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Jean-Jacques Girard Savigny les Beaune White 2019

Appellation
Savigny les Beaune
Region
Côte de Beaune
Vintage
2019
8 In Stock
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$54.00
 
SKU: EJJG01W-19
Overview

Jean-Jacques Girard knows Savigny les Beaune. And while 85% of Savigny is red, there is a lovely strain of minerality that comes out of this valley. and with the village appellation Savigny les Beaune blanc, Jean Jacques shows us what is possible. The nose is like an apple orchard, fresh fruit and apple pie spices in the air. Rich, supple, pure, and then a bite of that pie! This one is ripe, fresh and shows a good deal of complexity.

Winemaker

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 2019 VINTAGE

There’s a popular saying here in Burgundy which points out that, since the start of the 20th century, vintages ending in ‘9’ have been exceptional. So when 2019 came around, we were secretly anticipating something special. Little did we know!

Every vintage comes with its own hyperbole: best of the decade; greatest of the century; another 1990.  And it’s true, as the climate continues to warm, there has been some remarkable wine produced in recent years. But in Burgundy in 2019, it got hot.

Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay like to come to maturity slowly. Too much heat cooks the elegance out of them.  So climate change is an existential issue for Burgundy wine as we know it.

But in 2019 something remarkable happened.  I hesitate to call it a paradigm shift; it may well be a one-off.  But in a year where, in some places, grapes turned to raisins on the vine, Burgundy has given us a vintage worthy of the hyperbole.

You won’t find many lacey, delicate wines this year.  The vintage will be unapologetically bold and unbelievably concentrated. The whites are indulgent, often explosive, and pinned to a mind-bogglingly good acidic framework, given the summer heat.  The reds are sophisticated and elegant, alive.

Perhaps most tellingly, despite the hot summer, this was not one of those late-August harvests that we’re getting accustomed to.  The harvest got underway in the Cote de Beaune on 12 September.  And some in the Cote de Nuits did not begin picking until the 23rd. The fruit was ripe earlier, but the fine conditions allowed the growers to wait for the holy grail: phenolic maturity.

You rarely get fruit maturity (the sugar part of the equation) plus phenolic maturity (the tannins in the pips and stems) coming together at the same time. Usually you sacrifice one for the other.  You can’t force it to happen. Nature bestows it upon you.  But when it does happen, that, almost by definition, is a great vintage.

2019 will be a great vintage. Think 2018 with more energy. The only downside is that, as opposed to the bumper crop we saw in 2018, 2019 was a small crop.  Down by as much as 60% in the southern zones where it was hottest.

Let’s look quickly at how the season developed. The winter 2018/19 was mild, with higher than average temperatures in December and February.  There was a lot of rain in December which many claim could ultimately have saved the vintage from the summer’s drought.

Spring was warm and the growth cycle started earlier than usual. There were precocious zones with bud burst in early April.  But cold weather set in on 5 April with frost in many areas. Frost damage would have an effect on yields, particularly in the Maconnais. The cold weather held on through mid-April with several consequential frost risks.

Warm weather returned in May and remained until early June when temperatures dropped again, slowing growth again and hindering flowering. There was a good bit of flower abortion (millerandage), which, again, took its part of the yield at harvest.

Then mid-summer was hot-hot  And dry-dry. The vines, for the most part, were in good shape going into the heat wave, but the stress was excessive. Vines handled the conditions differently from one plot to the next. Consensus is that old vines, with their deep roots, were able to find water in the subsoil.  And that younger, well-tended vines, had a similar advantage. Vines with roots that went looking for water near the surface, however, suffered towards the end of the season, as they scorched and shriveled.

There was just a bit of rain in August, and from then on through September was hot but fine. In certain areas Pinot Noir ripened before Chardonnay, so harvest planning was complicated. The first Cremant vineyards were picked at the very end of August, and the harvest continued through to mid-October.

Harvest was a joy for the most part.  Good weather.  No disease. And the fruit that survived frost and fire was beautiful. Fermentation in both white and red went off easily.  Whites finished slowly, gently, giving balance and purity. The length of red fermentation varied a lot, but the tannins are fine and the wine has vigor.

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

Harvest Date
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SKU: EJJG01W-19
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