1996 Vincent Girardin Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

SKU #1343395 94 points Wine Spectator

 Powerful, almost tannic in its muscle structure, this big white Burgundy delivers some deep butter, honey, ripe fruit and oak accents. Fills every tastebud on the palate with a velvety, thick, oil-like texture. The high, citrusy acidity keeps this together. Long, long finish. (PM)  (3/1998)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Displaying a lively, rich, pear compote and mineral-laden nose, the Corton-Charlemagne soars with terrific richness, amazing focus, class and exquisite balance. This full-bodied, highly intricate, and oily-textured wine is filled with peaches, minerals and white flowers that seem to last forever in this gem's exceedingly long finish. Girardin's only white grand cru, it combines the depth of ripe fruit expected from a first-rate Corton-Charlemagne from a ripe year, with the precision and focus that is 1996's trademark. (PR)  (2/1998)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Nuts, smoke, spices, flowers, and almost candied ripeness on the nose. Thick and sweet in the mouth, with a strong flavor of pineapple. Superb ripe acids give the wine excellent definition and intensify the flavors. Large-scaled but already filled in. Very long, powerful, nuanced back end. The strong acidity of the wine has already absorbed the new oak, says Girardin. (ST)  (9/1998)

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- The province of eastern France, famous for its red wines produced from Pinot Noir and its whites produced from Chardonnay. (Small of amounts of Gamay and Aligoté are still grown, although these have to be labeled differently.) The most famous part of the region is known as the Côte d'Or (the Golden Slope). It is divided into the Côte de Beaune, south of the town of Beaune (famous principally for its whites), and the Côte de Nuits, North of Beaune (home of the most famous reds). In addition, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais are important wine growing regions, although historically a clear level (or more) below the Côte d'Or. Also include by some are the regions of Chablis and Auxerrois, farther north.
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- The hill of Corton, an escarpment topped with a forest, overlooks the Grand Cru vineyard of Corton and the towns of Ladoix-Serrigny and Aloxe-Corton in the Côte de Beaune. This is the first area south from the town of Beaune. Corton is the sole Grand Cru red of the Côte de Beaune. The southeast portion of this vineyard produces Grand Cru white, and is called Corton Charlemagne. Famous Premier Cru vineyards are Corton Bressandes, Corton Renardes and Corton Clos du Roi.