Red, Ready, but will improve

2003 Corton, Le Rognet, Grand Cru, Maison Bertrand Ambroise

2003 Corton, Le Rognet, Grand Cru, Maison Bertrand Ambroise

Red | Ready, but will improve | Bertrand Ambroise | Code:  33911 | 2003 | France > Burgundy > Cote de Beaune > Aloxe Corton | Pinot Noir | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol


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Scores and Reviews





BURGHOUND - Easily the biggest wine here, which is saying something after the sheer size of the Vaucrains yet for all of the size and weight, this is not a rustic wine though it is an extraordinarily structured wine that is quite firm on the finish yet because of the ripeness of the tannins, the structure comes across as solid rather than hard. This will require at least a decade to mellow the tannins and perhaps longer.
Allen Meadows - - Jan 2005

WA - As always, Ambroises parcel of Corton le Rognet (red) was the first fruit picked in 2003 (on August 25th). Mocha, blackberries, cassis, and hints of leather can be found in its aromatics. Though served at the same temperature as all the others (deep in the cellars), this wine came across as substantially cooler. Its structured character, packed with tannin, displays cassis, black as well as red cherries, herbs, chocolate, and minerals. A powerful effort, it will require patience (as Ambroises Cortons typically do). Drink it between 2010 and 2018.
Pierre Rovani - 29/08/2005

The Producer

Bertrand Ambroise

Bertrand Ambroise

Though the Domaine Bertrand Ambroise has 18th century antecedents it is very much the current incumbent, Bertrand Ambroise, in charge since 1987, who has driven the business forwards. The domaine, which is under conversion to organic farming, now covers 17 hectares and is complemented by a thriving negociant business. The style of wine is for dark coloured, powerful wines from fully ripe grapes, complemented by plenty of new oak. The reds are centred on Nuits St Georges but there is also Clos de Vougeot and Corton, while the whites range from St Aubin to Corton-Charlemagne.

Bertrand Ambroise's are not wines for the faint-hearted. The reds are neither fined nor filtered and are matured in barriques of which 75-100% are new. They are opaque in colour and on the palate are full-bodied and intense with copious amounts of chewy black fruits. His Corton Charlemagne is enormously concentrated but needs time to show at its best.

Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.

The Grape

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.

The Region

Aloxe Corton

These two Grand Cru vineyards, Corton and Corton-Charlemagne, lie astride three villages at the northern end of the Côte de Beaune: Ladoix, Aloxe-Corton and Pernand-Vergelesses. The main body of the hill of Corton faces due south, with an extended flank exposed to the east, and another facing westwards. The white wines mostly come from west and south-west expositions, along with a narrow band around the top of the hill.

The Emperor Charlemagne owned vines here in the eighth century, and legend has it that his wife insisted he planted white grapes so as not to spill red wine down his beard and clothes. Corton-Charlemagne is always white and there is also a theoretical Grand Cru appellation called, simply, Charlemagne, which is never used. Corton is almost entirely red but there are a few white wines too.

Ladoix is a rarely-seen appellation, as most wine here are sold as Côte de Beaune Villages. Aloxe-Corton is better-known, but as with Ladoix the best vineyards have been designated as Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.

There are also 25 lieux-dits that may be used on wine labels, together with Corton: Les Bressandes, Les Chaumes, Clos des Meix, Clos du Roi, Les Combes, Le Corton, Les Fiètres, Les Grèves, Les Manguettes, Les Maréchaudes, Le Meix Lallemand, Les Paulands, Les Perrières, Les Pougets (Pougeots), Les Renardes, La Vigne au Saint, Les Basses Mourottes, Les Carrières, Clos des Cortons Faiveley, Les Grandes Lolières, Le Rognet et Corton, La Toppe au Vert and Les Vergennes.
  • 90 hectares of village Aloxe-Corton
  • 38 hectares of Premier Cru Aloxe-Corton
  • 118 hectares of village Ladoix
  • 14 hectares of Premier Cru Ladoix
  • 72 hectares of Corton-Charlemagne. The finest from En Charlemagne (Pernand) and Le Charlemagne (Aloxe)
  • 160 hectares of Corton.  The best from Clos du Roi, Bressandes, Pougets

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