The largest grand cru vineyard in Burgundy’s is the Corton hill. One of the largest vineyard owner on the Corton hill, Domaine Bonneau du Martray, is located in the village of Pernand-Vergelesses. They own 11 hectares, of which 9.5 ha of Chardonnay is used to produce the Corton-Charlemagne and 1.5 hectares of pinot noir is used to produce red Corton. Only these two grand cru wines are produced.
Just recently a majority of the domain was sold to the American billionaire Enos Stanley Kroenke, who also owns Screaming Eagle in Napa Valley and is the largest shareholder in Arsenal. The seller was the family Le Bault de la Morinière, that has owned the domain since the sell-offs after the French Revolution. They still will retain a minority ownership.
Bonneau du Martray produces a highly reputed and very classic Corton-Charlemagne, who regularly appears in the Systembolaget range. This is a white Burgundy that has a pronounced minerality and acidity compared to many grand cru of the Côte d’Or and in a style that is usually a bit tough as when young, while at the same time there is an intensity of aroma and a distinct elegance.
In my opinion this wine should get a number of years in the cellar to reach a good drinking maturity. If you like a more mature style some 10-15 years can be good to aim at, if you have the patience … Classic Corton-Charlemagne often need more time than wines called labelled Montrachet, in order to come into its own.
The latest vintage will be launched in Sweden on January 20.
With this in mind, it is particularly nice that usually an older vintage is (re-)launched together with the latest vintage. This time it’s the 2006vintage.
Corton-Charlemagne Bonneau du Martray 2014
~ 120 euro (estimate based on Swedish retail price)
Nose of white flowers, a little hyacinth, perfume, citrus, some green apples, very nice barrels tones. In this young phase it is a relatively discreet but clean and very elegant aroma.
Palate with good concentration, citrus, high acidity, mineral, long green apples aftertaste. Young, will definitely develop, 92+ p.
2014 counts as a truly great vintage for the white wines of Burgundy. This vintage from Bonneau du Martray is fruity in flavour and has less acidity and minerals than the 2013, which follows the general style of the vintage. This does not change the fact that the 2014 definitely needs more time to blossom!
Corton-Charlemagne Bonneau du Martray 2006
Powerful, fruity, elegant and balanced aroma with beginning maturity. The scent showcases citrus, ripe pear, some honey and minerals. The flavour is citrusy, pear, a hint of tropical fruit, good acidity, really good mineral tones, a hint of spices and a mineral-dominated finish. The wine is at an intermediate stage between young and fully developed and is delicious to drink now, 94 p. Clearly the best of the three that were in the glasses.
2006 is a vintage that was quite powerful and rather warm for Burgundy. This means that this wine is a bit more mature than what other Bonneau du Martray wines tend to be at 10-11 years of age. The style of the appellation and of the producer contributes on the other hand with an unusual amount of mineral notes and elegance. A very nice combination!
Corton-Charlemagne Bonneau du Martray 2001
(Not readily available in retail.)
Here we have developed tones similar to the ones usually found in Chablis and champagne with considerable age, with yellow apples and winter apples, some cocoa and clay, slightly nutty notes, but also citrus, elegant and a nutty impression. An austere palate with apples, mineral, high acidity, some spices, and an aftertaste of grapefruit and minerals. Fully developed on the nose, austere taste. 91-92 p?
At the corresponding tasting last year we also tasted a 2001, but that bottle appeared to be much younger and more citrusy and made a stronger impression. I gave it 93-94 (+) and considered it still had potential to develop further. There are however similarity between them in the high acidity and a cool style.
Tomas Eriksson is one of the contributors on BKWine Magazine. He is active in the wine tasting association AuZone in Stockholm and in Munskänkarna, where he sometimes holds wine courses. Tomas also runs a blog called Vintomas.
Read our earlier articles on Bonneau de Martray:
- Top class Burgundy: Corton-Charlemagne from Bonneau du Martray
- Burgundy at its best, two top producers under the loupe
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This post is also available in: Swedish