Wine Importer Notes
When Frédéric Gueugneau was growing up in the village of Fontaines, he would often work at the Gouffier estate under the direction of Jerome Gouffier. Years later, when Gouffier fell ill, Frédéric came home once again to lend a helping hand by managing the day-to-day operations of the estate. When his elder neighbor passed away, Frédéric was asked by the Gouffier family to assume control of the domaine in 2011.
The nearly 200-year old estate had been through several name changes throughout its history, but had always remained a part of the extended Gouffier lineage. The property oozes history, as evidenced by its stunning, stone-domed cellar, which had once served as a bunker in the time of Napoleon Bonaparte.
With 5.5-hectares spread across eight appellations, the domaine was in need of a fresh start. Frédéric, who had worked previously at La Chabliesienne for eight years, took about the task of reinvigorating the vines of Gouffier by instituting organic farming practices. While there are no vineyards in Fontaines—which sits between the villages of Mercurey and Rully—the varied sites throughout the area allow Frédéric and his partner, Benoit Pagot, to offer several expressions of Cote Chalonnaise.
The domaine contracts a single cooper—Doreau Tonneliers of Cognac—with Thierry Doreau making several trips to aid Frédéric and Benoit in finding the perfect match between barrel and wine. In fact, nearly 20% of the wood used to make the barrels used in the cellar come from the forest just beyond the walls of the property.
Recent vintages of Gouffier have reflected the intelligent approach of infusion, demonstrating perfect balance, a flawless integration of ageing, resulting in wines of energy and precision which have garnered attention and accolades in France.