Tasted with Eric Germain in Meursault, 23 October 2018.
Domaine Vincent Girardin
“Les Champs Lins”
Tel: +33 3 80 20 81 00
Eric on 2018:
“Actually there’s less wine here in 2018 than in 2017 – particularly for the reds, but there is still wine! We sold a few things and concentrated on others but we have volume. But c’est magnifique! – Another early vintage like 2017 – we started 24 August with a small team then full-speed from the start of September – three and a half weeks – it was another year where we could take our time in good weather, following the maturity, parcel by parcel – just one half day of rain – but 40mm which de-blocked the maturity of some vines – very helpful indeed. It’s been the same team here for almost 5 years now and it works well – we started with 20 but ended with 70 pickers. We didn’t bother with optical triage this year.
“Maybe some of the longer fermentations are due to quite late treatments – some were still spraying Bordeaux-mix in the first week of August.”
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…
“We started 27 August – again with a small team before the full attack on 3rd September. I like the reds but it’s a great white vintage – I’ve rarely seen such a purity as the grand crus are delivering at this stage of elevage. We will finish bottling reds – by the moon – in November: They are not wines with a big structure but they are digestible and easy to approach – 2015 is of-course a great vintage but compared to the 2017s it’s much harder to recommend drinking them from the perspective of enjoyment.”
All the first wines had a little roundness and a more or less touch of oak but they were also delicious – their place in the elevage – thereafter came some fireworks!
Starting with a quick flight of 22 whites – before the reds! We have a real Meursault focus today in the hierarchy that they find, but today mainly the hillside wines, to start with sampled from tank:
2017 Meursault Grands Charrons
Effectively in a clos, 60 year-old vines – cut the grapes and buy them as such. All in tank with finishing, bottling in Jan-Feb
Hmm, a depth, perhaps a faint sulfur. Round, rich, layered, wine – energy but more richness in style – lovely intensity of finishing, mouth-watering flavour though.
2017 Meursault Les Clous
2 parcels and 60 years old vines – do the work here, all biodynamic for last 3 years
A fresher, more open nose. Fresher in the mouth too – relaxed flavour, melting – some richness of texture but a fine mouth-watering intensity, a salinity too – more my style – yum!
2017 Meursault Les Tillets
Domaine, biodynamic, direction Javiller and Roulot, mid-parcel. About 50 years old vines
Fresh, more clarity of aroma. Fresh in the mouth too – vibrant, layers of finishing flavour, mouth-watering, lingering and saline – yes!
2017 Meursault Les Tessons
Bought as grapes but since 2018 do all treatments and work – now biodynamic.
A little more concentration of ripe fruit. More volume, depth of flavour too, a richer but beautifully balanced wine – here with a touch of oak today. Delicious.
All following from barrel:
2017 Meursault Narvaux
Half from domaine the rest from bought grapes, the latter conventionally farmed but with very few treatments and ploughed. First vintage without racking
A deep nose, some oak in the mix. Vibrant, rippling with energy. Narvaux- nervous – works for me. Excellent.
2017 Meursault-Blagny 1er
Over 1 ha, conventional farming, but will do all cultivation from 2019. 1970-80s vines in middle of Blagny.
A nose that’s less focused than others. A touch of gas too – but sleek, mineral and sinuous in the mouth – very Meursault and really a delicious thing – the nose needs work but the palate is excellent and long too.
2017 Meursault 1er Les Charmes
4 parcels for almost 1 ha worth, 60a done by home team
An open, big volume nose of ripe but fresh fruit. Hmm, nice line, understated wine but with waves of flavour, growing in the finish, blooming, almost booming – worthy Charmes.
2017 Meursault 1er Les Genevrières
2 parcels, one that is now worked by domaine – the largest part and biodynamic – plus 3-4 barrels bought in must.
A little biscuity reduction, almost malo – yes one of the last to finish – but depth and faint spice to the nose. Supple, lovely texture with a little richness but a mobile freshness of easy flavour – such an attractive charming wine – long too. Some extra character in the finish – quite large scaled here – clarity, harder but of fine interest. Yes.
0.86 ha in the domaine’s exploitation plus a couple of barrels must so about 1 ha worth. All oganic
Hmm a nicely vibrant nose – fresh, touched subtly by oak. Ooh this is a wine of line and direction, really developing and changing, mineral, complex – great stuff – bravo! An element of tannin in the finish too – great.
Half a hectare but low yielding – 7 barrels worth
Hmm – this is an attractive nose of extra ripeness of fresh citrus and fine clarity – one of the best so-far. Rounder, more volume, mineral, not a wine of richness – save its texture. Layered and completely delicious – great as the Perrières was, this is even more accommodating to my palate – a very big yes to this one… Bravo again!
2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Folatières
‘A coup! Bought a parcel ex Brigitte Berthelemot în Ez Folatieres. Plus two barrels from peux bois
A big nose, open, floral – architechtural almost. Hmm – drive and layered – this is also great – a small touch of reduction today – brighter, more intense finishing flavour of fine persistence – so long. Excellent!
2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Combettes
80a bought the harvest for a long time will do all the work from next year – vines in the extreme south of the climat.
Hmm – a small but but vibrant aromatic – Wide, melting flavour over the palate – such a concentration, but easily assimilated, fine intensity of finishing flavour – lovely here. Very fine…
Bought as must – 2 barrels from old vines – ‘usually one of my favourites’ organic culture here. No new oak a one year old and a 4 year-old barrel
Fresh with an implied density of aroma below. Hmm, energy is my first thought, but cushioned, layered, growing in fresh complexity – filling the mouth, layers of flavour. Indisputably great! Bravo
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Chaumées
Bought must in Truffieres – 8 barrels.
A nice fresh width of aroma – some concentration below – growing some florals. Vibrant, mineral wine – follows the Pucelles with aplomb. Long and mouth-watering a touch of tannin too – excellent!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Caillerets
One of the oldest vines in Caillerets
Fresh, a hint menthol, deep, hyper-attractive nose. Drive, good line, melting flavour – more saline than sweet, but really super-persistent flavour.
Younger vines – only 50 years old!
A fine spiced impression to the aromatic complexity. Sleek, driving wine, it has an agenda to keep. Driving into the mid and finish, mouth-watering, Vibrant finish – great here, indeed just a great wine!
Buy grapes and biodynamic done all work since this year. 0.30 ha
A fine but not particularly striking nose – a hint of oak. Hmm, volume, complexity – grandeur! Great shape and delivery of cushioned minerality, complexity and just an all-round fabulous wine. Bravo!
The same small parcel in Aloxe in conventional culture 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.
Hmm now here’s a nose with a little mineral depth and fine interest – the best nose so far! Volume, an extra clarity if not complexity after the Blanchots – an impression of more power too – very assured brilliant wine. Bravo once more.
All biodynamic, one barrel – half the vines have been pulled out so it’s hard.
Ooh – now that’s a nose – a touch of reduction, great amplitude and purity at the same time. A touch of gas but it can’t disguise the poise and depth of this wine – it’s so obviously great…
Have changed from lower vines to higher positioned, lower yield but conventional treatment.
A more compact nose but of impressive depth. Some gas again – more width, very fine energy, layers of melting flavour, it is the finish that’s most impressive here.
Two barrels, conventionally farmed ‘but a great sector.’
Here’s a striking nose of slight reduction, oak, clarity – great nose. Hmm. There’s a presence here, open but impressively, engagingly complex , layered wine – just so easy to assimilate and appreciate – great. Intense holding impossibly long in the finish… Phew!
‘We deliver the barrel to the producer and they top up, we recover the barrel in January – we offer exchanges for that. But in 2018 we got it in must. A one year-old barrel.’
The nose has some hints of the barrel – it has weight and interest too. Full, round, complex, some barrel again, some tannin too. Hyper-complex, layered wine – its forte but today marked quite a lot by the barrel. Mega-impressive but I’d take any number of the previous wines before – but give it time and who knows…
“There was no holiday this year as a few were bottled just before the harvest, the rest will be ready to bottle at the beginning of November. There are no faults there some wines with fine concentration and they are super.”
2017 Santenay 1er Gravières
In bio a big parcel
Hmm, deep, attractive faintly spiced nose. Supple, concentrated, layered tasty wine – faint tannin. Plenty of concentration. Excellent, tasty wine.
2017 Santenay 1er Beauregard
60 yo vines
Hmm – a big, open, slightly cassis and herb nose. Hmm (again), wide, quickly diminishing flavour which then holds long. A wine to enjoy. Starts big, slowly fading
2017 Beaune 1er (Clos des) Aigrots
Will be called Clos in 2018 but not 17
A very fine nose – airy, fine tiny fruit – excellent. Round, complex, a hint reductive but layered and complex – carafe today. Big, complex, excellent wine. Delicious…
2017 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Marconnets
Next to Dominode, always small grapes, always ploughed
A little floral lift with some herb here. Super width, complex, some structure but elegance of fine fruit in the middle too – ooh this is good stuff – no reduction. Needs time for delicious but that’s going to come…
Old vines, bought in barrel – own barrels.
A big, vibrant, super-attractive nose, herb and tar from the barrel. Big volume, slowly melting flavour, this is a great 2017 – treat yourself. Energetic, rumbustious wine. Bravo!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Jean
Another big nose of dark fruit and spice but finer than Boudriottes. More composed but with super complexity – finer than the last though with less direct energy and structure today but also comfortingly delicious. Have more patience here – though it’s hardly needed, I don’t know why I’m trying to find reasons to drink the former before this…!
A finer nose again – less width less volume but a fine depth. Deep, growing width, fine tannin, meltingly sucrosity – not wines for drinking young – dierectly – but I could! Serious without hard. Bravo!
2017 Pommard 1er Grands Epenots
From old vines, vinified here
Reductive depth, quite fresh. Lovely shape and freshness – depth of flavour too – but a reductive element corrupts the flavour today. So much to like but hard to assess. Love the finishing width and depth though…
2017 Volnay 1er Pitures
Domaine vines with a small yield all biodynamic, touching on Rugiens
A wide and elegant nose that suggest flowers too – but don’t miss the depth here. More easy labile, mobile flavour impression over the palate. Here is an extra energy in the middle and towards the finish – super flavour and depth of flavour here. Fine
2017 Volnay 1er Santenots
Santenots mixed between santenots du bas, plures and blancs – over 2 ha
A hint of whole clusters here – and the nose is not so wide but it’s deep and vibrant – I would say compelling. Silky, deep, a little reductive – though not on the nose. Wide and quite silky – there is wine here!
2017 Volnay 1er Champans
Biodynamic, bought the grapes from here before the vines came to the domaine.
Not the spice of the last but a purity of aroma that’s compelling. More complete today than the Santenots. Sleek, lithe fine flavour. Extra long. Fabulous.
Bought grapes, old vines, conventional culture.
Graphite and flowers a striking purty and clarity to his nose. Hmm, wide, mouth-watering, juicy flavour – ooh that’s good – easily the best in all dimensions. Fine, floral but with a weight of finish.