Domaine Fourrier was previously known as Pernot-Fourrier and extends back four generations. It was founded in the 1930s by Fernand Pernot, who passed the reigns onto his nephew, Jean-Claude Fourrier, who took over in 1969. It was one of the first domaines to export to the US and also became the owner of some of the best holdings throughout the most heralded appellations across the Cote D’Or. In 1994, Jean-Marie Fourrier took over the family business which resulted in a rise in fame, flavour & profile that is positively asymptotic. As aforementioned, his tutelage could not have been finer.
The vineyards which consist of nine hectares are spread amongst Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St.-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny and Vougeot. The vineyards are attended to impeccably. Paying much attention to vine age, Jean-Marie feels that vines less than 30 years old do not have the root systems to develop the incredible flavour the estate is famed for. All new cuttings are done through ‘Selection Massale’, which means cutting from their own vines; no commercial vines are used and only natural cultivation is used in the vineyard. This means no chemical fertilisers are used at all, but instead insects to combat fungus and bacteria. At Domaine Fourrier, the wine which is made and work that is done is completely in harmony with mother nature, which really speaks through the final product as a result of the non-interventionist approach.
The work in the winery continues thus: a cold soak for three to four days, allowing gentle extraction of colour and aromatic phenols. Fourrier does not use sulphur dioxide, rather utilising temperature, lees contact and CO2 to preserve the wines. Conversely, the use of oak is minimal, no more than 20% new oak. This is based on the philosophy that the terroir must speak for itself, not the oak. Malolactic fermentation proceeds at its own cadence and Jean-Marie famously says that the longer this process takes, the better ageing potential the wine has. The wine stays on lees until bottling which occurs 20 months after harvest. This, as one might imagine by now, is done straight from cask, without fining or filtering, instead allowing dissolved CO2 to protect the wine. Though it must be mentioned that Domaine Fourrier is not biodynamic, the practice is one of a knowledge, knowledge built up from generations, learned from one great winemaker to another.