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.
"The Corton-Charlemagne is fragrant, subtle and nuanced, showing white flower, mineral, herb and orchard fruit notes, all well balanced and long.""
"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."
International Wine Cellar