In cricket, top batsmen often refer to that moment in their careers when everything comes together as being ‘in the zone’. They see the ball as big as a football and everything is effortless and instinctive. It genuinely feels like Arnaud Mortet is at that stage in his winemaking journey. Meeting him at his cellars, he arrives in good humour and with a warm smile, clearly delighted to showcase his 2021s. His bright disposition contrasts sharply with one or two vignerons, who seemed to have succumbed, quite understandably, to the stress of this frost-ravaged vintage. And, though we discussed the dramatic percentage drops of certain cuvées (you will notice that we are not offering some wines at all this year), we very much focused on the positives of the vintage and the sheer brilliance of the wines. If one judges a winemaker by his ability to fashion great wines in challenging circumstances then Arnaud can take a long, well-deserved bow.
Neal Martin seems to have had a similar experience when tasting with Arnaud stating that ‘this was one of the strongest and most consistent set of 2021s that I encountered, scintillating and intense expressions of Pinot Noir that had so much energy I worried that they would leap from my glass. As you approach the top flight of Premiers and Grands Crus, you begin to wonder how they could have been born in such a traumatic growing season. But they were.’