Domaine Henri Germain

Domaine Henri Germain

Cult Burgundy from a Meursault Grower’s Grower

Those in the know probably need little reminding of Jean-François Germain’s standing amongst the best white Burgundy growers. This humble, discrete producer is the favourite maker of several of our growers—think Olivier Lamy, Benjamin Leroux and Thierry Pillot. You could not find a more critical group of white Burgundy drinkers!

Quiet, unassuming and media-shy, Jean-François Germain crafts some of the most delicious and under-exposed white Burgundies on the Côte. We have been earnestly beating the drum for the quality of this fine Meursault Domaine for many years, so why stop now. Recent years have seen Germain’s star rise in the export markets, due in part to American critics waking up to what is happening at this Domaine, but also because so many other great Burgundy producers rave about Germain’s whites. This is what is most telling for us; the admiration that Germain receives on the Côte itself. One of our favourite stories about this producer came from the legendary Bruno Clair, who told us that his brother buys Jean-Francois Germain’s whites each year now, and without fail calls Bruno to inform him how much better the Germain whites are than his! Clair went on to praise the high standard of viticulture practiced by Jean-François Germain. Burgundians like Bruno Clair do not offer such praise lightly. 

In short, for lovers of concentrated yet crystalline white Burgundies, there are few better addresses on the Côte.

The Germain methods are very traditional with organic farming, low yields and cellar work that keeps interference to a minimum. Prior to 2004, the wines had been excellent; tightly wound, classic and long-lived. From 2004, thanks to subtle changes in viti and vini culture, the wines became more textural, more intense and more mind-blowing. The vinification is minimalist in the extreme with no added yeasts, no enzymes and not even any bâtonnage (bar extremely austere vintages like 1996). If the lees are sufficiently clean, the wines are not racked and the élevage lasts 18 months for the village wines and a full 22 months for the remaining wines. The wines are rarely fined or filtered. The cold cellars make for a very long, slow élevage, the malos are always late and the primary fermentations typically take between three and twelve months. Importantly, the wines see little new oak, usually between 20-30%.

For those who can actually get their hands on these wines, quality has never been better. As many of our customers will know, Burgundy producers renowned for their whites can often be an excellent source of very fairly priced, delicious reds. Jean-François Germain is a terrific example of such a producer. Put simply, for lovers of concentrated, tightly wound wines of crystalline purity and outstanding energy; there are few better addresses on the Côte.


Not seeing any wines? The wines from this producer are very limited and only available in small volumes, or they may be offered exclusively through our allocation program. Please contact your account manager or email us to register your interest in the next release.

Region

Burgundy, France

Appellation

Côte de Beaune

Wine Maker

Jean-François Germain

What They Are Saying

“This excellent artisan winery make white wines that often achieve the ultimate in intense, rigorous expression of terroir ... All of the white wines age to perfection.” Bettane & Desseauve 

“I have been saying it for years but I will say it again: if you don’t know these wines, you should because the quality is just too good to ignore.” Allen Meadows, Burghound

“Domaine Henri Germain might well be Meursault's best-kept secret. This is a superb source for classically balanced, artisanal white Burgundy that’s built to age, and the softly-spoken Jean-François Germain is justly one of the village’s most well-respected vignerons.” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

“The more Germain wines I drink, the more I admire them. Several years ago, I described this as Meursault’s most underrated address, and I can only repeat that today because the wines are so good, as   the world certainly seems to be taking more and more notice of what is going on at this discreet, family-owned domaine.” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

Domaine Henri Germain

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