Terroir: The Grand Cru of Corton Charlemagne is the most largest and most northern of Burgundy's white producing Grand Crus, and the only one north of the town of Beaune. It is also the only Grand Cru that produces both white and red wine. The vineyard is a large hillside, steeply pitched in places, that stretches from the village of Ladoix-Serrigny in the north and wraps around to the village of Pernand-Vergelesses in the south. The tiny hamlet of Aloxe-Corton sits at the base of it's eastern slopes.
Domaine Jacques Prieur's parcel of Corton Charlemagne is just 1/2 an acre and sits in the Les Pougets portion of the vineyard almost in the dead center of the hillside. You could easily refer to this parcel as the "sweet-spot" of Corton Charlemagne. Vines are extremely dense with close to 10,000 vines per acre.
Vinification: Grapes are hand harvested, strictly sorted and destemmed. The must will sit on the skins for 24 hours prior to fermentation. The wine ages for 24 months of in oak barrels deep in the cellars of Domaine Jacques Prieur.
In true Grand Cru fashion the '09 Corton Charlemagne is extremely tightly wound after just over one year in the bottle. Peeling back the youthful shell reveals intense layers of fruit, mineral, spice and earth combined with focused, driving acidity.
"racked the day before my visit): Palish yellow. High-pitched aromas of elderberry, violet, lavender, linden flower and spices. Youthfully imploded on the palate, with penetrating acidity and powerful chalkiness giving it great inner-mouth tension but making this wine extremely hard to taste. Distinctly salty on the back end. Plenty of ripeness here but totally closed today. This wine did not finish its malo until September of 2010. Hardly your typical 2009, but boasts outstanding potential. Like the Montrachet, this has a structure like a red wine."
"In contrast to the expressiveness of many of the prior wines, this is closed to the point of being aromatically mute and even aggressive swirling coaxes very little from the nose. There is however simply superb power, detail, energy and complexity to the almost painfully intense flavors that culminate in a strikingly explosive and lengthy finish. This is most impressive and should also age extremely well."
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