2015 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St.-Georges Les St.-Georges 1er Cru

Year: 2015
Appellation: Cote de Nuits
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 95-97
Vinous Media: 92-95
Burghound: 92-94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :

"The 2015 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges took three or four minutes to unfold...but what a bouquet! Copious black cherry, cranberry jus, pomegranate and bergamot scents all infused with stupendous mineralité. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin, plenty of blood orange infusing the red and black fruit, a keen line of acidity and a gentle grip towards the finish. It constitutes one of the best vintages that I have tasted in recent years. It should be considered a "stunning victory" for the 2015 vintage, but without wishing to sound like a broken record, please cellar this for 5-7 years for it to attain its drinking plateau.

Grégory Gouges expressed discrete contentment towards his 2015s. Never one to let hyperbole get the better of him, he lets the wines do the talking and they formed some of the most impressive barrel samples that I have tasted over many years tasting here. "They are a little less classical than the 2014," he explained. "We had a very early vintage with an early budding. April, May and June were a little hotter than usual and dry, so the flowering period was early and fast. There were very good conditions for the vines with no mildew, just a little pressure from oïdium, but no damage. The sulphur powder was effective in combating that. The only problem in 2015 was the dryness, because we keep grass in the middle of the vineyard [as cover crop between the rows]. Usually that is advantageous but in 2015, the first rains went to the grass and not the grapes. We lost maybe 10-15% of the capacity of the harvest by the concentration of sugars, tannins and acidity, which is fine for the quality. For a few years we have tried to keep freshness in the wine and we took the decision to start on 3 September to maintain the good level of acidity that we never try to modify. The malic was very very low and if you tried to compensate with tartaric acidity, it doesn't work. The start of September was lovely and I still think it was a good thing to start earlier. After the vinification the malolactic started very quickly as the level of acidity was low and the outside temperature was not really cold. In December [2015], half the malolactics had finished and everything had been completed by February. This is why we started racking the 2015 this week [end October] to bottle about two and a half months early, around the start of December. The yields are between 18 and 24hl/ha - very low."

I just feel that the opulence of the growing season combined with the intrinsic classicism of Gouges' style met at a happy equilibrium. There is density to these wines, yet not power—freshness from start to finish. It was only the entry-level Bourgogne Rouge that I found wanting: opt for the delicious and just "fun" Pinot Blanc counterpart instead, but thereon in, it was pleasure all the way crowned by an imperious, outstanding NSG Les Saint Georges... Anyone thought about upgrading that vineyard to Grand Cru status?" (WA)

"Healthy dark red with ruby highlights; the darkest wine of this 2015 collection. Very pure, vibrant aromas of dark raspberry, licorice, violet and minerals. Then fat, broad, dry and deep on the palate, conveying a refined texture and an enticing combination of sweet, almost chocolatey fruit and saline minerality. Less expressive today than the Vaucrains but this very pure wine boasts subtle soil tones and serious incipient complexity. Finishes with substantial broad, fine-grained tannins and terrific subtle length. Only time will tell if this wine will surpass the Vaucrains." (VM)

"Reductive and wood aromas presently dominate the nose. Otherwise here too there is excellent volume to the succulent yet quite serious medium weight plus flavors that exhibit more evident minerality on the energetic, precise and youthfully austere finale. In contrast to the Vaucrains, this excellent effort is likely to require most of my predicted aging curve before it is accessible." (BH)