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Tasting at Domaine Tortochot

Last week, we published our first piece on the journey to Burgundy, beginning with our trip to Domaine Tortochot, and now it’s time to follow with some tasting notes. After walking through the 2011 vintage, sampling from the cellar barrels, we moved to the tasting room upstairs to taste from the bottles.

Domaine Tortochot Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Jeunes Rois” 2010

From the lieu-dit, “Les Jeunes Rois”, in the Commune Appellation of Gevrey-Chambertin, this is a vineyard with 30-year-old vines.  The nose here is wild–wild horses, spiced forest undergrowth, twigs and bramble fruit; notes that deliver on the palate too.  The fruit is light, and the acidity is distant star bright, with tannins that express a minerality that lingers.

Domaine Tortochot Gevery-Chambertin “Les Corvees” 2010

Another lieu-dit from the Commune Appellation of Gevery-Chambertin, the vines of “Les Corvees” are 50-years-old.  Earthy with light wildflower notes, the fruit here offers acidity that positions the fruit’s freshness front and center and long on the palate.

Domaine Tortochot Gevery-Chambertin 1er Cru “Lavaux St Jacques” 2010

Located upslope from the village, as a parcel between two hills, “Lavaux St Jacques” totals 9.53ha.  The microclimate here is slightly cooler than in the nearby Grand Cru vineyards; and the later maturation of the parcel yields wines with a fine, feminine style.   At the time of tasting, Chantal’s 2010 was closed tight, like bud in early spring, rendering the red fruit a little tart with light tea tannins that were balanced by the wine’s floral delicacy and mineral undertones.

Domaine Tortochot Gevery-Chambertin 1er Cru “Les Champeaux” 2010

Residing north of “Lavaux St Jacques”, “Les Champeaux” totals 6.68ha of vines that grow on rocky, terraced soils.  Producing more masculine wines than its nearby neighbor, the fruit in the glass here is certainly riper, though still wild, and rich, with fresh acidity and integrated tannins.  Near the finish, there are spicy notes that linger alongside juicy fruit, long after the wine makes its exit.

Domaine Tortochot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2010

Chantal owns 0.57 of this Grand Cru vineyard, which totals 30.83ha when combined with its neighboring Mazoyeres-Chambertin.  Gently sloped, the soil consists of somewhat decomposed limestone with gravel and stones.  A beautiful nose, the 2010 shows purple flowers that sit close to the ground in a deeply wooded forest.  In the mouth, there’s a perfect marriage of floral notes and fruit with soft tannins that sit upon a dark,rich soil; yet the finish is lady-like and chalky.

Domaine Tortochot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2009

The 2009 is rustic, when compared to the 2010.  Floral with a silky viscosity, the wine shows an anise spice that precedes the wild fruit, which is bolder than the 2010.  The finish here is kissed with spice and carried by the wine’s bright acidity.

Domaine Tortochot Chambertin Grand Cru 2010

Of the 12.9ha of this Grand Cru vineyard, which is divided into 55 separate parcels, Chantal owns 0.31ha. Sitting at an altitude of 275-300 meters, the site is gently sloped with limestone based soils.  Incredibly feminine, this is a wine that’s age-worthy, but also suited for drinking young.  Producing wines that are generally more feminine in style than others in Gevery-Chambertin (and in Chambertin Grand Cru, which generally yields more masculine wines), Chantal achieves this effect by punching down less and pumping over more, which is a much gentler process.  Floral with a chalky minerality, the 2010 is quite elegant, with raspberry and cherry fruit, and lightly spiced tea-leaf tannins that turn chalky on the finish when accompanied by the wine’s lingering acidity.

Domaine Tortochot Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2010

Located in Vougeot, Clos de Vougeot, which is 50.59ha, totals more than 80% of the vineyards in the commune.  Of this total, Chantal owns seven sweet rows, or 0.21ha, of the largest Grand Cru in Côte de Nuits.  Producing wines that are known for their minerality, Clos de Vougeot has such a wide range of soil structures and drainage, with 100 different parcels that are owned by 80 proprietors, that notes of minerality might be one of the only unifying factors.  Chantal’s Grand Cru shows beautiful stones on the nose and palate, with red fruit and anise, which Georgia described as red licorice.  The minerality here is so omniscient that it dominates the fruit, which peaks mid-palate and is carried to the finish by chalky tannins.  This is clearly a wine with great aging potential…

(Supporting facts from Clive Coates, MW The Wines of Burgundy.)

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