Question re 2017 PYCM Corton Charlemagne

I have a question for William Kelley and others who have tracked the PYCM wines for several vintages, particularly the Corton Charlemagne. This was an amazing wine five years ago, particularly when you could get it for $80-90 per bottle. Those days are gone. My question is whether quality has slipped a bit in recent vintages? I see that William gave it 90 points in 2017, lower than Tanzer and a few other critics. I also see that PYCM is making more of it, because he has now leased vines on the Pernand side, whereas in the past he was making it from a smaller parcel on the Aloxe side, or at least that’s my understanding. If the quality has slipped a little, is that because of the new fruit source or am I imagining things? I will say I haven’t tasted the 2017 yet, so have no personal opinion.

Hi Paul,

Tasted it from barrel last year and bottle this year with Pierre-Yves. An outstanding wine that should age particularly well.


The source of the PYCM CC has changed every year from 2013 to 2017. He still manages to make great wine year in and year out, so I wouldn’t worry about 2017. In fact reading about the 2017 change it sounds like he has more control than ever on the vineyard decisions.

Here’s Tanzer’s comment about the 2017:

Pierre-yves Colin-morey Corton-charlemagne Grand Cru White) (Colin has added more fruit on the Pernand side to this cuvée– now about 70% of the total, with the other 30% from Aloxe-Corton–and the owner in Pernand lets him work all of his vines):

CCs all seem to have more or less doubled in price the last few years. Pricing of the PYCMs is at the higher end, which I’m unconvinced is warranted. Several 1ers in the stable appear to me to be more consistent, better wines, and for the money you can buy Puligny/Chassagne GCs that I like a good deal more. I’m also dropping purchases of the H Boillot version for similar reasons and the added curse of high “advanced” incidence over the last 10 years.

I’m months late in answering this one, but I think you saw my review mis-quoted, as I gave it 93-95 from barrel and speculated that it might be Pierre-Yves Colin’s finest Corton-Charlemagne to date! Should be looking at it from bottle soon.

Good news!
I only bought this wine from 2014 (2018 is the 5th vintage then) and have not yet tasted one… Call this trusting reputation and assuming that if I like his other wines (which I do) I will like this one…

How long should one wait for this wines?..

Thank you for checking back in on this thread William. I believe I pulled your score from a retailer site, so it must have been a goof on their end. Glad to hear all is well with the 2017 Corton Charlemagne. It has been one of the highlights of the range for awhile now.

I think a decade would make sense. Even the lower appellations reward bottle age.

In 2017, PY looked for a little more maturity in his Corton-Charlemagne than he had hitherto, and I think that translates to a bit more mid-palate volume than previous renditions. But it will be interesting to see how it’s showing from bottle!

A cuvée chez PYCM since 2003. For many years it’s been a roughly equal blend of Pernand and Aloxe fruit (though the latter on the border with Ladoix) but most recently:
2013 - one barrel, only Aloxe due to Pernand hail
2014 - the usual blend
2015 - the usual blend
2016 - only Aloxe again, this time due to frost in Pernand
2017 - 2/3 Pernand fruit - ie more from Pernand as noted above
2018 - 2/3 Pernand fruit again and considering 30 months elevage for the first time.

Here’s a couple questions I could use some help getting group answers/thoguhts: On the Pernand vs Aloxe fruit, which is considered better and why? Who are the major Domaines in each Pernand and Aloxe within Corton Charlemagne? Do many have grapes on both sides and blend them in a fashion? Where is Coche? Did PYCM always have grapes leased in Pernand or is this recent?

Pernand is the shadier, cooler side, while Aloxe is the more sunny and warm from what I understand. For PYCM and as how climate change has been ramping up, I’d be looking at the years with a higher % of Pernand, though I do like the idea of blending the two.

Did a side by side of 14’ Domaine Rollin CC, and 14’ Boillot last year and the Rollin was nice and elegant but lacking some depth, while the Boillot was bigger and slightly roasted, oakier too it seemed. As I wasn’t enjoying either as much as you’d expect to be enjoying Grand Cru Burg from a great vintage, I decided to pour 2/3 Rollin in to a glass and topped it with 1/3 Boillot and the result was quite a bit better and more interesting than either on their own.

Lots of questions!

On the Pernand vs Aloxe fruit, which is considered better and why?

Aloxe is considered better: it is here that Le Charlemagne, the core of the appellation, is located. Corton-Charlemagne was expanded in 1943 to protect wines that were formerly communal AOC from purchase at fixed prices by Nazi Germany (premiers crus were introduced, for the same purpose, some months later - but Grands Crus Corton and Corton-Charlemagne were expanded first, which is why they are so big). Before then, the Grand Cru AOC was just Le Charlemagne. Historically, “En Charlemagne” in Pernand has been considered inferior as it’s cooler, windier and more westerly exposed (Le Charlemagne being south-west). Look at a map and it will make sense. Whether this logic obtains in a hotter vintage is an open question.

Who are the major Domaines in each Pernand and Aloxe within Corton Charlemagne?

Rapet is mostly in Pernand with some in Aloxe; Bonneau du Martray have plenty in both; and Louis Latour have a lot in Aloxe-Corton.

Do many have grapes on both sides and blend them in a fashion?

Some do, and I think, generally speaking, many producers would be happy just to have as much fruit as possible entitled to the appellation.

Where is Coche?

Coche have three parcels in Corton-Charlemagne. The original, planted in 1960 and exploited since 1986 in mettayage, was finally purchased in 2011. They acquired another parcel, planted in 1955, in 2011, too. And a year later they bought a third parcel, planted to Pinot Noir, from which they produced a red Corton in 2013 before planting it over to Chardonnay. All these are in the lieu-dit Le Charlemagne in the commune of Aloxe-Corton.

Did PYCM always have grapes leased in Pernand or is this recent?

Yes, and Bill Nanson already gave the blends back to 2013.

thanks to Wm, Bill and Robert. My Charley study is ongoing and this is very helpful.

And Robert, that wouldn’t be the first time the dump bucket was the wine of the night!!