Grape Variety :
Site: Corton and the other Corton vineyards (such as Corton Bressandes) are the only red Grand Crus of the Côte de Beaune. They are located on the hill of Corton, clearly visible from miles around and capped by low-growing oak trees. The vines are on a rather steep slope with a good south-east exposure.
History & tradition: the name comes from "curtis" (the word for an estate in Gallo-Roman times) and Othon, the Emperor who owned this vineyard. Since the wine travels well, it soon acquired great fame around the world.
Soil: a mixture of clay and small rocks create a well-drained soil where the roots of the pinot noir grape have to dig very deep in order to find water and nutrients.
Plantation density: 10,000 vinestocks/ha in order to extract as much as possible from the terroir and limit the production of each vine stock.
Yield: 39 hl/ha - purposely low, in order for the grapes to reveal every nuance of the terroir.
Grape Supply: grapes provided by regular supply partners.
Type: in barrels (20% in new oak).
Length: 14 to 18 months.
Origin of the wood: French oak forests.
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, barrel by barrel. 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
"Its colour is rather deep, its nose powerful and verging on candied fruit and spices when maturing. It has good structure in the mouth, without harshness. A good Corton must have "gras" (a velvety texture) to counterbalance tannin and acidity. On the palate, it recalls the candied fruit present in the nose. Very long and persistent, it ends on a very complex note".
As every year we sorted the grapes at once to select the most beautiful bunches that were to be kept in whole clusters and to remove berries that could present a lack of maturity. The sanitary state was very satisfactory with almost no rot. Very quickly at the beginning of the fermentations the colours were released and gradually the varietal character of Pinot Noir was expressed. We favoured this aromatic expression to look for balanced wines without too much power. The tannins are nicely melted, the acidity levels from normal to low. The fermentations and macerations lasted about 3 weeks. In the course of the winter, the malolactic fermentations were triggered and proceeded sometimes rather quickly. The Côte de Beaune has very nice wines with a good concentration.
Temperature: 16°C (61-62°F).
Cellaring: 5 to 27 years.