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. Henri Gouges himself created the domaine in 1925, becoming one of the first growers in Burgundy to sell wine under his own name. Henri was also crucial to the fight against fraud in Burgundy in the 1920s and 1930s. Moreover, Henri is also famed for Pinot Gouges, by discovering the famous ‘mutated Pinot Blanc’. In 1936, he found white grapes had formed from a mutation of 50 year old Pinot Noir vines. Through grafting and multiplying, he managed to cover unused plots of registered 1er Cru La Perriere land.
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.
The domaine has adhered to one maxim for over 80 years, ‘it is whilst still on the vine that a fine wine matures’. 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.
Unlike many domaines they have not followed the route of a grand expansion, they tend less than 14 hectares in total, these are focused in Nuits St. Georges were they reign supreme with their six vineyard parcels. The wines of Henri Gouges are the acme of what this great village can produce, they offer incredible quality and value for money. They are hugely sought after globally and sell out immediately, however, very little is made and the world is full of collectors who want to own these truly iconic wines.
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