2017 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St.-Georges Les Vaucrains 1er Cru

Year: 2017
Appellation: Cote de Nuits
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 91-93
Burghound: 91-93
Red Wine
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"The 2017 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains is another unusually suave offering from Gouges, offering up aromas of dark berry fruit, wild plums, baking chocolate and rich soil tones, subtly framed by cedary new wood. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and dense, but notably open-knit and juicy at the core, concluding with a long, sapid finish. Given how forbidding Vaucrains can be, this is an almost disconcertingly charming effort.

Many of Gouges' 2017s had been bottled when I visited in mid-December, so these notes report on bottled wines; sadly, those that were still in tank awaiting bottling were not in any state to be reviewed, so those will have to wait for another occasion. The harvest began on September 7 at this address, and Grégory Gouges reported rapid malolactic fermentations. His decision to bottle earlier than usual was occasioned, as at other domaines, by the desire to capture the wines' fruit tones in all their exuberance. This is an almost disconcertingly suave, elegant vintage chez Gouges, and while the range may shut down in bottle, that was hard to envisage during my December tasting." (WA)

"The 2017 Nuits Saint-Georges Les Vaucrains 1er Cru has a lovely, intense bouquet that combines blue and black fruit, crushed violet petals and incense. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, showing a little more cohesion than the Les Pruliers, if not quite the same mineral drive as Domaine Chevillon’s. Still, there is decent length and depth to this Les Vaucrains, though it will need several years in bottle." (VM)

"Slightly riper aromas of plum liqueur, violet, warm earth and plenty of sauvage character lead to intense and notably dense broad-shouldered flavors that display first-rate power on the serious and youthfully austere finish. This is a big wine in the context of what is typical for the 2017 vintage and should age effortlessly." (BH)