David Croix

The Story

One of the most compelling qualities about David Croix is his directness. He answers all questions candidly, no candy-coating, no embellishment. His wines have similar qualities; they’re honest and straightforward. Respectful. There’s only beauty coming from the wines made from this estate. And joy—the joy of realizing possibilities.

David Croix, like many other Burgundians his age, is always on the move. In the early years, his wines were by his own description: “Darker and tighter in the past.” He says that now the vines have changed and so have the wines. The fruit now is bright and expressive, and the wines more fun to taste when young. When he and his team bought the vineyards in 2005, he changed the vineyard culture from standard chemical conventional farming to a high-quality sustainable practice; I’ve visited them a number of times and it’s clear he’s taking the high road with respect to nature due to the life and biodiversity of flora and fauna inside his parcels, despite not carrying organic certification. David explained that after the stop of chemical use cold turkey after 2005 the vigor and yield initially dropped and the vines suffered, maybe too much. He says that as a result of this, the wines appeared to lack elements in the energy spectrum and were a bit awkward for a while.

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Lay of the Land

Most wine Francophiles are familiar with Burgundy. It’s divided into a few major areas, starting from Chablis in the north, the Côte d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais and finally Beaujolais to the south, just above France’s second largest city, Lyon. The grapes are principally Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on Jurassic limestone bedrock (pretty much all the vineyard bedrock between Chablis to the Mâconnais is from this same general geological period), and Beaujolais’ red grape, Gamay, where the soils are largely derived from granite and metamorphic bedrock from the ancient formations in France’s Massif Central.

Regarding red Burgundy, the two appellations David’s Domaine des Croix is focused on seem to be thought of as second or third fiddle within their classification. Beaune’s 1er crus are often placed in the middle to lower end of the totem—surely from all the Côte de Nuits’ main appellations. And perhaps it’s qualitatively (not only literally) scrunched in the middle of those from the Côte de Beaune, under Volnay, Pommard and even slightly lower on the hierarchy than Savigny-les Beaune, which I attribute mostly to the quality of domaines that achieve in the latter, like Bize, Pavelot and other big names from outside the appellation who have been drawn to it, like Lalou Bize Leroy, Bruno Clair and Mongeard Mugneret.

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David Croix - 2017 Grand Cru Corton, les Greves

Price: $184.00
Size: 750ml
Availability: 

22 in stock

Type of Wine: Red
Style: Medium Body, Elegant and Aromatic

The Wine

With Croix’s two red grand crus the differences begin with their terroirs. The Grand Cru Corton Les Grèves is ideally situated on the eastern slope about midway up, with a good balance of brown clay mixed with limestone rocks and chailles—a sort of flint stone (or in English, a chert; in French a silex)—atop hard limestone bedrock. The Grand Cru Corton La Vigne au Saint is low down on the slope facing south with deeper clay topsoil. Les Grèves gets no stems, La Vigne au Saint gets 50%. (If you haven’t noticed yet, there is a correlation between some cellars where in stonier soils there is less stem used, and with more clay heavy soils there is more stem.) Les Grèves was a 20-day ferment and La Vigne au Saint sixteen days. Both were nineteen months in barrel before bottling in 2017, and in 2018 they will both be bottled after twenty-two months. Perhaps one could speculate that La Vigne au Saint is more upfront, while Grèves takes a little bit of time to perform once the corks are pulled. However, these contrasts vary from year to year and sometimes they are the exact opposite of what's expected.

David regularly laments his parcels of Corton as somehow being the lesser of the hill within the grand cru lieux-dits because they are often not considered to be in the same qualitative level as the Clos du Roi, the king of this grand cru's lieux-dits on the hill. But we don’t buy it. A young and idealistic winegrower from Champagne we recently began to work with, Maxime Ponson, said that he believes that in many cases vineyards that take less work to achieve a great result doesn’t mean those that require more work to achieve a similarly great result are lesser vineyards; it’s a matter of effort and understanding what to do to make the best wine you can with each parcel. David does a fine job with his grand crus and they easily rise to the expectation we may have for grand cru wines. Fortunately, they are still priced fairly (for those who can afford to play the in the financially slippery slope of Burgundy) and I would expect that given this vintage, these wines will be a knockout and deliver on the expectations from those looking for a true grand cru experience from a young wine. -TV

About The Wine

With Croix’s two red grand crus the differences begin with their terroirs. The Grand Cru Corton Les Grèves is ideally situated on the eastern slope about midway up, with a good balance of brown clay mixed with limestone rocks and chailles—a sort of flint stone (or in English, a chert; in French a silex)—atop hard limestone bedrock. The Grand Cru Corton La Vigne au Saint is low down on the slope facing south with deeper clay topsoil. Les Grèves gets no stems, La Vigne au Saint gets 50%. (If you haven’t noticed yet, there is a correlation between some cellars where in stonier soils there is less stem used, and with more clay heavy soils there is more stem.) Les Grèves was a 20-day ferment and La Vigne au Saint sixteen days. Both were nineteen months in barrel before bottling in 2017, and in 2018 they will both be bottled after twenty-two months. Perhaps one could speculate that La Vigne au Saint is more upfront, while Grèves takes a little bit of time to perform once the corks are pulled. However, these contrasts vary from year to year and sometimes they are the exact opposite of what’s expected.

David regularly laments his parcels of Corton as somehow being the lesser of the hill within the grand cru lieux-dits because they are often not considered to be in the same qualitative level as the Clos du Roi, the king of this grand cru’s lieux-dits on the hill. But we don’t buy it. A young and idealistic winegrower from Champagne we recently began to work with, Maxime Ponson, said that he believes that in many cases vineyards that take less work to achieve a great result doesn’t mean those that require more work to achieve a similarly great result are lesser vineyards; it’s a matter of effort and understanding what to do to make the best wine you can with each parcel. David does a fine job with his grand crus and they easily rise to the expectation we may have for grand cru wines. Fortunately, they are still priced fairly (for those who can afford to play the in the financially slippery slope of Burgundy) and I would expect that given this vintage, these wines will be a knockout and deliver on the expectations from those looking for a true grand cru experience from a young wine. -TV