2010 Vincent Girardin Bourgogne Rouge Cuvee Saint-Vincent
The Maison Vincent Girardin is a reputable vigneron (wine grower) as well as negociant based in Meursault. It owns about 20 hectares of vines and also buys grapes to other vine growers, all almost exclusively from the Cote de Beaune area.
Vincent Girardin’s wines contain a wealth of different appellations, with many village and premier cru wines from Chassagne-Montrachet, Meursault, Pommard, Puligny or Santenay in particular. Obviously there are some Grand Crus as well from the same communes: Corton-Charlemagne, Chevalier-Montrachet, Batard-Montrachet, Le Montrachet. Just a few wines come from the Cote de Nuits but include prestigious Grand Crus such as Le Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin or Clos de Vougeot.
With the humble ‘Bourgogne Pinot Noir’ label, the ‘Cuvee Saint-Vincent’ represents an entry-level in the producer’s range, an opportunity to reach the Maison’s style for a fairly affordable price (about $20 USD, £15 GBP).
Coming under the regional appellation ‘Bourgogne’ the wine is a blend of Pinot Noirs from different vineyards. The grapes came from various plots all situated on Côte de Beaune area. The soils are made of either clay or limestone.
Grapes were hand-picked and sorted twice (when picking the grapes and on the sorting table) before being partially de-stemmed. The wine was fermented with natural yeasts in stainless steel thermo-regulated tanks before maturing for 10 months in French oak 500-litter barrels (10% new oak).
So what is this wine worth? The answer is in the tasting note:
Nose: The oak is well present, just as much as the fruit. Vanilla, smoke, clove and cinnamon from the wood. Plum, cherry, raspberry are well present as primary aromas. The fruit aromas
smell slightly oxidised, like liqueur. A rather intense nose, with spices and herbs, and surrounded by char. Appealing if you like oak. You can smell alcohol too, this is a ripe, rich wine. A bit of a light dusty smell, flint, makes for a bit of complexity, and makes sure you know you’re with and an ‘old world’ wine.
Palate: The fruits described above explode in your mouth as you put it in. Like if you would lick a spoon of spiced strawberry, blackberry and cherry jam. Oak flavours are there, just to accompany and surround the fruit, but rather well integrated. They are less pronounced on the palate than they were on the nose, the fruit being so ripe and powerful. Loads of spices, clove, pepper, nutmeg. The tannic structure is rich. This is some ripe and extracted Pinot Noir. But the general mouthfeel is rather smooth. The finish feels a little bit dusty and drying, probably because extraction has been emphasized on. But this will fade out with a bit of further ageing.
Overall a very good wine. Packed full of flavour. Very ripe, oaky and powerful for a Bourgogne AC wine. Well made from quality fruit. It only betrays its “bourgogne’ level by a slight rusticity in the tannins, and dustiness of the aromas. But this gives some character to the wine.
An excellent Burgundy Pinot Noir then. Rich and spicy, it combines the best of both worlds. Dusty, tarry notes and a backbone of good acidity betray its Burgundian origin. But it has a bit of a ‘New World’ style as well, as ripe fruit, dense colour and significant oak influence. Worth the price tag given Burgundy wine (and Pinot Noir more generally) never comes cheap.
So if you like a bit of a ‘new world style’ Bourgogne wine, rich and spicy. Approachable and reasonably priced. This is a good buy.
Further information at vincentgirardin.com
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