Domaine Gouffier owns five and a half hectares of vineyard in the villages of Fontaines and Mercurey in Côte Chalonnaise. The domain has been run by the Gouffier family for generations until Jerome Gouffier handed over the reins to his close friend Frédéric Gueugneau, formerly at La Chablisienne. Since 2011, Frédéric and oenologist Benoît Pagot have brought about a new style of winemaking to the domain. They follow an organic philosophy to create wines that are modern, approachable and affordable, but with all the style and panache of good Burgundy. They have created a collection of wines of outstanding originality, verve and spirit.
The vineyard is situated in the heart of the AOC Bouzeron in the Côte Chalonnaise. The east-facing plot is planted with an Aligoté strain called ‘Golden’, the vines are low yielding and produce exceptionally aromatic grapes. The climate is continental, with warm summers and cold winters and excellent diurnal temperature differences. The vineyard is cultivated using organic preparations and the use of chemical herbicides is strictly prohibited. The double Guyot trained vines are carefully managed between the spring and summer months to ensure optimal conditions for healthy, mature grapes at harvest time; with strict debudding, leaf thinning and ploughing of the soil. The vines are grown in marly-chalk soils from the Jurassic period.
The Aligoté grapes were harvested in a healthy condition once they had achieved optimum maturity and were carefully selected in the cellar. The grapes were very delicately transferred via a conveyor belt directly to French oak barrels of 228 to 300 litres, of which 25% were new. Fermentation and ageing took place in the barrels, with bâtonnage to impart texture and complexity. Working in partnership with their cooper based in Cognac, since the 2013 vintage Domaine Gouffier has been experimenting with using oak from the state forests of Fontaine, just a few miles from the vines, endeavouring to stay true to the local terroir.