2016 Vincent Girardin, Volnay, $61
Winery info: Vincent Girardin came from a family of winemakers based in the Burgundy village of Santenay since the 17th century. He began producing his own wines in 1980 at the age of 19, from five acres of vines he inherited from his parents. His reputation grew quickly and he expanded his holdings throughout the region. In 2012 he sold his operation to a long-time partner, who continues to uphold the style and the approach that Vincent created. Today the estate produces wines from their own fruit as well as from other vineyards, all carefully managed according to their strict natural practices.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir from 55-year-old vines.
Vineyard: From vineyard holdings in Volnay, in the Côte de Beaune, primarily from the Les Lurets and La Gigotte vineyards, at the bottom of Volnay. The soil is clay and limestone. Fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak casks (about 20% new) for about 15 months.
Flavor Profile: An expressive and elegant representation of Côte de Beaune Pinot, it is “feminine in style,” with delicate violet and berry aromas and wonderful depth.
Availability: There is still a bit of this wine left with the distributor.
Drinkability: Give it about three years, then enjoy from 2022 to 2027.
Food Pairing: Roast chicken or duck, prime rib, lamb, salmon, or wild mushroom dishes.
2015 Henri Bourgeois, “La Bourgeoise,” Sancerre, $38
Winery info: The Bourgeois family has been producing wines in Sancerre, in France’s eastern Loire Valley, for ten generations. They are based in the village of Chavignol and produce both red and white Sancerres.
Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Vineyard: Sourced from four plots of very old, organically farmed vines grown on flinty soil. Fermented in a combination of stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels. Aged seven to eight months in oak with periodic lees stirring (bâtonnage).
Flavor Profile: This Sancerre has all the minerally, flinty character you’d expect, along with fresh notes of citrus and spice, and a surprising amount of richness and depth. Very textural and elegant.
Availability: This wine is still in decent supply.
Drinkability: Lovely now, or enjoy within the next three years or so.
Food Pairing: Grilled trout, lighter pork dishes, goat cheese, or light Asian fare. The winery suggests pairing it with a farm hen in truffle sauce.