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TEW Welcomes Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux from Meursault

 Last week, Patrick announced that Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux is officially joining our French book at TEW, with our first shipment to arrive in October.  “He’s extremely soft spoken and humble,” says Patrick of Jean-Michel, “a many generations Burgundian.”  Cultivating 6ha of vines on Meursault, Pommard, and Volnay, Jean-Michel worked with his father, Francois Gaunoux, of Domaine Francois Gaunoux, until establishing Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux in 1990.

Practicing lutte raisonne, or “the reasoned struggle,” in the vineyard, Jean-Michel works to preserve the soil, using no pesticides, while employing traditional vinification methods.  With family roots that have been grounded in the Cote d’Or for several centuries, Ganoux practices green harvesting to ensure low yields.  His wines see 15-30% new oak and are bottled after 15-16 months; they are neither filtered nor fined, and their aging potential is outstanding.

Within Meursault, Jean-Michel cultivates three 1er Cru sites:  “Perrieres,” “Genevrieres,” and “Les Gouttes d’Or.”

Producing the richest wines in Meursualt, “Perrieres” is located mid-slope, at the southwestern end of the commune, above the main vineyard road and just north of “Charmes.”  There are 14.86ha in “Perrieres,” of clay and limestone soil that is covered with stones that reflect sunlight back onto the vines.  Cited as a “tête de cuvée” vineyard in the 1861 original classification, “Perrieres”, according to Jancis Robinson, “might well have been classified as a Grand Cru.”  Yielding powerful wines that tend to be steely, and high in acidity and minerality, “Perrieres,” is believed by many to produce the best wines in Meursault.

Coming in at a close second to “Perrieres,” “Genevriéres” contains four subclimats that also lie in the southern section of Meursault, just north of “Charmes”.  Facing east, at an altitude of 240-280m, with red soil that contains a high proportion of iron and clay, “Genevriéres” produces elegant wines that are richer and less steely than the wines of “Perrieres” with notes of citrus and exotic spices.

Sized 5.33ha in total, “Goutte d’Or” is the smallest of the 1er Cru sites that is cultivated by Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux.  Translated as “drops of gold,” “Goutte d’Or” sits at a high elevation, that’s on par with “Perrieres” and “Genevriéres,” but here, the soil is clay heavy with a limestone base, where the vines take root on slopes that face east.

“He makes the exact style of wines that I love–very elegant with high acidity,” says Patrick.  “I was hoping to get one Meursault producer with ‘Perrieres’ vineyard…They’re hard to come by, but I’m ecstatic, it’s a perfect fit,” he adds.  “They’ve been out of the market here in New York for a short while, but not for too long.  People will be very excited to find that they’re back on the market.”

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