I’m back below the Corton hill in Ladoix-Serrigny, visiting Michel Mallard at his family estate that is conveniently called … Domaine Michel Mallard, after his grandfather.
Domaine Michel Mallard is one of the more prominent and well-known estates in Ladoix, as Michel is also the winemaker at Domaine d’Eugenie in Vosne-Romanée, while at the same time running the family domaine.
Ladoix … below the big hill
Domaine Michel Mallard was founded in 1952 by Michel Mallard – the grandfather of the current nameholder. The estate has 13 ha around the Corton hill, producing 16 appellations in total. It’s located in the center of Ladoix-Serrigny on the RN974 – the main road through Burgundy – just south of where the Côte de Nuits meets the Côte de Beaune.
Michel Mallard took over from his father in 2005 and is now running the family estate with his parents’ help while also making the wines at d’Eugenie.
Michel is eager to show his estate wines, and on this occasion, we had the chance to taste the white and red 2018s, as well as several cask samples of the 2019s showing different types of barrels from different coopers. It’s never boring to visit this estate. (Note to self: Charge the Ipad fully before arrival.)
Here we have the 2018 whites, that were tasted from stainless steel tanks. For the 2018 reds, see the full article here.
The Mallard whites
The 2018 vintage is a generous, hot year, yet it seems like the whites show less unpredictability than the reds. The whites are of course on the generous side, yet often with a fresh expression in a rather predictable way. Strange.
The whites from Mallard are showing a fine, fresh profile with citrus notes that I find typical for the Ladoix and Corton areas, especially if helped by the oak regime chosen.
I do enjoy Corton and Ladoix whites. It is an overlooked area in my view, so let’s explore.
Domaine Michel Mallard Ladoix Blanc 2018
The Ladoix Blanc is showing fine citrus energy. The nose offers a mineral impression – vivacious fruit with the warm tone of the vintage controlled by the citrus-infused oak; very well made. I like the style of this entry-level Ladoix; enjoyable for a Tuesday lunch.
(Drink from 2020) – Good+ (87 – 88p) – Tasted 12/11/2019 – tank – ?
Domaine Michel Mallard Ladoix Le Clos Royer Blanc 2018
The Ladoix Le Clos Royer Blanc is located below La Toppe au Vert, and is from a vineyard at the southern entrance of Ladoix that was a park before being replanted in the 1950s. This cuvée has 35% new oak in the shape of new 350-liter barrels. They give a nice – but not dominant – oak impression. The bouquet has a citrus entry moving over to peach, quince, and pear; exotic without being extrovertedly sweet or overly ripe. Balanced and well made.
(Drink from 2020) – Very Good (88 – 89p) – Tasted 12/11/2019 – tank
Domaine Michel Mallard Ladoix Les Gréchons Blanc 2018
Moving higher up the slope – actually the very top – to the Ladoix Les Gréchons Blanc 1er cru. This is much shallower soil than Le Clos Royer, with a more minerally sharp presentation. Described by Michel Mallard as “shallow soil with a silty to silty-clayey texture,” it does show a mineral, citrus-infused nose, with orange zest, white peach and vivid energy. I do enjoy these mineral Ladoix whites. They carry the hot years well.
(Drink from 2025) – Very Good+ (89 – 91p) – Tasted 12/11/2019 – tank – ?
Domaine Michel Mallard Corton-Charlemagne 2018
We move southwest to the mighty Le Charlemagne in Aloxe-Corton, where Michel Mallard has a fine plot at the top of the Corton hill overlooking Aloxe and Beaune. The plot is 0.1057 ha and produces the top white of the estate. The Corton-Charlie has elegant, refined fruit with some exotic notes of peach, honeysuckle and a whiff of jasmine. The palate offers fine balance and vivid acidity, with a delicate citrus component derived partly from the oak. A fine Corton-Charlemagne in the making.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Fine+ (93 – 95p) – Tasted 12/11/2019 – tank – ?
The preferred wines in 2018
Terroirs like Ladoix and Corton often perform better in rich, velvety years, as they seem to carry the weight of the vintage better without getting too exotic and opulent.
Michel Mallard is holding the wines in quite a firm but attractive grip, and this is what the 2018 vintage needs.
Of the 2018s here, I find a fine emotional profile in the Corton-Charlemagne’s vivid fruit and acidity. The other wines are enjoyable, with good potential.