Red Corton?

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Thom Blach, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. And an appellation that in the recent vernacular of vintages is far removed from its harsh, vin de garde reputation. Of course, you can age the wines without worry and they have retained a certain structural/architectural style that's a little redolent of Clos de Vougeot, but the recent vintages have been so attractively packaged with their fruit that they are far from lacking in joy - even young...
    The market has not fully 'caught on' versus its peers, that this is currently the grand cru bargain of Burgundy.
    Hi Simon, 1998, even from magnum, is very drinkable now, and Erwan suggests that the 1999 is also approachable - but the latter must be some mistake :)
    A match for many of the famous names that have already been noted for Corton, and even sometimes better these days, are des Croix and Ardhuy...
  2. It wasn't even slightly ready last year though sometimes corners can be turned suddenly.
    Simon Wheeler likes this.
  3. What is “a Grand Cru experience”?
  4. Maybe Faively have changed quite a bit because a combination of Corton and Faively makes my mouth pucker just thinking about the tannins!
  5. Tom's post made me think a bit about whether I care that much whether they are designated grand cru or premier cru. I really enjoy red Corton, and until recently, it was priced as a top premier cru rather than as a grand cru, so I don't in any way feel cheated by the truth in the glass. I love the fact that they are a bit recalcitrant and unfriendly, are full of soil tones and need time - an unfashionable combination these days. One of the things that was going through my mind pre-Covid was to organise a red and white Cortonfest. I'll get round to that one day.
  6. Another thought is that I've had plenty of other grand cru wines over the years that have not been better than a top premier cru. Unless the wine is outright poor, it doesn't worry me that much. There are always going to be vintage/producer variations in a particular vineyard, and let's admit that there is some arbitrariness as to how the authorities drew the line between some grand cru and premier cru terroirs. The designations are guides only and a bit of inconsistency around the edges is to be expected surely?
  7. Some recent vintages of the Faiveley CdC have had exceptional reviews from critics (e.g., Steve Tanzer on 2009, 2015 and 2016 or Allen Meadows on 2015).

    One argument I have heard is that the top Cote de Beaune reds were much better relatively in the C19 when they had much higher density planting. The nearest to that is recent times is Leroy. (And of course, we are now seeing some fascinating experiments on the white side with close planting by Lamy et al.)
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  8. If you have to ask then it wasn't!
    Nick Amis likes this.
  9. The Grand Cru Experience might make a good name for the doubtless forthcoming Wine-pages Hendrix cover band.
    Odd Rydland and Paul Anderson like this.
  10. Given the variety of responces it sounds like there are different grand cru experiences, so just wondering what your definition was?
  11. That is my definition.
  12. I suppose I've never asked myself if I've just had a grand cru experience, so that must mean I have.
    Jez Greyson likes this.
  13. Suggested dress code:
  14. You should make an effort to try the Méo-Camuzet, Thom. It's considerably cheaper than the Domaine and Leroy (duh!). I generally find it the fourth best wine in Méo's impressive line up (and the Echézeaux has improved greatly in recent years and the Clos Vougeot is always one of the better examples of that appellation, IMO), and the best quality-for-price value from Méo. Maybe fifteen years or so ago, Bipin Desai put on a Méo-Camuzet weekend that he invited me to. I think it may have been the first time that Jean-Nicolas had ever done a vertical of the Clos Rognet and he was surprised to see the high quality it showed across the vintages (he's told me that he likes to drink his wines on the younger side).

    Méo has two other Cortons; I don't usually taste them (unlike the Clos Rognet, which I taste every year have cellared when I could get it at original release price), but my experience is that they are considerably below the Clos Rognet in quality.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
    Gareth Powell and Thom Blach like this.
  15. I'd be fascinated to know whether DRC Corton tastes more of the former than the latter. Having greatly enjoyed several quite old Prince De Merode wines they could scarcely be in a more different style than that of its current proprietorship.
  16. Neither (at least if you think of the wines of the Domaine as tasting of Vosne/Flagey). It's a wine of Cistercian austerity and purity (which puts some people off, but, which I adore). Not that long after the Domaine took over, Jean-Charles Le Baut de la Morinière of Domaine Bonneau-du-Martray told me that he had ordered a bottle (I think it must have been the second or third vintage produced) in a restaurant and he was astonished: he'd never had a Corton like that before.
    Thom Blach likes this.
  17. Wonderful - I'd been hoping for such a thread on Corton.
  18. E263AECE-14C5-4178-816E-47070977C058.jpeg

    Trying to tidy up today I found a book I was looking for a week or so ago: "Viviana" by Charles Walter Berry, 1929.

    It features the conversation of friends around three (imaginary?) meals: The Claret Dinner, The Burgundy Dinner and The Champagne Dinner.


    Just curious to note the ages at which things were drunk and the complete lack of info about producers / bottlers / negoces / merchants (something which went right through the writings of Andre Simon who was keen to specify the UK merchant associated with a branded Fino, but rarely mentioned the producer of a Grand Cru Burgundy, as though all bottles were equal).
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  19. It's always fascinating to see how evaluations of wines/terroirs have changed through the years. In the past, both Clos-Vougeot and Corton have been ranked considerably higher than they are today (although Clos-Vougeot is beginning to come back some).

    For example:

    In 1855, Dr. Lavalle in his Histoire et statistique de la vigne et des grands vins de la Côte d'Or put three/four vineyards at the very top in order: Romanée-Conti, Clos de Vougeot, and Chambertin & Clos-de-Bèze, but then continued with his next group of the very top cuvées in order: Clos de Tart, the Morey part of Bonnes-Mares, and Lambrays; Corton (in part), Musigny, Richebourg and Tâche; Romanée-St-Vivant (in part), and Saint-Georges.

    In 1952, Alexis Lichine listed them in this order in the second edition (earliest that I have) his Wines of France: Romanée-Conti, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze and Chambertin, La Tâche, Richebourg, Clos des Lambrays, Musigny, Clos Vougeot, Bonnes-Mares, Grands-Echézeaux, Romanée-St-Vivant, Clos de Tart, Beaune cuvée Nicolas Rollin, St-Georges, Corton, Bressandes, Renardes, Latricières-Chambertin, Corton cuvée Dr. Peste and so on.

    By 1982 (the latest edition I have), Lichine's Guide to the Wines and Vineyards of France ordered them as Romanée-Conti, La Tâche, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze & Chambertin, Richebourg, Musigny, Romanée-St-Vivant, Bonnes-Mares, Grands-Echézeaux, Clos de Vougeot, Latricières-Chambertin, La Grande Rue, Clos de la Roche, Corton Clos du Roi, Corton-Bressandes, etc.

    Clive Coates's Côte d'Or of 1997 lists the following as *** red vineyards (in order): Romanée-Conti, La Tâche, Richebourg, Romanée-St-Vivant, Grands-Echézeaux, Le Musigny, Clos de la Roche, Chambertin, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, Mazis-Chambertin (haut), Ruchottes-Chambertin (bas), Corton-Clos du Roi.

    Many of us today would have Musigny as a top 3 or 4 and would look for Bonnes-Mares, Amoureuses, La Romanée, Clos St-Denis, and maybe various others to rank higher.

    But Romanée-Conti is a constant on these and other lists I've seen as No. 1.

    And if you think that these move around a lot, you should check historical rankings of German vineyards (although Kirchenstück in Forst is consistently the greatest in the Pfalz, if not all of Germany).
  20. That's really interesting Claude.

    The fact that quality rating has always been evolving shows that climate change really might be affecting pecking orders more than we believe.
  21. A possible conclusion, Alex but not the only one. And indeed all the rankings quoted by Claude are pre climate change with the possible exception of CC though he would have come to those conclusions over a long period rather than specifically in 1997

    Another explanation is a different level of knowledge and/or some vineyards being raised or lowered according to the standard of their best known (not necessarily best) producer
    Thom Blach, Alex Jagger and Alex Lake like this.
  22. Indeed interesting! However, I don't mean to pick a fight(!), but I would be looking elsewhere before attributing such evolution of fashion to climate change.
  23. Not sure when "before climate change" might be!

    Jeremy Caan likes this.
  24. Perhaps I could have phrased it better with tthe intention being to reference warmer vintages, early rioening and changes to the growing season etc.

Share This Page