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Burgundian winemaker commits suicide

Published:  23 July, 2008

Denis Mortet, one of Burgundy's most respected and talented winemakers, was found dead in his car in front of his cuverie in Gevrey-Chambertin on Monday 30 January. He is believed to have committed suicide.

After crafting concentrated, oaky micro-cuves in the mid-

to late '90s, he had gradually returned in recent vintages to a smaller range of wines in a style that some commentators regarded as better balanced and more refined, more reminiscent of the wines he first produced under his own name in 1992. The family domaine, in the name of his father Charles Mortet & Fils, had been divided between Denis and his brother Thierry the previous year. It has privileged holdings in grands crus Chambertin and Clos de Vougeot, as well as in several premier cru and village vineyards.

Denis Mortet was renowned for his meticulous attention to detail at every stage of production, and for a perfectionist streak that left him unsatisfied even with wines that were highly sought after all round the world.