Domaine Vincent Girardin Volnay Les Santenots Premier Cru 2010
Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
A good medium crimson color. An elegant nose, and as the most serious so far, it has a bit of class. On the palate, the wine is silky and creamy with a touch of café au lait; round, with flavors that expand quite nicely. Very Pinot, with chocolate milk and smoke notes. Nice and elegant.
Wine Enthusiast - "Firm, concentrated and solid, this has a tight core that's surrounded by sweeter dark-plum fruit. This is ripe and full bodied, with a definite need for aging."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright red. Lively aromas of black cherry and chocolate complicated by spices and flowers. Sweet dark fruit flavors are a bit reticent today and lacking in complexity but already convey lovely finesse of texture. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins. Very Santenots and not at all overripe. This has a pH of 3.4. Winemaker Eric Germain noted that none of these wines have pHs higher than 3.5, while in 2009 none were lower than 3.6."
Burghound.com - "Here the ripe nose is slightly more elegant with a similar aromatic profile of intensely earthy dark pinot fruit and soft spice scents introducing rich, intense and velvety middle weight flavors that display fine precision on the solidly well-balanced and persistent finish.
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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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Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.