Studying family trees is one way to understand Burgundy – and that feat is never ending. Just for the fun of it Team WWX decides to shift focus from last names to first names! Today’s questions for Burgundy geeks: how many Henris do you know from Burgundy? We love these four. Get a quick idea of their brief histories and wines styles.
7, Rue du Moulin – 21700 Nuits Saint Georges
In 1920, Henri Gouges started exploiting his fate as a Burgundy vigneron. He was among the very first to bottle his wines under his own names as he gained popularity first among Parisian wine lovers then American drinkers.
The domaine delivers sleek, precise, fruit-forward expressions that speak of the terroir of Nuits-St-Georges. The one must-try Gouges is perhaps their La Perriere white wine, which, instead of being made out of Chardonnay, it’s essentially a white Pinot Noir. This discovery was made in 1940s as Henri Gouges went on to check the vines after the berries changed colour (veraison). This particular Pinot Noir vine that produces all white clusters are to later on be propagated and named “Pinot Gouges”.
Z.A. les Champs-Lins – 21190 Meursault
Henri Boillot came into existence first as a negociant business in 1995. The family domaine Jean Boillot was to be renamed Domaine Henri Boillot only starting 2005. Henri Boillot is one of those pioneers proving that domaine and negociant bottlings can both equally be superb in quality.
All bottlings reflect Boillot’s ability to raise wines that are generous yet classy; precise yet poetic. In Boillot’s words, that’s the result when you marry passion and precision. The one must-try wine is the Chardonnay from Puligny Montrachet’s Clos de la Mouchere, a monopole vineyard owned since the days when Henri Boillot’s grandfather founded the domaine. The domaine is now run by Henri Boillot and his son Guillaume, who joined his father in 2008.
10 Place du Monument – 21220 Gevrey Chambertin
Henri Rebourseau was a WWI veteran – he fought on the front lines before returning to the Gevrey domaine in 1919 where he attended both to the vines and the interests of the commune by assuming the role of President at the Chambertin Syndicat.
Rebourseau style is decisively traditionalist (and they are NOT a fan of stems inclusion at all) – expect aristocratic, firm expressions with great depth and structure especially from their Gevrey bottlings. The only bottling they made outside of Gevrey Chambertin is a Clos de Vougeot, where Rebourseau owned a fairly sizable 2.21 hectare of vines in the heart within the 50ha walled Grand Cru site.
75 Route de Beaune 21220 Gevrey-Chambertin
Henri Richard comes with a shorter history than Henri Rebourseau. Founder Jean Richard came with a cooperage background. Their first vines were bought in 1938. Son Henri Richard joined the domaine a year afterwards. Their wines can be fun to compare against Henri Rebourseau.
Henri Richard has seen experimentation with partial whole cluster fermentation since 2013; together with their biodynamic conversion since 2005 this gives a cleaner, more fruit-purity driven interpretation of Gevrey. This is a domaine to watch as they slowly shift their focus from being a grape grower who sells most of their grapes to one where they vinify their own.