Vincent Girardin – 2015


Tasted with Eric Germain in Meursault, right with daughter Valentine, 28 April 2017.

Domaine Vincent Girardin
“Les Champs Lins”
BP 48
21190 Meursault
Tel: +33 3 80 20 81 00

It was ‘touch and go’ with the weather when I visited the team here – frost was in the air – but so-far – nothing here – yet!

There was much bottling underway, the plan was to finish the following week – but it’s a big job, they still make half a million bottles per year! 70% is exported but the biggest single market is France. The production is 65% white, but they are growing the reds with vineyard purchases – indeed they bought three vineyards last year – but they are interested to buy in Côte de Beaune only, mainly Volnay and Pommard. The plan here is to move to biodynamics – they are already largely following the methods, but without certification.

Eric on 2016:
It was awful from wine-growing perspective – the frost meant such low yields, but as for the wines, we have now done two tastings and they look not bad but I think that need a bit more density – it might well come with ageing though – that’s for the whites. For the reds they look good right from the start, so let’s see – pure, elegant and fruity but maybe the flavours are more homogenous in 2016. We lost 60% of our production; Puligny was not bad, but most of our losses were in Chassagne and Meursault. Also about 40% was lost in Volnay and Pommard.

Eric on 2016:
Normal yields, that’s 40 hl/ha for whites and between 30 and 40 for the reds. Great state of health in the grapes though – I haven’t seen that in 15 years – my father says it looks just like 1959. There is the pure elegance of 2014 but with more density.

The wines…

54mm corks here, each cork is individually tested for TCA – the cork supplier has to pay the price of the bottles if any are returned. Zero batonnage here, two winters of elevage – 14 months in barrel and 2-3 months more in tank – with lees – 10-15% new oak.

Full-flavoured, delicious white wines here – but aromatically, many of these whites were not on their best form. The reds were a great result!

2015 Meursault Narvaux
‘Meursault is really the only place where the climats are important for the label on villages wines – you don’t see them in Puligny and Chassagne.’
Yellow fruit, a depth and density here if only modest freshness. In the mouth though this is bright and wide, with insinuating flavour and slowly moving waves. Really long in the 2015 style – a super finish, modestly mineral too.

2015 Meursault 1er Les Charmes Dessus
A blend of 4 parcels all 60-80 years-old vines, one is a domaine parcel.
A little more vibration of aroma. Much more mineral, but much more richness of flavour too, with salinity. Super mouth-watering and very long. Super Charmes!

2015 Meursault 1er Les Genevrieres
70% from the high part of the vineyard, picked the grapes themselves.
A nose that’s a little woolly – it needs more time in the glass for clarity. Hmm, delicious, fresh, complex. Lots of energy without being aggressive, long in little waves. The nose needs to improve but the flavour is just super. Slowly adding a little ginger and mandarin aroma – it’s getting there!

2015 Meursault 1er Perrières
90% from next to Clos des Perrières, the 10% from the top, northern side, next to Coche-Dury
Less width but more complexity of fresh depth. Ooh, I love the lithe, complex, fresh, growing intensity, mouth-watering, saline. Love!

2015 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
A blend of Tête de Clos and Farendes – 6 barrels – used to have Abbaye de Morgeot too, but no more.
A nice vibration to the nose, again ripe yellow citrus but with a good freshness. Ooh – that is really mineral – what a wine – mouth-watering, really a great partner to the Perrieres – mineral finishing. Just super wine.

2015 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Blanchots du Dessus
Hmm – wide and mineral, not the most overt nose, but the first that I would call captivating. Ooh (again) mineral and intense, saline, i think that this could be my new favourite – all these wines have a beautiful texture.
2015 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Romanée
Hmm, also not the biggest nose, but wide and really engaging and becoming floral. Lots of energy and a growing intensity, opening wider and wider. Great finish! Hmm maybe my new favourite again…

2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Referts
No border, next to Meursault Charmes
Ooh, a lovely nose, fine agrume purity, almost tangerine. Beautiful silky texture, long, a wine that has a super line of flavour and tension – the melting flavour becomes wider and wider. Mineral finish. Just a super wine. No question.

2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Folatières
A bigger aromatic, agrumes, almost floral, hmm this also is about intensity, texture and a growing mineral width – there is a very fine melting complexity of flavour. Lovely finishing and very long….

2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Combettes
Hmm, a nice and engaging nose if hard to say whats there eventually a pretty floral note. A little more muscle, a little more silken structure.

2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Pucelles
Wide, fresh, a faint smoke – very nice. Wide, vibrant, super intensity, ooh, this is a ride – super wine. Riding the rapids. A beauty.
2015 Cotton Charlemagne Quintessence
30-40 barrels per year from Corton-Charlemagne, just before making the blend tasting all the parts – it was always the same small parcel in Aloxe that was best, so since 2004 it has always been separated. It’s the same parcel area as Coche-Dury, Michel Juillot in Mercury and here. It was sold by an heir of Louis Latour but isn’t made every year. Never more than 20% new oak, from seguin-moreau and Gauthier.
Wide, fresh, complex, very faintly spicy. Wide, ultra complex, super energy without excess, faintly saline, just a great thing – not the biggest, not the richest, but complete wine.
2015 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet
A six barrel cuvee
More direct intensity and line, meltingly wide, insinuatingly complex. With a floral note in the finish too. Bravo! This is my new favourite, good as the Charlemagne is!
2015 Bâtard-Montrachet
2 barrels at the limit of Puligny and Chassagne
A clean edge to this nose, tighter in the depth but with a super width. Extra concentration but fresh and with a fine minerality, ooh what a great wine. Brilliant finishing too. Maybe I’ve still a slight preference for the Bienvenues, but this is superb!
2015 Chevalier-Montrachet
Only one barrel.
A little vibrant entry, tight width but fine depth, a mineral impression to the nose. Slowly adding smoke and flowers. Ultra mineral and wide, really an ingraining intensity and modest richness – super concentrated. Bravo wine without a doubt. Ultra wide and mineral in the finish. Great wine!

Les Rouges…
We decided to use more whole clusters in general in 2015‘ some cuvees are 100% the first time. 20-30% new barrels, no fining and filtration, unless the turbidity is not correct. All the reds were bottled between November and the end of March – bottled on a descending moon but only if it was a flower or a fruit day (for instance!)

2015 Santenay 1er Gravières
Ooh, a beautiful and vibrant dark-fruited nose, there’s a super purity here. Good volume in the mouth, some structure, fine flavour – bravo Santenay!
2015 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Maltroie
A deeper aromatic, very vibrant. Really super volume in the mouth, charming fruit, dark cherry, freshness, structure but depth too – juicy wine. Long finishing… delicious!

2015 Pommard 1er Epenots
The first wine with some reduction, the dark fruit becomes more and more overt as the reduction fades. More depth of flavour, but again some reduction here. Super intensity in the mid-palate – superb, but a wine that needs decanting.

2015 Volnay 1er Pitures
Near Chanlins and Rugiens, 6 barrels, 100% whole bunch
Open, floral fine fruit. More structure, but super intensity, purity of concentrated fruit – ooh – this is a great wine! Vibrant and excellent – fine finishing with a last dry touch of tannin…
2015 Volnay 1er Santenots
2 ha worth, 80 yo vines with small grapes.
Also floral here more obviously from whole-clusters – very much a perfume of roses. Really good volume in the mouth – melting flavour, a little tannin at the base. Long, lingering, mouth-watering flavour. Really a super wine – bravo!
2015 Volnay 1er Champans
One parcel, 6 barrels.
A super width of dark cherry fruit. Ooh – this is juicy, mouth-watering stuff. A really good intensity in the mid-palate, faintly saline dark fruit. Ooh, this is a great wine – freshness and concentration in a deliciously juicy package – bravo!
2015 Corton Perrières
Here is a fine intensity of pure and dark fruit. Super. Ooh, this has a fabulous depth and complexity but in this case, more importantly, concentrated intensity of flavour. A modest tannin. Wow wine. I’d definitely rather have the Champans now, but in 10 years I don’t know!

Then 2 blind wines – I guessed one vintage but got both colours right 🙂

Deep, golden colour. A little reductive flavour, a nice depth of flavour, great concentration. The nose is now slowly opening, with a ripeness of lemon with a faintly herby quality. Long, interesting. 2008 Meursault Perrières – wow this is showing very young!

Good colour, definitely some leafy development, dark red fruit. In the mouth it’s young, wide, showing plenty of tannin, a hint but not too much of dryness, 2008 Clos de Vougeot (maybe I guessed Pommard…!)

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