Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016

 The vintage

The 2016 vintage, an unexpected success!

The winter was mild even too warm, without any frost or snow, which favored early budding. The Spring was wet. The cold and frost finally appeared but late April. And as we hoped for sun, it was unfortunately bad timing. After the rain, the negative temperatures of the clear night, the morning sun burned the buds through the ice which had a "magnifying glass" effect. Thus, April 26th and 27th condemned all hopes of a great harvest. The loss was considerable in some of our parcels. Multiple factors (cloud protection or not, temperatures of -1 or -6 °C, young plants, vines weakened by the hail of previous years, pruning...) explained the uneven impact frost had from a village to another, from a parcel to another.

The bad weather continued, it’s a thought rain would never stop and the mildew pressure was continuous and unprecedented. Flowering was late and spread over a period of 15 days, due to the poor weather or heterogeneity in the vineyards. This weather was a stain for our biodynamic farming. But we did not give up and we combined resiliency with efforts to stay true to our vinicultural philosophy.

At the end of June, when morale was so low, nature took over again. The sun and heat timidly arrived and settled definitely early July. Volte-face for the weather! Dry, hot and scorching days signed the end of mildew pressure! August 15th, the rain saved our vines from hydric stress and the rain falls in September allowed the grapes to resume their maturity cycle (stopped by heat and lack of water) and restore the balance acidity / sugar. We were definitely relieved when we started the harvest with the sun, on September 21st, beautiful and healthy grapes! The smile accompanied us all the way into our vats!

Tasting notes

Score: 89-92   Tasted: oct 2017   Drink: 2020-2032    Issue: 234, dec 2017

The 2016 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru has an attractive bouquet with lemon curd, dried apricot and chalk dust scents that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is well balanced with a fine line of acidity, fresh and tensile with a touch of salinity on the finish. There is something refined and understated about this Corton-Charlemagne and as such I would afford it three to five years in bottle.

Neal Martin -  The Wine Advocate