“This is one of the sensational estates in Rasteau, with proprietor Jerome Bressy farming
just over 20 acres of vines. Organic farming and the naturally low yields of his old vines
result in wines of extraordinary concentration and intensity.”—The Wine Advocate
Domaine Gourt de Mautens is the insider's address in the southern Rhone, incomparable organic wines that have few peers in France, let alone the world.
France’s leading wine critics, Bettane and Desseauve, have already placed winemaker Jérôme Bressy among the great winemakers of the region, such as Henri Bonneau and the late Jacques Reynaud of Chateau Rayas. The parallels certainly exist—all these artisans share a fanatical dedication to very low yields and a creative eccentricity that could be called madness, or genius, or both.
Even the top estates in Châteauneuf don’t have the density of old vines that Bressy does, many of which are 90 years old or older. All work is done by hand. For years the estate has been certified organic; today Bressy is exploring biodynamic viticulture as well, to better explore what he can capture from his ancient vines. Gourt de Mautens is definitely for those who appreciate the drive of an artisan who cannot settle, who has an insatiable thirst for what is possible, and then, having achieved that, pushes further.
“Gourt de Mautens” roughly translates to “the source of water during a
storm”—a name that tells of torrential floods over parched earth, a
challenging landscape where only the most determined succeed. Grenache is the estate's main grape, sharing space with Carignane, Mourvèdre, Syrah—and even scatterings of Counoise, Muscardin and Vaccarèse. Bressy takes great care to let his harvest dictate the method of raising his wine. Every year he tries something new, and every year the results are no less than extraordinary. “On the path to perfection, I take nothing for granted. I keep on learning and trying to express new things,” Bressy says.
We were one of the first importers, back in 1996, to bring Gourt de Mautens to the U.S., and know intimately just how much potential there is in each one of these very rare bottles. This is profound wine that requires and certainly deserves time to really come around—today we are enjoying his 1998 and 1999 and can say simply that yes, every bottle of Bressy is worth the wait.