Our tasting impressions
As is so often the case, low yields mean great concentration. Our first taste of “the King” of Corton assured us that this is superb. Deep, rich and remarkably pure. Young and intense but but not unapproachable. Give it a long decant if you are tempted now but the true beauty of this wine is down the road (it could easily improve for decades)!
About this wine
Considered by many to be the finest vineyard of this Grand Cru appellation. They don't call it the King for nothing.
100% Pinot Noir from vines averaging 35 years old. The grapes are harvested by hand, sorted and de-stemmed. The 17-day fermentation is in stainless steel vats with punching down occurring twice a day. The wine spends a year and a half in oak barrels, 30% of which are new. Annual production is 2,500 bottles.
About the grape
Pinot Noir is an ancient grape from eastern France. Notoriously challenging, it thrives in cooler climates. The concept of terroir is most closely identified with Burgundy because the lightness of Pinot Noir enables it to so transparently express minor differences (which is why experienced tasters can discern the difference in wines produced from vineyards in very close proximity). Intense popularity resulted in plantings all over the world but most agree that its finest expression is in the Côte d’Or of Burgundy.
About the Vintage (Domaine perspective)
2016, a miracle vintage perhaps. Generally, tiny production but concentrated and fine. Less ripe and probably better balanced than 2015. Here are comments from Christine Dubreuil, “Frost 27 April. Directly we could see ‘That’s not good.’ In the commune of Pernand we were particularly touched – 70-80% losses. The vines just stopped growing – it was June before the vines were green again… but from July the weather was really super and the vines looked great – but there was no fruit. We could be happy if we found one cluster per vine. The whites of Pernand was the lowest spot but we had the chance that the red Corton was lovely and not touched – Pommard Epenots too. In the end it’s less than half a harvest here – we lost roughly two-thirds of the whites, but at least the quality is super. The reds fermented faster than the whites, but nothing took long.”
On your table…
Certainly this Corton calls for something hearty and fatty to battle the lusty tannins. A roast leg of lamb with some earthy sides perhaps. With some maturity, switch to a spring-like lamb stew with peas and morels. Serve at cellar temperature.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru
Christine Dubreuil is a fifth-generation winemaker and owner of this Domaine located in Pernand-Vergelesses. Her wines are elegant, charming, and delicious - each wonderfully depicting its vineyard.
The Domaine makes more than 20 different wines. The 20-hectare estate is sizable, by VDLT standards and generates close to 100,000 bottles per year.
Christine is a leader in supporting women winemakers. Her daughter Clémentine, who is training with mom, appears to be following in her footsteps.
Chief has known Christine and her family for many years. They have spent many wonderful evenings enjoying great food and splendid older vintages from the Dubreuil-Fontaine cellar.