From Our Cellar

Dubreuil-Fontaine Corton Perrières Grand Cru 2016

About this wine

100% Pinot Noir from vines averaging 35 years old. The grapes are harvested by hand, sorted and de-stemmed. The 18-day fermentation is in stainless steel vats with punching down occurring twice a day. The wine spends 20 months in oak barrels, 30% of which are new. Annual production is 2,000 bottles, the fewest of the Domaine’s Grand Cru Cortons.

 

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 balance 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.”

 

Our tasting impressions

I'll share my little secret, of the three excellent Cortons at this address, the Perrières is my favorite.  Funny, thing is, I am not entirely sure why.  It's not as sexy as Bressandes or as regal as Clos du Roi.  Maybe what the French call Je ne sais quoi... Sure it leans rustic but I find it more expressive and transparent.  2016 no exception (though the Roi is one for the ages).  Just an excellent wine in need of quite a bit of cellar time and patience.

 

On your table…

I vote for slow roasted pork shoulder with nothing but salt and pepper and a second helping of crispy skin. Serve at cellar temperature.

2016
Pinot Noir
Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine

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Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine

Christine Dubreuil is a fifth-generation winemaker and owner of this Domaine located in Pernand-Vergelesses. The wines are elegant, charming, and delicious - each wonderfully depicting its vineyard.

 

The Domaine offers 28 wines from 22 different appellations. The 20-hectare estate is sizable, by VDLT standards and generates close to 100,000 bottles per year.

 

Christine is a recognized leader in supporting women winemakers. Her daughter Clementine, 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.