The Vault is Open! Pinot Blanc (Gouges) by Henri Gouges | 2017
I remember the first time I experienced this rare white from Henri Gouges. In 2009, my friend and I would frequently cherry-pick the Burgundy selection at Gulf Liquors on Miami Beach, scooping-up all the little gems that other people seemingly overlooked in favor of point-chasing Cabernets or the "next big" tequila. Then there was Gouges, a White Burgundy like I never tasted before — classic pear, apple, and stone with an unusual twist of almond and fresh, sweet corn. Back then, though, the label was different, it was called "Nuits-St-Georges La Perrière Premier Cru Blanc." Confused yet intrigued, I called the importer to get the full Gouges story.
Founded in 1920 and backed by 400 years of grape farming, Gouges is considered, by many, to be the greatest estate in Nuits-Saints-Georges. The story goes that Henri was working in his famous monopole site "Clos des Porrets" and noticed a strange white mutation of Pinot Noir. Coined "Pinot Gouges" in the 1930s, he took the cuttings and replanted the grape in an old quarry of stones, called "La Perrière" vineyard. Since then, this wine has quietly become a darling of Burgundy enthusiasts and sommeliers — hard-to-find, deliciously Gouges, and not stratospherically expensive!
Don't be fooled by the generic "Bourgogne" label because what lives inside is a fascinating piece of history and innovation. Today's offer is elite Premier Cru White Burgundy. These days, it's called "Pinot Blanc," but we like to honor the story and proudly say "Gouges!"
Region: Nuits-Saint-Georges, Burgundy
Tasting Notes: Almond, pear, sweet stone, fresh corn
Pair with: Roasted chicken thighs, shrimp Po'Boy, cauliflower steaks, corn on the cob
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