When you drive into Givry, an old, faded sign on the road announces you are entering the cru that was once the preferred drink of King Henri IV of France. While the sign harkens back to a glory the village knew five centuries ago, modern times haven’t been so kind. In the 1970s, to buck a trend of quantity rather than quality, a few vignerons decided to turn back the clock. Led by François Lumpp, they began a long process of replanting abandoned slopes, cutting yields, farming responsibly, and putting arduous effort into once again making Givry a grand vin. The rest, as they say, is history. This bottling contains a lot of ripe fruit (we are in southern Burgundy, after all), but it also has a sheen, sharpness, and smartness, possibly due to this parcel’s high limestone and marl content—a unique identity you would expect from a unique cru.
In the late 1970s, François Lumpp and his brother inherited their family property, located in the Côte Chalonnaise. In 1991 he founded his own label with his wife, Isabelle. Using sélection massale cuttings, François developed his domaine around Givry's best premier cru sites, which, as in most of the Côte d’Or, are situated on the mid to upper level slopes of the rolling hillsides. The Lumpp domaine is an especially good fit here at KLWM because it embodies exactly what we look for in Burgundy: a true vigneron in a specific village. Every wine François makes is from Givry, from vineyards that he planted and nurtured himself–something that is exceedingly rare in Burgundy today, and will become more and more so over time.
In eastern central France, Burgundy is nestled between the wine regions of Champagne to the north, the Jura to the east, the Loire to the west, and the Rhône to the south. This is the terroir par excellence for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The southeast-facing hillside between Dijon in the north and Maranges in the south is known as the Côte d’Or or “golden slope.” The Côte d’Or comprises two main sections, both composed of limestone and clay soils: the Côte de Nuits in the northern sector, and the Côte de Beaune in the south. Both areas produce magnificent whites and reds, although the Côte de Beaune produces more white wine and the Côte de Nuits more red.
Chablis is Burgundy’s northern outpost, known for its flinty and age-worthy Chardonnays planted in Kimmeridgian limestone on an ancient seabed. Vézelay is a smaller area south of Chablis with similar qualities, although the limestone there is not Kimmeridgian.
To the south of the Côte de Beaune, the Côte Chalonnaise extends from Chagny on its northern end, down past Chalon-sur-Saône and encompasses the appellations of Bouzeron in the north, followed by Rully, Mercurey, Givry, and Montagny.
Directly south of the Chalonnaise begins the Côte Mâconnais, which extends south past Mâcon to the hamlets of Fuissé, Vinzelles, Chaintré, and Saint-Véran. The Mâconnais is prime Chardonnay country and contains an incredible diversity of soils.
For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.
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