Remoissenet Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2012
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 91-93
Wandering through the 150-year-old estate’s hand-carved cellars is to travel back in time, each cool bottle telling a story of vintages past, wars won, anniversaries celebrated. Yet among these bottled memories are barrels of stories to come: older vines tended according to biodynamic methods, unique terroirs selected with the utmost care and in micro-quantities.
In 2005, Remoissenet started the next chapter in its generations-long history. With new owners and renewed leadership under Pierre-Antoine Rovani (formerly of the Wine Advocate) and Bernard Repolt (Maison Louis Jadot), the estate is bringing more vineyards under its own roof and importantly, raising the qualitative bar for itself and its vine-growing partners across the board.
The proof, of course, is in each bottle. Whether “basic” Bourgogne to hallowed grand cru, Remoissenet wines show a suave elegance in perfume and texture, with a finish made of silk.
A classic source of exceptional Chardonnay as well as Pinot noir, the Côte de Beaune makes up the southern half of the Côte d’Or. Its principal wine-producing villages are Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.
The area is named for its own important town of Beaune, which is essentially the center of the Burgundy wine business and where many negociants center their work. Hospices de Beaune, the annual wine auction, is based here as well.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.