Michael Corso was curating a wine tasting from selections of his inventory at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. Michael Corso began his wine career in 1972 at The House of Glunz, Chicago’s oldest wine retail shop and since then he has been in wine sales at restaurants, wholesale, distributor, and importer. He helped create Chicago Wine Merchants, one of the leading fine wine distributors in the United States. The basis of Michael Corso Selections was formed during this time frame. In 2008, he established MCS as an independent importer of high-quality estate wines and spirits from France and Italy.
The goal at Michael Corso Selections is simple and that is to import top quality wines at the best possible prices. He abides by the adage that I have heard often during my fifty years of wine enjoyment that “good growers will always make good wine” and that is true from the garagiste growers to the First Growths. His focus is on small vignerons who keenly appreciate the land and are great stewards of the land as it is usually passed on the next couple of generations of family growers. Hence, many of the winemakers that they represent work with the concept of sustainability (before it was a new catch word) and most are organic farmers and don’t want their wines to be disturbed by “interventionist importers.”
The first wine that we tasted was Les Vignerons Reunis Montagny Premier Cru 2020. Les Vignerons Reunis is a small cooperative of thirty growers based in Montagny and the Cote Chalonnaise. They are known for their Bourgogne Blanc “Cuvee Reserve” and their Montagny Premier Cru. Montagny Premier Cru wines are from classified vineyards in Montagny, and all of the wines are made from Chardonnay. Years ago, the Premier Cru status was awarded by the alcohol level, but it has since been changed to individual sites in the district. There are actually over fifty named parcels, but even though they can use the parcel name, they just use the Premier Cru designation. Of the 306 hectares of Montagny, 202 hectares are classified as Premier Cru. This particular wine is made from a five-hectare plot of black earth, shallow and stony, and the subsoil is a limestone clay and crumbly limestone. The fruit is hand harvested and undergoes cold maceration followed by a natural yeast fermentation in Stainless Steel. The wine is then aged in used French Oak barrels. Five thousand cases were produced and they feel that it has any aging potential of five to ten years. This very soft straw-yellow wine offers notes of white florals and honey. On the palate tones of dried fruits, hazelnuts, and flowers blend into a very full complex white wine with a very nice medium finish of terroir.