The word ‘density’ features often in our tasting notes from this year’s Barthod visit, alongside a host of fruit flavours ranging from framboise through to damsons and black cherries. After a very testing 2016 harvest marked by crop losses, Ghislaine was very happy likening the harvest to other early ones such as 2007, but was keen to point out that there was no sense of over-ripeness in the grapes.
The combination of Ghislaine Barthod’s warm personality and her gorgeous fruit-filled wines makes this estate a favourite of ours and many others in the wine trade. Ghislaine is a Chambolle-Musigny specialist having 6.5 ha of vines, all within the village limits, except a small part of which is just across the route nationale and classified as ‘Bourgogne’, but this too makes a delicious Pinot Noir. The vineyard holdings come from Ghislaine’s grandparents, the Noëllats, her father Gaston, an upstanding army officer and veteran of North African and Indochine campaigns, having married their daughter. Gaston died in 1999 but not before he presided over a very special dinner on his 75th birthday at Le Gavroche in London to honour his achievements. Much of the estate’s reputation however has been built by Ghislaine for her elegant and pure expressions Chambolle’s vineyards wines, helped by new oak being always limited to a maximum of 30%. Quantities available are tiny and we always point people to the wines of her husband Louis Boillot whose vines are tended by the same team and made in the same cellars.