One of the great vineyards of Nuits, Gouges note that their parcels in Vaucrains always produce very small berries, making for a very powerful, intense wine. This is utterly beguiling, an absolute beauty, powerful and strong yet utterly seductive; initial floral hints of cherry blossom followed by wave after wave of ripe fruit on the palate, flavours of bramble, damson, black cherry, earth and spices. This may be suave, effusive and packed with fruit but the refined tannins add a firm grip to the wine. Long, deeply complex, very serious indeed.
Henri Gouges started Domaine-bottling in the 1920s and as such are one of Burgundy's pioneering estates. Henri's grandsons Pierre and Christian have been looking after production for the last two decades and have been responible for carving out the Domaine's great reputation for uniquely muscular, long-lived Burgundies. As from the 2007 vintage Gregory, Christian's nephew, who has been working at the Domaine since 2003, is making the wines and has made an immediate impact. His aim is for less extraction in the wines through a collection of numerous small details in the winemaking process, including more use of gravity in the cellars and less pumping of the wines. His changes are not totally wholesale, though, and he still clearly sticks to the Domaine's reserved, traditional approach to making wine. Stems are not included in fermentation but use of new oak is fairly limited. The resultant wines are pure, high-toned, certainly not flashy, and powerful but not unwieldy, they give immense pleasure. An exciting new dawn for a benchmark Burgundian Domaine.