Domaine Vincent Girardin Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2002
Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
Corton Charlemagne is a rich wine that expresses itself in time with mineral aromas. The wine displays mineral notes, flint, vegetal notes, lime, and pineapple.
International Wine Cellar - "Pure, stony aromas of citrus fruits and hazelnut. Dense and powerful, with a tight core of thoroughly ripe fruit. Quite suave for Corton-Charlemagne but not particularly steely and not at all hard. Impressively thick but lively. Builds slowly and impressively on the powerful, very ripe back end. The only one of these 2002s to be aging in all new barrels - "because of its powerful minerality," noted Girardin, who kept more of the lees and was still stirring them every ten days.
Wine Spectator - "Intense and minerally, rich but not fat, and racy, evoking lemon, apple and stone notes accented by spicy oak. Still very tightly wound and balanced, this will need time to unwind, or decant if you must drink it now. Best from 2006 through 2015. 400 cases imported. –BS"
The Wine Advocate - "A profound, light to medium-bodied wine, the 2002 Corton-Charlemagne bursts from the glass with minerals, flowers, fresh herbs, and hints of mint. It is a pure, fleshy offering of outstanding depth, concentration, and power. Loads of sappy minerals are intermingled with spices and apples in its refined, noble character. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2016. Range 93-94."
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Domaine Vincent Girardin Winery
Vincent Girardin continues the winemaking tradition of his father and grandfather before him, with a significant difference. The energetic and innovative Girardin has greatly expanded the number of appellations in his domaine either through inheritance, purchasing the land, or a system of leasing called "fermage". Vincent concentrates on the lesser-known appellations of the Côte de Beaune, which offer spectacular bargains, but in the past few years has added a stunning array of premier cru and grand cru wines from the most famous appellations in the Côte d'Or.
Until recently, Girardin's cellar was located in Santenay, but now is based in Meursault. Vincent Girardin produces wines from Santenay, Maranges, Chassagne-Montrachet, Meursault, Pommard, Beaune, and Savigny-les-Beaunes. Vincent Girardin's wines exhibit excellent ripe fruit, supple, velvet texture, concentration and vibrancy. The rich fruit and fragrant toasty oak are beautifully balanced, creating elegant and complex Burgundies that will last a decade. View all Domaine Vincent Girardin Wines
Burgundy is a small region, only about a fourth the size of Bordeaux. The narrow thread of vineyard land stretches from the city of Dijon to Lyon. The five main districts of Burgundy are – from North to South - Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais. Chablis is far removed geographically (above Dijon) and adheres to its own classifications. Beaujolais is its own region due to grape variety, vinification methods and regulations. Leaving us with the Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais as the heart of Burgundy.
Grapes of the region are easy to remember - Pinot Noir for reds, Chardonnay for whites. Burgundy can be called home for both varietals, despite their increasing presence in every winemaking country. In this area red wines out number whites, although the quality for both is unparalleled.
A bit of History...Once owned and run by the church and nobility, the vineyards of Burgundy were seized during French Revolution and sold off piece by piece. Further separation occurred with Napoleonic Law, which ordered that inherited land be divided among children equally. These two factors put Burgundy where it is today – a myriad of vineyards and villages, each with a number of growers and producers.
NégociantsBurgundy is organized by plots of land and labeled as such. About half of Burgundy works on a négociant system. Growers of small plots sell grapes, or more often, barrels of already made wine, to négociant houses who then blend it with other wines from that region and put it under their label. While the négociant system may sound like a way to produce mass amounts of anonymous wines, that is, luckily, not the case. Wines are labeled with a sense of place, so you know what land you are getting. There are some négociant houses that are much more renowned and consistent than others, and for the most part, the system works. But times are changing. Some growers are purchasing more land and making the wine on their property, under their label, for more consistency. On the other side, négociant houses are buying up their own vineyards so they will have more control over winemaking.
Classification SystemThe classification system is similar to a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is the most basic of the classifications, the Burgundy AC, meaning grapes can come from anywhere in the Burgundy region. Next up is a village wine, such as Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits, or the villages within these regions, like Givery-Chambertin or Puligny-Montrachet. The label will say Appellation Puligny-Montrachet Controlée. At the next level is the premier cru. A wine that says Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru will still be Appellation Puligny-Montrachet [premier cru] Controllée, but may include the premier cru vineyard name, such as Les Pucelles. At the tip of the pyramid are the grand cru vineyards. There are only 30 in the Côte d'Or and the name of the vineyard is the appellation name.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.