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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.
White: white Corton is a natural match for shellfish, fish, poultry in cream sauce, and goat's cheese.
Serving temperature: 12 to 14 °C
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
BURGUNDY 2017 - In 2017, everything came good for the Bourgogne winegrowing region in terms of both quality and quantity. And after several years of harvests that suffered the whims of the weather, 2017 has provided volumes set to satisfy the market, with wines that are already promising great things to come from this elegant vintage.
After spending the winter building up their strength, the vines profited fully from a very warm spring, with budburst in early April ensuring a head start in terms of the growth cycle that was maintained right up to the harvest. The plants progressed from stage to stage free from hindrance, and by mid - June, were flowerin g before rapid fruit set. An early vintage was confirmed.
During the summer, a few spells of heatwave alternated with more mixed weather. However, ripening continued at a good pace and by the end of August, the first grapes were being picked, two weeks a head of average . Harvesting continued until mid - September as each plot reached peak maturity . The grapes were in exceptional health and required virtually no sorting. Everyone was very enthu siastic about this fabulous fruit, its peak ripeness, and the volumes produced. The only downside were a few areas hit by spring frosts , where yields were below norms .
Vinification went without a hitch and the mood was one of serenity for this vintage wh en the Bourgogne winegrowing region returned to more habitual levels of quality and quantity.
From the north to the south of the Bourgogne winegrowing region, opinion is unanimous: The 2017 vintage is one of the most elegant expressions of the Chardonnay grape, with perfectly balanced wines and a wonderful aromatic profile. They are crisp , with notes of citrus and white - fleshed fruit. Aeration triggers the release of h ints of peach and apricot, while in the mouth, minerality and tension balance out this rich, fruit - filled palette. A very fine vintage indeed!
Intense, dazzling colors ranging from ruby to garnet. From first glance, these wines simply invite one to taste them. Notes of red and black berries in these extremely expressive wines are another sign of indulgence, while perfect balance in the mouth comb ined with silky tannins results in a very harmonious ensemble that is subtle and without opulence.