Santenay 1er Cru la Maladière, Vincent Girardin 2003

I’m making a move for Pinot Noir, the Brigitte Bardot of grapes.  Beguiling, attractive, seductive, fruity, yet inconsistent and possibly a little bonkers.

Santenay - but hey!  What’s cooking…..good looking?

Burgundy has always confused me and I cannot hope to do more than scratch the surface of this complex region with my limited time to acquire knowledge.  However the rise of New Zealand Pinots has reignited my efforts and interest.

I found this Vincent Girardin in my wine rack and recalled it arriving from The Sunday Times Wine Club in a mixed case of bottles valued at about £20 a pop (all had cork closures).  The very name Maladière presumably springs (pun intended) from the fact that Santenay is a spa village with health giving waters.  But did this wine move me from malade to santé?

On opening it was typical Pinot Noir to me with a strawberry scent.  The taste was much more complex, I found parsley, fruits of the forest, plums and wild strawberries.  It also had an unusual zinginess – is this the Cloudy Bay of red Burgundies?

I really enjoyed the wine but I was left wondering if there were better NZ Pinots available at lower price.  Will New Zealand drive quality and consistency up in Burgundy, like the Sauvignon Blancs did to the Loire?  I would bet on it.

3 Responses to “Santenay 1er Cru la Maladière, Vincent Girardin 2003”

  1. Confessions of a Wino » Blog Archive » Stonewall Pinot Noir 2005 Says:

    […] bedfellow.  It seems that everyone loves a challenge and nobody can resist trying to pull the Brigitte Bardot of […]

  2. Confessions of a Wino » Blog Archive » Tokerau Carmenère 2007 Says:

    […] (to me anyway).  I am currently on a virtual world tour of Pinot Noirs which I described as the Brigitte Bardot of grapes.  The other varietal that has piqued my interest recently is Carmenère, which is the […]

  3. Andreas Says:

    In Santenay “Maladière” has got nothing to do with the spa culture there. I talked to Valérie Girardin, Vincent’s sister in law and she said, the name derives indeed from malade, because in ancient times they brought their leprosy victims to a place out of the town: This place they called maladière.

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