Mission Codename Wake up and smell the Corton
Nothing to see here…nope, not unless you like WORLD CLASS GRAND CRU RED BURGUNDY!! We rarely offer ANY Burgs, let alone a Corton Grand Cru. Actually this is the FIRST EVER Grand Cru we’ve offered since our inception in 2007. Say whaaaat??! Collectors, Burgundy cognoscenti, and anyone who wants to let the vinous magic of this famed region flow through your soul, here’s your chance. Did we mention the near 40% OFF??!
Ok let’s dig in…
Once upon a time, value-conscious red Burgundy connoisseurs knew to hunt for treasure in the Corton appellation in Côte-d’Or. But after DRC (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti) bought into the region in 2008, things changed. The rising tide of DRC pricing ($2,000 per bottle) lifted all the prices with it, and today you’re hard-pressed to find anything from here for less than $150. The price you see today seems like a throwback to a lost era where gas was $0.99 per gallon, a dozen eggs cost $1, and great red Burgundy didn’t require a home equity loan to acquire.
This offer is even more amazing when you consider the decreasing yields from climate change and other natural catastrophes like frost and hail combined with an ever-increasing demand. You start to understand why it’s nearly impossible to lock down a good wine from here at a fair price.
The 2018 Burgundy vintage was hot - the warmest year on record in fact - and quite dry. But by the end, word on the street was that it might be on par with the mythical 1947 vintage. It’s too early to tell, but we know one thing…the resulting wines, especially Corton, show a rare approachable - scratch that - IRRESISTABLE side upon release. The 50+ year old vines planted on a hillside at 900 feet elevation deliver a monumental amount of intensity. Chewy strawberry and ripe black cherry collide with dusty earth and tobacco and a chalky minerality. In the not so distant past, the advice was to lay your Cortons down for decades to let the fierce tannins mellow and enjoy them fully mature, however vintages like THIS offer both instant hedonism and the potential to evolve gracefully over time.
Marius Delarche truly SHINES in this neck of the woods. They are based in Pernand, a tiny village sharing Corton with neighboring Aloxe. Wine Spectator recently raved; “you simply cannot go wrong with Pernand… a stronghold of high-minded producers such as Marius Delarche and prices are utterly reasonable for wines of exemplary purity, flavor luminosity, and an unmistakable stony/mineral note.” At the Grand Cru level where quality is a guarantee, this truly stands out as a steal.
All this is to say, today’s wine is WITHOUT A DOUBT one of the greatest values we have EVER come across. We scooped every bottle we could of this tiny two barrel production wine, just for you. It truly epitomizes why we Spies are in this business of bringing you, our savvy shoppers, the BEST for LESS!
This wine literally just landed in the USA and there are no scores yet, but we’ll leave you with a few relevant snippets for consideration…
“A vintage to rival the mythical 1947? The word in the region, at least in public, is that Burgundy 2018 is one of the greatest ever vintages. One local négociant, Philippe Pacalet, compared it to the mythical 1947 harvest and the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) described the year as ‘ideal’.”
“The fruit harvested in 2018 was pristine and healthy, which made many sorting tables almost redundant. Many of the red wines seem so open and expressive that they could have been enjoyed right away… the best wines have soaring aromas and red-fruited, poetic allure. These wines have sufficiently balanced fruit, freshness, and structure to age and evolve.”
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“In many ways, it is a vintage that confounds expectations. Demand has softened a little in recent months as even the super-rich have begun to balk at the enlarged price tags needed to accommodate such large numbers. But they are coming down from extraordinarily high peaks, which means that much of Burgundy remains beyond the financial means of most people, including myself. Demand for Burgundy, especially the top wines, will continue because it fits the prerequisites of what consumers seek beyond intrinsic quality: the notion of place, terroir and, crucially, the human aspect of wine. On reflection, the 2018 Burgundies exceeded my estimate, destined to give a lot of pleasure… If ever there is a vintage you need to spend weeks tasting in the region to really understand it, it’s this one.”
Bright red cherry with scarlet highlights.
Scents of spring flowers, raspberries, blueberries, and hints of earth and mineral.
Profound purity and intensity of fruit, extremely nuanced, powerful, and exuberant.
Terrific definition and personality wrap it all up with a near forever impression.
With a send to CA Pinot, this fruit bomb is fit perfectly for food, but best solo.
What the Winery Says
2018 Corton Renardes Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru
- Etienne Delarche
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Corton Renardes Grand Cru, Côte de Beaune, Côte d’Or, Burgundy
- Stony mix of brown limestone and iron-rich marl
- Average vine age
- 50+ years
- 900 feet above sea level
- Vineyard size
- 35 acres (from only two rows within)
- 12 months
- 30% new Burgundian barriques