About this wine
100% Chardonnay from vines averaging 35 years old. Dubreuil-Fontaine's holding of this iconic Grand Cru vineyard is less than three-quarters of a hectare near Pernand Vergelesses.
The grapes are harvested by hand, sorted and de-stemmed. The fermentation is in oak barrels with stirring of the lees. The wine ages 12 months in oak barrels, 30% of which are new. Annual production is 3,000 bottles. Quantities are limited.
About the grape
Chardonnay is the most popular wine variety in the world - and in the US. Winemakers love the green-skinned grape as well because it’s so easy to grow and adaptive to many different production techniques. Grown everywhere, Chardonnay’s greatest expressions are widely believed to come from Burgundy. Indeed, this is believed to be where the grape originated. Chablis, in Northern Burgundy and Champagne also offer superlative examples of Chardonnay.
About the Vintage (Domaine perspective)
Good weather to start 2017, including a very warm April. Then frost hit on the same day as the prior year but without harm to the vines. The summer was warm and dry. A fine harvest began on August 31st - only the fourth vintage to start in August. Christine is pleased with the quality and the volume of the crop.
Our tasting impressions
We have not offered this wine for quite a while. In truth, most years, we find the 1er Cru Clos Berthet to be almost as good and at least half the price and this Grand Cru usually needs many years to show its merit.
In 2017, Clos Berthet is as terrific as ever but the Corton Charlemagne steps up to the extent you would expect from this famed vineyard. Already evident is the depth of the zesty and exotic nose. Then a sip and you say, "where's the fireworks?" But just you wait...the relatively demure mid-palate gives way to an explosive finish as flavors are triggered fast and furious - seemingly in every corner of your tastebuds. Wow!, gorgeous, regal and profound wine.
As referenced, Corton Charlemagne is not an inexpensive delight. If you are so inclined, know that our price is almost 25% less than any other on the US market - from any producer. Consider pampering yourself or give someone a memorable gift. This should age wonderfully for many years but is uncommonly approachable and lovely now.
On your table
You already splurged on the wine, why not double down and serve this with foie gras or classic blanquette de veau? Serve at or just below cellar temperature. Be careful not to mute it's wonderful charms by over-chiling.
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.