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Burgundy Wine Cellars

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Type
Red Wine
Jean-Jacques Girard Beaune 1er Cru 'Clos du Roi' 2015

Jean-Jacques Girard Beaune 1er Cru 'Clos du Roi' 2015

Appellation
Beaune 1er Cru
Region
Côte de Beaune
Vintage
2015
Add To Cart
$58.00
 
SKU: EJJG07R-15
Overview

Beaune 1er Cru 'Clos du Roi' is, as the name suggests, one of the best parcels in the hills above Beaune. Beaunes can have the spice of Savigny, so the style plays well into Jean-Jacques Girard's hands, but the Clos du Roi has the oomph of the Corton mountain. Red fruit ans spice, great building intensity, round, fleshy and persistent, It's a fist in a velvet glove.

Producer

Jean-Jacque Girard's website says that his family was growing grapes in Savigny-les Beaune back in 1529. That, as the French say, is 'formidable', and would make the domain one of the oldest in Burgundy. But really what matters to us today is what happened to the domain in the past generation. In the late 90s, the original and venerable Domaine Girard-Vollot was split between Georges Girard's two sons Jean-Jacques and Phillipe. The original domain was about 38 acres. And since the split, Jean-Jacques has built his holdings back to over 40 acres, making it one of the most impressive domains in Savigny.

Vintage

BURGUNDY 2015 VINTAGE

We have resisted writing the Elden Selections Burgundy 2015 harvest report until now (April 2017), mainly to let the hub-bub and hyperbole settle down, but more importantly to be sure that the claims we are about to make are justified. We’ve seen too many vintages vaunted as ‘the year of the century’, when really the wines simply showed well young. Burgundy 2015 is a truly extraordinary vintage. The reds are rich, ripe, balanced and powerful. And from all over the region they express chiseled, focused terroir. Despite their youthful seductive charm, these are wines to keep, with serious ripe tannins already melted into explosive fruit.

Comparisons have been drawn with the 2005 vintage, though there is more concentration in the 2015s than in the 2005s. Like a caterpillar changing to a butterfly, great vintages often go to sleep in the bottle. And 2005 is just reawakening from several ‘dumb’ years. It’s been worth the wait. The wines have metamorphosed. 2015 might be similar. And if the comparison is apt, investors in 2015 should appreciate the youthful beauty of this great vintage now, but be prepared to be patient.

That said, 2005 was no ‘year of the century’. But 2015 is also being compared to 1990, which arguably was. And I hear that Michel Lafarge, one of Burgundy’s respected elders, says he remembers drinking 1929s, and he draws parallels. The whites are a bit more uneven, and early reports claimed that the vintage lacks acidity. Certainly, these are wines which are riper and more luxuriant than the exquisite purity of 2014 white Burgundy. But there is no risk that well-made wines will be overly ample or flabby. The best wines will have benefited from the barrel. Comparisons are drawn to 1985, one of the great vintages in white.

The heterogeneity in 2015 white Burgundy is due to the tricky growing season, which was mostly hot and dry, but which cooled significantly in September. Was it better to pick early or late? And did the wine deserve more or less barrel aging? These are questions which will be answered producer-by-producer, bottle-by-bottle over the coming years. But what is clear is that they 2015s are concentrated, fresh and structured.

We believe that to understand a vintage, it is important to look at the weather. Because Burgundy is a single-grape wine, the only thing that changes from year to year in a producer’s vineyard is the weather. So we look for patterns and try to analyze what makes a good year, a bad year…and in this case, an excellent year.

The winter of 2014-2015 was uneventful. It was never really cold, but when it was, it was dry. Mostly it was mild, so we had more rain than snow. We would need the replenished water reserves in the long hot summer ahead.

April was warm and dry, and bud-burst took place early. Mornings in May were sunny, afternoons cloudy, and overall cool and dry. The vines began to flower in the last week of the month, so we knew we were looking at a harvest in early to mid-September.

In early July, the mood started to mount towards hopeful. The weather had been steady, dry and cool. But slowly during the month, temperatures began to rise, and in the last week of July hit 30C. The flowering had been successful, so there was a good crop on the vines.

Day after day of warm dry conditions brought drought considerations into play. But no hail for once! August continued in this way. Hot and dry. A little welcome rain later in the month, but just enough to keep the stress levels down. But no storms or hail. And extremely healthy fruit on the vine. No rot, no mildew, no odium. The mood was optimistic, even euphoric.

Harvest ostensibly started the first Monday of September. And days later the weather broke, and a cool period set in for ideal harvest conditions, stabilizing acidity levels. It stayed this way until September 12th when the first serious rain in two months fell in the southern part of the region. Harvest was disrupted for a few days, but the 19th, it was pretty much all over.

Appellation

BEAUNE

COTE DE BEAUNE

A Burgundian icon and capital of Burgundy's wine trade, Beaune takes center place on the world stage during the annual Hospices wine auction. The Hôtel-Dieu with its Flemish tiled roof, the huge silent cellars of the negotiants' houses, and the wine-growing domaines of the district all attract lucrative tourism. The Beaune vineyards are among the most extensive of the Côte d'Or.

The appellation Beaune includes an astounding 42 premiers crus produced within the commune of Beaune itself. There is much variation in the appellation Beaune. Differences appear from parcel to parcel, depending on the location. Generally wines from the northern end of the commune tend to be more often intense and powerful, and those from the southern end are smoother and fuller.

Wines

The reds should be a luminous scarlet color, with classic Pinot aromas of black fruits (blackcurrant, blackberry) and red (cherry, gooseberry) with notes of humus and wet undergrowth. When older, secondary aromas of truffle, leather, and spice develop. Younger Beaune reds give the impression of biting into a bunch of fresh grapes, firm and juicy.

The whites tend to be a viscous gold flecked with green. You often get almonds, dried fruits and white flowers in the nose. They may be enjoyed for youthful fruitiness but will age admirably, especially in the better premier cru vineyards.

Terroirs

In the geosyncline of Volnay the comblanchian limestone disappears into the depths to be replaced by the overlying Rauracian. The slopes are quite steep and the soil thin (scree-derived black rendzinas). On the lower slopes are argovian marls and deep soils tinged with red from the iron in the oxfordian limestone. The foot of the slope is mostly limestone mixed with clay. Exposure ranges from east to due south. And altitudes range between 220 to 300 meters.

Color

Red wines - Pinot Noir

White wines - Chardonnay

Production surface area

1 hectare (ha) = 2.4 acres

Reds : 362.74 ha (including 281.49 ha Premier Cru)

Whites : 48.96 ha (including 36.06 ha Premier Cru)

Food

Reds from Beaune tend to be fleshy and generous, and the best can show great aromatic power and solid structure. So we partner them with firm gamey meats such as feathered game, roasted or braised. For cheeses choose the more 'gamey' style too: Époisses, Soumaintrain, Munster, Maroilles.

Beaune whites in their youth have a flowery freshness making them a good match for poultry and veal in creamy sauces, and for grilled sea-fish. When older and fleshier they enfold cheeses such as Cîteaux, Comté, and creamier goat cheeses.

Appellations

On the label, the appellations 'Beaune' and 'Beaune 1er Cru' may be followed by the name of a specific vineyard, known as a climat.

The following climats are classified as premier cru:

A l'Ecu

Aux Coucherias

Aux Cras

Belissand

Blanches Fleurs

Champs Pimont

Clos de l'Ecu

Clos de la Feguine

Clos de la Mousse

Clos des Avaux

Clos des Ursules

Clos du Roi

En Genêt

En l'Orme

La Mignotte

Le Bas des Teurons

Le Clos des Mouches

Les Aigrots

Les Avaux

Les Boucherottes

Les Bressandes

Les Cents Vignes

Les Chouacheux

Les Epenotes

Les Fèves

Les Grèves

Les Marconnets

Les Montrevenots

Les Perrières

Les Reversés

Les Sceaux

Les Seurey

Les Sizies

Les Teurons

Les Toussaints

Les Tuvilains

Les Vignes Franches

Montée Rouge

Pertuisots

Sur les Grèves

Sur les Grèves-Clos Sainte-Anne

Clos Saint-Landry

The following climats are villagewines from a single vineyard, know as a lieu-dit:

Au Renard

Chaume Gauffriot

Dessus des Marconnets

Fb de Bouze

La Blanchisserie

La Creusotte

Le Foulot

Les Beaux Fougets

Les Bons Feuvres

Les Chardonnereux

Les Chilènes

Les Epenottes

Les Levées et les Piroles

Les Longes

Les Maladières

Les Mariages

Les Paules

Les Pointes de Tuvilains

Les Prévoles

Les rôles

Les Vérottes

Longbois

Lulunne

Montagne Saint Désiré

Montée Rouge

Siserpe

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