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 situated in the heart of the AOC Bouzeron in the Cote Chalonnaise. The east-facing plot is planted with an Aligote clone called ‘Golden’, the vines are low yielding and produce exceptionally aromatic grapes. The climate is continental, with warm summers and cold winters and excellent diurnal temperature differences. The vineyard is cultivated using organic preparations and the use of chemical herbicides is strictly prohibited. The double Guyot trained 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 ploughing of the soil. 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 French oak barrels of 228 to 300 litres, of which 25% were new. Fermentation and ageing took place in the barrels, with batonnage to impart texture and complexity. 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.
Textured with spicy notes of fennel and toasty oak, through to a lovely, long and sustained finish.