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Jacques Girardin knows how to make authentic, elegant red Burgundy wine, as Girardin’s 2010 Clos Rousseau Premier Cru Santenay will attest. The 2010 Clos Rousseau comes across as delicate yet complex, a libation fit for discerning company. Elegance and breed characterize this special wine that is both refined and oozing with flavor. Although still in its youth, the 2010 Clos Rousseau red Burgundy is already delicious and reveals itself as a charming and satisfying dinner companion. Properly served in a wide-bowled glass, this appealing ruby red wine immediately ingratiates itself with a set of pretty aromatics that begin with soft scents of ripe cherries and strawberries mingled with a fresh woodsy aroma. In the mouth, this seductive red wine offers an incomparable silky texture to convey its delicate fruit and spice tones. And in keeping with Girardin’s penchant for producing wines of eminent breeding and grace, the 2010 Clos Rousseau finishes with a soft, satisfying glow. Medium-bodied and pleasing from the moment the cork exits the bottle, we see every reason to drink this finely crafted Premier Cru now. Nonetheless, we suggest decanting it 20-30 minutes prior to serving for optimum enjoyment. Salut!
Jacques Girardin’s 2010 Clos Rousseau Premier Cru Santenay provides the ideal companion to many of Burgundy’s classic dishes, which makes for a wonderful tableau on which to craft a successful dinner party. Coq au Vin immediately springs to mind as a well suited companion. Yet, for our taste, almost any chicken or poultry dish prepared with mushrooms pairs superbly with Jacques Girardin’s classic 2010 Clos Rousseau Santenay. The savory aspects inherent in the wine and the food play beautifully off one another, which will no doubt cause the evening’s guests to move effortlessly from dish to glass and back again. An equally satisfying entrée, featured in the accompanying recipe, is Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin. The succulent tenderness of the pork wonderfully complements the elegant flavors of this charming Santenay Premier Cru. A key to preparation is to let the cooked tenderloin rest so juices redistribute evenly through the cut of meat. Serve with sides of roasted shallot mashed potatoes and roasted haricot verts. If you wish to add a sauce to your pork, try a dried cherry sauce that softly complements the wine’s center. Offer a dense, flavorful loaf of bread, serve a soft aromatic aged cheese, and place an old-fashioned mustard pot as a centerpiece, and, voilà, you’re ready for your guests to arrive.
Jacques Girardin is the archetypal Burgundy grower and producer. In other words, the Domaine Jacques Girardin is a real family affair. Jacques tends the vineyards, works the cellar, and makes the wines, while his wife keeps the books, handles all the sales, and sees to the mounting pile of export regulations that make it increasingly difficult for small family owned wineries to export their wares. For generations, the Girardin family has been well represented among the finest names in Burgundy. Jacques’ father Jean was a renowned winemaker, as is Jacques’ brother Vincent. Jacques has been producing fine estate bottled offerings at his domaine since 1978.
Domaine Jacques Girardin is located in the south of Burgundy in the commune of Santenay, the most southerly area of the fabled Côte d’Or. It comprises a mere 8 hectares (17.6 acres). However, all of Girardin’s red wine holdings warrant Premier Cru status. The family’s most heralded red wine hails from the 1er Cru vineyards of Beauregard and Clos Rousseau in Santenay. Jacques Girardin also fashions tiny quantities of very good Santenay Blanc and Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot. All of Girardin’s Premier Cru (1er Cru) wines spend 12 months in barrique, of which 30% of the barrels are new. The result is supple, beautifully wrought Burgundian Pinot Noirs that drink extremely well even in their youth. Santé!
Burgundy is a wine as well as a place. In fact, it is many wines and many distinct locales, all of which were once part of the ancient duchy of Burgundy. Situated several hundred kilometers southwest of Paris, Burgundy is hallowed ground to serious lovers of the vine. From its golden hillsides, whose center slopes are so aptly named the Côte d’Or, flow France’s most expensive and profound wines. Names such as Romanée Conti, Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot, and Le Montrachet among others have been delighting serious wine aficionados for centuries. Yet, there is much more to Burgundy and its wines than a few illustrious names. For starters, Burgundy is the ancestral of home of two of the world’s most revered grape varieties – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Clearly, Burgundy is much more than a single wine or one great vineyard: it is a special place, a land almost entirely devoted to wine in one fashion or another. However, what remains surprising to many wine drinkers is that Burgundy is both red and white wine, the best of which come from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir exclusively. With a few rare exceptions, the finest Burgundies emanate from the region’s core, the Côte d’Or, which begins on the fabled Côte de Nuits, just to the south of Dijon, and flows all the way south to Santenay at the tip of the Côte de Beaune. The Premier and Grand Cru wines from these illustrious hillsides are worth their weight in gold. Salut!
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