Today we are delighted to be able to release a parcel of what is generally considered to be the finest producer in Nuits St. Georges, or one of the greatest anywhere in the Cote de Nuits, Henri Gouges. Henri Gouges is the pre-eminent Domaine in the village of Nuits St. Georges, known for the incredible depth of their wines, which derive from the very best parcels in the village. As one might expect in 2017, Henri Gouges has produced something remarkable on their superb 1er Cru vineyard Pruliers. It has been awarded 90-93 points from Burghound promising one of its highest ever scores from bottle. This score puts it on par with the 2016, 2015 and 2010 which received 91-93, 90-93 and 91-93 respectively. It has also received 92 points from William Kelley of the Wine Advocate, already surpassing the 2010. The 2017 is available today for £320 per case of six, a remarkable quality vs price ratio for a leading Burgundy producer. Gouges’ Les Pruliers is known for its rich spice and smoky fruit and the 2017 embodies that; brilliantly powerful, with plenty of torque, juicy fruit, elegance and flinty minerality. It offers collectors one of the finest wines from the virtuoso of Nuit St. Georges, if you are not buying this wine perennially it is a jewel to start securing, if you are, this should go brilliantly alongside the 2015 and 2016. It is an enormously impressive and expressive wine at £53 a bottle and certainly Grand Cru level.
We are also delighted to be able to offer the stunning village level wine, which stems from three parcels of vines, combining the patchwork of finest terroirs under the ownership of Henri Gouges. The village wine is extremely impressive, it has been awarded 88-90 from Burghound, combining power and finesse, spice, blackcurrants, supple tannin, liquorice and sublime minerality on the finish. This is a superb wine priced at £190 per case of six, a wine that can be enjoyed immediately, or savoured over a decade. Priced at £32 a bottle this connects one to the mastery of Henri Gouges at a superb price.
There are no Grand Crus vineyards in Nuits St Georges, although many argue Les Saint Georges, Les Vaucrains and Les Pruliers should be classified as Grand Cru, resultantly Gouges does not make Grand Cru, his 1er Crus however reach these heights, but at a fraction of the cost. At the time of the re-classification, Henri Gouges was Mayor of the village of Nuits St. Georges and its leading winemaker. Along with the Marquis d’Angerville, Henri helped to re-define the original Cru classifications of 1861. Notably, Henri fought against making any of the great plots in Nuits St. Georges into Grand Crus, despite owning many of the best parcels and candidates for Grand Cru status. Henri preferred to not single out any one vineyard for the highest status.
Henri Gouges himself created the Domaine in 1925, becoming one of the first growers in Burgundy to sell wine under his own name. Henri’s sons, Marcel and Michel, took over the running of the Estate from their father, undertaking a significant replanting project. They passed the Domaine down to their sons, Pierre and Christian, who thereon had a mass of young vines to work with. Each generation passes the vines down to another master winemaker, the family taking root in the soil, becoming part of the ancient vines they tend. Pierre is still in control of the vineyards, while Christian has taken a back seat in the cellar, handing over the reins to Pierre’s son Gregory, who is assuming 80 years of soil soaked with the sweat of his family.
Today Pierre and Gregory take immense care in the vineyards, regulating yields, while ensuring optimum grape quality. They use organic viticultural practices and harvest manually. Domaine Henri Gouges makes old-fashioned, firm and structured wines, which are among the most age-worthy in all of the Cote de Nuits. The wines are matured for 18-20 months in a maximum of 20% new oak and therefore focus on balance and purity of fruit, rather than toasty oak.
Henri Gouges is a domain of the highest calibre and esteem; however, it has small supply and an ever-increasing global demand. We have a small parcel we are pleased to offer today.
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