The company was founded in 1865 by a fellow whose ancestors had emigrated to Switzerland during the Huguenot persecutions. He returned to France and married a Burgundian lady of property.
Camille Giroud took up residence at its present address in the late 1890s. We first encountered the Giroud family in 1988 and were impressed by the number of older bottles slumbering in the cellars. One of the last of the small negociants specializing in "vins de garde", Bourgogne Rouges that need ten to fifteen years to mature. Wonderful oddities such as a 1959 Poully- Fuissé that had evidently never undergone malolactic fermentation...1947 Cortons, deep red in colour and still vigorous.
We met Lucien Giroud, successor to the venerable Camille, who underlined the importance of tannins for longevity. When Lucien died, the two Giroud brothers became the managers and decided to break from the past and construct a winery in order to vinify, purchase grapes as well as continue the family tradition of purchasing finished wines.
The nineties were years of discovery for the Girouds as well as experimentation. Unfortunately, the company did not have the required capital and in 2002 an American group headed by Joe Wender and Ann Colgin purchased Camille Giroud. The job of winemaker, now régisseur, was given to David Croix who arrived with a stellar recommendation from Benjamin Leroux of the Domaine du Clos des Epeneaux. What is fascinating about the company is the presence of three generations of Burgundian viticultural history. Lucien, president from 1942 through 1989, believed that Burgundies must be properly aged. He favoured appellations such as the tougher Nuits St. Georges premiers crus. He adored vintages such as 1976 and 1988. Lucien's wines illustrate his era. The brothers tried all the vinification techniques of the nineties, batonnage of reds as well as whites yet the respect for the Giroud style is still evident. David Croix is representative of his generation: clarity of terroir rather than a house style, and an intuitive feeling for both appellations and the nature of individual vintages. Becky Wasserman Selection Importer
The 2009 Clos de Vougeot presents considerable freshness in a mid-weight, energetic style. Tense and wiry throughout, this shows plenty of elegance, harmony and sheer appeal. Mint, pine, resin and violets inform the long, clean finish. Tasted from barrel. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039. #194May 2011
I was very impressed with the wines I tasted at Camille Giroud. While top selections are hugely successful, readers should also pay attention to the village wines, which deliver plenty of character at accessible prices. Most of the wines are made from purchased fruit sourced from growers with whom the winery has long term relationships. Antonio Galloni
A fresh, earthy and somewhat somber nose offers up notes of primarily red berry fruit and floral hints that give way to rich, intense and supple medium weight plus flavors that possess excellent detail and vibrancy before culminating in a linear, pure and youthfully austere finish of outstanding length. This possesses excellent aging potential as the underlying material is most impressive. Again though, patience required. Comments: Don't miss! Issue 42
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