Marcel Giraudon Bourgogne Chitry Pinot Noir 2018
Winegrower: Marcel Giraudon
Region: Chitry, Burgundy, France
Grape: Pinot Noir
Burgundy gets its notoriety for quality and high prices from Premier and Grand Cru classified wines. These make up less than 20 percent of the region’s output. But good value can be found in the Village wines that make up around 30 percent of all production. These are not of the same caliber as the cru wines but are generally more complex than the regional Bourgogne wines that make up half of the region’s production. You can’t just randomly choose any village because many have inconsistent quality or are blended from grapes from many vineyards and do not really express terroir. But there are producers in certain appellations that offer excellent wines that won’t require you to declare bankruptcy after you’ve made your purchase. At $29.95 today’s offer is such a wine. But act now as this price is only good until midnight, Monday July 8th after which it will rise to $35.
We naturally think the northern, cooler appellations of Burgundy are strictly white wine regions, but next door to Chablis, in Auxerrois, there are more hectares planted to the production of Pinot Noir than white grapes. The cool climate is a boon to this variety. The Chitry region surrounds and is named after the ancient village in north-central France. Chitry is a gem which is so obscure that when you Google it most of the results appear in French. It sits just west of Chablis in the little-known appellation of Auxerrois, 160km north of the Cote d’Or’s most northern tip in Dijon. That’s halfway to the Loire Valley’s Sancerre. Chitry is on the northern fringe of viticulture in France for Pinot Noir. Only Champagne and Alsace sit farther north. In fact, its soils of kimméridgien clay, chalk and limestone have more in common with Chablis, Champagne and the Loire than the Golden Slope. And while Chablis is entirely white wine country, 26 of Chitry’s 60 hectares are devoted to Pinot Noir, and the area’s cool climate favours this variety. What makes Chitry interesting is that the region has slopes that face both north and south. When you blend the two you can get an excellent wine with both freshness and body.
Today’s Bourgogne Chitry 2018 is one of the most solid red Burgundys available for the price. I know, this seems impossible, but I stand by it and so will you after tasting it. The Giraudon family has been making wine in Chitry for generations and now farms 23 hectares of vineyards of which seven are dedicated to Pinot Noir. The family only uses traditional farming practices: weeds are plowed under, yields are kept low, and grapes are hand-picked with 85% being de-stemmed, and no oak is used. The goal is to make natural, authentic wines of terroir. Marcel, his daughter Aurélie and son, Thibaut use minimal cellar intervention to produce a stunning example of Burgundy Pinot Noir. There are no tricks, smoke or mirrors here, just one of the truest expressions of Pinot Noir in Chitry and beyond. The magic is in the incredible levels of crushed minerality, light-bodied sap and Burgundian terroir that emerge from the glass, especially with air.
If you’re looking for something other than your typical, and usually very predictable, co-op or négociant red Burgundy then this is a must try. Layers upon layers on the nose – as a good burgundy should have. This wine has a pronounced minerality, that is laden with floral red cherry, raspberry, spices and vanilla with a bouquet of lilacs and roses thrown in for good measure. It is silky; high-toned, pristine fruit leads the palate and is layered with sweet and peppery spices and cedar shavings atop a fresh, mineral core. Elegant, delicious and absolutely delightful to drink, this is a winner you don’t want to miss out on. If you are looking for a Pinot noir masquerading as a big Syrah, this is not for you. But if you seek a wine of ethereal transparency, mouth-watering acidity, delicious bright red fruit flavours, and sweet spice with pronounced minerality and delicate tannins, this will become your new house wine. Best served at 18˚ in a Burgundy stem, it goes well with a broad variety of food and is a perfect match for a delicious wild mushroom risotto. This special introductory offer of $29.95 is only good until midnight Monday, July 8th, so act now.