Corton-Charlemagne DomaineGrand Cru
Grape Variety :
Site: occupies a dominant position on the hill behind the village of Aloxe-Corton. The estate of Drouhin faces due east.
History & tradition: Corton-Charlemagne is the only vineyard in Burgundy bearing the name of two emperors: "Corton" comes from the Gallo-Roman Curtis d'Othon, meaning the Domaine of Othon, a German emperor. It gave the word Courthon, which became Corton. Famous emperor Charlemagne (Carolus Magnus) was, according to legend, the owner of the vineyard.
Soil: brown limestone with small stones.
Domaine area: 0.33 ha. (.825 acre).
Average age of the vines: 28 years.
Biological cultivation since 1990; biodynamic cultivation a few years later.
Vine stocks: sélection massale (propagation of new vine stocks from a number of selected vines) done at the Drouhin nursery; also clones of recognized quality.
Soil maintenance: compost of manure and white wood, sometimes guano (seabird manure used as fertilizer). Soil is ploughed either by tractor or by horse to manage spreading of weeds.
Treatment: only authorized products for biological cultivation are used: infusions and macerations of plant materials, sulfur and copper, powdered rock. Natural predators are not eliminated.
Plantation density: from 10,000 to 12,500 stocks/ha in order to extract all possible nuances from the terroir and limit the production of each vine stock.
Yield: we aim to keep our yields low, more in line with the previous regulation: around 20% less than allowed by the current law.
Harvesting: by hand, in small open crates in order to preserve the integrity of the fruit.
Sorting: if necessary, the grapes are sorted twice : once when being picked, the second time on the sorting table at the winery.
Pressing: very slow so as to respect fruit. Juices from the very last pressings are not retained.
The wine goes directly into barrels after "débourbage" (decanting of white wine to reduce sediment).
Type: in barrels (25% in new oak).
Length: 12 to 15 months.
Origin of the wood: French oak forests (Tronçay in particular).
Weathering of the wood: Joseph Drouhin insists on total control of the weathering for a period of 3 years, one of the contributing elements to the elegance of the wine.
Throughout the ageing process, decisions are taken only after careful tasting evaluation. The data obtained is then completed through technical analysis. As with every other Joseph Drouhin wine, absolute priority is given to the true expression of terroir and character of the vintage.
Tasting note by Véronique Boss-Drouhin
"One of the greatest wines of Burgundy, to be tasted with awe and reverence. It has an intense golden hue. On the nose, there are some subtle tones of rose, fresh almond, citrus, honey, exotic wood and spice. Majestic and well balanced on the palate. Generous and lively at the same time. Intense and complex aftertaste. All the aromas mingle and linger for quite a long time afterwards. A wine of undeniable majesty".
The wines from the Côte d'Or had excellent levels of maturity, good sugar/acid balance and a satisfactory health status. The potential degrees were normal to high. We took advantage of the excellent state of the grapes to use indigenous yeasts during alcoholic fermentations. They lasted about 3 weeks during which we practiced light "batonnage” (lees stirring). The oak ageing is very soft, the lees are of good quality and the ageing will continue in good conditions.
Temperature: 14°C (57°C).
Cellaring: 10 to 30 years.