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Wine Flight to Burgundy

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

1- Marcel Giraudon

Grape: Pinot Noir

Geography: Burgundy, France

Appellation: Bourgogne

Features: Sustainable

Chitry-Le-Fort, as the name suggests, was once a fortified town and in the Middle Ages the main road, La Grande Rue, formed the boundary between the lands of the Count of Tonnerre in Champagne and the Count of Auxerre in Burgundy. In the 19th century wines of Chitry were sold under the name of Chablis and more recently in 1929 the wines were accorded the name of Bourgogne des Environs de Chablis. Today Chitry is one of four viticultural communes of the Auxerrois and wines are labeled as Bourgogne or Bourgogne Chitry.

The Giraudon family has been farming and making wine in Chitry for centuries, and the current proprietor, Marcel Giraudon, follows very traditional methods in his work. Their vineyards are on hillsides of Kimmeridgian chalky marl as one finds in Grand Cru Chablis. Yields in the vineyard are kept modest and harvesting is done by hand. For the white wines, fermentation is carried out in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and for the pinot noir mainly fiberglass vats are used with a “drapeau d’eau” for temperature control.

Tasting Notes: “The Pinot Noir in this terroir offers a wine of great freshness and purity. It is light in color, wonderfully aromatic, fruity and refreshing. The grapes are 85% de-stalked and the wine receives a pre-fermentation maceration of a couple of days.”


2-  Domaine Benoît Cantin

Grapes: Pinot Noir and Gamay

Geography: Burgundy, France

Appellation: Bourgogne Passe-tout-grains- Irancy

Features: Sustainable

Domaine Benoît Cantin covers 13.5 hectares and has been a staple of Irancy for many generations. Benoît took over in 1994 and hopes to pass down the legacy to his children, Felicien and Emeline, in a few years. Benoît is currently still working on the property with his father Bernard. Though not organically certified, Benoît Cantin is built upon the philosophy to respect nature and the terroir.

Tasting notes: “Light red in color, this Irancy displays aromaces of spice, cherry and raspberry; very soft and elegant on the palate. Soft, dry tannins and a light oak presence; there is a smoky element here that is quite attractive. The finish, with its acidity, depicts the crispness of this northern production area.“


3- Domaine Billard Père et Fils

Grape: Pinot Noir

Geography: Burgundy, France

Appellation: Côte de Beaune

Features: Organic

Domaine Billard has approximately 12.5 hectares of vineyards in different appellations throughout the Cotes de Beaune. The domaine passed from father to son recently and Jérôme Billard has brought a new philosophy to his family domaine. Farming is done with respect for nature and follows the principles of organic farming. Yields are kept low through the use of cover crops and severe pruning and all the vines are harvested by hand. Only indigenous yeasts are used for the fermentation. Jérôme’s father sold his wine to the local cooperative but Jérôme is now estate bottling his entire production. 
Beaune is the third largest commune in the Côte D’Or after Gevrey Chambertin and Meursault. Most of the vineyards are classified as Premier Cru with smaller parcels of “village” wine on the southern and northern fringes. Les Bons Feuvres is one of the “village” parcels in the southwest corner of the appellation quite close to Pommard.

Tasting notes: “The Billard HCB Rouge comes from a plot of 4 hectares with alluvial clay soil. Respecting the delicate nature of Pinot Noir, the extraction is obtained by foot pressing. The wine is then matured in barrel for 10 months. The rigorous bunch selection done in the vineyard before harvest insuring ripe and healthy grapes results in Pinot Noir fruit with a purity to its expression.”


4- Lucien Muzard et Fils

Grape: Pinot Noir

Geography: Burgundy, France

Appellation: Bourgogne

Features: Organic


Lucien Muzard’s sons, Hervé and Claude now run the domaine. They are the ninth generation of a family that can trace its lineage in Santenay back to 1666. While they respect traditional wine-making practices, they also keep an open mind to modern changes in viniculture. In the vineyards they have greatly reduced grape yields to intensify flavour. In the cellar they have eliminated fining and only filter when strictly necessary. This is a source of spotlessly pure great value Burgundy.

WINEMAKING:   Organically farmed, leaf pulling, soils are worked, all fruit is hand-harvested. Fermention with indigenous yeasts, in tank. Aged in a combo of 30% tank (to accentuate fruit), and 70% barrel, of which 15% is new.

Tasting notes: “A deliciously light drop of black fruit flavour excelling with a distinct silkiness and aroma, it's an exemplary bottle of the Bourgogne variety.”