Domaine Rapet Père Et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2014
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Named after the Emperor Charlemagne, whose wife preferred him to drink it as it didn’t stain his beard, this exquisite Burgundy boasts a heritage as fascinating as its flavour.
As Corton Charlemagne incorporates not just a single vineyard, there are several possible exposures for vines in the region, which takes its name from the wine loving King of the Franks.
The 20-hectare estate run by the charming Vincent and Sylvette Rapet in Aloxe Corton is south-west facing, meaning good grape ripeness and a pleasing freshness in the final wine.
The church of Saint Médard, in Aloxe, was placed under the patronage of the Saulieu Collegiate, to which Emperor Charlemagne donated his vineyards way back in 775.
The history of Domain Rapet as a family producer is also a proud one - dating back to at least 1765 - and is reflected in the care taken by Vincent in creating wines of singular quality.
His grand cru vineyard, planted on a precarious slope of sand and lime marl, with shallow, stony topsoil is replanted with vines of varying ages from ten-years-old to over 50.
The power of older vines combined with the finesse of younger plants, results in wonderful wines that wear the emperor’s name well, like this excellent Corton Charlemagne Domaine Rapet 2014.
Subregion: Côte De Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: Minerally and concentrated
Drink With: Freshly steamed lobster, with melted butter
Considered for years to need some cellaring before showing its true worth, we learned this was no longer the case for Corton Charlemagne, during a trip to taste the 2014 vintage.
Warmer vintages and production refinements had resulted in a wine already so good our trusted courtier immediately ordered six magnums for his own cellar - something we’d not seen in 20-odd years of working together.
Displaying a beautiful golden glimmer, it was relatively restrained and understated on the nose, with an elegant bouquet that displayed both good fruit and minerality.
On the palate, it was generous and full flavoured, with a steely acidity and great freshness, smoke and slate notes, plus an emerging floral quality.
The finish was huge and - as with all fine wines - grew again to last an age on the palate once the initial aftertaste had subsided.
This wine is superb now - but with five or more years of bottle age, the Corton Charlemagne Domaine Rapet 2014 will begin to reveal a richness of honey and aromatic toasted almonds, plus an exquisite mineral touch.
Roger Barlow, Jan 2017.