2017 Corton, Clos du Roi, Grand Cru, Domaine de Montille, Burgundy

2017 Corton, Clos du Roi, Grand Cru, Domaine de Montille, Burgundy

Product: 20178018227
Prices start from £1,324.00 per case Buying options
2017 Corton, Clos du Roi, Grand Cru, Domaine de Montille, Burgundy

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Storage charges apply.
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Description

As in 2016, whole bunches make up 66 percent this year, with new oak maintained at 50 percent. There is an exceptional old-vine intensity to the perfume; it’s rich, floral and energetic. The palate is incredibly delicate and elegant for a Corton, with the focus on red fruit and a cool, mineral character. Drink 2023-2030.

Winemaker Brian Sieve draws comparisons between the white wines of 2017 and 2014, explaining that the texture, weight and freshness are very similar in both years, although 2017 has perhaps a little more fruit ripeness, along with excellent tension and persistence. He believes that this same freshness and brightness in the reds will provide ageing capacity, pointing out that they worked hard to restrict the yield of Pinot Noir to achieve riper grapes. Overall slightly less whole-bunch fermentation was used as Brian felt the stems and fruit were not as ripe as in richer vintages.

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About this WINE

Domaine de Montille

Domaine de Montille

The De Montille family has long been a venerable one in Burgundy, though Domaine de Montille’s reputation was properly established in 1947: prominent Dijon lawyer Hubert de Montille inherited 2.5 hectares in Volnay, later adding further parcels in Volnay, Pommard and Puligny. Hubert’s style was famously austere: low alcohol, high tannin and sublime in maturity.

His son, Etienne, joined him from ’83 to ’89 before becoming the senior winemaker, taking sole charge from ’95. Etienne also managed Château de Puligny-Montrachet from ’01; he bought it, with investors, in ’12.

The two estates were separate until ’17, when the government decreed that any wine estate bearing an appellation name could no longer offer wine from outside that appellation.

The solution was to absorb the château estate into De Montille – the amalgamated portfolio is now one of the finest in the Côte d’Or.

Etienne converted the estate to organics in ‘95, and to biodynamics in 2005, making the house style more generous and open, focusing on the use of whole bunches for the reds.

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Corton-Charlemagne

Corton-Charlemagne

There are two specific Charlemagne vineyards, En Charlemagne and Le Charlemagne, making up half the Corton-Charlemagne appellation, while white grapes grown in seven other vineyards (see list below) may also be sold as Corton-Charlemagne. As a result there can be a wide divergence in style between a south-facing location such as Pougets, which needs picking right at the start of the harvest, and the western slopes in Pernand-Vergelesses which might be picked several weeks later. The underlying similarity though comes from the minerality of the soil.

En Charlemagne lies at the border with Aloxe-Corton. The hillside faces west and fine, racy white wines can be made, but the Grand Cru appellation has been extended right up to the village of Pernand itself, by which time the exposition is north-west and the valley has become noticeably more enclosed. The final sector was only promoted in 1966, and probably should not have been.

Le Charlemagne is the absolute heartland of the appellation, facing south-west, thus avoiding the risk of over-ripeness which can afflict the vines exposed due south. If I had Corton-Charlemagne vines here I would be tempted to let the world know by labelling the wine as Corton-Charlemagne, Le Charlemagne.

Two producers to my knowledge also have some Pinot Noir planted here – Follin-Arbelet and Bonneau du Martray. Both make attractive wines but neither, to my mind, justifies Grand Cru status for red wine, lacking the extra dimensions of flavour one hopes for at the highest level. This is not the producers’ fault, but a reflection of the terroir.

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Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.

Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.

Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.

The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.

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