2006 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
Expert Ratings
WE 95 points
BH 92 points
(Read the full reviews below)
 
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Domaine Louis Latour The 95-Point Corton-Charlemagne "Private Stash"

This offer came out of nowhere. After a four-hour tasting of 2010 and 2012 white Burgundies with Bernard Retornaz, the Louis Latour exec couldn't help himself, popping corks with alacrity, taking us back in time.

We tasted a dozen marvelous Premier Crus from the 2007, 2008 and 2009 vintages, including a mesmerizing Chassagne-Montrachet Caillerets and the rich, tightly wound Meursault Charmes, both also from 2008. The 2007 Puligny-Montrachet Le Truffière was round and softer in style, typical of that lower-acid vintage. The Meursault Blagny 2008 was deeper in color, wildly aromatic, still a baby.

Then Bernard excused himself and headed back down to the cellar where he keeps his private stash. Fifteen minutes later, he was back, hugging five bottles to his chest — each from Louis Latour's most precious Chardonnay holding above the idyllic village of Aloxe-Corton.

If you've treated yourself to a few bottles of the 2008 or 2010 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, you know all about the phenomenal richness and steely backbone of one of Burgundy's greatest Chardonnays. But on this afternoon chez Louis Latour, Retornaz was preparing to cement our business partnership for life — topping off our tasting with a five-vintage vertical of Corton-Charlemagne.

Before we provide you with the tasting notes — taken over the course of two hours, while swirling the most extravagant Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne of the new millennium — something about our palate preference when it comes to aged white Burgundy:

Grand Cru white Burgundy — drawn from the steep limestone hillsides of Corton-Charlemagne, Bâtard-Montrachet, Montrachet and Chevalier-Montrachet — is unlike any Chardonnay in the world. Shortly after bottling, Burgundy's Grand Crus tend to play it close to the vest, unwilling to expose the apple/pear concentration that lurks beneath the seductive, mineral cloak. With pH levels rarely exceeding 3.3, most vintages of Louis Latour's Corton-Charlemagne just begins to unwind after five years in bottle. As a general rule, these world-class Chardonnays hit full stride somewhere between 10 and 20 years after bottling, when, without the slightest hint of oxidation, the apple and pear turns to beeswax and bitter honey, the finish still fabulously vibrant, lingering on the palate for 20 to 30 seconds after each sip.

Bernard's 2010 Corton-Charlemagne was rich and juicy, if still a toddler. The 2009 was richer and fatter, consistent with that unusually warm summer in Beaune. The 2008 you may already know, with its golden hue and aromas of apricot pit and honeysuckle. The 2007 was the most mature of the five vintages, and is soon to hit full stride. But it would be the oldest Corton-Charlemagne in the lineup that would steal the afternoon thunder. The 2006, now almost six years after bottling and just shipped from the Louis Latour cellars in Beaune — was a jaw-dropper.

The 2006 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne is brilliant, pale gold to the rim, infused with high-tension mineral aromas of orchard pit, honeysuckle and beeswax. The richest wine on the table, this is a big, broad, lushly concentrated Grand Cru Chardonnay, that despite its weight remains back on its heels and muscle-bound, still not quite ready to expose all the opulence born of that marvelous growing season above Aloxe-Corton. After 90 minutes in oversized Riedel, this powerhouse 2006 hadn't budged, arguing elegantly for an additional 6-10 years in a cool cellar.

Thanks to Bernard and Louis-Fabrice Latour for today's cadeau. The last 240 bottles of this stupendous 2006 have been earmarked for WineAccess, not a case of which has moved from the cellar floor since bottling in the late summer of 2008!

92 points from Allen Meadows at Burghound. 95 more from Wine Enthusiast.

Tasting Notes

2006 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
"Tasted over the course of two hours, the 2006 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne is brilliant, pale gold to the rim, infused with high-tension mineral aromas of orchard pit, honeysuckle and beeswax. The richest wine on the table, this is a big, broad, lushly concentrated Grand Cru Chardonnay, that despite its weight remains back on its heels and muscle-bound, still not quite ready to expose all the opulence of that marvelous growing season above Aloxe-Corton. After 90 minutes in oversized Riedel, this powerhouse 2006 hadn't budged, arguing elegantly for an additional 6-10 years in a cool cellar."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

"Power, density, huge richness-all the attributes you would expect from a Corton-Charlemagne. But, this being 2006, the ripe tropical fruits are crispened with acidity which cuts through the impressive opulence and ripeness."
95 points -- Wine Enthusiast

"A notably ripe but not exotic nose of green, yellow and citrus fruit complements reserved, intense, round and very primary big-bodied flavors that display obvious concentration and muscle on the dry but attractively textured and detailed finish. By the typical standards of this wine, '06 is a vintage that will drink well early as it's generous but focused. I personally would give it the better part of a decade but the mid-palate fat is such that it will be approachable earlier than usual."
92 points -- Allen Meadows, Burghound.com

 

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