Our tasting impressions
Dark for Burgundy. It is tannic and the oak is apparent in its youth but the overall impression is completeness. You sense that everything is there and the balance and purity are palpable. I am very bullish on this wine and expect it will beautifully integrate and reward 5 years of patience (or give it a long, rigorous decant to drink now) and last 15-20. Having tasted numerous vintages, this is secretly becoming my favorite...and I have never met a wine from Guiton I did not like.
About this wine
Les Sizies is an 8.5 ha 1er cru Pinot Noir vineyard on somewhat flat ground. Guiton has a small southeast facing plot. The soil is a mixture of limestone and red clay. The vines were planted in 1943. Harvesting is by hand to yields of 40 hl/ha.
Guillaume Guiton says that this wine was produced without almost any intervention. He destemmed the grapes and put them in tank for 3 weeks to macerate and ferment - tasting throughout. He did no pigéage (punching down the cap) or remontage (pumping over). The wine aged in oak barrels (20% new) for 18 months.
About 2,100 bottles are produced annually - much less in 2016.
About the grape
Pinot Noir is an ancient grape from eastern France. Notoriously challenging, it thrives in cooler climates. The concept of terroir is most closely identified with Burgundy because the lightness of Pinot Noir enables it to so transparently express minor differences (which is why experienced tasters can discern the difference in wines produced from vineyards in very close proximity). Intense popularity resulted in plantings all over the world but most agree that its finest expression is in the Côte d’Or of Burgundy.
About the vintage
A very challenging vintage due to frost and hail. Production was sharply down - but as is often the case - resulting in very concentrated wines.
On your table
Right now, I think duck or a ribeye steak are the way to go with this. Serve at cellar temperature.
Guillaume Guiton is a fiercely dedicated and extraordinary vigneron and a super nice guy. In the grand scheme of Burgundy, his vineyards would be considered modest...his wines, we consider, anything but.
He has been running this 11.5 hectare Domaine since 2002. His father Jean started it in 1973. Very much a hybrid estate, Guillaume owns 4ha, rents the rest and even buys grapes in his pursuit of the best he can get. He produces about 50,000 bottles per year.
He is a devoted terroirista, who welcomes the opportunity not to intervene in what nature offers. His methods vary based on vintage circumstances but he usually de-stems his red grapes and mostly avoids fining and filtration.
Guillaume is an intense student of barrels. He raises many wines in a variety of barrels before blending, only uses them for 6 years and never employs more than 20% new oak.