Vincent Girardin – 2016


Tasted with Eric Germain in Meursault, 05 October 2017.

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

Eric on 2017:
A good vintage, with quality and quantity in 2017. We used only 1,500 kg of sugar for 3,000 barrels in 2017 – that’s not very much. We actually harvested the equivalent of 55 hectares this year, producing wine from around 100 hectares worth of vines – that balance of 45 hectares came in a blend of in grapes and must. In 2017 we have 45 appellations in 180 different lots…

Eric on 2016:
Earlier this year Eric said:
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 they need a bit more density – it might well come with ageing though – that’s for the whites. For the reds they looked 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.

Awful yields because of frost, which means we have only one level of barrels in the cellar. Our production of reds in 2017 is the same volume as red and white combined in 2016 – and our reds are usually ‘only’ 40% of our total volume. It wa a good start to the year, but on my birthday, 27 April, came the frost. This vintage needs a long aging I think. Aromatically this has always been a very pure vintage – and all the malos are done here. The difficulty in 2016 is that the wines were not the most powerful, at the start, but with time they have grown into their suits.

The wines…

Zero batonnage here, mainly with two winters of elevage – 14 months in barrel and 2-3 months more in tank, with lees, using 10-15% new oak. The ‘smaller’ wines are bottled earlier, just before the harvest – usually from 500 litre barrels – they represent half of the domaine’s production. 54mm corks are used, each cork individually tested for TCA – the cork supplier has to pay the price of any bottles that are returned.

2016 Meursault Castets
From top of Meursault with a chalky soil ‘it is a high level for a villages wine.’
A beautiful nose – yellow fruit but with the characteristic aroma of spiced bread. Fresh, open, wide, mouth-watering. Good attack with nice purity here. Excellent!

2016 Meursault Narvaux
Similar high, chalky terroir to the Castets.
A little more fruit intensity on the nose. A shock of fresh acidity, a certain strictness then fine, mouth-watering flavour. This will be bottled later ‘to add a little more richness.’

2016 Meursault 1er Les Charmes Dessus
A blend of 4 parcels all 60-80 years-old vines, one is a domaine parcel.
Bread, faint spice. A supple undertow of fruit. Extra richness, much more weight, similar intensity, a fine spice element, layers – really excellent.

2016 Meursault 1er Les Genevrières
70% from the high part of the vineyard, picking the grapes themselves.
A hint of flowers on the nose – a beautiful composed faintly spicy aromatic. Gorgeous! Extra complexity, layers, more expressive. Long, beautiful, again faintly spiced – bravo!

2016 Meursault 1er Perrières
90% from next to Clos des Perrières, the 10% from the top, northern side, next to Coche-Dury – A late malo, only fined a few weeks ago.
A little tighter and fresher nose, with citrus. Wiry, muscled, very little fat – this is an athlete – super power, long, long, long…

2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Caillerets
10% of new oak, it was 15% for the Perrières, 25% for the grand crus.
A little extra intensity of fruit here. The palate is beautifully textured, wider than the Perrières, stony and beautiful.

2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Romanée
A faint sizzle of smoke/toast on the nose. Great texture again, bursting with extra complexity in the finished – as much as I loved the Caillerets, this is brilliant – bravo!
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Blanchots du Dessus
Very different aromaticcharacter – a ‘granular’ nose, faintly spiced – lovely. Supple, complex, layered, fresh – just a beautifully complex wine. Bravo!

2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Folatières
Higher tones of ripe yellow citrus – good density. A very faint gas, a more mineral impression, more intense – this is a wine with more urgency than the last. Also not so long since it finished the malo – that being considered, really super – a super finish too…

2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Combettes
Some aromatic freshness, almost orange flesh notes here. Good volume, super complex and mobile – less urgency than the Folatières, but finer – oh, and simply delicious.

2016 Cotton Charlemagne Quintessence
The same small parcel in Aloxe that, since 2004, has always been separated for this cuvée. It’s the same area as Coche-Dury and Michel Juillot (of Mercurey). 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.
A fine attack of citrus that becomes softer and more waxy in style. Ooh! No fat but a sort of richness in the delivery of the flavour – some lemon here – beautiful finishing. Great wine – bravo!
2016 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet
A subtle, sexy, spicy smoke and just as im pulling the glass away from the nose – bang(!) – a beautiful floral note. Wide, plenty of volume on the palate – just brilliantly complex. A faint sizzle of CO2 on the tongue. Fabulous – my new favourite!

2016 Chevalier-Montrachet
A little fuller aroma of freshness with a sub-level of ripe citrus. Less complexity of width, this is more of line and depth before opening out and getting wider and wider, and also slowly longer, and longer – super stuff.

Blind bottle
Almost a truffly white chocolate, young colour. Richness of texture, layers of flavour, fine width, a subtle salinity, lovely width, It’s their Bâtard 2005 – such a positive surprise, as so many from this vintage are a little brutal!

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