I first tasted the Domaine Pierre Girardin wines in Copenhagen last year, and was intrigued by the wines coming from this young man. Back then I wrote: “A new star is born? Perhaps. In any case, without doubt a bright new talent has emerged!”
This still applies, and I have now tasted more wines and spent more time with him at his almost futuristic estate in Meursault. I am still impressed and optimistic about the wines he produces, yet only time will show if Pierre reaches for the stars and gives us true vins d’emotion.
No doubt, Pierre-Vincent Girardin is tremendously talented and actually already has a clear vision of what he wants. He gets there with great success, starting with first vintage – 2017 – and continuing in 2018. That is truly impressive, as all seems to be under control and very well planned at this new estate.
Background: Yes, you guessed correctly
Pierre-Vincent is the son of Vincent Girardin, who sold his estate in 2012 and retired at a relatively young age.
Pierre-Vincent has the family background, and what I imagine is the usual support from his parents. But it only takes a few minutes with the young man himself to convince you that this is his project.
This is a bright new start – his own style – with a lovely set of own-fruit and negociant wines that together demonstrate very high quality.
Technical possibilities and perfection
The newly build Girardin winery is located on the RN974 on the way out of Meursault heading towards Puligny-Montrachet.
It is a state-of-the-art winery with what appears to by every modern facility and convenience. I have not seen many wineries of this scale with the same ambitious and perfectionist approach.
The cellar is at ground level, but is temperature and humidity controlled and has all the technical facilities and possibilities – quite different from the minuscule cellars at, say, Nicolas Faure or Maison Thiriet. On a completely different scale and volume, Girardin’s ambitions are clearly high, and we are visiting a large estate with an impressive portfolio of wines.
The building also includes offices and a tasting room overlooking Meursault and the northern part of Puligny-Montrachet – a magnificent and extravagant display of the beautiful terroirs of these two appellations.
Technical possibilities and perfection
It all fits like a glove, and the high quality of the wines in the two first vintages confirms that top-quality wines can and are being produced here, especially from a purely technical standpoint.
But the question is: Does this winery produce vins d’émotion? Or are these merely perfect “technical” wines without, for some, the essential hedonistic joy and pleasure?
I don’t yet have the answer to this question – and it would be totally unfair to give one after only two vintages. But I have chosen to divide this review into two parts: one about Pierre Girardin’s whites and one about his reds. Perhaps this has a deeper meaning?!?
So with no further ado … on to the wines!
Tasting the white 2018s from Domaine Pierre Girardin
The white lineup is exciting, with some interesting village terroirs and culminating in Corton-Charlemagne and now a Batard-Montrachet.
Domaine Pierre Girardin “Eclat de Calcaire” 2018
A Bourgogne Blanc from the lower part of Meursault and Volnay. For the vintage, it’s fresh and lively with a nice mineral note, although somewhat reduced. There are some exotic notes of peach in evidence. Energetic fruit with nice balancing minerality and fine acidity.
(Drink from 2020) – Good+ (85 – 87p) – Tasted 08/11/2019
Domaine Pierre Girardin Meursault Les Narvaux 2018
The Meursault Les Narvaux is a delightful effort – I enjoy this terroir tremendously. Narvaux is located just below Les Tillets, and this has beautiful, expressive mid-palate fruit. As with the other wines, it is all well controlled, with a balanced oak impression. It shows a charming, sweet fruit note from the generous Narvaux vineyard, and maintains a fine mineral underpinning. Lovely energy in this cuvée.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good (90p) – Tasted 08/11/2019
Domaine Pierre Girardin Meursault Charmes 2018
The Meursault Charmes is a big, generous wine while remaining balanced and not over the top. This is a typical Charmes, with expansive fruit creating a full-framed, intense wine. It is medium-bodied with what I would call medium mineral impact, and some reduction – in the good sense – to help to keep things in check and balance. This is a wine for lovers of generous Meursaults rather than the connoisseur of mineral terroirs.
(Drink from 2029) – Fine (92p) – Tasted 08/11/2019
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