Tasted in Fontaines with Frédéric Gueugneau and Benoit Pagot, 25th February 2015.
11 Grand Rue
Tel: +33 3 85 91 49 66
This is essentially an old domaine which belonged to the Gouffier family for about 200 years, and sits in the village of Fontaines, between Rully and Mercurey. There are no vines in Fontaines, but the cuverie was always here – and what wonderful barrel cellars they have – actually, I suppose that ‘cellar’ is an inaccurate term as the building is at ground-level (the name Fontaine should give you a clue about the water-table here), but massively constricted, and inside you would be forgiven for believing you are metres underground in an important and fine old vaulted cellar – Fred thinks it could have been one of Naploeon’s ‘Guarde-Mongers.’
The name of this 5.5 hectare domaine was apparently, often changed as it was typically handed-down through maternal line. The Gouffier family had quarries as well as vines. Today it is Fred, who worked 8 years with Le Chablisienne (but comes from Fontaine) and Benoit who came about 6 months later, who are partners/owners of the domaine. Benoit also trained as a winemaker and is expanding a négoce operation.
The vineyards are all ploughed at this domaine. All the harvesting is done by hand followed by triage at the domaine. There is a prefermentation maceration after destemming, though some whole clusters may be used too for their ‘interesting texture.’ There’s plenty of remontage and some pigeage. There are no rules for the fermentations; “If it takes 2 weeks or 3 weeks it takes what it needs.” says Fred. Just one cooper is used; Doreau from Cognac, but interestingly they are now making barrels for this domaine, from the wood of local Fontaines forests.
2014 should see about 30,000 bottles commercialised.
The boys here show their commitment: They simply weren’t happy enough with their 2013 reds – so they didn’t commercialise them – the whites were not bad though, so… In 2014 they are happy with what lies in the cellar. They were pleased with their 2011s and the 2012s were “Clearly even better” but the 2013s not. “We were happy to bottle the whites, but not the reds.” Expensive, but a clear example of a commitment to the quality they expect. I’m looking forward to following the wines from here.
2013 Bourgogne Aligoté En Rateaux
Half tank and half barrel elevage.
Freshness and a good fruit on the nose. Nice, round palate but also with a fine underlying acidity. A very good line of flavour with a little perfume. Very tasty wine!
2013 Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Roche de Malpertuis Blanc
Deep, ripe too, but seems like it has enough freshness. Yes, fresh enough despite quite some richness and nicely mouth-watering too. Discreetly long too again just with a little perfume. Quite lovely.
2013 Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Les Malpertuis
From the bottom of the parcel where the soil is deeper.
A little more oak character to the richness, in the mouth this is fine and fresh, balancing a weight of richness and a big width of flavour, again a little perfumed flavour.
A colder sector.
Wide and fresh again yet still combining with a weight of apparent richness below. Lovely. Fine energy, and mouth-watering flavour. Modest complexity bubbling below. Yes there’s some vanilla too, but really I like the personality here.
2012 Mercurey Clos de la Charmée
Medium, medium-plus colour. A fine nose with both high-tones and depth – a faintly sugared dark-red fruit. Opulent, concentrated, but with no sense of over-extraction, but really concentrated and eventually faintly spiced in the finish. Quite some weight of flavour in the finish here. Very good wine.
Now the vineyard is replanted to white, so this is the last red.
A very nice red fruit – almost vibrant. Fresher, more energy and complexity, more structure too. A more complicated but also a more rewarding wine – just one barrel and a new one at that. Serious wine.