Top of the Hill
Corton-Charlemagne is home to the greatest Grands Cru whites of the Côte de Beaune. Located right on the dividing line between the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, and elevated around 300 meters above sea level, the steep hillside of Corton-Charlemagne is largely exposed to the south-west, which is a rare geographical feature for these parts. High and round on three sides, the Hill of Corton brings together the villages of Aloxe-Corton (climat in Charlemagne), Pernand-Vergelesses (climat In Charlemagne) and Ladoix-Serrigny (some climats in whole or part: Pougets, Corton, Tongues). Around 20 Grand Cru plots occupy the top spots of the Hill, a collection of vineyards that was donated by the Emperor Charlemagne in the year 775 to the collegiate church of Saint-Andoche de Saulieu.
Our Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Vintages
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2014
An Excellent Burgundy Vintage
This year’s vintage captured the memory of 2014’s unusual, and unpredictable, weather. An unusually mild winter – the Asian fruit fly had made its unwelcome introduction – something we would all wish to forget. At the beginning of the season there was much promise. The three months of Spring were warm and dry, culminating in an early bud break and bloom at the start of June. However, by the end of the month, cooler and wetter weather reigned supreme. On June 28th, a hailstorm – similar to the devastation that struck in 2012 and 2013 – damaged several villages across the Côte de Beaune, including Pommard. Third year in a row. Summer was defined by wetter-than-average weather and cool temperatures. A few hot days in July helped the vines recover their ground, but worsening conditions took control again during the first two weeks of August. By mid-August the weather improved, with mostly dry and sunny conditions aiding the grapes to a steady and juicy maturation. In September, the sun remained a constant element and a northerly wind bolstered ideal conditions; the grapes reached optimal maturity come mid-September with most appellations hand-picked under sunny skies.
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2013
If you're reading this you have outstanding taste. Welcome to the club. We always need more members. This amber nectar is the taste of the divine and the delicate. Take a deep breath. Butter, baked apple, citrus fruits, pineapple, lime, cinnamon, honey, flint. They will all be present and correct. If matured for a decade or two, truffle and leather flavors will put in an appearance. So too will richness, power, concentration, distinction and balance. This is Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, after all. This is what the Chardonnay grape was born to make and the 2013 is as succulent and pure as it gets. Never have terroir and grape been so beautifully matched. You will savor every sip. Enjoy.
Force of Nature
After the small yield, but opulent flavors, of the 2012 vintage, 2013 was another year that mother earth proved its hegemony over the vignerons and vignobles of Burgundy. The bud break was relatively late, seeping into June, following a cold, rainy and frigid Spring. Throughout June, intense rainfall delayed floraison (flowering), introducing an increased risk of blight. Pommard, as well as surrounding appellations Volnay, Beaune and Savigny-lès-Beaune, experienced a near-fatal hailstorm, identical to the power that struck in 2012. In July and August, the weather transformed again, this time for the better. Warm temperatures and sunshine envelop and clothed the vines – with some summer downpours relinquishing the heat – guiding the grapes to ripen delightfully at the end of September. Harvest began around September 23rd, with the vineyards bare of all ripe fruit come October 2nd. The year’s unstable conditions struck again with huge storms across the region’s vineyards on October 5th and 6th. Thankfully, just a few days too late to do any more damage to the net yield. Overall, the small vintage has great potential. We should all be thankful.
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2012
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