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2019 Domaine Tortochot, Gevrey-Chambertin

We often think of Chantal Tortochot's domaine as the most classical and 'untouched' but recent trends in winemaking.  Perhaps we are doing her a disservice, as in recent vintages, Chantal has steadily increased the use of whole bunches used, from a tentative ten per cent in the 2016 vintage to around twenty-five per cent in 2019.  For winemakers of her generation, whole bunch fermentation was once a thing of the past, thought to produce wines with green aromas and harsh tannins, so Chantal's openness to change is impressive.

Embracing the return of this technique as a response to the warmer summers has kept the wines fresh and energetic.  The reds were more open and full of sumptuous dark fruit than any vintage we have tasted here.  At the same time, the undertow of minerality is evident, even in the brilliant value Gevrey-Chambertin 'Les Corvees' lieu-dit.

 

Tortochot's vineyard holdings in and around Gevrey

As we have said previously, Tortochot's grands crus are where the greatest 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 suggest snapping them up whilst allocations are available.

Offered en primeur, landing autumn 2021.

 

Domaine Tortochot, Gevrey-Chambertin

Producer Profile

Domaine Tortochot, Gevrey-Chambertin

Neil Martin has described Tortochot as 'a name to keep an eye on' and, more recently, as 'one to put back on your list'.  Formerly this was a respected, if unexciting name in Gevrey, established in the 1800s; but since the mid-'90s, there has been an impressive evolution, brought about by Chantal Tortochot.  

Returning after a career in the US to take over the family domaine in 1996, Chantal studied oenology at Dijon University and, with the assistance of consultant Sylvain Pataille, she set about converting the 12 hectares of vines to organic viticulture, certifying the whole vineyard by 2013.  She also stopped selling her Gevrey fruit to negociant Joseph Drouhin, instead choosing to bottle her own wines. 

Chantal's knowledge of the geology of Gevrey is impressive.  On one of our visits, from the garden of her beautiful house on the edge of the village, with the slopes laid out before us, she talked us in great detail through each site and its terroir.  With vines in some of the key climats of Gevrey, including Clos de Vougeot, Mazis and Charmes-Chambertin, and Le Chambertin itself, it is a wonder that the domaine has not received more attention sooner.  

When we first tasted here around five years ago, Chantal was making tentative experiments with whole bunch fermentation; from ten per cent in the 2016 vintage, rising to around twenty-five per cent by 2019.  For winemakers of her generation, whole bunch fermentation was once a thing of the past, thought to produce wines with green aromas and harsh tannins; so her openness to change is impressive.  Embracing the return of this technique as a response to the warmer summers has kept the wines fresh and energetic.  At the same time, less and less new oak has been used in the elevage, producing wines that are very expressive of their terroir, combining the best of modern and traditional styles. 

RED 2019 2 cases Tortochot - Gevrey Chambertin Lavaux St Jacques 1er cru 75cl £320 per case of 6 Tortochot
Gevrey Chambertin Lavaux St Jacques 1er cru
2019 / 2 cases / 75cl
£320 per case of 6
IB
Tasting NotesTortochot, but not as we know it! Previous vintages of Lavaux from cask have been quite closed but this is immediate and full of vibrant dark fruits and gamey aromas. The underlying minerality is very obvious and will define this wine in a few years, but for now it is all on the fruit. RKL
RED 2019 3 cases Tortochot - Morey St Denis Aux Charmes 1er cru 75cl £275 per case of 6 Tortochot
Morey St Denis Aux Charmes 1er cru
2019 / 3 cases / 75cl
£275 per case of 6
IB
Tasting NotesIntense black and cherry fruits on the nose again, but the palate is distinct from the Gevrey and true to its terroir, with softer tannins and a rounder, fuller palate. Some spice and a palate-coating texture, with earthy notes resonating on the back of the palate. RKL

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