Henri Gouges inherited 9 hectares of prime Nuits-St-Georges vineyards just after the First World War, and expanded his holdings significantly between 1920-1934. Today it includes 14.5 hectares – including seven of the best well-positioned 1er crus.
Together with Marquis d’Angerville and a few other domaines, he started bottling his own wines in 1933 marketing them directly to their clients. Henri strongly believed in low yield, and was obsessed with controlling the yields. This philosophy was passed to the current generation running the domaine, and since that time Domaine Henri Gouges has been famous for making consistently great wines as well for its innovations.
Since it was founded in 1925, Domaine Henri Gouges made very classic Nuits-St-Georges wines, which respect its various terroirs. These days, the domaine is run by Henri’s grandchildren Pierre and Christian, and Pierre’s son Gregory who is mainly in charge of the wine making.
One of the practices introduced by the domaine in 1977 was planting rye-grass between the rows of the vines, which proved to have lots of advantages.
Since 2008, the domaine has transformed to exclusively organic, and in 2007 new modern fermentation vats were created.
The wine-making is traditional for top Burgundy classics; there is an intense sorting before complete desteming of the bunches. After relatively long cold maceration, fermentation takes place with the natural yeasts only, in low temperature (max 29 degrees centigrade). After the fermentation finishes, the wines are kept in the tanks at 28 degrees for additional 9-10 days in order to extract more colour and tannins. Next the wines are being transferred to oak barrels, 15-20% of them are new. The wines are racked after the malolactic fermentation the following spring to summer, and the different cuvees are separately mixed in vats to ensure homogeneous wines.
The wines then return to barrels where they stay till bottling – normally 18 months after the vintage.
The 1er crus include some of the very best vineyards in Nuits-St-Georges, namely Les Chaignots, Chene Carteau, Les Pruliers, the monopole vineyard of Clos des Porrets-st-Georges, and full hectare of each of the appellation’s most famous vineyards – Les Vaucrains and Les Saint Georges.
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