Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne 2006
Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
The commune of Aloxe-Corton, located above Pernand-Vergelesses at the northern end of the Côte de Beaune, has the unusual distinction of having over half its area covered in grand cru vineyards. These occupy 298 acres divided among 19 climats which take the Corton grand cru appellation for red wines; five among these, totalling 120 acres, take the Corton-Charlemagne grand cru appellation for white wines as well as the Corton grand cru appellation for red wines. Aloxe-Corton's remaining 294 acres include nine premiers crus, covering 72 acres, and 222 acres ranked for village wines. Production of these latter vineyards is over 99 percent in red wines. Average annual production is 4,320 hectolitres (48,000 cases).
The history of Aloxe-Corton is not complete without the contribution of the Emperor Charlemagne. It is known that he owned vines on the hillside above Aloxe, which, in 775, at age 33, he bequeathed to the Abbey of Saulieu in recompense for the destruction of their monastery by the Saracens. At this point in history, most of the vineyards were in red vines, and it is supposedly due to Charlemagne's wife that the first white vines were planted. In his latter years, Charlemagne's chin was graced by a luxuriant white beard. His advanced age did not dampen his appreciation of fine dining; but, invariably, when he drank, drips found their way to his beard. His wife, scandalized by the little red hairs, made such an issue of his un-regal appearance that Charlemagne finally agreed to replace the red vines with white. So the great white wine named for him was born.
The grand cru of Le Charlemagne covers 42 acres comprised of two parcels stretching from the summit down to mid-slope adjacent to Corton-Pougets on the Aloxe-Corton hillside. It is among the five vineyards of the commune in which the variegated soils, alternating between chalk and iron-rich marl, produce both Corton and Corton-Charlemagne. Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot is proprietor of an exceptional, 4.94-acre parcel of vines adjacent to Les Pougets exposed directly to the south. Purchased in 1914, this vineyard yields a Corton-Charlemagne for which Jadot is famous, considered to be the benchmark by by which Corton-Charlemagne is judged. A wine of rare textural elegance and depth, its aristocratic bouquet and luscious full-fruit complexity are completed by discreet nuances of honey, cinnamon and oak, culminating in an intense, lasting finish.
Wine Spectator - "The Corton-Charlemagne is fragrant, subtle and nuanced, showing white flower, mineral, herb and orchard fruit notes, all well balanced and long.""
International Wine Cellar - "Good bright, pale yellow. Captivating nose combines a saline oyster shell quality with menthol, wet stone and violet. Dense and sweet in the mouth, with superb intensity, cut and purity to the flavors of underripe pineapple, wet stone and white flowers. Perhaps best today on the stony, pure, very long finish. This very backward and penetrating wine calls for at least five or six years of aging."
Louis Jadot Winery
The House of Louis Jadot has been producing exceptional Burgundy wines since its founding in 1859 by Louis Henry Denis Jadot. For the past 150 years Louis Jadot has continued as one of the great names of Burgundy and has gained international reputation for its superb red and white Burgundy wines. Louis Jadot is not only one of the largest producers of estate Burgundies of the Cote d'Or, it is one of the most celebrated exporters of premium Burgundies, owning close to 140 acres of vineyards from 24 of the most prestigious sites in Burgundy. View all Louis Jadot Wines
About BurgundyView a map of Burgundy wineries
Burgundy is a small region, only about a fourth the size of Bordeaux. The narrow thread of vineyard land stretches from the city of Dijon to Lyon. The five main districts of Burgundy are – from North to South - Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais. Chablis is far removed geographically (above Dijon) and adheres to its own classifications. Beaujolais is its own region due to grape variety, vinification methods and regulations. Leaving us with the Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais as the heart of Burgundy.
Grapes of the region are easy to remember - Pinot Noir for reds, Chardonnay for whites. Burgundy can be called home for both varietals, despite their increasing presence in every winemaking country. In this area red wines out number whites, although the quality for both is unparalleled.
A bit of History...Once owned and run by the church and nobility, the vineyards of Burgundy were seized during French Revolution and sold off piece by piece. Further separation occurred with Napoleonic Law, which ordered that inherited land be divided among children equally. These two factors put Burgundy where it is today – a myriad of vineyards and villages, each with a number of growers and producers.
NégociantsBurgundy is organized by plots of land and labeled as such. About half of Burgundy works on a négociant system. Growers of small plots sell grapes, or more often, barrels of already made wine, to négociant houses who then blend it with other wines from that region and put it under their label. While the négociant system may sound like a way to produce mass amounts of anonymous wines, that is, luckily, not the case. Wines are labeled with a sense of place, so you know what land you are getting. There are some négociant houses that are much more renowned and consistent than others, and for the most part, the system works. But times are changing. Some growers are purchasing more land and making the wine on their property, under their label, for more consistency. On the other side, négociant houses are buying up their own vineyards so they will have more control over winemaking.
Classification SystemThe classification system is similar to a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is the most basic of the classifications, the Burgundy AC, meaning grapes can come from anywhere in the Burgundy region. Next up is a village wine, such as Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits, or the villages within these regions, like Givery-Chambertin or Puligny-Montrachet. The label will say Appellation Puligny-Montrachet Controlée. At the next level is the premier cru. A wine that says Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru will still be Appellation Puligny-Montrachet [premier cru] Controllée, but may include the premier cru vineyard name, such as Les Pucelles. At the tip of the pyramid are the grand cru vineyards. There are only 30 in the Côte d'Or and the name of the vineyard is the appellation name.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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