By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer
When things arrive, they tend to come in bunches. Next up on our roster of limited Burgundies is the superb 2010 Bonneau du Martray Coton Charlemagne.
I had a long and fascinating conversation with the ever-charming and urbane Jean Charles le Bault de la Morinière about past issues with premature oxidation and their viticulture. They have traceability on their corks, and substantial stocks of older wine. By opening bottles and checking, they found a pattern of the problem with certain cork suppliers, with whom they no longer work. In addition, their specifications on corks have tightened up considerably, and they are more carefully monitoring Sulphur levels at bottling.
The Domaine has been certified Organic since 2003, but concerned over erosion, they changed to biodynamic.viticulture, doing so in a most interesting and scientific way. They converted ½ of each vineyard to biodynamic farming and continued organic practices in the other half. What they saw, according to Jean-Charles, was more aromatic and perfumed vines in the biodynamic section. But what was even more important, was that they also saw better rain water retention and less erosion in these sections.
Since these vineyards have been in his family for 200 years, Jean-Charles feels that he is only the steward for a time, and that his job is to pass the vineyards along for the future in as healthy a fashion as possible. His goal is minimal intervention, and to allow the terroir to express itself as clearly as possible. After tasting seven vintages and talking with Jean-Charles, I came away a believer.
2010 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, $154.99 LIMIT 3
Magnums, $319.95 LIMIT 1
96 Parker’s Wine Advocate : « The 2010 Corton-Charlemagne is the epitome of elegance, finesse and refinement in white Burgundy. Readers will have a very, very hard time finding a wine with this much pure class and textural finesse. Smoke, flint, crushed rocks and citrus all flow through to the vibrant, pointed finish. Today, the 2010 is incredibly tight, and needs more time in bottle to soften. It is a dazzling wine endowed with laser-like focus and tons of purity. Anticipated maturity: 2015+. Antonio Galloni »
94 Points Steven Tanzer : « Pale yellow. Initially closed nose of lemon drop, anise and wet stone opened with air to show underripe pineapple, spices and wild herbs. Dense, thick, powerful and dry, with a strong vanillin oak element nicely buffered by an impression of saline extract. Began a bit warm but aeration brought strong, chewy flavors of chalk and lemon. Finishes austere, uncompromisingly dry and very long, with superb verve. All about soil and stone. »
92-95 Points Burghound : » *Don't Miss!* A very subtle hint of wood frames the restrained, airy, cool and very fresh nose of green apple, citrus and lightly spiced pear aromas that introduce intensely mineral-driven flavors that possess a mouth feel of pure silk. There is ample dry extract that buffers well the very firm and bright acidity that supports the transparent, long and refined finish. This is beautifully well-balanced and while it's very early on, this appears that it will reach its apogee somewhat sooner than is typical. »
Mr. Keith WOLLENBERG
Directeur Commercial Bourgogne
K&L Wine Merchants
+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line