Aleth Girardin Pommard Vignots 2005
Cool but ripe dark berry suffused nose that is actually quite refined for what it is and leads to solidly rich and attractively textured middle weight flavors that are balanced and complex. There is also a subtle trace of minerality present that adds to the lift on the finish.
"I have long been an admirer and collector of the wines of Aleth Girardin since the 1990 vintage and bought quite a number of her stunning ‘93s. Her wines have been absent from the US market however for some years. This is the kind of domaine that will appeal greatly to Burghound readers, and I encourage you to take a close look."
At Domaine Aleth Girardin the average age of the vines is generally high, in some cases very high. In most cases it is 60 to 65 years, but both the Epenots and the Rugiens were planted in 1906 by Aleth Girardin’s great grandfather. These old vines require a lot of work and they only produce 25-30 hectoliters per hectare.
A large portion of the domaine’s vines are located in Pommard. Aleth Girardin bottles two different village Pommards – Vignots and Noizons – and five premier crus – Refêne, Charmots, Epenots, Rugiens-Bas and a plain Pommard premier cru made up of Pèzerolles, Argillière and young vines from Epenots.
Both Epenots and Rugiens-Bas have been mentioned as candidates for being promoted to grand cru status, but Aleth Girardin is not holding her breath. It is a very long process and she feels that there is still a long way to go.
Representing some of the darkest, deepest and sturdiest Pinot Noir of Burgundy, Pommard is one of the two villages in Côte de Beaune—along with Volnay—that is recognized for its impressive Pinot Noir. While it can’t boast any Grands Crus vineyards, its extraordinary Premiers Crus vineyards are aplenty.
Les Pézerolles, Les Épenots, Clos des Épeneaux, Les Chanlins, Les Jarolières, Les Fremiers and particularly Les Rugiens are among the most outstanding Premiers Crus.
The best Pommards will be concentrated in flavors such as black cherry, blackberry and dark chocolate, have dazzling aromas of violets, menthol or wild herbs and a firm and powerful finish. They typically demand some time in the bottle to reach their peak.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”