Had 2 different Corton Charlemagne recently: A Rapet Pere Et Fils 2008 at Le Dome in Paris with best buddies (yummy seafood platter! )tonight and a Bonneau de Martray 2000 a week ago at one of the most fun dinner at Chateau Phelan Segur with managing director Véronique Dausse and other journalists.
The former: floral and vanilla on nose, good fat structure with citrus peels and vanilla, maybe little young to drink while the latter: nose of pear, honey apple and butter while expanding to a rich fruit palate with great mineral and acidity, mid length. Am not a very white person but at these 2 seperate nights, both very much enjoyable indeed.
Corton-Charlemagne is the Grand Cru appellation for the white wines of the Montagne de Corton hill, in the Cote de Beaune district of Burgundy.
Since Bonneau du Martray is the largest single owner of vines within the Corton-Charlemagne vineyard, mind as well we can take a closer look into it – domaine that only has grand cru land and all is up on the Corton hill, 9.5 hectares in total.
Domaine Bonneau du Martray has a history that goes way back, but it was only in the early 1970’s that the domaine began to bottle its own wine. Since then Bonneau du Martray has become synonymous with Corton-Charlemagne. Since 1994 Jean-Charles le Bault de la Morinière has been fine-tuning the estate that his father brought back to life. Vintage character and continuity are two words he often comes back to.
The vineyards, which have an average age of 45 years, straddle the Aloxe-Pernand boundary. ‘They mostly face southwest and west,’ Jean-Charles explains, ‘and the quality of light is exceptional. The heat is never excessive here, so the grapes always retain acidity. The palate is enlarged by the fact that I have vines at all elevations, with a week’s difference in maturation.’
Today the wine is barrel-fermented and the lees are stirred. After 12 months in oak, the wine is moved into steel for six months before bottling.
Bonneau de Martray is the classic expression of Corton-Charlemagne: lightly citric on the nose, with hints of stone fruits in very ripe years, and a dash of oak that rarely obtrudes, as well as an underlying mineral tang that sometimes approaches chalkiness. The palate has the grip of a fine Corton, a blend of virility and opulence, and exceptional length. Recent vintages that over the years have stood out include 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1992, 1991, 1985 and 1982.
Again, am more a red person, but if there is an occasion in need of a good delicious white, this is it!
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