En Charlemagne vs Corton Charlemagne

I picked up a few dusty bottles of '96 Jadot Charlemagne the other day from the basement of my favorite local wine store. I am hoping that given it’s grand cru status that this wine should be in good condition. Jadot’s premox track record seems decent for this year.
I can’t find much info on this wine in particular. Any search for En Charlemagne yields lots of info on various Corton Charlemagne wines, but very few specific En Charlemagne bottlings. Why is it that there seem to be relatively few wines bottles as “En Charlemagne” or “Charlemagne” compared with the numbers of “Corton Charlemagne” wines?

Wow, I don’t ever remember seeing those down there!

I need to pay her a visit again!

That’s the beauty of the place. Amidst all of the chaos there are some real gems.

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From the Jadot website -

“The « Charlemagne Grand Cru » appellation is rarely used and corresponds to the vineyard called « En Charlemagne » (see map). This same vineyard can also produce Corton Charlemagne.”

(map is not from Jadot site)

In order to appease my curiosity, I opened up a bottle tonight.
This is still a very young wine. Upon opening there was incredible tangy lemon acidity. Certainly no premature oxidation with this bottle. Over the next two hours the wine softened and added nuance. The finish was amazing from the start and never faded. Some pineapple and a little toffee. Mild oak. Overall a great wine. My best QPR of the year.

Jan, next time I’m town, be SURE we book a trip there. I can’t wait to raid the basement again.

See also Corton Le Charlemagne (Chandon de Briailles).

AOC “Le Charlemagne” or “Charlemagne” can be used for the climats
-Le Charlemagne
-En Charlemagne
-Les Pougets
-Les Languettes
-Le Corton
… so it´s actually smaller than Corton-Ch. … but not too small …

The only bottling I have seen is Jadots, but I´ve never tasted any …
so I have no idea if there is actually any difference to Corton-Charlemagne …

I was told the following by a MW,

“Officially there are in fact two white grand cru appellations: Corton-Charlemagne and Charlemagne alone. The 1937 decree, confirmed in 1942, stipulated only Chardonnay for the former but Chardonnay or Aligoté for the latter, at least up until 1948. Charlemagne still exists in theory today for the Pernand and Aloxe vineyards (but not those of Ladoix which come under Corton-Charlemagne only) though nobody uses it. Almost nobody – I see that two hectolitres were declared as Charlemagne in 2005.”

Historically, ‘Charlemagne’ may not necessarily have had Chardonnay.

Jadot is the usually the only producer of a bottle En Charlemagne and it doesn’t seem to make it to the US in every vintage.

Moreover, to unduly complicate things, in 1993, Jadot produced a wine labeled only “Charlemagne,” which was a blend of their En Charlemagne vines and Corton Charlemagne.

I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but the reason that they bottle it as En Charlemagne, rather than Corton Charlemagne, is that the wine isn’t as good as the Jadot holdings in Corton Charlemagne.

Also, everybody ought to be aware that from 1993 to 1999 Jadot is almost premox free, yet in 2000, 2001 and 2002, Jadot has probably the worst record of any burgundy producer on premox. Bottom line, if it’s pre-2000 it’s probably good. If it’s post-1999, in my opinion, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.

To make you feel even better (luckier), I opened a bottle of Pierre Bitouzet’s 1996 C-C last night (actually yesterday morning). Though I wasn’t sure at first, it was clearly premoxed. Not undrinkable in a sherry sort of way with some sweet fruit still showing, but…not what I bought it for. (My wife hated it.). I have 5 more and am not optimistic, as all of my Bitouzet '95s were plagued. (Based on this, I’m really wondering if “oxidized” is the right term; most “oxidized” wines I’ve had before this plague were totally shot/unpleasant, but…this was different, as have some of my other “prem-ox” bottles.)

Very interesting info - thanks (although I don´t think there is any Aligoté in the Charlemagne vineyards today … the only A. vines I know are in Mont Luisants of Ponsot)

Maybe not promoted as such…but I guarantee there is some Aligote in CC.

Very interesting and helpful information. Thanks to all who posted.

Todd, I think I have 3 bottles left. I’ll try to save one for your next visit.

Well - possible, but Jadot declared a Chalemagne as far as im concerned only in the nineties … and any Aligoté used must clearly be older …

Don, I do not follow Jadot too closely- so I guess I just always assumed they were problematic back to the mid 90s at the same rates of recent vintages.

To what degree is Jadot publicly or privately collaborating with others to resolve premox? Seems given what you say they could be key to solving the mystery- or at least offering some pretty major clues.


I’ve had the same thought and expressed elsewhere that I thought that understanding what Jadot did differently starting in year 2000 could be very helpful to understanding the problem.

Most of the burgundians are not collaborating at least on any organized basis to my knowledge. Everything is left to the individual estate or BIVB. My sense from talking to a few producers is that there is some one-on-one exchange between good friends but many seem to have this sense that they’re going to give away some trade secrets if they share information about what they’ve found out about premox with their colleagues. I find this really strange and I think most Americans would as well. I’ve been really amazed to talk to some winemakers there and find out how really little most of them know about what others are doing.