Camille-Giroud: quality meets value…for Burgundy

still at large but good as gone

We have been sitting on some Burgundy reviews waiting for just the right time to pull the cork on the notes and recall fondly several drinks that live in the collective memory of pulled corks and slow tasting nature’s gift to Pinot lovers. With the kickoff of the college football season this seems a moment good as any to get nostalgic over some lightly weighted soft cherry colored liquid with flavors like no other.

2001 Camille-Giroud Corton-Renardes Grand Cru $130: Perfect at 10 years. Bridges fruity with rustic. Not barnyard. Not forest floor but definitely farm-like. Savory. Holds the profile for hours. Like a gymnast with enough muscle to hold the pose on the rings and the agility to swing as well. OK. That got a bit much. What I am trying to say is  that Burgundy unlike any other wine excepting Barolo can hold a flavor profile from the top to the bottom providing a mark for a Summer California evening. The last few sips produce a plain yogurt flavor that is delicate without being sweet and perfectly balanced. I think this is good for you too. 12%

2006 Camille-Giroud Corton Les Rognet Grand Cru $86: Young and feral. On a savage tear [ed. wha?] destined for integration and balance. Right now this wine is raring to go. Another wild savory beast. The wine could handle roast beef. We had steak strips. Did not settle down over four hours. Not quite Mixed Martial Arts here but definitely a roughneck Burgundy in a refined Elizabethan style. Think Jason Stratham, Shakira, Packers QB. I will wait at least a couplathree years for the next taste. 13%

What does it mean…a Grand Cru wine from Burgundy? Grand Cru wines are produced from the small number of the best vineyard sites in the C√¥te d’Or, as strictly defined by the AOC laws. Grand Cru wines make up 2% of the production at 35 hectoliters per hectare. These wines are generally produced in a style meant for cellaring, and typically need to be aged a minimum of 5‚Äì7 years. The best examples can be kept for more than 15 years. Grand Cru wines will only list the name of the vineyard as the appellation – such as Corton or Montrachet – on the wine label, plus the Grand Cru term, but not the village name. Translation: These are the wines made from the best parts of the vineyards, typically the hilltops in Burgundy. They are the oldest vines from the most prized sections. Grand Cru vines have proven their exceptional ability to yield the most lovely wines consistently for centuries. The two vineyards Les Rognet and Corton-Renardes are small sections of the greater Corton vineyard. They are rare and very very special.

Here is a nice report on Maison Camille-Giroud from a Burgundy lover. I enjoyed reading about the changeover in ownership and the role of Becky Wasserman as Managing Director. She is well loved for good reason.

Every Grand Cru is not a great wine. The vintage counts too. We covered a 2006 Delarche Corton-Renardes in late 2010 and were less than thrilled. Such is the risk when buying great Burgundy wines.

2008 Maranges Domaine Michel Sarrazin et Fils $34: Bought from North Berkeley Wines. Spicy, lean. Nice but not so great. A bit lean for our taste. We know you’re supposed to drink wine with food but…Burgundy is almost the only wine we like to drink on its own. This pales next to the CGs. Of course it costs half as much. But then again…if you are going to drink Burgundy you really should drink as much of the best as you can afford…and acquire. 13%

David Croix winemaker for Camille-Giroud is very young – not yet 30! – and he makes very good wines. There are two go-to Burgundy winemakers for us these days: David Croix and Anne Gros. This was Croix’s show. Mme. Gros is on deck!


  1. Wavatar
    igty says:

    i’d like some friends who crack this juice for bbq’s. if they need to invite some pals for 2nd opinions i’m generally available for quality burgundy tastings. my other pals have run out of the good stuff and are now serving under $20 plonk when i visit. when they do serve the good stuff i’m omitted. why??

    • Wavatar
      Bacchus says:

      I myself was also not invited to this tasting. These notes are submitted by a tBoW reporter who was in Libya at the time of tasting going through one of the Gadaffi kids’ stashes. Whole thing came over twitter. I swear.

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