Henri Gouges is the pre-eminent domaine in the village of Nuits St. Georges, known for the incredible depth of their wines, which derive from the very best parcels in the village. Henri Gouges makes a spectacular Village level wine which embodies the greatness of the village, famed for its richness, savoury notes and sweet spices. Allen Meadows loves Henri Gouges’ Nuits St. Georges in 2013 scoring it 89-91 points, the highest from a Village level ranked wine. If you love Nuit St.Georges and want to taste its greatest producer; Henri Gouges’ artistry can be enjoyed for £135 per case of six bottles, or £22.50 a bottle.

There are no Grand Crus vineyards in Nuits St Georges, although many argue Les Saint Georges, Les Vaucrains and Les Pruliers should be classified Grand Cru. At the time of the re-classification, Henri Gouges was Mayor of the village of Nuits St. Georges and its leading winemaker. Along with the Marquis d’Angerville, Henri helped to re-define the original cru classifications of 1861. Notably, Henri fought against making any of the great plots in Nuits St. Georges into Grand Crus, despite owning many of the best parcels and candidates for Grand Cru status. Henri preferred to not to single out any one vineyard for the highest status.

We are delighted to be able to offer Henri Gouges’ stunning Les Pruliers, which received 91-93 points from Burghound in 2013. At £225 for a case of six bottles Gouges’ Les Pruliers offers immense value and quality, the equal scoring Les Pruliers from Grivot costs £400 per case of six bottles. Gouges’ Les Pruliers is known for its rich spice and smoky fruit.

Henri Gouges’ Les Vaucrains which received 92-94 points in 2013 from Burghound is one of the best located vineyards in the entire village. The wines are muscular, displaying dark fruit, rich chocolately flavours and once again Gouges reigns supreme here, famed for a smoky, powerful earthy style, this is a lot of wine for £290 a case of six bottles.

Les Saint Georges is the most famous vineyard in Nuits Saint Georges, which appended it to the village name to add gravitas. In turn the Cote de Nuits takes it name from this famed village, whose wines display cherry, strawberry and blackcurrant in their youth and leather, truffle and game with bottle age. Gouges’ Les Saint Georges is certainly Grand Cru quality, a wine that can improve for 30 years in bottle and is known for its power, vibrancy and liqueurish notes, taking on delightful flavours of sweet chocolate after ten years in bottle.

Henri Gouges created the domaine in 1925, becoming one of the first growers in Burgundy to sell wine under his own name. Henri was also crucial to the fight against fraud in Burgundy in the 1920s and 1930s. Moreover, Henri is also famed for Pinot Gouges, by discovering the famous ‘mutated Pinot Blanc’. In 1936, he found white grapes had formed from a mutation of 50 year old Pinot Noir vines. Through grafting and multiplying, he managed to cover unused plots of registered 1er Cru La Perriere land.

Henri’s sons, Marcel and Michel, took over the running of the Estate from their father, undertaking a significant replanting project. They passed the domaine down to their sons, Pierre and Christian, who thereon had a mass of young vines to work with. Each generation passes the vines down to another master winemaker, the family taking root in the soil, becoming part of the ancient vines they tend. Pierre is still in control of the vineyards, while Christian has taken a back seat in the cellar, handing over the reins to Pierre’s son Gregory, who is assuming 80 years of soil soaked with the sweat of his family.

The domaine has adhered to one maxim for over 80 years, ‘it is whilst still on the vine that a fine wine matures’. Today Pierre and Gregory take immense care in the vineyards, regulating yields, while ensuring optimum grape quality. They use organic viticultural practices and harvest manually. Domaine Henri Gouges makes old-fashioned, firm and structured wines, which are among the most age-worthy in all of the Cote de Nuits. The wines are matured for 18-20 months in a maximum of 20% new oak and therefore focus on balance and purity of fruit, rather than toasty oak.

Unlike many domaines they have not followed the route of a grand expansion, they tend less than 14 hectares in total, these are focused in Nuits St. Georges were they reign supreme with their six vineyard parcels. The wines of Henri Gouges are the acme of what this great village can produce, they offer incredible quality and value for money. They are hugely sought after globally and sell out immediately, however, very little is made and the world is full of collectors who want to own these truly iconic wines.

Nuits St Georges 2013, 6×75 – £135 EP
Allen Meadows Burghound, 89-91pts
(from 4 different parcels scattered above and below the 1ers and the blend of vines averages about 35 years of age). Reduction flattens the nose but there is good freshness and energy to the supple and round medium-bodied flavors that also possess only a touch of backend rusticity on the complex, balanced and impressively persistent finish for a villages level wine.  This is really quite good for what it is and worth your attention. Drink 2019+

Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Les Pruliers 2013, 6×75 – £225 EP or 3×150 -£235 EP
Allen Meadows Burghound, 91-93pts
(a 2 ha parcel with a mix of 80% 75+ year old vines and the remainder of 15 to 20 year old vines). Reduction again masks the fruit though it does seem ripe.  There is good power and punch to the very round but imposing medium weight plus flavors that possess a sleek muscularity before culminating in a lightly mineral-inflected, palate coating and impressively persistent finish.  I very much like the complexity though it’s clear that this very firmly structured effort is going to require an extended stay in a cool cellar. Classic Pruliers. Drink 2025+

Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains 2013, 6×75 – £290 EP
Allen Meadows Burghound, 92-94 Pts
(from a 1.08 ha mix of younger and older vines that average about 50+ years of age).  A very spicy nose is composed of dense aromas of plum, violet, earth and pomegranate, all of which is trimmed in just enough wood to notice.  The beautifully textured middle weight plus flavors possess excellent power and verve on the powerful finish that is shaped by a very firm core of ripe tannins.  This is a deceptive wine as the mid-palate is supple to the point of being inviting yet the finale is firm to the point of mild austerity. Drink 2027+

Nuits St.Georges 1er Cru Les St. Georges 2013, 6×75 – £385 EP
Allen Meadows Burghound, 92-94 Pts
(from a 1.1 ha parcel of 55+ year old vines). A ripe and extremely fresh nose exhibits perfumed aromas of cassis, earth, spice, plum liqueur and the classic Nuits animale character along with a background touch of wood.  There is a lovely sense of underlying tension to the velvet-textured broad-shouldered yet refined flavors that exude a fine bead of minerality onto the balanced, suave and mouth coating finale.  This is a bit less structured  than it usually is and certainly less so than the Vaucrains if only just. Drink 2025+

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