2016 Red Burgundy from the star négociant
Camille Giroud is a top producer and one of the last small négociants in Burgundy. It was founded in 1865 in Beaune by a man of the same name and was known for producing traditional, extracted wines that required decades in the cellar. In 2002, the family sold to Ann Colgin of Colgin Cellars in Napa (along with banker Joe Wender and various partners) who totally shook things up and revitalized the winery. She hired hotshot American winemaker David Croix fresh out of school, brought in a wooden press and open-top wooden fermenters, and did away almost entirely with new oak. Croix spent fifteen years perfecting this new style of wines that was more modern, expressive, and terroir driven. In 2016, David announced that he was leaving to focus on his own project (Domaine des Croix) and that he would be replaced by Belgian winemaker Carel Voorhuis, who’d spend the last 15 vintages at biodynamic Domaine d’Ardhuy north of Beaune. The 2016 vintage was vinified by David and Carel to ensure consistency of style — it marks the passing of the torch.
Camille Giroud is a true négociant and only owns 3 acres of vines. They work with top growers and produce very small amounts of wine from villages across the Côte d’Or, sometimes just a few barrels of each. They offer a full roster of wines from village up to Grand Cru that each show site-specific character thanks to the dramatic reduction of new oak being used (down to about 15%).
Voorhuis on the 2016 vintage:
‘We used 20-50% whole clusters though mainly for the wines in the Côte de Nuits. We also went with a very low sulfur approach at the crush and during the vinifications. Not surprisingly, the malos went very fast as there was no SO2 to block the malic bacteria from getting started with their work. As to the wines, what I find so interesting is the sheer intensity of the flavors. Plus, the terroirs are superbly well-delineated and overall, I just love this vintage.’
[Croix left, Voorhuis right]
The 2016 Vintage
At first glance the 2016 vintage was a catastrophe. The worst hail storm since the early eighties hit in April and dessimated a number of vineyards across the Côte d’Or. Mildew was also a factor following damp conditions. Yields were some of the lowest on record but as the remainder of the growing season unfolded the fruit that remained benefitted from warm, sunny, dry weather. The best 2016s have the richness of the 2015 vintage and freshness of the 2014s.
2016 Mercurey // 12 cases available
$49.99 / bottle (6 btls/cs)
The 2016 Mercurey shows just how lovely this vintage can be, even among some of the less prestigious appellations. Bright red and purplish fruit, graphite, spice and smoke all mesh together in this pliant, super-inviting wine from Camille Giroud. The Mercurey has the potential to be a real overachiever in this range. – Antonio Galloni
2016 Marsannay ‘Les Longeroies’ // 7 cases available
$66.99 / bottle (6 btls/cs)
The 2016 Marsannay is distinguished by its sublime persistence and exceptional balance. Bright saline notes add freshness to a core of sweet red cherry and purplish-hued fruit, with hints of spice, chalk, white pepper and blood orange woven throughout. This striking Marsannay has the potential to be an overachiever. – Antonio Galloni
2016 Santenay 1er Cru La Comme // 10 cases available
$76.99 / bottle (6 btls/cs)
Bright red cherry, pomegranate, chalk, iron and a host of saline-inflected overtones give the 2016 La Comme 1er Cru a level of vivacity and energy that is compelling. I very much like the freshness and verve here. The bright, vibrant finish adds considerable appeal.
– Antonio Galloni
2016 Pommard // 11 cases available
$99.99 / bottle (6 btls/cs)
An exceptionally pretty and wonderfully fresh nose is actually perfumed with its relatively elegant aromas of dark cherry, violet, plum and a whiff of earth. The highly energetic and tautly muscular middle weight flavors possess excellent intensity while delivering plenty of punch on the firm, sleek, rustic and austere finale. This is very Pommard in character and will definitely need time. – Allen Meadows, Burghound
2016 Beaune 1er Cru // 10 cases available
$106.99 / bottle (6 btls/cs)
Yields were so small in 2016 that winemaker Carel Voorhuis opted to bottle a Beaune 1er Cru that is a blend of fruit from Les Avaux and Cras. The 2016 is dense and super-concentrated, with huge fruit concentration and imposing structure. Black cherry, plum, lavender, menthol, spice and new leather are pushed forward in this flamboyant, exotic Beaune. I imagine the 2016 will still be a stunning wine at age twenty or beyond. It will be interesting to see if more nuance develops in bottle. – Antonio Galloni
2016 Volnay 1er Cru Les Lurets // 9 cases available
$126.99 / bottle (6 btls/cs)
This is the ripest wine to this point with its still fresh aromas of poached plum, sandalwood, tea, spice and newly turned earth. The rich and mouth coating flavors are concentrated to the point of being suave with a highly seductive mid-palate mouth feel that contrasts considerably with the markedly firm and youthfully austere finale. – Allen Meadows
2016 Corton Le Clos du Roi Grand Cru // 3 cases available
$208.99 / bottle (6 btls/cs)
A deft application of wood frames equally sauvage-inflected aromas of pungently earthy dark currant scents. The dense, powerful and mineral-driven big-bodied flavors possess excellent size and weight as well as excellent persistence on the ever more structured, youthfully austere and rustic finale. Patience again absolutely required if you wish to see this beauty at its best. – Allen Meadows
Order now for delivery in 3-4 months. The deadline to order is Friday, May 24.