Sixteen Corton Charlemagne 2002 tasted

corton charlemagne stripesOur Euryanthe wine-tasting group (10 people, among them WijnIdee editor Jozef Schildermans and collaborators Michiel Carpentier, Max Rive and Herwig Janssen, the author of these notes)  recently got together for a very interesting , educational and fun evening . Corton Charlemagne at age 7 is too young but with all these premature oxidation (‘premox’) fears , we needed to check our cellars . Unfortunately , more than half of the wines showed some major flaws… just incredible . There were 4 wines that were truly great … but that should have been way more , given that these wines are very expensive .  It shows again why Burgundy wine is oftentimes called a mine field.

This was a blind tasting.

Wine 1 : Wow , this is super wine : citrus and straw on the nose , very mineral wine with an extremely long finish . Some delicious toast . I was sure this was Coche-Dury … and it turned out to be my WOTN . 97/100. Coche-Dury.

Wine 2 : Bad luck for this one to come after wine nr 1 . Less balance , reductive style and a hint of oxidation . 87/100. Tollot-Beaut.

Wine 3 : Not a clean wine , very slightly corked , very mineral , too bad about this flaw . NR. Domaine de Vougeraie.

Wine 4 : Apple juice , lacks pleasure , oxidative. NR . Chandon de Briailles.

Wine 5 : Rich and exotic wine , California style but with good acidity, opulent , clearly a late picking estate.. . 92/100. Domaine Pavelot.

Wine 6 : Medicinal nose , oxidative , dry finish , a bad wine. NR. Laleure-Piot.

Wine 7 : Aha , the second great wine of the evening : very long and pure , chalky , textbook Corton Charlemagne , still very young. 95+/100. Quintessence de Corton Charlemagne from Girardin.

Wine 8 : Corked! Bonneau du Martray. (Too bad : 2 bottles previously tasted over the last 3 weeks were delicious… but not in a mineral style , the wines were creamy , fat and fully mature.)

Wine 9 : A very pure chalky nose , very mineral and linear , very long , great Corton Charlemagne. 95/100. Morey Blanc. (What a surprise : one of the wines of the evening was one of the least expensive : I remember buying this wine at the Domaine from Morey’s good looking daughter for not much money .)

Wine 10 : Wow wine , straw  , chalk , spicy , more elegant with less dominating acidity , one of my favourites. 96/100. Girardin.

Wine 11 : Sweet, oxidative nose… Back to reality I guess , vulgar , butter scotch. NR. Louis Latour.

Wine 12 : Not bad , but a processed wine , not interesting , lots of alcohol. 89/100. Lequin-Colin.

Wine 13 : Very light in colour , mineral-laden, good balance , good wine. 91/100. Bouchard Père et Fils.

Wine 14 : Golden colour , butter scotch : yep , oxidative , this was probably excellent but is going downhill now. NR. Henri Boillot. (I was shocked when its identity was revealed : I never have had a bad bottle of Henri Boillot and tasted at least 10 different ones from 2002 a couple of weeks ago : all young and delicious. Guess this was an off bottle, or Corton Charlemagne is his week spot. )

Wine 15 : Lovely chalky nose , still very young , text book Corton Charlemagen. 92+/100. Roumier.

Wine 16 : Delicious wine , fully ready , golden colour , spicy. I don’t think this will age well but it is delicious now. 93/100. Jadot.

We asked all ten tasters to vote for their personal top 4… and almost everybody voted for the same 4 wines . The result :

– Tied for first place : Morey Blanc and Girardin.

– 2nd place : Quintessence de CC Girardin.

– 3rd place : Coche Dury.

The 2 wines from Girardin did very well indeed .