Corton-Charlemagne, one of the world’s greatest white wines, needs a decade to blossom fully and to show why it deserves its grand cru status. And then, like a great red wine, the best vintages from a top producer remain at their peak, on a plateau, for decades.
With their almost 10.9 hectares of vines, at an average age of roughly 30 years, Louis Latour is not only the largest owner in Corton-Charlemagne (Bonneau du Martray is second with about 9.7ha), they are also a master with this grand cru.
Scroll down to see Michael Apstein’s Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne vertical tasting notes and scores
I have come to these conclusions from extensive tastings over the years including a recently-conducted 30-plus vintage vertical spanning the years 1978-2018 and regular sampling from my cellar.
I have also attended annual tastings for more than 20 years during which the late Samuel Seidman, Latour’s importer for New England, presented the previous 25 vintages of Latour’s Corton Charlemagne.
These annual tastings allowed an assessment of how an individual vintage changed and evolved year after year and showed how vintages, such as 1979, 1989 and 1999 reached, and remained on, a high plateau for a decade and more.