Tasted in Pernand with Emmanuel Hautus and Thibault Jacquet, 16 November, 2017.
Bonneau du Martray
2 Rue de Frétile
Tel: +33 3 80 21 50 64
Of-course there was a much talked-about sale of this domaine in 2017, and whilst I’d heard that Jean-Charles was still occasionally to be seen at the domaine, there was not sign of him when I visited. I was met by Emmanuel and Thibault, “I’m the only change here, for the tasting” said Emmanuel Hautus, Cellar Manager at Bonneau du Martray, “It’s the same team and the same philosophy that we have followed for a number of years.”
Emmanuel on 2017:
“2017 was great for us in terms of both quantity and quality. 2011 was the last vintage with an optimal volume. We saw no frost, though we were very nervous, but everyone came together and we made some fires in the village – but, fortunately, in the end we had no damage.”
Emmanuel on 2016:
“In 2016 we were touched by the black frost – that meant about 40% losses in white and 50% in red. The vines were about three weeks ahead of normal so there was plenty of growth to damage… ”
A new approach to presenting the Corton-Charlemagne. As always, the black art of blending producing more than the sum of the parts. Great white, good red in 2016.
A slightly different format for tasting the Corton-Charlemagne this year – tasting three important components of the blend then the final blend itself – a similar approach to that taken by Clos de Tart. The domaine has 15 parcels from their one block of Corton-Charlemagne vines – all vinified separately for 12 months in barrel with 30% new oak – then moved to tanks – still mainly separated but various parcels are now assembled. The wines stay for 6 months in tank with their fine lees before assembling for bottling.
1. Rollan Hautes
“From the Pernand side, below the trees – for us, this is normally the spine of the wine.”
A core of stone fruit, just a little tight. Bright, intense, yet growing more and more intense, relaxed muscle, impressive depth of flavour – on its own that’s very impressive!
2. Grandes Plantes
“From the middle of the block – the heart – where the texture and structure comes from.”
A little more open freshness of aromatic. A little gas, fresher, open, more volume, rounder – really another lever of energy here.
3. La Tour
“The bottom of the parcel, the most generous and ample, usually with the most maturity.”
A nose of intent but it’s also rather tight. Hmm, this also has lots of energy, long, beautiful, almost small waves of finishing flavour – today this is my favourite of the three in the mouth, though the finish of the second is longer.
A little more open and with good depth. A super-fresh palate, great volume, mineral, it has taken the best parts of all, but there’s even more here. It’s pure, mobile and with good energy. Great finishing, simply a great wine.
“Emmanuel notes that “The positioning of this wine reminds us in some parts of the 2013 but mixed with the 2014. The 2015 is of-course more opulent and enjoyable to drink now. 2009 started that way, but it has a really great line now, as it’s tightened and it’s much more classic – I think that the 2015 will also take this route…”
And a little rouge:
8 instead of 22 barrels. But the grapes had a good maturity.
A soft red cherry fruit on the nose, but not yet with precision. Lots of volume and very beautiful texture. Muscled but it’s not squeezing the palate – layers of fine, ingraining flavour. Opening wider and wider – this is a seriously great, finish long, and contemplative. It could do with a twist more energy this morning, but that’s probably just exacerbated by following the great white!