Latour Giraud is not only one of the top producers in Burgundy, but one that is near and dear to our heart. We met Jean-Pierre Latour, a delightful man and a fabulous winemaker, during our recent trip to Burgundy, after selling his wines for many years. We were lucky enough to spend the afternoon with him in his 7th century Meursault winery, tasting through several of his 2015 Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. What we learned was that Latour-Giraud truly does stand out in the fine wine segment. Prior to our visit we had tasted at several other wineries in the neighborhood, and it was surprising that trends definitely emerged amongst the characteristics of each climat - the "hype" around the Burgundy terroir is true. Latour-Giraud, the quintessential Burgundian family winemaking business that stresses high quality and multi-generation traditions, clearly has prime land holdings and are small enough that they can consistently focus on winemaking perfection.
For 300 years the Latour-Giraud family has been making wine, passing down the tricks and routines from one generation to the next. Pierre Latour-Giraud recounted his memories of being a 6-year-old boy, doing tasks that were asked of him in the winery and year-over-year picking up techniques from his father and other key staff. By adulthood, he was primed and well educated in the traditions and processes, which he has tweaked in his own style over the decades. In my opinion, his wines reflect his personality, thoughtful and genuine. Jean-Pierre clearly translates those qualities from vine to bottle for every single label he offers, which is what makes his wines stand out.
About 80% of Domaine Latour-Giraud is Chardonnay from Les Genevrières, Les Charmes, Les Perrières, Les Bouchères et Le Poruzot climats. We got to taste through each of these. They all offered their terroir characteristics, but with an appealing balance of acids and fruit and minerality that is unparalleled. Jean-Pierre is able to achieve this by keeping the wine on their lees until he feels it is ready, and by racking only a minimum amount. The wines are fined, not filtered, which Jean-Pierre feels strongly about its positive impact on the quality. Similarly with bottling, Latour-Giraud prioritizes quality over economic efficiencies and bottles, by hand, only when each batch is deemed “ready.”
The red wines of Latour-Giraud are destemmed and go through cold maceration for 5 days. Once in barrels (25% new), elevage is on lees for one year. Racking is done just prior to hand bottling, which happens with the same care and attention as the white wines. No fining or filtering here.
The result of Latour-Giraud’s focus on quality is that the wines are all intense and balanced, with style and power. The aromatics alone, which are perfectly elegant and emanate fruit and spice and floral notes, will make your mouth water. You can taste the layers of flavors and stone-minerality.
Every single bottle in his portfolio is worthy of serving your most special guests. I wish I could pick a favorite, but I truly enjoy all of them. (Ok...maybe the 2015 Meursault Genevrieres was a favorite) Maybe you will try them and let me know if you have a favorite.