Domaine Henri Germain

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Henri began making wines under his own label in 1973, and to this day the wines of phenomenal quality become known only by word-of-mouth; they are a humble family whose bottles routinely are stockpiled by sharp collectors. Now with the third generation of Germain members assisting production, the quality is as fine as ever.

Henri Germain purchased some plots of Meursault in 1973, and augmented his holdings with some vines from the Pillot family, of whom his wife was a part. Today, Henri's son Jean-François oversees production with his daughter Lucie, whose grandfather is François Jobard (thus the plot of Meursault Poruzots finding its way into the lineup). This soft-spoken family is imbued with generations of winemaking talent and knowledge which radiates through the impressive wines.

Everything in the vineyard is performed by hand; yields are kept low, and vines tended organically. The cellars are quite cold, leading to long, slow fermentations, to which the wines owe their brilliant texture and finesse. The only new oak in the winery arrives after a barrel has been used ten times; aging is entirely in barrel, from 18 months for the village wines and 22 months for the others.

Old-vine Chardonnay vineyards are often in excess of 65 years of age in the Germain parcels. There is one Monopole plot of Pinot Fin in the vineyard of Clos des Mouches in Meursault (not to be confused with Drouhin's Beaune Monopole), planted in 1949 just south of Volnay Santenots. Other Pinot Noir vineyards in Beaune Bressandes and Chassagne-Montrachet are nearly as old and show the natural zest and spice of whole cluster fermentations.

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