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. Cooler temperatures were experienced in June, however, temperatures soared in July and August with vines under hydric stress, resulting in superb concentration of flavours.
The vineyard is based in Fontaines, in the Cote Chalonnaise, where the vines are grown at between 200 and 300 metres above sea-level. The climate is typical for Burgundy: continental, with warm summers and cold winters. The soils are limestone-clay, which produce wines of great finesse and complexity. The vineyard has been sustainably farmed since 2011, with ploughing replacing weed-killers and copper and sulphur treatments used only when required. The vines are carefully managed between the spring and summer months to ensure optimal conditions for healthy, mature grapes at harvest time; with pruning, strict debudding and leaf thinning being undertaken by hand to reduce the yields. The vineyard is currently in conversion to organic status.
The Aligote grapes were hand-harvested once they had achieved optimum maturity and were carefully selected. 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 selected yeast in old French oak at 20°C. The wine was matured on the lees for 12 months in 228 and 450 litre barrels, with malolactic conversion taking place in the spring. Working in partnership with their cooper, 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 charmingly crisp and refreshing wine with vibrant citrus fruit complemented by a mouthwatering saline note. Beautifully textured, with great purity of fruit and delicate oak spice through to a long, cleansing finish.