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Chandon de Briailles Corton Marechaudes Rouge 2012

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Importers Note:

40 percent whole bunch, 20 percent new oak. This is Corton’s lowest-lying grand cru, which takes its name from Mareshe, or marsh, and the domaine farms 1.45-hectares. To put your mind at rest, the area around here (lower Aloxe-Corton) was drained many moons ago! It is a walled site, i.e., a genuine clos, located on the lower eastern slopes, close to Ladoix; under the Corton Bressandes and nuzzling the Corton Vergennes. This is a shallow terroir facing due east and the domaine’s holdings were planted in 1974 and 1979. From iron-rich clay soils, Maréchaudes is always the most forward example of Chandon’s mighty trio of Corton (rouge) vineyards. Although there is of course the structure that you would expect of a young Corton – these are swamped with layers of sweet red cherry fruit and anise. Impressively balanced and shares the same level of precision and seduction as the 2010.

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Importer Note:

In Burgundy, where they don’t mind waiting for wines to mature, this classical, Savigny based grower has long been considered one of the reference estates. Yet, while these perfumed, graceful and structured wines remain a yardstick for classically-styled red Burgundies, recent years have witnessed subtle changes in both the vineyards and cellars that is now resulting in wines that are far more seductive in their youth.

But first the basics: Chandon de Briailles is a 13-hectare, biodynamic domaine with important Corton, Corton-Charlemagne, Savigny-lès-Beaune and Pernand Vergelesses holdings. It is owned by Comte Aymar and Nadine de Nicolaÿ, Nadine’s daughter Claude oversees all aspects winemaking, together with their talented new Australian cellarmaster Christian Knott, while her cousin’s husband, François Grangé, is in charge of the vineyards.

The skilfully tended, long time organic vineyards have been managed biodynamically for a few years now and were certified from the 2011 harvest. There is also a horse used for ploughing in order to minimise compaction. The impact of such practices is always difficult to quantify precisely yet there is no question that the vineyards are today delivering a brighter fruit profile with more intensity and flesh. Another recent change has been to the oak regime. While new oak remains forbidden, François and Claude de Nicolaÿ and their new cellar master have lowered the average age of their barrels by eradicating many of the truly ancient casks and replacing them with 1, 2 and 3 year old oak from benchmark Domaines. Finally, from 2010 the Domaine has instituted a more restrained use of whole bunches. As one of Burgundy’s most faithful advocates of whole bunch usage, this last point may worry lovers of this historically conservative Domaine. Fear not; the wines of Chandon de Briailles are every bit as understated, elegant and poised as they always were, and stems remain very much part of the classical architecture of these wines. It simply means that now the wines’ abundant structure is matched with a little more colour, texture and approachability.

Additional Information

Volume (ml)750ml
Winemaking PracticesMinimal Intervention
Vineyard PracticesOrganic/Biodynamic
Product typeWine Red Pinot Noir

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