Our tasting impressions
What a pleasure it has been to follow this wine from barrel to bottle. On our first visit, Guillaume offered tastes of this from 3 different barrels prior to blending. If you don’t like this wine, then you don’t like Burgundy. It is a big, sexy glass of Pinot Noir. It will be hard to keep our hands off these given the vibrant and luscious young fruit, but it will develop more depth and complexity over the next five years plus.
About this wine
La Corvée is a 1er Cru vineyard in the appellation of Ladoix, not far from the famed Grand Crus on the Hill of Corton. Guiton has a small south facing plot. The soil is rich with Comblanchien limestone from a large quarry on the hill above it. The interspersed clay and stones make for excellent drainage The vines were planted in 1924, 1959 and 1971. Harvesting is by hand to yields of 40 hl/ha.
Fermentation of the Pinot Noir takes 20 days with maceration (cold to start), including pigéage (punching down the cap). The wine ages in oak barrels (20% new) for 18 months. A light filtration is done before bottling if necessary. About 4,250 bottles are produced annually.
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
A bountiful crop was welcome after the major decline of the previous year. The Pinot Noir was generally fruity, reasonably acidic and gentle in tannins. Many wines appeared from barrel to be light and potentially short-lived, but since bottling they have been bulking up. What started out looking like a restaurant vintage (early consumption) now shows signs of becoming more exceptional.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru
Guillaume Guiton is a fiercely dedicated and extraordinary vigneron and a super nice guy. In the grand scheme of Burgundy, his vineyards would be considered modest...his wines, we consider, anything but.
He has been running this 11.5 hectare Domaine since 2002. His father Jean started it in 1973. Very much a hybrid estate, Guillaume owns 4ha, rents the rest and even buys grapes in his pursuit of the best he can get. He produces about 50,000 bottles per year.
He is a devoted terroirista, who welcomes the opportunity not to intervene in what nature offers. His methods vary based on vintage circumstances but he usually de-stems his red grapes and mostly avoids fining and filtration.
Guillaume is an intense student of barrels. He raises many wines in a variety of barrels before blending, only uses them for 6 years and never employs more than 20% new oak.