Skip to main content

Girardin's return

When Justin Girardin, nephew of the famous Vincent, sent me through his 2021 list, I was struck by the fact that, even with some modest price rises, his wines offer remarkably good value for Burgundies of this quality. Where can you find a grower's Santenay at Premier Cru level under £30 these days? Answer: chez Girardin.


Yes, we have been working with Justin and his family for several years and even have a (very) few bottles left of some of his 2012 Premier Cru wines - bottled under Justin's father Jacques' name - which are drinking fabulously now: smooth and unctuous with velvety tannins and soft Pinot fruit (Clos Rousseau) and a little more typical Santenay black fruit character from the Maladières lieu dit. Both tried recently and a few bottles of each reserved for us (hence the reduced quantities available).

The 2013 vintage was very successful here, perhaps more so than the 2013, defying the region generally. A simple explanation can be offered for this: Justin has been growing in confidence as a winemaker. The two Santenay cuvées we have - Premier Crus Maladières and Beauregard - offer the extremes of this appellation's fruit (the former typically offers more black fruit character, there latter tends towards red) and a vibrancy that makes them fun to drink now but they have enough stuffing to go on for several more years.

The future is bright though: from 2015, Justin took sole charge of the vineyards and winemaking and the labels reflect this. We plan to offer a pair of Beauregard wines which reflect the differences in the vintages: 2017 has elegance and charm, already a delicious Burgundy whilst the 2018 is more powerful but without becoming a blockbuster, something that just doesn't work with Pinot.

There will also be some of the Premier Cru Chassagne-Montrachet reds from 2019. These are keepers (although we didn't struggle too much with our sample bottles!) which will surely demonstrate whilst this under-the-radar appellation for red wines is high on any Burgophile's shopping list.

The white cuvée, 'Terrasses de Bievaux' will also make a comeback with the 2019 a little more opulent than earlier vintages. Justin is clearly a young producer to watch.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A great value alternative to Côte Rôtie

From Matt Wall's forthcoming article on great value alternatives to Côte Rôtie, Pierre Gaillard's 2016 St Joseph 'Clos du Cuminaile' is a lovely wine to drink now ( there  2015 is still building). Matt scored it 92 points and reviewed it as follows: 'From a 40-year-old vineyard in Chavanay, grapes were fully destemmed. It’s showing blackberry, bonfire ashes and blackcurrant leaf aromas. 2016 was not the most concentrated vintage, so it’s medium-bodied but very smooth in the mouth. The finish is lifted and fresh, with bright berry acidity. Quite lean and transparent, this is mostly based around fresh acidity, with fine, slight tannins and a granitic spine.' (Not the most contemporary looking label but the wine is extremely drinkable!) We have, of course, tasted it ourselves a couple of times recently and found it to be on the lighter side of Syrah - St Joseph can range from red to black fruit character and be light and pretty or dense and demanding (for the latte

TN: Ste Anne's Rouvieres - the story of a Mourvedre's coming of age

With our profile of Domaine Ste-Anne this week, I suddenly realised it is months since we last tasted the pure Mourvedre cuvee, Rouvières (2015 vintage). Last time, some time early in 2020, I think, the fruit was still quite masked by the tannins. They're still there but more as a supporting act to the red-black fruit which lingers well on the palate. Some nice acidity too. Next taste: after some bread and Château Juvenal olive oil (sorry, sold out and there isn't going to be any available this year), the tannins are thrown further into the background (well, mid-ground. There's no denying them but it wouldn't be Mourvèdre without them) and the fruit becomes quite masterful. Add to the mix some well-matured Epoisses, the wine brings out the intensity of this cheese so well but the fruit carries through. Comté further softens the tannins and brings out some spiciness: svelte is the word. Next, to pair it with some Bercovici  salami, 'The Barolo' being the obvious

Joblot in the glass

Always one of my favourite tastings: the new vintage – in this case the 2019s – of Domaine Joblot’s wines from the bottle and, better still, in the comfort of my own home. 2019 has been much lauded but, thanks to Covid, only a very few people have tasted widely around the vintage. Jancis Robinson said of the wines she tasted, ‘ the wines were delightfully easy to like ’ although she rarely looks at the Chalonnaise which can be viewed as unfortunate for the top estates there but, perhaps, lucky for us since it keeps prices down and wines available. Anyone wanting to delve into Joblot’s wines could either choose any available vintagesand try wines from across the range or follow particular cuvées across a range of vintages (horizontal or vertical comparisons).   Juliette was clearly pleased with the way the wines turned out and rightly so. They tend towards sweetness in their youth but that is necessary for the wines to show at their best after 5-10m years (they will last much, much long