The only time that counts is the time spent in the cellar
Written by Hugo Duchesne, Chief sommelier at the Coureur des Bois Bistro Gourmand
A discussion between a winemaker, a sommelier and a client…
A brief presentation of a grand domain:
Located in Beaune, the Maison Camille Giroud has always maintained its tradition of fine wines, by the quality of its aging processes. By buying musts and finished wines, the aging process has always produced wines that could stand the test of time, with a strength and a structure that allow them to age in cellars for very long periods.
By moving away from the negotiation business, the Maison Camille Giroud acquires vineyards to create fine wines, in great climates. The year 2001 was one of the greatest, because they decided to give the reins to a promising winemaker, David Croix, the access to their cellar and their processes. His reign was a success: in 2016, David Croix produced its last vintage with Carel Voorhuis, that will now have the task of pursuing the quality tradition of the finest wines of the domain.
Carel Voorhuis speaks of his wines just like a jeweller speaks of his jewellery. He insists on certain points of the creation process, but he allows the products to speak for themselves. He tastes his wines with great passion and treats them as if they were art pieces designed by the various terroirs present in his vineyards. While he is particularly ambitious with the grand crus, he allows the regional appellation wines to benefit from lots of liberty. His only goal is to respect what the vineyards have to offer. The structure and the constant search for purity are the main aspects of his work.
In the restaurant industry, the wines of the domain are particularly sought after. Their value is unmatched and all of their cuvees always bring forth all that they initially promised through their labels. The regional cuvees are gluttonous and festive, while the crus are more and more reminiscent of the fine wines by their structure. The fruity trends are always extremely pure and enveloping; it is always enjoyable to taste quality products from renowned domains.
The sommelier reminds everyone that these wines are elegant, sure, but that they certainly do not lack strength and that, in fact, this strength has allowed them to age for very long periods in order to extract every nuance of the terroir.
The winemaker’s diner:
A grand feast followed. Carel and all his guests await, with curiosity, for the diner to begin. The evening wine program is certainly a grand cru!
Firstly, the generic 2016 Burgundy (from which certain grapes come from Clos de la Combe in Puligny-Montrachet) is extremely cutthroat and neat. The 2014 vintage is a pure product, a rarity, especially in white. The wines are extremely strong bodied, with an intense and lengthy aromatic presence. The aromas and the strong structure are constantly fighting for persistence.
The best domains all have this capacity to perform strongly for their entry-level products, which is not something that everyone can say!
The red 2015 Burgundy is blessed with a sparkling, pure and strong bouquet, with a richness that is reminiscent of some of the regional wines from the “villages” appellations, simply because of the younger vines from where the grapes come from. It is a magnificent Burgundy that acts like a young Gevrey; tasting this type of product is nothing else than a win.
Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux-Saint-Jacques 1er cru 2016 is nothing less than impressive, ambitious and sophisticated, where the aging competes with the maturity of the fruit. The wine allows a sanguine and meaty sensation, with a balanced structure and a persistent palate. Let this style perpetuates itself! The vintage certainly won’t offer much production, but each of the bottles will be an experience!
Chambertin will always be Chambertin: imperial and elegant. If all of the appellations of Côte de Nuits were pitted against each other, Chambertin would come out on top. The most powerful, it’ll always be, and the 2011 vintage is no different. Finally, it became ready-to-drink and it was fully enjoyed.
Santenay 1er cru Gravières is without a doubt the most renowned climate of this southern appellation of Côte d’Or and the 1996 vintage proves that its good reputation was not luck, but more so the sum of all of its parts (maturity, aging and quality of the grapes). The result is undeniable: the 1996 has evolved beautifully and it will be a pleasure to enjoy for the upcoming years.
An explosive finale, with the most renowned cru of Morey Saint-Denis on a great vintage. Notes of evolution are perceptible, such as leather and spices (star anise and clove), supported by a soft tannic backbone and a persistent aromatic presence that pays homage to the 1978 Clos Saint-Denis.