Domaine Vincent Rapet, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016

£131.00 (75cl)

Out of stock

SKU: BURA0116B

About the wine

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Description

A great Burgundy white wine from the Pernand-Vergelesses and Aloxe-Corton communes. The grape variety used is Chardonnay. The Corton Charlemagne vineyard is planted with vines of varying ages, ranging from more than 50 years to approximately 10 years old. Regular planting enables them to combine the power of the older vines with the finesse of younger plants.The Grand Cru Corton-Charlemagne evokes history. Corton is a composite meaning "Othon's Court". In medieval Latin cortis designated the courtyard and it was used in the same way as the gallo-Roman villa, indicating a property belonging to a member of the Frankisk nobility. Charlemagne is linked to a well-known endowment. The church in Aloxe, dedicated to Saint Médard, was placed under the patronage of the Saulieu Collegiate to which Charlemagne donated his vineyards in 775. White wine vinification : Grapes are brought in small crates to keep them intact. The pressing is carried out with a pneumatic press which is less damaging to the grapes. The whole grapes are placed in the press and the pressing lasts for two hours. After 24 hours' settling at low temperatures, the grape juice is transferred into barrels to ferment, the proportion of new barrels being 30%. Ageing on lees with stirring lasts until July and the wine is bottled after 12 months of ageing. This south-west oriented Grand Cru is planted on sand and lime marl on a very steep slope. The shallow top-layer soil, composed of crumbly rock, is fairly light, poor and very stony

Tasting note

The Corton-Charlemagne bear the mark of their flinty terroir, due to the geological composition of the soil. The vines are heady and full-bodied with a beautiful golden glimmer. This grand Sire only reaches his age of maturity after 5 to 10 years in the cellar, revealing an aromatic richness of honey and toasted almonds with an exquisite mineral touch.

About the producer

The Lamy family has been working in the vineyards since 1640. Before creating his own domaine, Hubert worked with his father, Jean Lamy. He then went on the create Domaine Hubert Lamy in 1973. At that time the domaine was around 8 hectares in size, planted mainly in ‘regional appellations’. Most of the development of the domaine was during the 1990s, when new vines were bought or rented (Clos de la Chatenière, Derrière Chez Edouard, Murgers des dents de Chien, Clos du Meix, Santenay Clos des Hâtes) or planted (En Remilly). Some parcels, which were planted with Pinot Noir vines, were changed to Chardonnay vines because it was considered this was a better choice for the soil type (La Princée).

Olivier Lamy, having first studied winemaking and commerce, joined the domaine in 1995. Prior to joining his father, he trained at several other domaines and tasted wines from all over the world. With this experience, he was able to bring new ideas and methods of working in the vines and in the cellar. Today the domaine has 18.5 hectares of vines: 80% in Chardonnay and 20% in Pinot Noir.

White wine vinification: grapes arrive in the vat house and are put in the press via a conveyor belt. The grapes are pressed and the juice is transferred to a stainless steel vat for 1 night for settling. The next day the clear juice descends, via a gravity system, into the cellar and is put in the barrels. The barrels are 300L and 600L (“demi-muid”) in capacity.

Red wine vinification: grapes are sorted on a vibrating sorting table. They are then transferred into the destemmer and into cementvats via a conveyor belt. The alcoholic fermentation process starts during the next 3-10 days. The must is then devatted andpressed; the juice is settled for one night and is then transferred into the barrels for ageing. The wine is bottled after approximately 18 months of barrel maturation.



Regions Vintage Report:

“2018 Burgundy – many beautifully pure wines with plenty of fruit richness but with poise and typicité.” Essential in defining the 2018 harvest was the preceding winter, which was excessively wet and rainy. However, this proved to be a blessing during the drought months of high summer which followed. The vines’ roots were able to tap into the well replenished water table. The signature of the 2018 growing season itself was the remarkable level of light, with plenty of warm sunshine during spring and summer. Budburst occurred without a hitch on normal dates whilst the settled warm weather meant that flowering happened under ideal conditions. This resulted in a very even fruit-set promising both a good volume of grapes as well as an even ripening. Hailstorms and the threat of frost were, thankfully, of very limited occurrence and as long as there was sufficient ground water, the vines remained healthy throughout the warm summer months. Younger vines, however, may have suffered from the drought causing them to shut down during véraison, but older deeper-rooted vines coped well with the lack of water. Véraison started in early July and stretched out over 6 weeks, a much longer period than normal due to the lack of water and high summer temperatures. This allowed high levels of concentration and flavour complexity to develop. By the end of August, many growers stated that their crop was in almost perfect condition. The weather held throughout August permitting growers to pick at the end of the month in perfect dry conditions. Very little sorting was required thanks to the homogenous ripening and the lack of disease in the vineyard. Whilst there were mildew issues for some of the red wines, the more resilient Chardonnay seems to have ripened perfectly producing rich and opulent wines in 2018. Harvest for the red wines also took place in ideal conditions in early to late September, with cool nights keeping the fruit fresh after warm, sunny days. The red wines are dark and, despite their rich constitution remain pure, fresh and beautifully balanced. Many can be described as exuberant. Tannins are often seductively silken and refined. Palate fatigue during a long tasting week was rarely encountered. The finest wines exhibit telling aromatics with floral, perfumed notes to the fore. All in all the styling and balance of the best 2018s was a welcome surprise, especially considering the warmth of the vintage. They will age very well. It may seem to run against logic but the generous harvest seems to have had less negative impact on the red wines than may have been expected, despite Pinot Noir’s notorious sensitivity to high yields. There is the undoubted potential for very high quality in 2018 red wines but it is by no means a uniform vintage. Selection, as ever, is key. Those growers who allowed their grapes too long a hang time suffered a rapid upswing in sugar accumulation at the end of the ripening period. This led to alcoholic degrees approaching or even exceeding 15%, and stuck fermentations resulting in high levels of volatile acidity and bacterial spoilage. However, the majority of wines are beautifully concentrated whilst also retaining more poise, freshness and vibrancy than in other top warm vintages such as 2005, 2009 and 2015. Despite the warm vintage, tasting the freshness of the whites in 2018 made them equally exciting as the reds. Where yields are not excessive, there is real terroir definition in 2018, despite the ripeness levels. They are very much wines of Burgundy: wines with personality and expression of their particular vineyard origins. With fine acidity and tension on the palate, and a penetrating mineral streak, the white wines are reminiscent of the 2017s but with an extra layer of fruit weight and complexity. The key for any Chardonnay producer in a warm vintage is to retain freshness. The generous yields helped compensate for the richness of the fruit, endowing the wines with a bright pure fresh fruit, but with an extra dimension of graceful texture alongside. The likes of Olivier Lamy and Thomas Morey, like the majority of other Cote de Beaune growers, favour picking early in order to retain the necessary acidity and hence freshness. The best 2018s exhibit extra weight and richness competing with the tense and energetic mineral freshness. In Chablis, the best wines offer noticeable concentration similar in style to the 2015s but with more minerality and tension on the finale and thus retaining that all important vibrancy so much a part of the true Chablis idiom. One of the most noticeable changes due to climate change is the shortening of the optimum picking window. In the past there was a 3-4 week picking period, kicking off with the warmer ‘crus’, whilst waiting for the cooler vineyard sites to ripen. This year there were only 6-10 days for the optimum picking window for the whole region which causes significant difficulties in trying to harvest all the grapes in best condition. As far as winemaking is concerned, the vast majority of growers agreed that a “light hand at the tiller” was required. The avoidance of over-extraction through over-manipulation was key. For example, less focus on pigéage and more on remontage for the reds, as well as less, if any, lees-stirring for the whites. Levels of new oak usage continue to be reduced too. A gentle, sensitive approach resulted in the most eye-catching wines. Neil Sommerfelt MW, Consultant January 2020.

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