The Gouges family have been vineyard proprietors in Nuits for generation,s and proprietors of the current domaine since 1919. Henri Gouges, along with the Marquis d’ Angerville from Volnay, was in the forefront of the war against fraud in Burgundy in the 1920’s and in the 1930s he was heavily involved with delineating the crus in Burgundy for the Institut National d’Appellation d’Origine, and he was a member of that regulatory body at its outset.

Gouges was mayor of Nuits-St-Georges when the various appellation classifications were being decided. He advocated that no vineyards be proposed for grand cru, even though – or perhaps because – he was a significant owner of the candidate most likely to succeed, Les St-Georges. It was also in his time that some of his Pinot vines mutated from red to white grapes and became the Pinot Gouges with which the domaine’s white Perrières is planted.

Today the domaine is run by cousins Pierre and Christian Gouges, grandsons of the original Henri. The harvest is entirely destemmed and vinification takes place in lined cement vats for approximately fifteen days, depending on the vintage. There is no deliberate cool pre-maceration, though in some years the destemmed and lightly crushed grapes may be slow to start fermenting. After cuvaison, the wine is transferred to small oak barrels, of which approximately one-quarter are renewed each year. The wines are fined with egg whites and given a light filtration before bottling.

The wines made in the ‘40s and ‘50s were immensely dense, backward and long-lived, though a substantial replanting programme may have been responsible for a lightening in style in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The wines remain powerful and well-structured, and have a reputation for sometimes showing awkwardly when young. However they repay careful and patient cellaring, and bottles that have been treated thus are amongst the region’s finest.

Quantities are minuscule, and limited to only a few bottles of each of the wines shown.

With more than a passing nod to Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy resident, Director of Berry Brothers & author of several fine tomes on the region.


HENRI GOUGES Nuits-St-Georges