Robert Parker 94P
Sandalwood, machine oil, blackberry and cassis rise from the glass of 2005 Corton Rognets. In the mouth, this exhibits admirable purity and clarity of raw black fruits, low-toned charred meat, chalk, salt and wet stone minerality. Formidably yet finely tannic, this darkly-shaded and multi-layered wine really mines the mineral profundity of Corton and epitomizes the raw fruit intensity of which the vintage is capable. The stout of heart should lock this away for a decade or more. Amboise characterized this year’s fruit as consisting of “perfect berries, solid and well-structured” from which he concluded it should all be de-stemmed and a cautious approach taken to extraction. But caution is relative. Bertrand Ambroise certainly vinifies with a fanatic dedication to quality, but also with no concessions to the faint of heart, and his formidably tannic 2005s will strike some tasters as hyper-concentrated and flirting with over-extraction. Perhaps a bit more refinement and differentiation might have been achieved with a less robust and woody approach? Ambroise works largely with 400-liter barrels in an effort to preserve fruit by diminishing the surface-to-volume ratio and thus the flavoring effects of new wood, but I cannot claim that I would have recognized that fact in the wines themselves.