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October 15, 2013

Louis Jadot Corton Charlemagne 2011

corton-charlemagne

Maison Louis Jadot needs little introduction as one of the biggest owners and domaines in Burgundy. They produce the full plethora of wines, including most of the leading Grand Cru plots. This is an advantage and a hindrance for their brand as many people underestimate the wines from their great plots, preferring the smaller more boutique domaines. However, their economies of scale and long history of exceptional winemaking mean that their best plots often produce spectacular wines at more attractive prices than some of the more specialist domaines. This is represented in their Grand Cru Corton Charlemagne 2011, which scored 96 points from Antonio Galloni and 92-95 from Allen Meadows; for £365 a half case this is an excellent opportunity. In fact the only Corton Charlemagne Meadows scores higher is the Leroy, which Galloni awards 94+.

Overall 2011 is a very good year for white Burgundy, with the flowering of the white wine vineyards more successful than the reds. Vignerons who picked perceptively produced wines that are fleshy on the palate with good acidity and lovely balance. They have a freshness reminiscent of the 2007s with a little more weight and good ageing potential. It was one of the earliest vintages to harvest on record and saw a modest crop size pushing prices skywards. This is important as the even lower yields of 2012 mean allocations will be difficult to come by with prices elevated; something the market will certainly be willing to pay. En Primeur 2012 is around the corner and likely to make wines like Jadot’s Corton Charlemagne undervalued, forcing prices higher. Moreover 2013 is shaping up to be a disaster with record low yields and small largely insalubrious fruit.

Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru is shared by two villages Aloxe-Corton and Pernand-Vergelesses in the northern part of the Cote de Beaune. Jadot’s 3ha vineyards are located in the heart of the appellation next to Corton Pougets with a wonderful south-west facing exposure; it is one of the oldest plots in Jadot’s stable drawing on their wonderful viticultural heritage. Fermentation takes place in oak barrels and the wine is aged in barrel for 18 months before bottling. The wine is rich, powerful with wonderful minerality, intense flavours of fruit, delicate flowers, combining with spicy aromas, pepper and cinnamon with lovely integrated oak flavours of toast and brioche. They can be enjoyed young but will age for 20 years.

Jadot’s Corton Charlemagne takes pride of place within their portfolio and it is noteworthy that their 96 scoring  Batard Montrachet and 96+ Montrachet (Galloni) trade at £750 and £1,300 per 6×75 respectively. Jadot’s Corton Charlemagne 2011 is simply great white Burgundy at £60 a bottle, something that is already rare and indeed getting rarer. Red and white Burgundy from the region’s greatest plots are rising in price and will continue to do so under the pressure of new markets, causing a demand reducing yields cannot supply. Wines like this are worth buying now and enjoying smugly over the coming years as prices rise.

Antonio Galloni, 96 points
“The 2011 Corton-Charlemagne literally bristles on the palate with energy. Bright lemon, citrus, white flowers and crushed rocks all take shape in the glass. In 2011 the Corton-Charlemagne is wonderfully pure, layered and direct. A host of citrus and graphite notes inform the vibrant, saline-infused finish. Jadot’s 2011 Corton Charlemagne is a true stand out.”

Allen Meadows 92-95 points
“Like the Montrachet, this is also presently quite aromatically reticent with its aromas of lemon/lime, wet stone and Granny Smith apples that are trimmed in a subtle application of warm oak. The equally expansive, taut and well-muscled broad-shouldered flavors possess an ample amount of dry extract and intensity on the driving finish that exhibits a faint saline character. I very much like the intensity here as well as the very dry backend and this should be superb if allowed adequate cellar time.”

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