In light of today’s Michelin 2018 announcements in Hong Kong (pure coincidence), Le Pan has been snubbed again this year. Read more for why and tasting note of Bereche Montagne Grand Cru 2002!Read More
Arnaud Mortet came to Hong Kong to launch his domaine but before he did, he also arranged a wine dinner with wines from his family domaine Denis Mortet.
Arnaud's story of how he became a winemaker is tragic. His father Denis, founded the domaine in 1990s and single handedly made it a highly sought after “cult” domaine in a span of a decade, which is nothing considering many appellations were first created by monks in the Middle Ages. The family domaine has great holdings in Gevrey Chambertin, including the prized grand cru Chambertin along with other great parcels of Clos de Vougeot, along with many fantastic Gevrey 1er crus such as La Champonnet, Les Champeaux and Lavaux St. Jacques. Most famously Denis Mortet created the cuvée “Mes Cinq Terroirs”, a blend of 5 different Gevrey village parcels. Many of the appellations are made up of old vines. Despite his success, Denis suffered from depression and committed suicide in 2006. Arnaud, who has been shadowing his father since the 2000 vintage, took over promptly after his father's passing.
Arnaud clearly has managed the family domaine well, building on the success of his father but not resting on his own laurels. He has been careful to preserve Denis's established domaine style however he has continually improved the quality of the wines year after year.
The wines were carefully selected with all them coming from him ex-domaine: Fixin and Marsannay 2015, Gevrey Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroirs 2014, Gevrey Chambertin VV 2012, Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru 2011, Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Champeaux 2010, Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St. Jacques 2009 and Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2006.
The dinner was exceptionally moving even though it wasn't meant to be sentimental. However I suppose being drunk on good wine does that to you. When he explained how he brought back Gevrey Chambertin “Mes Cinq Terroirs” in 2013 due to popular demand after stopping production with his father's last vintage of 2005, you wonder if it was also because he had finally came to terms with his father's passing and legacy. The Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2006 tasted lacklustre and unsteady, of a young winemaker deep in grief and mourning, which made sense when he explained it was his first solo vintage.
Personally I didn't think there wasn't a singularly outstanding wine of the night, since many of them from even the start of Fixin 2015 to the Lavaux St. Jacques 2009 were beautiful wines in their own right. People took that to mean that I didn't find any of them particularly good but that is unfair. Many thought Lavaux St. Jacques 2009 was the WOTN as it had a gorgeous palate and a fantastic finish, however due to the powerful vintage it hadn't open up at all to its full potential.
That evening, after stumbling into a taxi and trying to call my father without avail (the man sleeps religiously at 10pm), I left a drunken voicemail: “I love you Dad”.
Happy weekend! This will be a regular feature of recap of HK mostly wine and some food news of the week. For your weekend browsing:
- All POB events are sold out! There are just one more table left at their gala available... don't miss out.
- Jay Boberg and Burgundy vigneron Jean-Nicolas Meo's joint Oregon winery Domaine Nicolas Jay launched their brand in Hong Kong.
- Sotheby's first auction of the year in Hong Kong aims to hit $26M.
- Local importer Wine's Link went public last Friday on HKEX, pictures here.
- There are many more events happening next week. Be sure to check out the updated events section the front page for more!
- Special four hands dinner at Haku on the 20th and 21st with chefs from Amelia in San Sebastian. Don't know if it's all booked already but it's definitely worth a try, www.haku.com.hk.
- Another super high end four hands dinner at Amber with Chile's Borago (42nd on top 50 list), $2988 per pax. Their website here.
Have I missed a tip? Do let me know via comments or email.
To celebrate our second anniversary together as an a couple, the BF and I (ok just ME) decided to go for one of the first of hopefully many to come, Test Kitchen dinners to come. Test Kitchen is a concept kitchen that invites chefs from around the world to collaborate on dinners, affordable yet still delicious alternatives to expensive four hand diners at Amber or other fine dining establishments.
This dinner was in collaboration with La Bijouterie, a much buzzed about restaurant from Lyon, France that got awarded "Fooding d'amour" by Le Fooding guide shortly after opening. Described as 'le resto le plus hispster de Lyon' by City Brunch Lyon, my interest was piqued to see just how hipster a place could be coming from a city that is so representative of traditional French gastronomy.
And on that end they delivered. The food they presented was not mindblowingly original but it was a good combination of more traditional French flavours with a Asian inspired touches. It was subtle and well done even though it has been seen more many time elsewhere (Amber, Serge et le Phoque, Ta Vie etc). I had reservations against some dishes such as the duck heart but it was flawlessly executed and superbly done. I think it is a feat to have turn around diner's own preferences (albeit one relatively open minded if I could say so myself) and make them enjoy them just because of sheer skill alone.
The wine pairings on the other hand leave something to be desired. It was cheap granted ($100 ticket compared to $900+ for the dinner) however if they charged just $200/$300, they could give themselves more to work with to elevate the whole dining experience.
Ultimately you go for the food first and the wine second so while not perfect, the dinner was still pretty damn enjoyable. Until the next Test Kitchen collaboration.
For more, check out their own site here.