I organized a tasting of Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru today. Many wine connoisseurs signed up, and everyone was so enthusiastic they contributed bottles of wines like no tomorrow. There were 16 bottles of Corton Charlemagne spreading over 10 producers. Oldest vintage was 1989, youngest was 2009, spreading across 2 decades.
Without get too technical and bore my readers from dry and boring tasting notes, I will just focus on a snapshot of the conclusion of this tasting in point form:
- No generalization style of Corton Charlemagne, it’s all over the place with every producer producing their own style.
- Many claimed that Bonneau du Martray was an iconic representation of Corton Charlemagne, I would beg to differ. We tasted 90, 94, 95, 98, 02 and 05, 6 vintages of Bonneau du Martray, to be very honest, there was no common character at all and all vintages have their own style too (as if they change winemakers for every vintage that I’ve tasted), it’s truly all over the place. Plus it wasn’t the best Corton Charlemagne producer for sure.
- The consensus Wine of the Day (with 12 voters casting their votes) was Joseph Drouhin Corton Charlemagne 2008 (someone also brought along the 1990 but it wasn’t showing well enough either as it was a Hospice de Beaune bottle, and I normally discount Hospice de Beaune wine as they don’t really represent the winemaker style). Runner up would be Dubreuil Fontaine Corton Charlemagne 1992. Third place was Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne 1995.
- Sadly there wasn’t a Coche Dury Corton Charlemagne in the line up to be served as a benchmark as it was way overpriced. For those interested, you can read my tasting note here for the 2001 I’ve tasted.
- The oldest Corton Charlemagne I’ve ever tasted was a bottle of Huguenin 1949 (tasting note: http://www.finewines.com.sg/huguenin-pere-fils-corton-charlemagne-1949/), certainly Corton Charlemagne is extremely age worthy, perhaps that’s why it was classified as Grand Cru level.It really age at a glacier speed, so be patient with it! (One of my audience actually commented this: it’s like watching grass growing in slow motion.) Anything we drank was certainly way too young!However, I do not have the patience to wait for them to mature, so I’d rather stick to my other regions of white burgundies that gives me earlier pleasure!
These were the wines tasted: