Vincent Girardin

2009: A Very Good Year for Burgundy and Vincent Girardin

2009: A Very Good Year for Burgundy and Vincent Girardin

Post by Chuck Hayward | November 16th, 2011

A line up of 2009 barrel samples from Girardin

Highly acclaimed, the 2009 burgundies are slowly arriving on our shores and it’s shaping up to be an excellent vintage. Perhaps you’ve read the press, and while the descriptions are pretty accurate, nothing beats actually trying the wines whether here or in France. Fortunately, I have been able to do both!

In assessing any vintage, I like to use two different methods to discern its quality. One is to visit as many growers and domaines as possible, though the drawback is that one winery may be located in Gevrey Chambertin, another in Meursault. So not only is a lot of traveling involved but it can be difficult to gather an overall perspective of a vintage by looking at just a few places. Therefore, I make sure to also include visits to good negociants who make wines from vineyards up and down the Cote d’Or, thereby providing the perfect opportunity to gain a broad look at a vintage.

Where many firms have long and rich histories going back centuries, a number of new operations have cropped up in the region over the past few decades. Some are outsiders who immigrated to Burgundy from other countries, such as Alex Gambal who came from the United States. (more…)

Burgundy Brigade

Burgundy Brigade

Post by Chuck Hayward | October 11th, 2010

Getting wind of a Burgundy tasting sends most of us in the wine trade into a vinous tizzy. And so it was last week that we jumped across the bay to

Some '06 Burgs, ready to taste

RN74, San Francisco’s shrine to Burgundy and location for a tasting of assorted releases from the Vineyard Brands portfolio. Founded in 1971 by Robert Haas, a former New York City retailer, Vineyard Brands quickly became one of the country’s top importers of quality Burgundy and we looked forward to exploring their collection of estates.

Rather than the new releases we were expecting, we were fortunate that Vineyard Brands had decided to give us another look at reds and whites from 2006. Four years after vintage, it was an ideal time to assess the development of these wines and get a feel for where they are headed. Upon release, Stephen Tanzer observed that the ’06 whites were “rich, powerful wines, often high in alcohol. Their glycerol textures and often exotic tropical fruit character give them great early sex appeal.” At the same time, Bruce Sanderson noted in the Wine Spectator  that “the young Pinots also amazed me, with their immediate charm, seduction and balance.” (more…)