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Burgundy Wine Cellars

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Type
Red Wine
Jean-Jacques Girard Beaune 1er Cru 'Clos du Roi' 2016

Jean-Jacques Girard Beaune 1er Cru 'Clos du Roi' 2016

Appellation
Beaune 1er Cru
Region
Côte de Beaune
Vintage
2016
Add To Cart
$59.00
 
SKU: EJJG07R-16
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.

Vintage

BURGUNDY 2016 VINTAGE

If that first taste of the 2016 Burgundy vintage really grabs your attention, count yourself lucky. Lucky in the same way that wine makers in Burgundy consider themselves lucky.

The excellent 2016 vintage was a nightmare for them, running a gamut of emotions from depression to despair, then out the other side towards hope and something resembling jubilation. It’s no exaggeration to say that 2016 took its toll on the collective psyche of the region.

After a very mild winter, April was frigid, with early hail in Macon and (yet again) Chablis. Then, on the night of the 26th, a freak frost descended on much of the Cotes de Nuits and almost all of the Cote de Beaune. I say ‘freak’ because it was a winter frost, not an April frost; meaning that it hit higher up the slopes than a spring frost would, touching vineyards that almost never freeze, notably Musigny and Montrachet.

It got worse. May was cool and depressingly wet, with storms when it wasn’t drizzling. It’s then that the first corridors of mildew appeared. It hailed again in Chablis. The mood was like the weather: chilly and grey. And it continued like this until the solstice, by which time the estimates were for an overall 50% crop loss across the region. It was hard to coax a smile from even the most seasoned winemakers.

Flowering took place in mid-June and was a bit protracted. It forecast a late September harvest, 100 days away. And given what had come before, the small crop looked incredibly vulnerable.

But with the solstice came summer. A magnificent July and August, with heat enough to curb the mildew, brought exceptional conditions for grapes. Talk in the cellars turned from tales of woe to the benefits of low-yield vintages.

As always in Burgundy, September makes the wine. In 2016, the perfect amount of rain fell on September 14th, at the perfect time to counter the heat stress that the vines were starting to show. And the fruit then ripened quickly in impeccable dry and sunny conditions.

What in mid-June seemed like a doomed crop was suddenly being touted as the equivalent of 2015, and maybe even better! Low yield years give intensity and concentration. Cool vintages give good acidity and balance. 2016 was both. Not a lot of fruit; but from serious ‘vignerons’, what there was was beautiful.

The wines, both red and white, are fresh, chiseled, with balanced acidity and concentration. The whites are definitely better than the 2015s, which lacked a touch of acidity. They are cool and energetic. Maybe not to the level of the fabulous 14s, but there are many similarities.

As to the comparisons between 2015 and 2016, many commentators cite 1990 and 1991. Both 1990 and 2015 are considered among the finest red vintages in living memory. And the vintages that followed them were both low-yield vintages that suffered early frost damage. Both 1990 and 2015 were hot years; both 1991 and 2016 were relatively cool. Both 1990 and 2015 were media darlings, and still are. 1991 got lost in the blare; maybe 2016 as well. But both 1991 and 2016 are arguably much more typically Burgundian than their world-stage predecessors. Classy and classic, ‘typical’ (in the best sense of the word), the greatest fault of the 2016 vintage could be its irregularity.

Remember, this was a tough one for Burgundy. For some producers, it was the fourth consecutive year that their vineyards were damaged and their yields were low. There had not been a ‘normal’ crop since 2009, so their cellars were empty. And when we talk of 50% crop loss, that’s an average across the region. Some areas had zero crop.

So when we get excited about the quality of the 2016s, we need a little restraint as well. Not everyone did the meticulous vineyard work that was necessary to get through the horrible start. As always, if you want to find the best wines, you need to know the best producers. Another important consideration in a low-yield vintage is the shortage of grapes, which means that the big negociant houses can have trouble sourcing fruit. Be careful with negociant wines in 2016. Buy from tried-and-true producers.

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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