Two 2005 Red Burgs

2005 was the vintage that brought me from its early release days to the dark side of Burgundy. I have been following the development of the wines more or less out of intellectual curiosity at this point and have been trying to pop a 2005 red burg every 3-6 months, even though I realize they are nowhere near ready. With Sandy upon us and the darkness, I figured I have time to open some wines and let them breathe very well.

2005 Prince Florent de Merode Corton-Maréchaudes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru (11/4/2012)
The man who sold it to me said it was surprisingly open to drink, except he forgot to include “after 24 hours of air”… Anyways it was very tight after four hours of air, so I poured it back in the bottle and revisited next day - very happy I did so, because the wine was fun to drink - very subtle both for a grand cru and the vintage, but what it lacks in power it makes up in complexity. Strong black olive and licorice note defined the wine for me. There is elegant black cherry fruit underneath. Quite long and persistent finish. I really enjoyed it tonight, but wait a decade for more enjoyment. 91+ pts

2005 Gagnard-Delagrange Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (11/4/2012)
When I encountered a very closed 2005 Merode Corton, I stubbornly grabbed another 2005 and happy to report this is much more accessible. Ripe black cherry, blackberries and prunes on a long, if somewhat one-dimensional palate. This has a fair amount of barbaresco-like refined tannins. Still mostly primary but pretty tasty today. Probably at its best 5 years from now. 89-90 pts

My latest data point on 2005 red Burgundies is that many still are not close to maturity. A couple of nights ago, my burgundy group got together for Volnay night. Fun evening, with some really good older wines. But, we also tasted a number of 2005 Volnays that, while promising, still need a lot more time. The 2005s we had were Louis Boillot Volnay Carelle Sous la Chapelle, Volllot Volnay Champans, Pousse d’or Volnay En Caillerets, Bouchard Volnay Taillepieds, d’Angerville Volnay Champans, and Rossignol Volnay Chevrets. All promising, esp. the Voillot, but they are still pretty primary and some were still somewhat tannic after 17 years.
Another data point that many 2005s are taking forever to mature.

By contrast, our older wines were drinking fabulously - a 2001 d’Angerville Clos du Ducs, a 1978 Potinet-Ampeau Volnay les Santenots, and a 1979 Francois Gerbeault Volnay.

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Corton begs for 30 years and it blossoms.

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Is this true for every Corton producer? Are there any exceptions to this, and if yes, which producers make Cortons that are accessible earlier?

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I rhink you would go vintage over producer if looking for earlier maturing wines like 2003. Corton is like Sauternes for me, drink em young, drink em old, don’t drink em in between.

I have only moderate experience but I think it’s pretty uniformly a terroir needing decades.

My personal experience is very limited. I’ve only opened 2 Cortons:

2011 Vincent Girardin Corton-Perrières, which was fully mature as of 3 years ago and remained in the same nice mature spot 2 years ago (I had 3 bottles with 1 remaining). I believe that this early maturity is due to vintage.
2017 Rapet - this one required 2+ hours of air to open up, and remained open for 2 days.

The rest of my Cortons are buried deep in the cellar.

Oh, and I’ve tasted a couple of 2019 Cortons in Burgundy this summer at the domaine. Pretty much undrinkable; not sure why they decided to open these up.

I did have a Pousse d’or Corton Clos de Roi from 2009 the other day. It was my first bottle of a six-pack I think. It was surprisingly enjoyable to me, but then I have found the 09 vintage pretty accessible. I have little doubt more time will add complexity, however.

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The vineyard makes a difference. *Corton-Maréchaudes is reputed to be an earlier aging Corton than Le Corton. Perrières is somewhere in between, as I understand it, Vintage also makes a difference of course. I have some '05 Corton-Renardes I’ve yet to open.

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Very well said Joshua and I agree…totally.

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Checked my records - I’ve also had a bottle of 2002 Antonin Guyon Corton Clos du Roy about a year ago and it was outstanding. Fully mature.

There are lots of pinot noirs around the world that taste good young and even some Burgundies, esp. from vintages like 2007. What you seem to be asking for is a Corton that does not have the characteristics of a Corton. My recommendation is that if you don’t want to keep a Corton for a long time and wait for it to mature, buy something else. And, esp… don’t buy 2005 Cortons.

Alternatively, try to buy a Corton with some age on it to shorten the process. I don’t know whether this is true anymore, but several years back it was easy to find Michel Gaunoux Cortons with age for reasonable prices. I think they hold back some or all of their production for a long time or at least used to do so. Maybe someone here knows more.

I know M. Ganoux more for his Pommards–and to be frank, I’ve yet to have one of those that’s ready to drink, so not sure the Cortons would do much better.

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Several years ago, I was able to get vintages from the late 1990s and early 2000s at good prices. That is what I mean about wines with age on them.

Me too. From Envoyer. Keep waiting to be wowed. They age at a glacial pace. And a digression, Francois > Michel Gaunoux in my experience.

Remember, my first piece of advice was for him to not by Corton. I think that there are many other types of Burgs that he would like more (and I esp. think drinking 2005 Cortons now is not an effort designed to produce job). And, I like but don’t love the wines of M Gaunoux. I like much better Cortons from wineries like Jadot and Chandon des Briailles. But, if the OP insists on buying Cortons to drink in the short term, I cannot think of any other real alternatives.

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I agree with comments by Howard. If you do not prefer to open a red Corton young, try his A/Corton or his Ladoix. Most producers, for the last many years, are crafting their G-cru Corton red to be enjoyable at a younger age. For example, Michel Mallard.

Since vintage 2011 I buy mainly red Corton - as the other g-crus are too pricey.

I do not mind at all to open a red Corton young. For example I bought a total 68 bottles of Chevalier Corton Rognet 2013 at very reasonable price. So why should I wait ?

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My M Ganoux was from 2001, so it plays in @Howard_Cooper’s space. I have only had whites from Francois, @Dennis_Atick, Meursault’s and they were pretty execrable, But they were sourced from WTSO, so may have been in not great shape?
Wow, 68 bottles!, @Peter_Chiu, that’s incredible, in the eyes of someone who rarely buys more than three of anything. The Marechaudes I have are '08’s, some from Prince Florent de Merode, whose holdings DRC apparently bought. I haven’t opened any of these yet and they won’t have got the DRC treatment, but I am hoping for something good down the line.

Thanks for the message. I went through all the roads to Burgundy years ago. The most shocking thing happened in Quebec, Canada was the agent for Domaine Leroy wines went bankrupt for holding the wines from vintage 1994 to 1996 as no one wanted the wines from 1994. LCBO in Ontario , Canada needed to do a fire-sale for La Tache 1994.

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