Why Big Red Diary?
23 notes
2005 Mortet Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.JacquesMay. 2009
Medium-plus colour. The nose starts wide and darkly fruited; muscular yet coiled, slowly begins to envelop you while adding faint coffee notes – it’s never overtly oaky. In the mouth it’s decently textured, the tannin largely hidden. It’s a spicy mouthful of licorice and black olive with a very impressive if currently bitter chocolate length – no oak texture here. I expected a little more ‘impact’, but versus many from the vintage this is showing rather well – so no complaints.
1993 Mortet Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.JacquesMay. 2009
(Magnum) The first vintage of this wine at the domaine. Medium, medium-plus colour. If the last wines had some minor departure from the aromatic script, this is clearly back on-message; mineral, some sweetness, faint coffee and quite some complexity – super. Fat texture and still relatively primary, but it’s still intense and full of mid-palate flavour. The saline minerality is fully evident in the long finish – and it’s an excellent finish. Today it’s a massive and just vaguely monolithic experience – it might show better if there was a hint more freshness. I don’t think it will ever be noble or intricately precise, but it’s clearly built to impress.
2004 Mortet Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.JacquesMay. 2009
(Magnum) Medium-plus colour and actually a faint shade darker than the 2005 if not quite the same level of purple reflections. The nose starts with mild 2004-specific aromas, but they build, eventually masking what is only a suggestion of concentrated fruit. This starts with enought dissolved gas to make it hard to judge – swirling reduces the problem, leaving you with a similar licorice/olive impression in the mid-palate and into the finish. There is also the 2004 flavour to martch the aromas. Impossible for me to love this.
2003 Mortet Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.JacquesMay. 2009
(Magnum) Medium-plus colour to the same depth as the 2005, though with a more yellowing rim. Dark, muscular aromas are augmented with spice and licorice – becomes quite comforting and enveloping – riper but very similar to the 2005. Riper in the mouth too, but balanced. The dark fruit is still in the ascendent, but I see some red here too, also, for the first time, we have some obvious tannin structure, but the grain is fine. It is a big and quite mineral mouthful with dark, spicy and slightly saline quality of many in this series.
2002 Mortet Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.JacquesMay. 2009
Medium-plus colour but a little younger looking than the 2003. The nose starts rather tight, only a few – though fine – higher tones. It’s wide and mouth-filling with a very nice impression to the slightly redder ripe fruit. Only from the mid-palate onwards comes the more typically mineral and spicy impression of previous wines. Still a bitter chocolate finish. The nose by now has added a small coffee-inflected dimension above a resonant red fruit note.
2001 Mortet Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.JacquesMay. 2009
(Magnum) A medium-plus colour – slightly more mature looking. The nose is back to the 2005/2003 archetype; wide, spicy, mineral, white pepper and just maybe a hint of violets. Again this is a mouth-filler and like 2005/2003 shows the dark, mineral and slightly saline character. Super length again and at this age it has lost all trace of bitterness in the first-class finish. After a while there’s a slightly disconcerting coconut aroma, but a quick swirl dissipates it. A super bottle.
2000 Mortet Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.JacquesMay. 2009
A medium-plus, dense and dark colour. There’s a sweet, slightly burnt note on the nose but it’s not at all ashy – rather there is width and an impression of clay – quite nice actually. Concentrated, showing gras, ripe fruit and background tannins. There is good dimension in the dark/mineral/spicy mold – just lacking the better focus of the 02/01. THat said, this is tasty and easily the most approachable wine so far.
1999 Mortet Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.JacquesMay. 2009
Medium-plus colour. The nose fits perfectly within the context of this family of bottles; dark, spicy, peppery and in this case with faint higher tones. Initially mouth-filling with ripe fruit and good texture. I expected a little more intensity from this vintage and though the focus is first-class the overall impression is more of a diminuendo after the entry. THat said the mid-palate shows the characteristic saline minerality and the long finish is aided by good freshness. A very good wine, but maybe could have been even better.
1998 Mortet Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.JacquesMay. 2009
Medium-plus colour. Whilst the majority of what the nose offers up, neatly fits the vernacular established by the other wines, there is just an extra edge of oak toast – unique to this vintage – but the wine has eaten it up sufficiently that there is no impression of asyness. I find a lot of carbon dioxide on the palate – initially it’s very hard to judge. Plenty of swirling slowly releases the wine within; on entry the fruit has a nice red edge and a good, dark and spicy length. As the gas fades, so the dimension on the mid-palate becomes ever-more expressive and impressive – really lovely, and I would say better than the 1999!
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