Chandon de Briailles Pernand Vergelesses Les Vergelesses 2017
Deeper, more multidimensional and more complete than the Les Vergelesses, the 2017 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses offers up scents of sweet berries, forest floor, wild plums and grilled meats. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, satiny and layered, with a quiet presence and impressive length. It's the king of the premiers crus from Chandon de Briailles this year.
Pernand's five Pinot 1er Crus are all south of the village, close to the Corton hill. Like all villages of the Côte d-Or, Pernand chose to suffix the name of its best vineyard, in this case the east-facing Les Vergelesses. Chandon de Briailles has 1.22 hectares in the Bas-Vergelesses section of this vineyard. This is the same vineyard, by the way, that continues into neighbouring Savigny-lès-Beaune (where it is then called Aux Vergelesses). The soil here--stony on the upper part of the plot and clay-dominant at the bottom--is iron-rich and gives an intense and complex wine, often with smoky, currant-like fruit. From a plot of 1956 vines, the 2017 retained 75% whole bunches.
This historic estate was established in 1834. Claude de Nicolay took over from her mother as winemaker in 1988 and crafts traditionally styled wines from one of the Côte d'Or's great terroirs, the hill of Corton and its surrounding villages. Corton is just north of Beaune and it's easy to spot, as it's a big hill with a forest on top. It's a limestone outcropping that is set apart from the main "côte" of the Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits. It is a bit of an anomaly in the Côte d'Or as the Grand Crus are named after the hill, rather than attached to a specific village. Three villages have vineyards that are a part of Corton: Aloxe, Ladoix, and Pernand-Vergelesses. Corton is the only place with red Grand Cru in the Côte de Beaune.