Domaine Philippe Gavignet

Nuits-Saint-Georges | Côte de Nuits | Burgundy

 

Domaine Philippe Gavignet Nuits Saint Georges North Berkeley ImportsThe style of Philippe Gavignet Burgundy “brings back” the profound elegance of Pinot Noir to Nuits-Saint-Georges, an appellation often known for more tannic (and often less balanced) wines. Gavignet wines are solid proof that Nuits has the terroir to produce elegant Burgundy but that it requires a conscientious winemaker such as Philippe to craft it.

What first attracted us to this fourth-generation estate nearly more than 20 years ago was the impressive pedigree of Gavignet’s vineyards in Nuits. What you’ll discover with these selections are unquestionably some of Nuits’ most expressive, very-old-vine terroirs, with vines planted as far back as the 1920s.

Yet what’s kept us coming back to this modest cellar is the finesse and harmony of this estate’s honest, hand-crafted wines. Not to mention what an enjoyable experience it is to taste with Philippe, a “salt of the earth” sort of winemaker. He can’t stand pretence; casual but serious, Philippe is a true artisan who is always eager to share with us older bottles to show just how revelatory his old-vine Nuits can be.

Curiously, Gavignet remains an insider’s secret, while “bigger” names in the village garner the attention (and demand ever-higher prices). Yet no other producer even comes close to capturing the true character of this impeccable terroir as does Philippe Gavignet.

FARMING & WINEMAKING

Most of winemaker Philippe Gavignet’s Pinot Noir vines are very old, with a majority planted in the 1930s and 1950s. Vineyards are cared for as naturally as possible, avoiding the use of herbicides and pesticides. Harvest is by hand; wines are aged in a mix of new and older French oak barrels (with no more than one-third new oak). All wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

WHITE WINES

Nuits-Saint-Georges Blanc ‘Les Argillats’

50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Blanc. ‘Argillats’ is planted to both red and white grapes; while the vineyard’s soils in general combine brown limestone and silt, whites are planted exclusively on a vein of sand that runs through the plot. A refined, silky white with tons of citrus energy.

 

  • Download fact sheet (PDF)gavignet_argillats_blanc_web

RED WINES

Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Not your “average” Bourgogne Rouge. Gavignet combines fruit from 45+ year old vines grown on two separate plots in Nuits proper; the vineyards’ mineral-rich, silty soils contribute spice and refined tannins. It’s true that you can judge the talents of a winemaker in how he or she treats their “base” wine; this is, hands-down, one of the more refined, character-rich Bourgogne Rouge wines out there.

 

  • Download fact sheet (PDF)GAVIGNET_pinot-noir_web
Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits ‘Clos des Dames Huguettes’

‘Clos des Dames Huguettes’ is a large vineyard located directly above Nuits-Saint-Georges, in the wind-swept hills of the Hautes-Côtes, between 1,050 and 1,200 feet in altitude. Terroir here is similar to the clay-limestone soils of the Côte d’Or, yet top soils are much thinner. This higher perch and rocky terrain translates into a Pinot Noir of serious aromatic definition and cool red fruit flavors; all the depth and concentration you’d expect from Nuits, wrapped in a dashing silky robe.

 

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Nuits-Saint-Georges Vieilles Vignes

Some of Gavignet’s oldest vines are the core of this “vieilles vignes” cru, planted in 1920 and 1954. Vineyards ‘Les Belles Croix’ and ‘Les Allots’ both border Nuits-Saint-Georges’ premier cru row of vineyards. For us, this wine is the sum of all the things that make Gavignet wines so remarkable: impeccable terroir, stunning older-vine fruit, peerless craftsmanship, elegant flavors.

 

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Nuits-Saint-Georges ‘Les Argillats’

An outperforming villages-level wine, with vines planted in the 1960s. Juicy, spicy, silky: a complete package.

 

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Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru ‘Les Bousselots’

The ‘Bousselots’ vineyard sits not far from the village border with Vosne-Romanée; a bit of Vosne violets and velvety tannins make their way into this sultry, elegant cru wine. Vines planted in 1946.

 

  • Download fact sheet (PDF)gavignet_nsg_bousselots_web
Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru ‘Les Chaboeufs’

Half the vineyard was planted in 1950; the rest in 1990 and 1994. The ‘Chaboeufs’ vineyard is nestled into a cool, narrow valley; soils are brown limestone with some clay, stony and iron-rich. ‘Chaboeufs’ is meaty, black-fruited, concentrated — yet retains a cool elegance in both texture and aroma, very captivating. A great wine for the cellar.

 

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Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru ‘Les Pruliers’

Gavignet’s vines, planted in 1974, at the foot of this vineyard grow in brown limestone soils that are very gravely. This extra bit of mineral influence gives ‘Pruliers’ structure and definition, with a touch of coffee and chocolate on the finish.

 

  • Download fact sheet (PDF)gavignet_nsg_pruliers_web

Established: 1930s
Winemaker: Philippe Gavignet
Region: France • Burgundy • Côte de Nuits • Nuits-Saint-Georges
Vineyard size: 24 acres