The Hill of Corton lies in the midst of a cluster of famous wine-growing villages - Ladoix- Serrigny, Aloxe-Corton, Pernand-Vergelesses and Savigny-lès-Beaune - with, to the north, the southern end of the Côte de Nuits where vineyards mingle with stone quarries (Comblanchien limestone). The vineyards lie at heights of 250-330 metres and form a kind of amphitheatre not found elsewhere in the Côte. The Hill of Corton produces white Corton-Charlemagne and (mainly) red Corton, described by Camille Rodier as " le roi des bons-vivants " (or " the king of the bon vivants "). Corton Grand Cru received its AOC status on 31 July, 1937. A small quantity of white wine is grown but only the reds have the right to add the name of their " Climat " to that of the appellation.
Exposure is south-east/south-west (not an arrangement frequently found in the Côte). The hillside offers a text-book cut-away illustration of the local geology. The Oxfordian Jurassic limestone lying between Ladoix and Meursault is younger (145 million years) here than elsewhere along the Côte. At mid-slope the gradient is gentle and the soil reddish and pebbly, derived from brown limestone and rich deposits of marl with a high potassium content. The Pinot Noir grape is pampered here. The Chardonnay grape (which gives us the Corton-Charlemagne) occupies the top of the slope.
The extensive area covered by this Grand Cru and the large number of different " Climats " (named plots) it contains explain the observable differences in character among the wines grown here. The rare whites (grown mainly in the Climats of Vergennes and Languettes) have a keeping potential of 4-10 years. Colour: pale gold with green highlights. Mineral aromas (flint) blend with butter, baked apple, bracken, cinnamon and honey. Elegant and highly-bred, supple and well rounded, this unusual Chardonnay has much in common with Corton-Charlemagne. The Corton reds are an intense velvety crimson, darkening towards magenta. Their generous aromatic expression is of fruit notes (blueberry, gooseberry, kirsch cherry) or flowers (violet),evolving towards underbrush, animal, leather, fur, pepper and liquorice. On the palate this wine is well-built, powerful and muscular and the chewy body comes to the fore.Firm, frank and fat, it requires time (4-12 years) to reach its peak.
Red: solid and opulent, Corton is a Burgundy's iconic - highly complex, impressively mouth-filling in a way that is at once sensual and structured. For this reason, strong soft-centred cheeses and blue cheeses are needed to tame it. But, without question, its closest companions are highly-flavoured meats that match its powerful flavours and intense aromas. Indeed this wine is sublime with roast or grilled beef, or any and all game (furred or feathered) roasted, braised or - naturally - in sauce.Serving temperature: 14 to 16 °C
White: white Corton is a natural match for shellfish, fish, poultry in cream sauce, and goat's cheese.
Serving temperature: 12 to 14 °C
Coche-Dury cultivates around 9 hectares of vineyards and produces around 3,500 cases of estate bottled wine each year depending on the vintage conditions. The vineyards are planted with Aligoté, Chardonnay and Pinot noir grapevines. 70% of the harvested grapes are used by the domaine, with the remainder being sold to negociants including Louis Latour and Louis Jadot.
The domaine is best known for its white wines made from Chardonnay, with wine critics Clive Coates saying "This is one of the finest white wine domaines in the world" and describing Jean-François as "one of the superstars of white Burgundy", Robert M. Parker, Jr. saying "J.F. Coche-Dury is universally regarded as one of the five or six best white-wine makers in Burgundy", and Jancis Robinson noting that the estate is in her opinion "certainly the most reliable source of great white Burgundies".
The white wine Chardonnay vineyards cultivated by the estate include 0.34 hectares of Grand cru vineyard Corton-Charlemagne which was acquired in 1986 and three holdings of Premier Cru vineyards in Meursault with 0.5 acres in Perriéres, 0.18 acres in Caillerets and 0.21 acres in Genevriéres. Village classified vineyard holdings consist of 0.13 acres of Chevalières and 0.73 acres of Rougeots, both in Meursault, plus half an acre of the Puligny-Montrachet based Enseignières vineyard acquired in 1985.
In 2012, the domain acquired the previous hired Grand cru vineyard Corton-Charlemagne and doubled the surface whereof half of the plot is owned by the domain and the other half hired. Production will start in 2013.
A number of red wines are produced from Pinot noir grapes, vineyard holdings include 0.5 acres of Auxey-Duresses, 0.28 hectares of Monthelie, 0.34 hectares of Pommard Vaumuriens and 0.39 acres of a Premier cru Volnay which is usually blended together but in 1999 was split into Clos des Chênes and Taillepieds specific bottlings.