Aloxe-Corton is a village of 1.02 square miles. It is most famous for sharing the Corton hill with Ladoix-Serrigny and Pernand-Vergelesses, the nearby villages. The AOCs for Aloxe-Corton and Ladoix-Serrigny actually overlap, and as a result some of the Premiers Crus actually located in Ladoix-Serrigny are classified as Aloxe-Corton.
Due to the Grands Crus' great collective size, the great majority of white wine produced in the commune of Aloxe-Corton is classified under one of the Corton hill Grands Crus. As a result, the village and Premier Cru wine is almost entirely red wine made from the Pinot Noir grape. Most of the best red wine is classified under the Corton Grand Cru, but a number of better values can be found in the Premiers Crus and even simple village wines.
Aloxe-Corton's AOC was created in 1938. This was a year after the Corton hill Grands Crus were recognized. Since then, it has occupied a level slightly below that of the Grands Crus themselves. Nowadays it is producing about half a million bottles a year of wine, of which less than 12,000 are white. The Premier Cru designation applies to about a third of the nearly 300 acres of Aloxe-Corton vineyards.
Climate and Viticulture
The best vineyards of Aloxe-Corton--those that are classified as Grand Cru--are located at the slightly higher elevation of the Corton hill. These are classified as Charlemagne, Corton, or Corton-Charlemagne. One would think that the difference between the hill and and the slightly lower village would be negligible, but not in Burgundy. The high elevation of the hill leads to differences in wind, fog, and is slightly cooler in temperature, making the white wine less austere and more round, rich, and full.
But this is not to say that the Aloxe-Corton village and Premier Cru vineyards are not themselves excellently located in the heart of the Côte de Beaune. In fact, the whole area has some of the best weather and climate conditions this side of the Montrachet villages.
- Pinot Noir: In Aloxe-Corton Pinot Noir makes wine of a tannic, powerful nature, but also with a very soft, round side. A number of wine critics are not very impressed by what they call a fatness that the grape takes on even in the Premiers Crus of Aloxe-Corton. Nonetheless, many of the grapes have good flavors of red fruit that can come out after some aging. But due to its somewhat undesirable name, the Pinot from Aloxe-Corton can often be an excellent value. Reds should be aged for a few years, but may be too delicate for a decade or more's cellaring.
- Chardonnay: Less than 1,000 cases of Chardonnay-based white are produced each year from this village. Those that are are similar to the Corton-Charlemagne whites on the hill, but rarely have the outstanding balance that the Grands Crus do.
A number of négociants produce wine in Aloxe-Corton, with Drouhin being a particularly notable example. Mostly, however, the most authentic wines are sold by smaller producers. Here are six of the best Premier Cru Aloxe-Corton producers. The wine made by these producers is discussed under subregions below.
- Domaine Chandon de Briailles
- Domaine P. Dubreuil Fontaine et Fils
- Domaine Follin-Arbelet
- Maison Camille Giroud
- Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair
- Domaine Tollot-Beaut
Although they share some of it with Ladoix-Serrigny and Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton has the lion's share of the Corton hill. This means the vineyards of the three Grands Crus Charlemagne, Corton, and Corton-Charlemagne all are part of Aloxe-Corton. These areas are covered separately under the Corton areas page.
The Aloxe-Corton commune itself has eight Premiers Crus.
- Les Chaillots
- Clos du Chapître: Domaine Follin-Arbelet makes some of the best from this Premier Cru.
- Les Fournières: Wine from Tollot-Beaut here is consistent.
- Les Guéres: Powerfully tannic but also sweet and earthy, the wine from Maison Camille Giroud is a good example here.
- Les Maréchaudes
- Les Paulands
- Les Valozières: This is one of the more commonly found Premiers Crus, with a number of major producers making wine from this vineyard. The significant Chandon de Briailles example balances power and subtlety and is under $50.
- Les Vercots: This most common of Premiers Crus has a number of good examples, and is the least obscure of any of these vineyards. Follin-Arbelet has a good example. Dubreuil Fontaine is considered a producer of well-priced good wine here. Tollot-Beaut also does well here.
Ladoix-Serrigny has its own Premiers Crus, but for some reason a select six are actually classified as Aloxe-Corton's Premiers Crus. In general they are more obscure than Aloxe-Corton's own Premiers Crus.
- Clos des Maréchaudes
- La Coutière
- La Maréchaude
- Les Moutottes
- Les Petites Lolières
- La Toppe au Vert: Thibault Liger-Belair is one of the most known producers that makes wine from this Premier Cru, which is likely the best known of the Aloxe crus located in Ladoix.