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2019 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne

2019 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne

98 JS


Sokolin Notes:
"This is the Best Corton Charlemagne Louis Latour Has Ever Produced." - Dave Sokolin

From the critics:

91-93+ RP

91-93 BH

Featured Review
Such a classic Corton Charlemagne! Stunningly concentrated and powerful, but also so graceful. Very racy at the long finish, which has so much mineral freshness. Takes your breath away! Drink or hold. James Suckling

James Suckling | 98 JS

Critic Reviews

Such a classic Corton Charlemagne! Stunningly concentrated and powerful, but also so graceful. Very racy at the long finish, which has so much mineral freshness. Takes your breath away! Drink or hold.

James Suckling | 98 JS
The 2019 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru is also quite promising, exhibiting aromas of pear, buttered citrus fruit, honeycomb, toasted almonds and white flowers. Full-bodied, satiny and rich, with a fleshy core of fruit and good underlying freshness, I hope it can repeat this fine performance from bottle.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91-93+ RP
(Maison Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru White) More elegant and cooler aromas are comprised by green apple, floral, citrus rind, wood and spice hints. The delicious and more vibrant broad-shouldered flavors are more tightly wound and certainly more mineral-driven on the youthfully austere and sneaky long finish. (Drink starting 2027)

Burghound | 91-93 BH

Wine Details for 2019 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne

Type of Wine Burgundy White : No one can express the full potential of Chardonnay quite like the visionaries from Burgundy. With an almost entirely single-minded devotion to the noble varietal in question, they continue to push the boundaries of quality, to the joy of their many fans worldwide. Discover the nuances of every producer and come out changed forever.
Varietal Chardonnay : Chardonnay has carved its path towards the title “king of white grapes” in subtle yet striking fashion, playing instrumental roles throughout the course of history. It was the chosen grape variety which celebrated the inception of the very first Champagne house - Ruinart, which insists “Chardonnay is the golden thread that runs through the Ruinart taste. “ “Remember men, it’s not just France we’re fighting for, it’s Champagne,” Winston Churchill. The infamous and celebrated French author, Alexandre Dumas once declared a high quality chardonnay wine from Le Montrachet was one that is only appropriate to sip “on bended knees, with head bowed.” And of course, history was made once again when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay was awarded first prize in the famous tasting of the “1976 Judgement of Paris,” changing the world’s view on California Chardonnay, inspiring vintners and altering the landscape of California winemaking forever.

The origin of the Chardonnay grape can be traced back to the small village of Macon in the Burgundy appellation of France. The varietal, whose name means “a place of thistles” in Latin, is the offspring of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. Like most prominent grape varietals, the exact circumstances of its inception are unknown; however, it is interesting to note that Gouais Blanc originated in Germany. It is speculated that the ancient Romans, who successfully subdued the Germanic tribes in 6 AD, planted Gouais Blanc in French soil, unwittingly prompting the crossbreeding of the two varietals. If this is the case, the history of the Chardonnay grape goes back much further.

The Noble Chardonnay grape variety is most happy in the winegrowing appellation of Burgundy, its home and birth place. Burgundy’s grand Terroir of marl limestone soils and cool climate allows the Chardonnay grape to express itself to its full zenith. Interestingly, the varietal is extremely flexible and can adapt to a wide diversity of soils, allowing the terroir in which it grows to dictate the qualities of the grape and thus revealing a multitude of personalities. For instance, there are subtle yet distinguishing differences in terroir in the Burgundian villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Chablis, Meursault, Corton Charlemagne, Macon, etc. which are all fashioned in their own unique way. The difference in each Climat or Lieu-dit, such as Le Montrachet (Puligny-Montrachet) and Valmur (Chablis) can take one further down the proverbial “rabbit-hole” and into the wonderful, yet complex world of Burgundy wines. However, Burgundy is but one prime growing location for this tremendously adaptable grape variety.

The spread of Chardonnay would eventually take root in Champagne, where it excelled in the region’s cool climate and chalky, sub-soils. For top Champagne producers, it became the main ingredient in their high quality, high profile Blanc de Blancs. It would also begin to be blended with the two other acceptable varietals of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (red skinned grapes). The chardonnay grape is now planted in 10,000 of the 34,000 hectares of Champagne.

Chardonnay would find its way to California in the late 1800’s but would remain obscure for more than a century due to ignorance of the varietal and lack of knowledge on how to marry it with appropriate terroir. Things changed in the 1970’s when Chardonnay saw a resurgence world-wide, mostly due to the 1976 Judgement of Paris. The unthinkable happened when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena bested some of Burgundy’s finest chardonnay offerings from Batard-Montrachet and Meursault. This event helped place California on the map, changing the face of California winemaking forever. It rejuvenated the cultivation of the Chardonnay grape variety, which saw an exponential growth world-wide.
Much like the climats of Burgundy which have their own unique terroir, Chardonnay’s adaptability has found a home in the diverse appellations, terroirs and climates of California. The cool climate locations produce crisp wines with Burgundian nuances, while warmer climates produce wines with opulent, ripe fruit reminiscent of pineapple, mango and papaya. Terroir also dictates the personality, steel and concrete tanks versus oak, and the list goes. From buttery, oak-infused heady wines to crisp, refreshing cool climate fashioned Chardonnays, the grape variety can be extremely modified. There are not enough letters in Microsoft Word to demonstrate all the different nuances, qualities, differences of terroir, climate and winemaking techniques that would encompass in full, the details of the Chardonnay grape.

The well-travelled grape varietal of Chardonnay has become the fascination of consumers around the world, becoming the most written about of all grapes. Today, it is planted in over 40 countries, amassing an impressive 211,000 hectares (500,000 acres) across the globe. From Burgundy to Champagne, Napa to Sonoma, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, Chardonnay graces vineyards around the world, captivating its audience with its multiple personalities. “So powerful is the ‘C-word’ on a wine label,” as the famed Jancis Robinson exclaimed. Since its discovery in Macon, this C-word has become a dominant force in the world of wine, changing history, winemaking and the understanding of winegrowing and its powerful attributes to a single varietal.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.

For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.

France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.

France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.

Region Burgundy : Situated just west of the beautiful river Saone, the hills and valleys of Burgundy stand as they have stood since medieval times, and you can almost hear the cheerful chatter of vineyard workers from miles away. Indeed, France's identity in the world of wine would be incomplete without the inclusion of Burgundy and its many viticultural achievements. Every little sub-region of the area boasts a unique soil composition, which, when combined with the area's climate conditions, creates an incredibly diverse and appealing selection of fine wines.

Every new bottle is an adventure of its own, and a snapshot of its birthplace. You could spend years sampling great Burgundian wines, and you would still have a lot to learn, which is what makes the region so compelling for veterans and novice wine lovers alike. No matter what your taste in wines may be, there is a winery in Burgundy that could mesmerize your mind and make your senses scream with joy. And what better way to spend a comfy summer afternoon with your friends and family than with a classy bottle from some of the region's most reputable wineries? From the noble slopes of Cote d'Or to the flatlands near various settlements, let us help you on your journey as we explore Burgundy's most delicious and renowned wines.
Subregion Cote de Beaune
Appellation Corton Charlemagne
Cru Grand Cru


Producer Louis Latour : The Cote d’Or is the beating heart of Burgundy’s winegrowing region, where the historic and ancestral tradition of winemaking is more an art than it is a trade. Producers, such as Louis Latour, create masterpieces with passion and generational talent from the very finest plots in all of Burgundy. The exceptional terroir of the Cote d’Or makes even the smallest plots of land extremely prized and coveted, allowing for the production of some of the most exclusive wines in the world.

Domaine Louis Latour covers 48 hectares of vineyard, including 27 hectares of Grand Cru, and is the largest holding of Grand Cru vineyards in all of Burgundy. This is quite significant, given Grand Cru is the highest classification a vineyard can be granted. It is the vineyard land that is classified and not its owner or producer. This is in contrast with Bordeaux where it’s the producers that are classified, regardless of whether they buy or sell part of their vineyard. This makes vineyard land in Burgundy extremely important.

The domaine’s impressive holdings span from the red Grand Cru of Chambertin and Romanee Saint-Vivant in the Cote de Nuit to the white Grand Cru of Corton Charlemagne and Chevalier Montrachet in the Cote de Beaune. The heart and soul, however, is centered in Aloxe-Corton at the historic, family home and their flag-ship Chateau Corton Grancey (built in 1749). As imposing as this is, it does not even take into consideration, the negociant side of the business (Maison Louis Latour) which includes in its portfolio wines, from Ardeche (Rhone) and the Var (Provence), while they also own Simmonet-Febvre in Chablis and Henry Fessy in Beaujolais, making it one of the largest wine companies in Burgundy.

The creation of Maison Louis Latour took place in 1797 and over the course of its long and illustrious history, has acquired some of the finest vineyards in Burgundy; from the acquisition of Chateau Corton Grancey in 1891 to Grand Cru in Cote de Nuits in 1900, building its reputation and upholding the legacy of the family name. The history of the Louis Latour name goes back even further, to 1731 when their first vineyards were acquired in some of Burgundy’s top sites. Cooperage (the making of wine casks or barrels) had already been a family business at the time. The family has continued this tradition and is the only producer in Burgundy to make their own oak barrels.

Today, Maison Louis Latour is managed by the 7th Louis Latour, representing the 11th generation, a tradition and skill that has been passed down for over two centuries. Innovation has been at the core of Maison Louis Latour since its inception and today are at the forefront of wine research in Burgundy. This research investigates the impact of vine-growing and winemaking on the climate, environment and geological complexities of each parcel and the genetic diversity of the vines in their vineyards.

Traditional viticultural methods are still used by Latour. Vines on steep slopes are ploughed using horses, as the terrain has limited access for machinery. This method avoids compacting the earth and allows the vine and root system to plunge deeply into the soil to better regulate water intake. The use of cover crops demonstrates Latour’s desire to protect the environment. These forage crops grown in between rows helps to combat soil erosion and are rich in organic matter. This is essential during periods of heavy rain.

The terroir of the Cote d’Or is not only the finest in Burgundy, but is also some of the most diverse in all of France. This unique attribute allows the characteristics of each parcel to be expressed through the single variety wines. In Burgundy, all red wines are made from Pinot Noir and the whites from Chardonnay. Respect for terroir is one of the fundamental values of Maison Louis Latour, who have practiced logical and sustainable agriculture for almost 20 years. Understanding and interpreting the geological complexity of each parcel is indispensable and is the reason that they regularly undertake soil analysis of entire slices of earth in order to study the interaction between terroir and wines.

Healthy soil is imperative for the development of the vines, which is why Maison Louis Latour uses specific organic techniques to combat vine pests and diseases. These substances also reduce the need for pesticides. Latour makes their own compost from vine pruning’s and grape skins; a byproduct of pressing, thus eliminating the use of chemical fertilizers.

Noble terroir is central to a great wine, however to fully achieve this, the work of a highly skilled team is essential. Extreme attention to detail is required at every stage to ensure the right decisions are made. This is especially true in pruning and canopy management. The philosophy has always been to maximize the quality of grapes to produce great wines. They believe 90% of the work is done in the vineyard; however the remaining 10% is crucial to success. Care and detail seen in the vineyards are carried over into the winemaking where they are committed to traditional and manual techniques. All domaine wines are made in Aloxe-Corton at the beautiful Corton Grancey Cuverie.

The red Grand Cru Wines of Louis Latour include (but not limited to) Chambertin, Clos de la Roche, Clos Vougeot, Corton and the unique and exclusive Corton Grancey. The wines are refined, elegant and distinguished thanks to finely judged winemaking that extracts fruit and tannins in perfect balance, bringing out the delicate qualities of Pinot Noir with all its subtle aromas. Latour’s white Grand Cru’s are structured, rich and well balanced, revealing their terroir through the power of Chardonnay while retaining a touch of acidity to deliver freshness and aromatic complexity. These wines include Corton Charlemagne, Montrachet, Batard Montrachet, and Chablis, amongst many others. Every level of wine from Grand Cru to Villages is treated with great respect for the natural rhythm of the vines helping Latour to make wines in harmony with nature, with the aim of offering full expression to the elegance and the balance of the greatest terroirs in Burgundy.

Maison Louis Latour is a massive operation which produces around 130 separate wines and nearly 8.5 million bottles each year. All wines are bottled in the same distinctive, heavy but elegant bottle, from the most basic to the most expensive.

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