Thu 28 Jan 2010
A native Burgundian with a family heritage of winemaking that goes back to the 17th century, Vincent Girardin began his career in 1982 with two hectares — about 5.15 acres — of vines. The domaine now encompasses more than 25 hectares — about 65 acres — in 60 appellations that stretch from the top to the bottom of Burgundy.
The white wines see about 40 percent new oak; they age about 11 months for village and regional wines, 13 months for Premier and Grand Cru. The reds take 30 to 50 percent new oak, aging from 15 to 18 months.
The domaine produces 46,000 cases of wine annually, most of it in small if not minute quantities from Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards. The range can be bewildering: 10 separate wines from Santenay, 10 separate wines from Puligny-Montrachet and so on. The 14 products I look at today, all from 2007, obviously don’t begin to indicate the depth and breadth of Vincent Girardin’s roster. Prices are approximate.
The wines of Vincent Girardin are imported to the United States by Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, Ala.
These are my notes from a trade tasting in New York.
<>Bourgogne Blanc “Emotion de Terroirs” 2007. Enticing, seductive; gravel and flint with white flowers, yellow citrus and stone fruit; sinew and bone, ringing acidity; just a little lush and sleek. A lovely chardonnay. Very Good+. About $23.
<>Rully Vieilles Vignes 2007. Good depth, quite dusty and minerally in the limestone mode; very dry, austere, needs a year or two to unfurl. Very Good. About $25.
<>Savigny-les-Beaunes “Les Vermots Dessus” 2007. Beguiling, entrancing; apple
and apple blossom, jasmine, flint; fleet and sinewy acidity balanced with tremendous body; fat and sassy but crisp, fraught with limestone; vibrant and resonant. A beauty. Excellent. About $28.50. If I were compiling a restaurant wine list, this would definitely be featured by bottle and glass.
<>Bourgogne Rouge “Emotions de Terroir” 2007. Simple, direct, tasty, cherry/berry fruit, touches of earth and minerals. Attractive but lacks the dimension of the white version. Very Good. About $24
<>Santenay “Terre d’Enfance” 2007. Impressive, lovely, eminently drinkable; red currants and rose petals buoyed by a chalky/minerally aspect; taut acid but seductive satiny texture; loads of personality and integrity. Very Good+. About $28.
<>Santenay “Les Gravieres” Premier Cru 2007. Earthy, mossy, chalk and crushed gravel; red currant, black cherry and mulberry; some wild, exotic spicy note; dense, chewy and intense. Needs 1 or 2 years but delicious now. Very Good+. About $36.50.
<>Savigny-les-Beaune “Les Vergelesses” Premier Cru 2007. Deep, large-framed, concentrated; very dry, gravelly and austere; a brooding contention of acid and tannin that keeps fruit in abeyance. Try from 2011 or ’12. Very Good+, for potential. About $36.50.
<>Beaune “Les Bressandes” Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2007. Seductive aromas of red and black currants, potpourri, crushed gravel, rose petal, hint of mocha; solid and true, with good dimension and depth, but not exciting, lacks the ultimate generosity of a complete wine. Very Good+. About $42.
<>Volnay Vieilles Vignes 2007. A great pinot noir; damp earth and chalk, tar and leather; red currants and black cherries, briers and brambles; dry, earthy, sinewy, acidity plows a furrow through a dense satiny texture; an exciting wine, filled with confidence and verve. Drink through 2017 or ’18. Excellent. About $42.
<>Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2007. Wow, a massive pinot noir. Leather, violets, wheatmeal; piercing minerality; a little fleshy and meaty, freighted with spice; dried red and black currants; overwhelmingly satiny texture; mid-palate back brings increasingly dry, rooty tannins; finish is dry, austere, distant. Try from 2011 or ’12 through 2017 to ’19. Excellent. About $46.
<>Volnay-Santenots Premier Cru 2007. Another great pinot; quite large, resonant and resolute, tremendously earthy, intense and concentrated; vibrant acid cuts a swathe but the wine is rich, spicy, supple, almost succulent (but not Californian); the finish, though, brings in dry tannins, an autumnal austerity. Try from 2011 through 2017 to ’19. Excellent. About $53.
<>Pommard-Les Grand Epenots Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2007. Closed, deliberate, secretive; quite dark, roiling with woody spice; very dense, very chewy; bales of briers and brambles, everything foresty and underbrushy; dry, granite-like earthiness, the power of geological patience. This emits the aura of greatness, but it has miles to sleep before it goes. Excellent potential, 2012 or ’13 through 2018 or ’20. About $68.
<>Corton Renardes Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2007. True, strong, pure and intense; concentrated yet generous, earthy, autumnal, feral; beguiling yet serious; eloquent expression of the mineral dimension; tremendous tone and presence. A great achievement. Best from 2012 or ’14 through 2018 or ’20. Exceptional. About $70.
<>Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2007. What’s to say? A monumental Charmes-Chambertin, very earthy, very tannic, mineral-laden, rooty, briery and brambly, a slumbering giant needing four or five years to unfold and then a 15 to 20-year life ahead. Excellent potential, but time is essential. About $125.