Gouffier owns five and a half hectares of vineyard in the villages of Fontaines and Mercurey in Cote Chalonnaise. Historically it was run by the Gouffier family for generations until Jerome Gouffier handed over the reins to his close friend Frederic Gueugneau, formerly at La Chablisienne. Since 2011, Frederic and oenologist Benoit Pagot have brought about a new style of winemaking. They follow an organic philosophy to create wines that are modern and approachable, but with all the style and panache of good Burgundy. They have created a collection of wines of outstanding originality, verve and spirit.
2019 has been cited as an outstanding vintage and one of the best in recent years. The dry, warm conditions produced low yields of impeccably balanced, concentrated wines with searing freshness and remarkable purity. A mild winter was followed by a chilly spring, with frosts affecting some areas. Cooler temperatures in June resulted in uneven flowering and some millerandage in some vineyards. However, temperatures soared in July and August with vines under hydric stress, resulting in superb concentration of flavours.
The vineyard is based in Fontaine, in the Cote Chalonnaise. The climate is continental, with warm summers and cold winters. The vineyard has been sustainably farmed since 2011, with ploughing replacing weed-killers and treatments have been significantly reduced. The vines are carefully managed between the spring and summer months to ensure optimal conditions for healthy, mature grapes at harvest time; with strict debudding, leaf thinning and tilling of the soil. The pruning method employed is the ‘Guyot Poussard’ which respects the sap-flow of the vine, reducing the serious consequences of pruning cuts and optimises the vine’s health. The vines are grown in marly-chalk soils from the Jurassic period.
The Aligote grapes were harvested in a healthy condition once they had achieved optimum maturity and were carefully selected in the cellar. The grapes were very delicately transferred via a conveyor belt directly to the fermentation vessel in order to retain the integrity of the fruit. They were then slowly and very gently pressed to extract the juice. Fermentation took place with natural yeast in old French oak followed by ageing for 12 months in 228 litre barrels. Lees stirring did not take place. Working in partnership with their cooper based in Cognac, since the 2013 vintage Gouffier has been experimenting with using oak from the state forests of Fontaine, just a few miles from the vines, endeavouring to stay true to the local terroir.
A delightfully crisp white wine with a floral bouquet complemented by citrus notes. This wine shows a good weight from a touch of oak and with purity of fruit and fresh, saline finish.