TNs--Mike on Mini-Tour, Corton Night at Park 75 in Atlanta

My thanks again to Don for doing the legion’s amount of organizing, we had another great group and another great night of wines, food and conversation. I’ll be candid in saying that last year, I found the food at Park 75 to be quite uneven–some excellent dishes and some very pedestrian work. Well, redemption was at hand last night because everything was supremely good. Service was also exemplary—bravos all around. Our only mild complaint was that we didn’t have specific burgundy glassware out, but that didn’t take away much from what was a truly fascinating exploration deep into Corton.


S.Coquillette Cuvee Diane Brut Champagne

I took notes this time—always a pleasure. Lemon, apple and snap all in equal measure. Has a fine underlying smoothness. There’s something for fine reliability.

2007 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Corton Charlemagne

Matchstick and flint and salt explode in the nuzzie. Underneath that is a subtle mackintosh apple. Velvet fist in iron glove, it grabs the front of your tongue, but is bridled power the rest of the way. And it is damned good. 2 hours later, the wine still cuts through everything. I was very happy to have this in the glass for a while. Tied #3

2007 Bouchard Corton Charlemagne

This shows glazed nuts and spices scents. Almost a lanolin side, actually. This emphasizes lemon and lemoncurd on the tongue, around some saline. It’s much more “ready” than the PYCM, but both wines are balanced. Very good showing

2008 Vincent Girardin Quintessence Corton Charlemagne

I hadn’t been aware that Girardin made a special cuvee. This delivers a bouquet of minerals, particularly fresh slate, and apple core. Great stuff, with oodles of vibrancy. Delicious citrus and nutmeg, this is flat-out licklicious and already showing whatever one would want to see. #5 and it was neck-and-neck with the PYCM for enjoyability. I do so love 2008 white burgs…

2004 Verget Corton Charlemagne

We had to pull this after another Girardin (99) was sadly poxed. This is different again from the first three, blending pear, nips of vanilla, stone and perhaps light peach into the aromatics. Le gout shows plenty of verve and strictness, but front and back-end citrus and apple are quite identifiable. Needs a few more years.

2005 Prince Florent de Merode Corton Bressandes

Their holdings have been folded into DRC’s Bressandes now. I’m happy with this—fresh red fruit with sweet rhubarb and earth and light cocoa also having a say. I do agree with Gary Margol that I don’t think the 13% listed is representative, but I don’t agree with him that it’s 14% or more—maybe 13.6% or so. Anyway, this is quite rounded and lively with a plethora of red fruit flavours and dust and spices mixed in. And it grows on me, quickly, over the night. For a 2005 that I was far from sure would be accessible, no problems here. #8

2010 Domaine de la Pousse d’Or Corton Bressandes

Initially, baking spices and some cherry nose, but it closes down some for a while before opening back up. It is tasty, but I also agree with Don that the oak is uptempo and this is stylized to some degree. Nevertheless, tons of raspberry and cranberry fruit with sous-bois and underlying coriander. The style is yum for me.

1990 Tollot-Beaut Corton Bressandes

I was very curious to try this on the heels of Dan Kravitz’s interesting post on his taste of this house’s Corton recently. This, a much older vintage, and a generous donation from our friend Joel, is nicely resolved, with cocoa, cherry and raspberry. Just starting to see a nip of soy now. This is elegant and very smoothly lithe—fire roasted chestnut at the back end,definitely, along with darker fruit throughout. Very complete and harmonious wine.

1999 Domaine Latour Corton

Cookie! At least that’s the first scent impression–with lots of sous-bois and blackberry underneath. Later some light smoked leaves. Sweetish cherry to taste, touches of soy here and there, this wine has plenty of interest and integrates well with the venison. #7

2000 Domaine Latour Corton

This is good, more red fruit and a brighter profile…but less of everything than the 99, not bad, just not as much presence. Cherry, strawberry and earth.

1990 Domaine Latour Chateau Corton Grancy

Very defined and definite bouquet—mature in the sense that it sort of knows itself. Elements of spice, plumcake, pomegranate, black cherry and dark, dark chocolate. Smooth and solid at the same time, it has a nice red fruit and spice composition.

1997 Betrand Amboise Corton Rognet

This was double-decanted. I might like the nose of this the best–herbal oils and rich deep dark strawberry and currant, with tons of forest. It’s simpler on the palate, but retains a centre of red fruit and is still loaded with spiciness. Really liked the nose. #9

1999 Betrand Amboise Corton Rognet

Sophisticated—flashes of nut, rhubarb and anise frame dark cherry and plum. Elegant and very accessible wine, with plum and berry fruit and goes great with the cheese, which adds a real raciness and fresh strawberries to the mix. #6

2005 Thibaut Ligier-Belair Corton Rognet

Chocolate-infused cherries and strawberries, this jumps out of the glass to grab you. Thick and rich and strong and lush, lots and lots of growing to do, but plenty of secondary fruit and baking spices to go with pure plum and cherry. Very good indeed.

2008 Thibault Ligier-Belair Corton Rognet

My conversion to the like spectrum for 2008 is going to continue if wines like this show up. Goodness—how beautiful the roses and strawberry jam and plum pudding and potpourri. So pretty. And mmmm, this is fan-tastic. Love the drive, the aromatic follow-through and the 08 acidity lacing through. Even a little citrus. This is thrilling and brilliant wine and my WOTN, 93 or so.

2009 Small Vines Baranoff Vineyard Pinot Noir

There wasn’t going to be an ideal place to serve this interloper over the weekend and I really wanted the crew to try it, so we put it in this flight. Ooohhh–I fall in love all over again, earth and dust and coffee and cocoa and cherry, and even some tar. This is no-mistake Cali Pinot, but such a high end of that spectrum. Sarsaparilla flashes sweep through black cherry and strawberry fruit with nutmeg and cinnamon accents in the back and more of that earth and dust. Splendid, Tied#3, probably better if it were in an applicable context.

2001 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes

From half-bottle. I sniffed, wrinkled my nose, sniffed…booo! Corked. Not much, but enough to not be able to enjoy the wine as one should. I will say that this remains suitably rich on the palate and a good example should be just thinking about coming into its drinking window.

1998 Kracher #6 Welschriesling ZDS TBA

Nick brought these last 2, and very fine of him to do so. Sultana raisin, apricot and quince are present in the nuzzie—lots and lots of quince. Luscious mouthful of lightness of being. Wow. Maple syrup and apricot and peach goodness. Marvelous stuff–how did he do it? 92 and #2

1998 Kracher #7 Chardonnay/Welschriesling NV TBA

As opposed to the Welschriesling which had entered its drinking window, I think this still has 5 years to go at least. More herbs and spices in the bouquet, even a mintiness, it’s more brooding. And more acidity and stricter presentation on the tongue, more kinetic at this point.

Another fabulous night.

Haere Ra,


Wonderful night.

I loved the 2007 PYColin. So gorgeous and drinking in an early way now. Refined and deliciously long on the finish.

Also loved the 1990 Tollot Beaut. That wine had a closed nose for about 20 minutes and then exploded with a real panoply of aromas. The palate was so deep and detailed. Soy notes. Grand cru length. One of the better Cortons I have ever tasted. THANKS JOEL!

A terrific night, though for me the quality of the company and the food surpassed the wine. The PYCM and Girardin were the class of the whites, and the PYCM in particular impressed me with its versatility with a range of courses. I’m not sure we had anything that didn’t pair well with it until dessert.

For the reds, the 1990 Tollot-Beaut was my clear favorite, and it improved in the glass. The 1990 was also my favorite of the Latours. The other Latours illustrate why I’ve never sought out the house’s reds. They are perfectly decent wines, but not at all exciting. A less charitable description would be pillars of mediocrity.

I was surprised at how young and undeveloped the 1997 Ambroise was, much better on the nose, but I won’t open another for at least a few years. I’m not sure it will be better, but there is more to gain than to lose. The 1999 was a little finer but otherwise very similar.

I had trouble assessing the Small Vines, as it was hard for me to look past how different it was from the other wines to get a good sense of it. Its sweetness paired dreadfully with the Epoisses, somehow resurrecting and magnifying the stink from a bite taken minutes earlier. I think I would have liked it more in a different context.

Still, despite the quibbles with the wines, it was a treat to focus on a single region with great food and people, and I’d do it again without reservation.

Was great to meet you over 2 nights, Mike. And so glad you could come out Saturday night as well, Don. Thanks to both of you for adding your impressions.

a bientot,


I think don Cornwell (sorry if I’m not remembering it right don!) once mentioned the VG CC you had, that specific plot borders coche’ corton Charlie. Either way I’ve been pleasantly surprised how good their regular cc has been let alone the special bottling

Agreed, their 2007 regular, tried twice, was tremendous both times.

Great event with great people, pampered service. Would have been great to have Burg stems, but we’d probably have had to park some on the floor.

The Quintessence (not always produced) is from older (~70 yr) vines. However, the plot used for this designation apparently was different in earlier years.
I thought it and the PYCM were the stars on the drinking-deliciously scale. Barring premox they should remain that way a while.

Loved this dessert plate:


Oh, the 1998 Kracher #7 TBA was a Chardonnay/Welschriesling blend and a Nouvelle Vague (barriques) labeling rather than a Zwischen den Seen (ZDS, done in stainless).

Thanks Dennis…I don’t usually have this much trouble getting labels etc. right. Must’ve been the distracting company…

It’s probably because you failed to drink several of the wines the first night. Not enough wine to enhance your concentration!

I just stumbled over a post I made on another forum in September 2002 that, had I read it before the tasting, would have led me to bring a different wine than the 1997 Ambroise:

And even the '97 [Corton Rognets] is a nasty, weedy little tannic monster at this point. They have dropped very far off my buy list, after a tasting in July to revisit some Kacher imported '97 Grand Crus. FWIW, the '97 NSG Rue de Chaux was also a weedy tannic mess. Conceivably these wines will turn out well, but my guess is that in 10-15 years they will have simply gone from purple weedy tannic messes to ruby weedy tannic messes.

Anyone want to buy some '97’s? > :wink:

My prediction was only partially correct. The 1997 Corton is still purple, not ruby, and while weedy and tannic, it isn’t quite the mess it used to be. I think I have a bottle or two of the 1997 Rue de Chaux left, and now I’m anxious to try one to see how well my prognostication of its future holds up.