Domaine Bonneau du Martray 2010 Corton Charlemagne
The only other domaine in Burgundy apart from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti to produce only Grand Cru wines, Domaine Bonneau du Martray has only had three sets of owners in over twelve centuries! Its vineyards are on a contiguous block stretching between ‘En Charlemagne,’ next to Pernand Vergelesses, and ‘Le Charlemagne,’ reaching towards Aloxe Corton. The estate remains the single largest holding in Corton Charlemagne at just 9.5 hectares, with a tiny 1.5 hectare parcel dedicated to Pinot Noir.
Jean-Charles Le Bault de la Moriniere took over in 1969 after he inherited the estate and he laid the foundations of the estate’s renaissance and restoration of the property. In 1994, Jean’s son, Jean-Charles took over the running of the Domaine. His attention to detail and pursuit for perfection has only helped cement the reputation of the Domaine - acknowledged throughout the winemaking world as one of Burgundy’s greatest wines.
Today, laying on one entire parcel, the Domaine has the largest single holding at 11.09 hectares. The hill of Corton offers a layer of soil over limestone. The Domaine’s holdings are categorized by 16 different parcels, each of which contributes a unique quality to the wine. Each parcel is vinified separately. Since 1995 Jean-Charles has practiced gentle stirring of the lees in his Corton Charlemagne, but refuses to induce early malolactic fermentation. The wine spends approximately 12 months in oak before being transferred back into steel for 6 months prior to bottling.
The average age of the vines is around 45 years and yields are low. Herbicides and fertilizers are not used and the yields are further reduced by severe pruning and green pruning when necessary in the final approach to harvest. The Domaine is unusual in its orientation, facing west and southwest. This guarantees long, slow maturation. Additionally, the elevated position on the hill allows for excellent drainage while allowing the cold, humid air to slide to the bottom of the slopes. The woods that are on top of the hill protect the highest parcels from the cold - it is this feature that perhaps more than any other, influences the character of the wines and gives them both richness and elegance.
Here is what Antonio Galloni of the Wine Advocate had to say about the 2010 Corton Charlemagne:
96 POINTS THE WINE ADVOCATE: “The 2010 Corton-Charlemagne is the epitome of elegance, finesse and refinement in white Burgundy. Readers will have a very, very hard time finding a wine with this much pure class and textural finesse. Smoke, flint, crushed rocks and citrus all flow through to the vibrant, pointed finish. Today, the 2010 is incredibly tight, and needs more time in bottle to soften. It is a dazzling wine endowed with laser-like focus and tons of purity.”