From Our Cellar

Girin Beaujolais L’Ancestrale Fût de Chêne 2016

Domaine Girin

More Wines from Domaine Girin


Our tasting impressions

One of our favorite vintages of Ancestrale.  The modest oak is gradually integrating.  A lovely wine with tremendous sophistication that will continue to develop mature nicely for at least a decade. On our recent tour, one of our members said, “Girin has changed my perception of Beaujolais.”


About this wine

100% Gamay from vines ranging in age from 60-80 years in south-facing granite soil. Yields are 52 hl/ha. Fermentation through carbonic maceration.  Aged in tanks and used oak barrels (Fût de Chêne).


About the grape

Gamay, a descendent of Pinot Noir crossed with the obscure Gouais Blanc has often been thought of as a light grape but the emergence of Cru Beaujolais in recent years has raised awareness that it can produce serious, age-worthy wines.  Gamay wines are high in acidity and therefore very flexible.


Thibaut's view of the vintage

2016 was complicated but bountiful and high-quality.  An awful spring with lots of rain but August-September was sunny and the grapes achieved reasonably good maturity.


On your table…

Serve with herb roasted chicken and a lightly dressed green salad.


Domaine Girin

Dating back to 1890, Domaine Girin, is located in Saint-Vérand, a village in Beaujolais. The 30,000 bottle production from the 32-hectare, all granite soil vineyards is overseen by fifth generation winemaker Thibaut Girin. He offers only regular Beaujolais - Bill Nanson of the Burgundy Report considers this the best source for non-Cru Beaujolais.


The hand-harvested grapes are pressed in full clusters with stems. Typical of Beaujolais, fermentation is done without introducing yeast - known as Carbonic Maceration.  Production is in tanks and the wines are filtered.


Thibaut is a bright, young and dedicated vigneron. He is part of the growing wave of next generation winemakers who have introduced new approaches while maintaining respect for traditions and terroir.


We were introduced to the French version of brunch, called casse-croute at Domaine Girin, joined by Alexis Pichon. We tasted the latest vintages while enjoying a variety of charcuterie, cheese and bread.


VDLT is the only North American source for Girin’s wines. They sell mostly ex-cellar to visitors.