprises just seven rows of vines, on the lower slopes of the Clos. Traditionally thought of as inferior to the higher parts, the warming climate means ripeness levels are increasing and the location is becoming a positive advantage. Pleasingly approachable for Clos Vougeot, ripe black fruits, spice and with earth, coffee and mineral notes adding complexity. Mid-weight for this grand cru but suspect it will flesh out with age, drinking from 2027. RKL Close
|Red||2018||Tortochot - Gevrey Chambertin Lavaux St Jacques 1er cru||75cl||£260 per case of 6||IB|
Less open than the Corvees, but much more pronounced aromas of earth and crushed... Read more
Less open than the Corvees, but much more pronounced aromas of earth and crushed rock, good intensity of aroma. Silky textured, full and concentrated on the palate with some spice. Very refined tannins sustaining the wine though the finish, which is very long. Excellent value. RKL Close
|Red||2018||Tortochot - Gevrey Chambertin Les Corvées||75cl||£320 per case of 12||IB|
Fermented in stainless steel. No new oak used in the elevage, all 1st year barr... Read more
Fermented in stainless steel. No new oak used in the elevage, all 1st year barrels. Mid-intensity colour, aromas of cherry, kirsch, violets, raspberry and earth. Much more expressive on the nose than in previous vintages (save perhaps for 2017). Succulent fruit which fans out on the mid-palate, backed up by fresh acidity and structured tannins. Length is excellent for this level. Vvv good! RKL Close
|Red||2018||Tortochot - Mazis Chambertin grand cru||75cl||£680 per case of 6||IB|
Only four barrels made. 50% new oak used. Parma violet sweet aromas on the nos... Read more
Only four barrels made. 50% new oak used. Parma violet sweet aromas on the nose with dark red fruits and some spice. The tannins are exceptionally refined, although likely these will be more pronounced in the bottled wine. A very complete, rounded wine already. RKL Close
|Red||2018||Tortochot - Morey St Denis Aux Charmes 1er cru||75cl||£240 per case of 6||IB|
Bright red cherry fruits and savoury, meaty notes on the nose. Plenty of fruit ... Read more
Bright red cherry fruits and savoury, meaty notes on the nose. Plenty of fruit concentration, good tannic structure, very approachable but with definite premier cru-level structure and intensity, great value. Drinking in just 3-4 years. RKL Close