House website (in progress).
Tasting notes on Burgundy Report (includes recent tastings).
Jockovino profile (highly recommended).
Image via Jockovino.
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 negoçiants 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. To 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. The press has been very kind to Camille Giroud and their wines have been well noted in two major publications: “Recommended Red Burgundies 2002 and 2003,” Wine Spectator; “30 Recommended Reds 2003,” Decanter Magazine. In addition, David received extremely positive reviews from Allen Meadows (Burghound.com), Bill Nanson (Burgundy-Report.com), and elicited the following statement from Clive Coates: “Here the genius is the 26 year old David Croix.”