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2017 Domaine des Croix Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru

Regular price $211.00
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91-94pts Jasper Morris, Inside Burgundy

In tank, to be bottled in late January. 3.5 barrels made. Pale lemon colour, vivid gamey nose, a strong reduction neither vegetal, nor gunflint, perhaps the wood? Lees still in suspension. Really excellent weight to this, absolutely the necessary stones, plenty of fruit but far from over ripe, indeed only just over 13%.

Estate Summary

David Croix is one of Burgundy’s most respected young(ish) winemakers, always with a relaxed demeanor, a welcome wry sense of humour and, most importantly, a dab hand at that old grape-into-wine alchemy. Having successfully steered Domaine Camille Giroud in tandem with his own Domaine des Croix label, he briefly worked with Jean-Marc Roulot before departing last year to focus back on Domaine des Croix. Based on the ring road in Beaune, virtually opposite Benjamin Leroux, he has a small portfolio that has really shone in recent vintages. Since many holdings are located within the Beaune appellation, he has been severely impacted by frost and hail in recent years and last year, he rued his empty cellar and truncated portfolio. Such shortfalls can damage a small brand like Domaine des Croix, so naturally he is relieved that Mother Nature replenished his cellar in 2017 and 2018. “It was a fairly easy growing season,” Croix explained as we descended to the capacious barrel cellar, “though there was a bit of mildew pressure on the wine. There was also some concern about the lack of water, although the showers helped when they came on August 28. We started the harvest on September 4 and picked over the following eight days. There was hardly anything to sort. We use our own sulphur that is mined and burned so that we can make our own solution [the same used by Thibault Liger-Belair]. I find it makes the wines less strict or tight. I had to reset the way I tasted the wines during maturation because I’m so used to concentrated wines, after all the hail and frost and so forth. There were some moments when I reflected upon how long it had been since I had tasted wines like the 2017s before the malolactic. The cuvées reached around 13.4° alcohol. It is a pretty vintage, one where I like the brightness. The wines give a lot of fruit but I’m unsure whether 2017 will be a long-term vintage. Perhaps they’ll be like the 2000s; we’ll see. I’ll rack them in December and bottle early next year.”

This was an excellent set of wines from David Croix. I concur that the Premier Cru appellations of Beaune are consistently undervalued, especially in vintages like 2017. Croix’s portfolio benefits from the half-dozen cuvées from the Beaune appellation that performed so well in this vintage, including his maiden Les Tuvilains. Maybe surprisingly, his Beaune Pertuisots nudges in front of others thanks to a riveting, sorbet-like freshness that I hope will be translated into bottle. I would also draw attention to the Beaune Bressandes, one of his most consistent performers in recent years.

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