Domaine Justin Girardin, Santenay
I am never happier than when I have a source of excellent and affordable Bourgogne to hand, so I was very pleased when a sample turned up from the Santenay Girardins, and even more pleased when it turned out to be so good. It is such a rare pleasure to find something that is better than it claims to be, and I have to take my hat off to Justin Girardin for producing a wine that is, indeed, “fruity and fresh” as claimed, but quite a bit more besides. Produced from just over two hectares of fifty-year old vines in the commune of Santenay, this ‘basic’ Bourgogne might be quite simple but is also delicious, with plenty of punch. It actually tastes like Burgundy and puts to shame all too many ‘village’ wines that I have tasted.
Coming from an old wine-making family (the Girardins have been making wines in Burgundy since 1570) and the nephew of the more famous Vincent, Justin is passionate about treating the grapes as gently as possible, in the field and in the cellar, to produce wines that fully express their terroir. Whilst not certified organic, they practice minimal intervention, work the soil to encourage microbial activity and practise leaf thinning to promote healthy grapes. Three stages of triage ensure that only healthy grapes get through, and these are destemmed and gently crushed, followed by cold maceration for 5–7 days to extract the primary aromas. Fermentation is with indigenous yeasts, with 15–20 days of maceration. Punching down (pigeage) is kept to a minimum, and is merely used to break up the preferential channels that the juices form, but they employ several remontages a day with the aim of extracting the tannins gently and ending up with more delicate and elegant wines.
The wine is then gently pressed before 12 months of aging in a mixture of French oak barrels and concrete vats, with no fining and only light filtration before bottling. A lot of work, but it’s worth it.
Shipment is due to arrive 2nd week of May, all things being equal. Price is per 12 x 75cl inc. VAT & delivery within England.
10% Discount off 24 bottles or more – this is such good value!
2018 Bourgogne Pinot Noir – £227.40
This is as good a glass of proper Burgundy for under £20 that I’ve had in a long time
Beautiful deep red with purple edges. Quite perfumed, with cherry, red berries, vanilla, liquorice. Liquorice more evident on the palate. Good weight in the mouth for a basic Bourgogne, quite round with soft tannins and a pleasing acidity that keeps it fresh. Medium long finish, fruity but clean. Develops in the glass, becoming quite rich – Santenay in all but name. Great with food, especially poultry, pork and light cheeses, but will go with almost anything