Since the Girardin family began viticulture in the seventeenth century, in Santenay, in the extreme south of the Côte de Beaune, it is not surprising that Young Vincent decided at only 19 years old, in 1980, to undertake this activity, starting from two hectares inherited from his parents. The speed with which the quality of his wines was recognized and appreciated is almost incredible, given his young age, and is also the reason why it was possible to expand his business with the purchase of the most prestigious land of his beloved Côte de Beaune (Meursault, Puligny Montrachet, Chassagne Montrachet, Saint Aubin, Santenay, Savigny Les Beaune, Aloxe Corton, Volnay and Pommard). The fame of this Domaine had become so important that the winery was taken over, in 2012, by the Compagnie des Vins d’Autrefois of Beaune, although Vincent continues to work on eight hectares of land with which he supplies the Domaine itself.
Having remained unchanged the relationship with the winemakers, from which Vincent already bought part of the grapes, and having remained in his place Eric Germain, the oenologist who joined Vincent since 2000, it is not risky to say that this succession took place in the sign of continuity. On the other hand, it is worth noting that Girardin’s style has undergone a series of evolutions and changes over time, starting from the important enological experimentation in the 80s and 90s, passing to the exaltation of the terroir and, following the choice of biodynamic agriculture. Currently, the production style is characterized by the drastic reduction of the yields per plant, united to the phytosanitary treatment based on copper and sulfur, to the deep plowing in order to breathe the soil (without herbicides or pesticides) and to the intense work on the vegetative part of the vines, to promote their health and photosynthesis.
The Chevalier Montrachet wine comes from one of the most prestigious parcels of the House, the homonymous and famous Chevalier Montrachet, in the village of Puligny (just above the Montrachet vineyard), composed of marly, limestone and stony lands of Jurassic origin (175 million years) from a deep soil. The grapes, manually harvested, undergo a double sorting (first in the plant and then in the cellar) before being pressed very gently, in the pneumatic press, to favor a slow extraction. The must obtained rests for a few hours, to settle down, before being placed in barriques (new to 20%), where the two fermentations (alcoholic and malolactic) will take place, thanks to indigenous yeasts and bacteria. The wine obtained rests, always in barrique, on the fine lees, for a year and a half, without batonnage, after which the content is reassembled in stainless steel containers for a short final aging. A slight filtration and the bottling, performed according to the lunar calendar, and the wine is marketed.
The 2006 vintage, produced when Vincent was still driving the winery, has an intense straw yellow color, tending to golden, with an olfactory range that opens on woody notes combined with overripe white melon, dried apricot, mango and burnt bone, with a side of kumquat, Fresca, camomile and chlorophyll, with concluding echoes of saffron, white pepper and burnt matchstick. The taste is characterized by a great softness that alternates with juicy acidity, with a sapid/mineral component that progressively conquers the proscenium, along with the spiciness of white pepper; all enriched by the retro-olfactory return of yellow fruit, of the vegetal side and the burnt bone that accompany the sip until an endless closure.
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