• Grand Cru Southern Solo:  Cornu's 0.5 Hectares of Corton-Bressandes

    Grand Cru Southern Solo: Cornu's 0.5 Hectares of Corton-Bressandes

    Corton is the largest (and only) red Grand Cru vineyard of the southern Côte de Beaune. 160 hectares wrap around this giant hill with orientations facing every direction except north - a rarity for Burgundy's primarily east-facing limestone slope.

    Here, Edmond Cornu's 0.5 hectares represents the massive hill in its most micro scale.Cornu is the ultimate foil for this Grand Cru with a graceful and lithe essence, as opposed to the customarily fruit-forward, robust personality.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the 2015 & 2012 Edmond Cornu Corton-Bressandes, along with my house Bourgogne Rouge, the 2016 Barrigards at $29 per bottle.

    Of the two dozen + named parcels of Grand Cru Corton, it's Corton-Bressandes whose southeast-facing, mid-slope placement is the sweet spot. Receiving ideal sun exposure and drainage are the key factors setting Bressandes apart from the other 143 hectares. Cornu has long been a favorite of Burgundy purists for their understated style coming from villages like Savigny, Chorey, Ladoix, and Aloxe. But, Corton-Bressandes is undoubtedly the magnum opus of the domaine.

    Cornu's 0.5 hectare slice of Bressandes walks that pristine line between ripe, luscious fruit and that backbone of mineral structure that's an essential element in grand cru age-ability. Cornu's Corton-Bressandes is 100% de-stemmed and aged in 30% new French oak.

    Each year, importer Neal Rosenthal imports less than 400 bottles of Corton-Bressandes to the US. While Cornu's Bourgogne Rouge has been a house Burgundy of mine for many years, the Corton-Bressandes is obviously reserved for special occasions, as well as dark corners of the cellar. There's only one Grand Cru red of the Côte de Beaune, and Edmond Cornu's is my first recommendation vintage after vintage.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • Red Burgundy Secret of '16:  Cornu Bourgogne Rouge Les Barrigards

    Red Burgundy Secret of '16: Cornu Bourgogne Rouge Les Barrigards

    Lessons are continually being learned as a retailer. Vivid recollections of tasting the 2013 and 2014 Edmond Cornu Bourgogne Rouge put the domaine on my radar. Small purchases of each proved to be great buys and immediately found devoted supporters. The problem was additional wines had vanished from iconic importer Neal Rosenthal in a matter of weeks after both initial spring purchases.

    With the anticipated 2016 release on the horizon I was not going to find myself back in that position again. So, I capitalized and went deep on what's clearly a perfect storm vintage for the Bourgogne Rouge category, from a Pinot Noir-focused producer who hits every mark, every single year.

    At $29 per bottle, and down to $26.99 on 6 bottles or more, Cornu's 2016 Bourgogne Rouge is simply the best buy in this category.

    Edmond Cornu's fame is largely centered around his terrific Grand Cru Corton. His Les Barrigards Bourgogne Rouge is sourced from a single vineyard of old vines nearby. Each year it delivers everything we love about Côte de Beaune exotically spiced Pinot Noir, but in 2016 everything is extremely amplified.

    Vintages like 2005, 2009, and now 2015 and 2016 are ideal to go all-in on the Bourgogne level red wines. Any deficiencies that other vintages may reveal are completely wiped away. Concentration is intensified. Texture is deepened. Finishes are lenghtened. The wines are at their most complete and they continue to bring pleasure for years. A bottle of 2005 Lafarge Bourgogne Rouge illustrated that truth perfectly earlier this year.

    Among Burgundy collectors and purists Cornu is a legend. The wines capture the soul of place as well as any. The domaine was founded in 1875, and in 1959 Edmond moved to bottle instead of selling off grapes to negociants which had been the common practice until that point. Although his Grand Cru Corton reaches the greatest heights, the Les Barrigards at less than 20% of the price is the wine deserving of a corner in every Burgundy lover's cellar. The 2016 is simply the greatest argument to date for not letting these get away.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen