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 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. Quantities are extremely limited. But don't fret, there was significantly more of this produced in 2017 and the barrel tastings were fabulous.
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 very challenging vintage due to frost and hail. Production was sharply down - but as is often the case - resulting in very concentrated wines.
Our tasting impressions
Of all the excellent wines we tasted in Guiton's cellar none stood out or impressed more than this 1er Cru from the relatively obscure appellation of Ladoix. In fact, it was one of the most memorable wines of a trip in which we tasted hundreds of outstanding wines, due in part to the utter surprise that a Ladoix could be this impressive.
Darker than even the Haut Jarrons, the texture borders on inky. The young wine is powerful, deep rich and has a touch of spice that adds conviction. I expect this to demure in a few years - and that is a good thing. Once this pulls back on the throttle a bit, it will reveal a more Burgundy-like demeanor yet build on its current assets. Having said that, it should be experienced now for its explosively gorgeous fruit.
On your table
Lamb can be very good with red Burgundy, particularly if the wine is young. In time, I would lean toward rib chops but right now, this Ladoix calls out for leg of lamb. Serve at cellar temperature.
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.