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Lucien Le Moine Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016

Lucien Le Moine Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016

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"Green-tinged yellow. Very ripe aromas of apple, orange peel soaked in sugar, and spices, enlivened by white pepper and a positive vegetal nuance ("one smells the humidity of the west side of the hill but also feels the grape skins," notes Saouma). At once sappy and weightless, with its seamless soft citrus and complex spice flavors energized by active limestone. Really splendid focus and inner-mouth tension here. The rising, unflagging finish is utterly pristine, with the energy of the underlying limestone giving razor-sharp clarity to the exotic spice and orange notes. This sappy yet weightless Corton-Charlemagne boasts great finesse and purity: one can feel the freshness of the mother rock. 93-95 points

Mounir Saouma pointed that “there was a big surprise in the way we were originally talking about a full-bodied vintage in 2016 but then ended up with a more classical style.” He noted that in 2017, “there’s a disconnect in the numbers: pHs are low, acidity is low, alcohol is low. The white wines were easy to make but some of the alcoholic and malolactic fermentation finished much too early.” Two thousand sixteen, he went on, is more consistent, “and the wines have become civilized and crisp and fruity and clean. The Pulignys are evolving very slowly and they are not together yet. But the Chassagnes are there now."

At the time of my early-June visit, Saouma had not racked or sulfured his 2016 whites and he expected to bottle them before the 2018 harvest. But he apparently changed his mind since then and now plans to bottle the wines in October and November."

Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (09/18)