Saturday, October 1, 2011

Prince Florent de Merode Corton les Marechaudes, 1993

This 1993 from les Marechaudes vineyard on the hill of Corton was a classy elegant wine with lots of complexity when I first tasted it in 2004. As good it was then, it's even better tonight. Although perhaps less showy than the earlier bottle, this 1993 now has incredible subtlety and depth. Dark color. Scents of dark cherries, charred wood and minerals; less earthy than some Pinots but traditional in its style. The wine is so smooth on the palate that it takes awhile to notice how tannic it really is. They are very fine tannins, however, that provide a sense of reserve and restraint while the fruit flavors open and expand on the palate. This is a special wine. Less than $20 when I purchased it, the 1993 les Marechaudes now sells for about $180 a bottle retail. With good reason. I'd love to see it seven years from now.

The hill of Corton, located near the village of Ladoix-Serrigny in the Cotes de Beaune, is the source of some highly regarded red Burgundy wines. Les Marechaudes vineyard lies relatively low on the slope, and the wines are more accessible at an early age than les Bressandes, les Renardes or Clos du Roi from higher on the slope. The winemaker in 1993 at Prince Florent de Merode's estate had a laid back traditional approach both in winemaking and vineyard management that I appreciate. Now under a new winemaker, the current vintage of Corton les Marechaudes might be more intense and elegant, but I would expect it to have the same great fruit quality and aging ability.

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