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".
Pure delight in all the appellations. The colour is ruby red, very intense but less so than in 2003. The aromas, well marked when the wines were young, are more reserved now, on classic notes of little red berries. Both Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits have a consistent structure, based on good balance between acidity, alcohol and tannin. It is this balance that gives the wines such elegance. The tannins are ripe and refined. They harmonize nicely with a refreshing acidity devoid of astringency and a normal level of alcohol. The exquisite fruit found in the range of lesser villages in Burgundy, such as Chorey-les-Beaune, will charm wine lovers everywhere. The Premier and Grand Crus have been somewhat closed these last few months. Their structure tends to dominate the bouquet and aromas. It would be unfortunate to drink these wines now. The ageing potential of the Grand Crus is certainly several decades, although it will be possible to enjoy them earlier. In summary, 2005 has a lot in common with some great vintages of the past: the beautiful richness of 1990, the harmonious character of 1989 and the haunting bouquet of 1961.
Temperature: 16°C (61-62°F).
Cellaring: 5 to 27 years.