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Some Corton from Louis Latour

A tasting during the ‘Grands Jours de Bourgogne 2016’ to celebrate the renewal of the Château Corton Grancey after a significant renovation project; described by Louis Fabrice Latour, the 7th generation to lead the company, as “A mid-18th century construction, 95% renovated.”

For background, I was sat in front of a lady that really looked like a frog – no she wasn’t French 😉 And don’t think of that as sexist, there was also a man who reminded me of pinscher with bright eyebrows and a long nose – I am an equal-opportunities critic!

After this ‘sit-down’ tasting we took a tour of the cuverie and the old cellars, followed by a tasting of a selection of bottled 2014s. Honestly, the reds, which were not long in bottle, were not even close to delivering the same interest that they showed in December, pre-bottling. Bottle shock or the way that Latour choose to bottle, it seemed a waste of time to me to take notes. The whites, however, always seem to me to be ‘on song!’
 

The wines…

Corton-Charlemagne:

2014
A nose of modest attack but fine, yellow citrus notes are the main theme. Fresh, almost the impression of bubbles, very, very intense – wow intense! Slowly developing layers of flavour, shiny at the base and a really, really wide finishing flavour. Exceptionally long. A wine that impresses in almost every direction, but at this age, not yet deliciousness – yet, I’ve no doubt of the future brilliance here – potentially great wine!
2012
A higher toned nose, quite a chalky impression to the aromas too, in the middle a core of fresh, ripe lemon. Big, more overtly structured wine, in-between all the facets attacking the palate this is centred on a very silky texture. Rather like the 14, waves of flavour over the mid-palate into the finish. More mid-palate power here, a little less finishing power – though certainly not shorter. A little more gourmand today than the 14 – a little!

2010
Here is a reductive note, it reminds of toasted oak – perhaps both are present. Ooh! – despite the oaky/reductive note and it’s quite forward here, there is a lovely delicious fruit, silky fruit, less overtly structure. Here is a level of early deliciousness – and a great finish too!

2008
No oak. Wide, silky ripe fruit, tighter below. Bright, beautiful fresh acidity but with a certain gras of dense fruit. Beautifully textured and really fine intensity. Wow! – A the most overtly impressive finish. Really very yum –clearly this wine is getting better and better with age… Super!

Les Cortons:

2012 Clos de La Vigne aux Saint
A pretty, very red fruit but transparent, not dense. Here is a little tannin at the base. Almost chocolatey accented fruit. Good intensity, and wide too. I like the finish which has a suggestion of salinity. Certainly a structural wine, one to wait for, but a nicely transparent delivery here.

2012 Clos du Roi
A deeper nose of slightly darker fruit, certain more density of fruit too. Wide, lovely energy, a little tannin coming to the fore in the mid-palate. Lovely burst of mid-palate flavour too. Fine and long. More wine here today and easier to appreciate too after the Vigne aux Saint.

2012 Corton Perrières
A bright and very appealing red freshness – the red fruit sits aromatically intermediate from the previous two wines. Lovely high tones here too. Wide, a certain sweetness of fruit, supple in the mouth, less overt structure – a more voluptuous wine in this vintage. Good finishing too. My favourite so far!

2012 Corton Grancey
A modest intensity aromatic, pretty, slightly powdered red fruit with a fine accent of freshness. Bright, fresh ebullient. Really fills the mouth, halo-ed with a little dryness of tannin. Layers of flavour, though like the Vigne aux Saint, this is less open to be really enjoying today, nice, clean and direct finishing flavour that still holds some dryness of structure.

“Grancy might be a blend of climats, but there’s nothing new in that, the Hospices have done that for generations, right up to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti today. There are many other producers who also make a ‘Corton’ which happens to be an assembly of small parcels in different climats. Actually it’s also not that different to the work in clos de Tart, where the mix of clos parcels is not identical each year.

“Grancy always with a strong base of Perrieres, about 30% Bressandes but not too much, as it brings softness. Clos du Roi has its own balance, so it doesn’t change the wine as much as with additional other components. Theres not much Chaumes in there but it brings a little sun to the wine. The Grèves is very old and consistent, with similar blending properties to Perrieres.

“Pretty much always 40%-50 new oak is used, with quite a high percentage of one year-old barrels too.”

2010 Clos de la Vigne aux Saint
A concentrated mid-red colour fruit, despite sufficient freshness there’s almost a suggestion of over-ripe. It seems to freshen in the glass though. Here is bright, fresh and tannic wine, very fine textured but with a little astringency at the end. From the mid-palate I begin to like this more and more – concentrated, finely delineated red fruit – much nicer than the first impression of the nose. Slowly fading. Still one to wait for.

2010 Clos du Roi
Here the nose is deep, with a certain spicy aspect to the fruit. Fills the mouth nicely, more supple in aspect, slowly growing tannin like the last wine and whilst also very finely grained, it is certainly less astringent. Tasty fruit in the mid-palate and into the finish – not quite the clarity of fruit that I’d like – but this is a very tasty glass.

2010 Corton Perrières
A little more powdery fruit, redder than Clos du Roi, but also with even more spicy components. Wide, lithe, complex, energetic – very lovely wine, though also with a hint of astringency from the tannin. My favourite so far.

2010 Corton Grancey
Here is a more whole and balanced nose – round high and low tones – nothing sticks out – yum! Sweeter, rounder, less tannic, better overall balance than the preceding wines. Less astringency than all the others. Really highly successful blending in 10 – certainly today more so than the 12 at this young age. Super wine!

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