Domaine Buisson-Charles Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru 2016
This deep and intense wine in intended for long aging.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Several years ago, Michel Buisson, the third-generation vigneron of Buisson-Charles, turned over the reins of this 6.3-hectare domaine to his daughter Catherine and son-in-law Patrick Essa. They, in turn, have now handed them to their son Louis, who vinified the 2019 vintage.
Under Patrick’s leadership, the house has reached new heights, producing wines that show beautiful balance; they are concentrated and rich, yet pure and expressive, featuring both the crystalline purity and opulence of Meursault. Vines are tended organically, and the wines see no chaptalization, acidification, or SO2 added during vinification. They are bottled without fining or filtration.
Louis has followed in his father’s footsteps, espousing the estate’s philosophy that many Meursault are harvested too early and, as a result, are too lean, highly sulfured, and one-dimensional. The picking dates and other growing milestones, such as pruning, are later than most peers to extend the overall vegetative cycle. Following these methods, Bouisson-Charles’ finished wines are richer in style than most while also possessing excellent acidity and tension. Buisson-Charles has holdings among the top vineyards in the Côte de Beaune, including parcels of Meursault vines more than a century old. Both Patrick and Louis believe the terroir, not the winemaking, should determine the taste of the wine, and these creations reflect the essence of their appellations.
Prevailing over the charming village of Aloxe, the hill of Corton actually commands the entire appellation. Corton is the only Grand Cru for Pinot Noir in the entire Côte de Beaune. Its Grand Crus red wines can be described simply as “Corton” or Corton hyphenated with other names. These vineyards cover the southeast face of the hill of Corton where soils are rich in red chalk, clay and marl.
Dense and austere when young, the best Corton Pinot Noir will peak in complexity and flavor after about a decade, offering some of the best rewards in cellaring among Côte de Beaune reds. Pommard and Volnay offer similar potential.
The great whites of the village are made within Corton-Charlemagne, a cooler, narrow band of vineyards at the top of the hill that descends west towards the village of Pernand-Vergelesses. Here the thin and white stony soils produce Chardonnay of exceptional character, power and finesse. A minimum of five years in bottle is suggested but some can be amazing long after. Fully half of Aloxe-Corton is considered Grand Cru.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”