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Domaine Tortochot

“Chantal Tortochot, who directs this biologically farmed 11 ha domaine, described 2009 as a ‘classic vintage…the wines have tasted good since the very beginning and this included before the malos were completed.  They should age well but have that wonderful benefit of being approachable young.’  The Tortochot wines are relatively old school in terms of style and structure though they do evidence noticable wood when the wines are young.”

                        –Allen Meadows (Burghound, Jan. 2012)

Domaine Tortochot dates back to the end of the 19th century when Paul Tortochot purchased some vineyard land in Gevrey-Chambertin and began to sell his tiny production on the Place des Marronniers. His son Felix expanded the family holdings when he married Louise Liebault of Morey and the couple joined their vineyards. The tradition continued with Gabriel Tortochot and currently resides with his daughter Chantal who took over for her retired father in 1996.

Since that time Chantal has engaged in a rigorous project of updating the vineyards and centuries old winery. She began a conversion to organic viticulture in her Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Corvees” vineyard in 2003, and the results were so good that in 2008 she decided to begin a full conversion to organics in all of her vineyards. Beginning with the 2013 vintage all Domaine Tortochot wines will be certified organic by EcoCert.

The domaine totals 11 hectares, 10 of which are in Gevrey-Chambertin ranging from three different lieux dits, two 1er Crus including the famous Lavaux St Jacques and three Grand Cru Vineyards. Chantal owns 7 rows of the famed Clos de Vougoet Grand Cru. The average age of the vines across the totality of the domaine is over 50 years old. The plots are all planted to a very high density of 10,000 plantes per hectare and harvest is 100% hand picked into small bins.

A new building has been constructed behind the original winery that provides the space and equipment to maintain a tight control on cleanliness and vinification style. Chantal’s wines are elegant and fleshy, bright and concentrated all at once. They are exceptional expressions of their individual terroirs.

Recently, Allen Meadows had the time he needed to devote to a comprehensive review of Dm. Tortochot’s wines.  Burghound has scored Chantal’s wines to the like of Dujac, Rousseau, Trapet and Ponsot.  However, the prices of Tortochot are far below any of her peers.  With these scores and history, the wines of Dm. Tortochot are for every Cote de Nuits and Chambertin collector.  What follows are the notes and points of Allen Meadows:

Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru 2009 

(from .57 ha parcel in Charmes proper). A relatively elegant nose of cool, pure and beautifully layered nose features notes of red pinot fruit, smoked tea and subtle toast notes. There is fine definition to the large-scaled, intense and solidly well-concentrated flavors that possess real power, size and weight before culminating in a serious and impressively long finish where a touch of wood resurfaces. 93pts/2024+

Mazi Chambertin Grand Cru 2009 

(from .42 ha parcel in Mazis-Haut). A distinctly different aromatic profile presents itself here and it is already more complex with a mix of sauvage, earth, red currant and dark berry fruit notes. There is outstanding intensity and power to the broad-shouldered flavors that possess excellent mid-palate concentration as well as a high level of phenolic maturity to the firm tannic spine, all wrapped in an explosive, long and well-balanced finish. Like the Charmes, this is a most impressive effort but one that will require 12 to 15 years in the cellar. 93pts/2021+

Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2009 

(from a .21 ha parcel). Soft wood notes set off ripe aromas of red pinot fruit that are laced with strong earth and underbrush nuances plus a hint of forest floor. The powerful, intense, rich and seriously concentrated bigbodied flavors possess excellent size, weight and muscle before terminating in a tightly wound, explosive and notably austere finish that goes on and on. This is an excellent and impressively ageworthy effort though note that at present it is more than just a little introverted. 94pts/2027+

Chambertin Grand Cru 2009 

(from a .40 ha parcel). A ripe yet restrained, cool and surprisingly airy given the nature of the vintage displays a highly complex nose of red currant, blue berry, dark berries and ample minerality that continues onto the relatively accessible medium weight plus flavors that possess a plenitude of mouth coating dry extract. This is gorgeously, indeed almost painfully intense with explosive power to the austere and driving finish. This does a slow but inexorable build from the mid-palate and despite all of the muscle, this is actually a wine of balance and refinement. Most impressive.95pts/2027+

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru ‘Lavaux st. Jacques’ 2009 

(from a .64 ha parcel). A background touch of wood highlights a brooding and very deeply pitched mineral-inflected nose of dark berry fruit liqueur aromas that also display hints of earth and humus. The exceptionally rich, full-bodied and powerful flavors possess fine concentration and volume on the mouth coating and moderate austere finish where the wood resurfaces. This should be excellent in time though note that this should require a minimum of 12 years to arrive at its peak.92pts/2021+

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru ‘Les Champeaux’ 2009 

(from a .81 ha parcel of 40+ year old vines). In contrast to the brooding nose of the Lavaut, this is actually quite expressive with ripe but relatively fresh and cool aromas of an array of red berry fruit aromas that are liberally laced with stone and underbrush notes. There is very fine intensity to the concentrated and extract-rich medium-bodied flavors that despite the suave mouth feel exhibit fine delineation on the intense, long and chewy finish. This is very firmly structured and will need ample time to come together. 91pts/2021+

Gevrey Chambertin Lieu-dit ‘Les Jeunes Rois’ 2009 

(from a .54 ha parcel). This offers a step up in aromatic complexity with a layered and attractively pure and ripe red pinot fruit nose that is liberally laced with stone and earth touches. There is good richness, intensity and delineation to the precise, energetic and impressively persistent flavors that possess plenty of mouth coating dry extract. This moderately firm effort is a very fine villages and well worth considering. 89pts/2016+

Morey St. Denis 2009 

(from a .46 ha parcel). A pretty yet entirely serious nose of red pinot fruit with plenty of pungent Morey style ferrous earth nuances that also characterize the intense, pure and energetic medium-bodied flavors that possess good length on the linear finish. A solid if not truly distinguished villages. 88pts/2015+

Grevrey Chambertin Lieu-dit ‘Les Corvees’ 2009 

(from a .86 ha parcel). A discreet touch of wood sets off an attractive nose of ripe red pinot fruit, warm earth and a hint of the sauvage that also characterizes the rich, transparent and nicely voluminous medium-bodied flavors. This well-balanced effort culminates in a mouth coating and moderately austere finish that displays outstanding length for a wine of its level.

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