Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru 2014

 The vintage

Everything started smoothly with a warm and dry spring. Thanks to an early bud-break, the vines were a few weeks ahead of our usual schedule. Then, for the third year in a row, it arrived, hail, on June 28th 2014. Once again Volnay, Pommard, Beaune and Meursault were the most badly hit villages, with variable losses between blocks but a 50% average.

Characteristically, the vines entered a period of dormancy and healing that spanned two to three weeks, thus losing its vegetative head start. The cool summer did nothing to improve that but August and early September’s ideal conditions gave us the serenity to begin harvest on September 12th. Low yields, dry conditions and a relative homogeneity of the bunches allowed us to pick everything in a little more than a week.

The early bud break and cool summer resulting in a relatively late harvest - compared to the recent past – allowed for a slow maturation of the berries and gave us an exceptional white vintage. Wines with tension, complexity and intensity of aromas are undoubtedly establishing 2014 amongst the very best Burgundian vintages.

Unlike 2013, light and fruit-forward, 2014 is a structured vintage. Despite a cool growing season, wines show good maturity and a pleasant flesh. The northern wind that blew toward the end of the season allowed for healthy fruits, favouring the whole cluster vinification that is the heart of our philosophy.

Tasting notes

A beautifully complex and again overtly floral nose offers up notes of intensely earthy dark berries, earth and smoked game scents. There is excellent richness to the sleek and well-detailed medium weight plus flavors that possess a ripe core of firm tannins on the impressively long and markedly austere finish. This robust and muscular effort is even more firmly structured and it would be pointless to even think of opening a bottle before it has at least 10 to 12 years of bottle age. This is textbook Clos du Roi.

Score: 91-94 Tasted: Apr 15, 2016 Drink: 2029+ Issue: 62 Sweet spot

Allen Meadows - Burghound