2020 Pierre Girardin Puligny-Montrachet ‘Les Enseigneres’
100% Chardonnay from 30-year-old vines grown in the most renowned lieu-dit of Puligny, located just five meters from Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet and Batard-Montrachet. Simply put, this wine is basically Montrachet without with price tag. Lovers of world-class White Burgundy, I’d jump.
Organic farming practices, hand-harvested, native yeast fermentation, 12 months in 456L barrels (40% new) and 6 months in stainless steel.
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“Expressing terroir is not easy, but producers like Roulot really excel in bringing out the individual character of the village terroirs – showing how different they are – and what they can offer in terms of enjoyment and pairing with food. To find a 21-year-old vigneron with the same ambitions – and the talent to match – is rare indeed.”
-Steen Öhmann, Winehog
Pierre-Vincent Girardin is the 13th generation of his family to make wine in Burgundy. He grew up learning in the cellar of his father, Vincent Girardin, from a very young age. When the elder Girardin sold his domaine in 2011, he made sure to keep 4.5 hectares of his best sites to one day pass on to his son. In 2017, Pierre-Vincent made his first vintage and announced himself as a rising talent in Burgundy. His father’s extensive contacts in Burgundy allowed Pierre-Vincent to supplement his domaine vineyards through long-term contracts with top growers who hold his meticulous viticultural philosophy. Together it represents a portfolio of terroir rarely seen under one roof, including such rare sites as village-level Puligny Folatières (Lalou Bize-Leroy bottles the only other parcel from this section of Folatières), Volnay Clos des Chênes, Pommard Epenots, Corton-Charlemagne, and even Montrachet itself. In order to make white wines with the purity, cut and precision he desires, Pierre-Vincent commissioned custom 456L barrels from Francois Freres to reduce the amount of new wood influence. The reds are all made with an eye towards elegance and silkiness, highlighting the extraordinary terroir Pierre is working with. This means a long and gentle press followed by little to no pigeage and bottling unfined and unfiltered. As Pierre explains, he was learning from and helping his father in the cellar from the time he could walk. His best memories of childhood include chasing the tractor through the vineyards and being near the barrels as his father worked. Simply put, Burgundy is in his blood.
2019 Pierre Girardin Puligny-Montrachet ‘Les Enseignères’: Tasting Notes
A tribute to the shifting annual terroirs of the region, the 2019 Pierre Girardin Puligny-Montrachet ‘Les Enseigneres’ provides the imbiber with an experience not only of the soil, weather patterns, and peculiarities of the vinification process which brought it to life, but also the ephemerality and temporal nature of each of these factors.
Each vintage from Pierre Girardin takes care to honor and uplift the unique contributions of the year, and so the 2019 bottle offers a glimpse into the past which oenophiles can sense through taste, smell, and vision.
An oaked Chard, Les Enseigneres offers a buttery base with vanilla and spice at the front and lemon from flower to fruit, all held firm by a stony minerality on the finish.
2019 Pierre Girardin Puligny-Montrachet ‘Les Enseigneres’: Region & Vineyard
Burgundy is one of the oldest wine-making regions in France, and the bottles which emerge from its rolling hills and lime-rich soils help to set the standard for quality and culture across the rest of the world. Burgundy (ou Bourgogne) is especially renowned for its production of Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Indeed, some appellations within Burgundy plant Chardonnay exclusively, and have no plans to introduce an alternate crop anytime soon.
Not so in Puligny-Montrachet, however, where red and white grape varietals grow side-by-side in this historic winemaking commune – with a distinct favor towards the lighter grape. Located at the southern end of the Burgundian sprawl, Puligny-Montrachet’s 514 acres include 4 Grand Cru Vineyards, and 17 Premier Cru vineyards which for some delineate the best Chardonnays the world has to offer.
4.5 hectares of Burgundian soil in this appellation belong to Pierre Girardin, who has been on the pathway to wine world stardom since he could first hold a trowel. With truly a lifetime of experience and a near-familial relationship with other winemakers within the community, Pierre aims to craft wines which both honor the age-old traditions of the region, and add a new expanse onto our sense of terroir in the 21st century.
2019 Pierre Girardin Puligny-Montrachet ‘Les Enseignères’: Food Pairing Ideas
This balanced bottle of 100% Chardonnay calls for classic carb-and-seafood-forward pairings, whether for casual dining or a special occasion.
Served as an aperitif, consider pouring a glass of the 2019 Pierre Girardin Puligny-Montrachet ‘Les Enseigneres’ alongside a dish of butter crab’s legs or herbaceous focaccia. For mains, try it with sea bass and cherry tomatoes or a garlicky pork tenderloin served over gold-potato gnocchi.
Oaked Chards like this one are also remarkably dairy-friendly. If a parkside picnic is what you’re craving, Les Enseigneres pairs perfectly with a gingham blanket, a wicker basket, and a lox bagel with plenty of neufchatel cheese.