Domaine Etienne Delarche, Grand Cru Corton “Les Renardes”
Domaine Etienne Delarche, Grand Cru Corton “Les Renardes”

Domaine Etienne Delarche, Grand Cru Corton “Les Renardes”

Burgundy, France 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$99.00
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Domaine Etienne Delarche, Grand Cru Corton “Les Renardes”

What a grand event for top-of-the-pyramid Pinot Noir drinkers! For many years now, genuinely elite Grand Cru red Burgundy priced below $100 has been critically endangered, and I was convinced the ’21 vintage would push it into extinction. Leave it to Etienne Delarche to prove me wrong in dramatic fashion.

Today’s flawless Corton Renardes is an exceedingly rare blue-chip investment that allows you to drink like royalty without creating a monstrous crater in your bank statement. As I write this, I’m referencing a beautiful map of Grand Cru Corton—purchased at Athenaeum in Beaune—that categorizes each parcel by owner. In the lieu-dit of “Les Renardes,” Delarche’s old vines are surrounded by Parent, Buisson, Hospices de Beaune, and legendary Leroy, producers whose wines sell from several hundreds of dollars all the way to (and beyond) $10,000. Honestly, there is no logical reasoning as to why today’s bottling costs this little. Culled from half-century-old vines and judiciously raised by some of the most traditional hands in the region, Delarche’s luxury Pinot Noir is a timeless, top-of-the-line benchmark for just $99. We’re allowing up to six bottles per customer so 1-2 can be enjoyed in the near term while your others slumber their way into a spectacular evolution. 

Domaine Marius Delarche’s winery is in the foothills above Pernand-Vergelesses, where the family has been crafting wines from Corton since the 1940s. Philippe Delarche and his son, Etienne, jointly tended the vineyards and crafted the wine as a team until Philippe lost a long battle with cancer in 2007. Since then, Etienne has carried on, implementing the wisdom of his father and his own experiences around the world to produce beautiful wine one vintage after the next. 

Delarche’s holdings in “Les Renardes,” a prized lieu-dit of Grand Cru Corton, approaches 1,000 feet in elevation and enjoy prime southeastern sun exposure. In 2021, what little fruit remained was hand-harvested and fully de-stemmed. A native-yeast fermentation occurred in stainless steel before the resulting wine was gently transferred into French barrels, 30% new, for one year of maturation. It was bottled without fining or filtration to capture every nuance this storied terroir has to offer. NOTE: For all our Delarche diehards wondering where their “Le Corton” cuvée is, there simply wasn’t enough to bottle. I was told they barely had enough to fill a small demijohn.

Served at 60 degrees, this superb Grand Cru doles out lush swells of red cherry, roasted plum, black raspberry, blood orange, underbrush, iron, baking spice, damp violet, wet stone, and muddled strawberry. After two exceptionally warm, ripe vintages (2019/20), 2021 represents a return to higher-acid, higher-energy, “classic” form. Still, it’s a delight to drink right now (over the course of two evenings) with supple berry fruit and profound minerality wrapped in a firm tannic frame. Decant it 30 minutes before serving at 60 degrees in Burgundy stems, and save a few others for revisiting in 5-7 years’ time. Enjoy!

Domaine Etienne Delarche, Grand Cru Corton “Les Renardes”




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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