Domaine Gabriel Tortochot
Grand Cru Red 750 ml
Tasted: Jan 15, 2015
Note: from .42 ha parcel in Mazis-Bas
Producer note: Chantal Tortochot, who directs this biologically farmed 11 ha domaine, described 2012 as a "tiny vintage where yields were off fully 40% due mostly to a poor flowering that provoked a high incidence of shatter and shot berries. We made an amazing 21 treatments against mildew alone because it was constantly wet. All of the rain made treating the vines all the more difficult because it was a challenge just to get the machinery into the vineyards. In fact we did the last couple of treatments manually with the scuba diver-like tanks that you carry on your back! July was thankfully warm and sunny though we had one 10 day period of very hot weather that sunburned some of the exposed bunches and that cost us some yield as well. Suffice it to say that it was necessary to thoroughly sort but what we were left with was superb, indeed about as good as I have seen in terms of the raw materials. I like the wines a lot as they're ripe, concentrated and serious though not so much so that they won't be approachable young if that's what clients want." I was very impressed with the quality of the Tortochot 2012s, revisited below, in particular at the lower levels of the range. Tortochot noted that her 2012s were bottled between September 2013 and March 2014. The Tortochot wines are generally relatively old school in terms of style and structure though they do evidence noticeable wood when the wines are young. (Bertin Henri Selections, www.bertinhenriselections.com, Doral, FL, Simon N Cellars, www.simonncellars.com, Charlottesville, VA, Milton Road Trading Corp, LLC, www.miltonroadtrading.com, Napa CA, P. Comms International, www.pcommswines.com, Ashville, NC and T. Edwards Wine, New York; Waitrose, Waterloo and Fine and Rare and O.W. Loeb, www.owloeb.com, all UK).
Tasting note: There is a plenitude of sauvage character to the earth and tea-infused aromas of red berry, dark currant and humus scents. This is also seductively textured but notably more powerful as the big-bodied, intense and more obviously mineral-inflected flavors possess positively huge length on the strikingly complex finale. This is a seriously structured effort but there is so much mid-palate sap that it should be approachable after only 7 to 8 years of cellaring.