2013 Corton Bressandes Chandon de Briailles

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Average critic rating : 92.0 points



The 2013 Corton Bressandes Grand Cru feels a little more nuanced and understated, but more complex with more mineralité than the Corton Maréchaudes. The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe black cherry, pomegranate and blackcurrant fruit with a shard of flint toward the finish. This is very harmonious, beautifully focused with a sophisticated finish that attests to the pedigree of this vineyard. This would be my pick of Chandon de Briailles 2013s.||I visited Domaine Chandon de Brailles in the heart of Savigny-lès-Beaune right at the beginning of my wine career. That seems like a long time ago and I was due another visit. I met winemaker François de Nicolay who led me through the charming interior that looks as if it has been untouched since the family established the domaine in 1834. ||“The domaine is 13.7 hectares: one-third Savigny, Pernand and Corton,” François told me. “I have run the domaine with my sister since 2001 when our mother retired and we turned the vineyard biodynamic in 2005, certified in ECOCERT and DEMETER in viticulture and the vinification. In the vines you can see from the first year it looks healthier. The aim at the beginning was to be authentic with our different climats. We want to be sincere with the climats: the roots going deeper, the grapes more full of their original aromas of the terroir. That was the first aim. I could see that with Domaine Leflaive in the early 1990s. That was the first influence. Now I know our ground is healthy and we do it for the ecological side. Out team is totally dedicated and I converted the whole domaine in one go.”||Had it always been easy, what with the woes that Savigny-lès-Beaune has suffered courtesy of Mother Nature?|“My first disappointment was 2008 when we had mildew and we lost part of the production and I understood we needed more modern equipment, especially for spraying. The following year it was no problem. In 2012 there was mildew and we did much better. We had no oïdium. Everything is picked by hand, the fruit selected in the vines by the pickers because we all have a good time every year. We used 7 people: six per row with one person checking at the end as they empty the buckets. Pinot Noir is fragile so I don’t want people to touch it too many times.”||I asked about their approach in the winery.||“We partially destem and try to use whole cluster, but it depends on the vintage. We went to 30% to 50% whole cluster in recent vintages. Afterwards it goes into open cement tanks layering the de-stemmed and stemmed berries. We use a classic pigeage and remontage for around 15 days, sometimes three weeks. Pumps are only used for fermentation and we prefer to use inert gas if we do a racking. The wines stay on the lees for 12 to 15 months and then it is pushed with inert gas into big tanks for blending where it stays one or two month. We use less sulphur as possible, just sulphites just before bottling.” eRobertParker.com.June, 2015

The Aymard-Claude de Nicolay family has run Domaine Chandon de Briailles since 1834. The Count and Countess Aymard-Claude de Nicolay were in charge from 1982 and now their children, Claude and François, have taken over. The estate – which is biodynamic - is based in the Northern area of the Côte de Beaune and covers over 13 hectares across the three villages of Savigny-lès-Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses and Aloxe-Corton. Wines receive between 14 to 18 months in oak barrels.

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