A Marriage of Force and Finesse: 2013 Gouges NSG 1er Cru Clos des Porrets

Posted by Ian McFadden

A Marriage of Force and Finesse
2013 Gouges Nuits-St-Georges
1er Cru Clos des Porrets St-Georges

Gouges' 2013s shocked me.

Gouges is one of the legends of Burgundy. If you've been lucky enough to taste Gouges from the 70s or 80s, then you know the deal. They're incredible wines.

The 2013 offerings may very well be the best young wines I've ever tasted from Gouges. I came away from my tasting at the domaine absolutely floored by the quality. And as soon as I got back to the store, I started buying.

Gouges in 2013 gets at the absolute best of the vintage. The wines exude a vivid concentration and deep minerality along with brightness and clarity. There is that bit of sauvage character that we expect from Nuits, but any wildness comes through as pure pleasure.

If Gouges's entire range in 2013 is exciting, the 1er Cru is a can't-miss. The monopole Clos des Porrets, with its gravel and pink limestone, yields a wine that is powerful and rugged with a perfectly calibrated suaveness and polish.

Gouges is known for coming off a bit stern in early drinking, only revealing its true glory in the cellar. That is what makes this year's revelation so stunning. All that integrity and rigor is there, elevated by a sense of liveliness, freshness and even a dose of silky tannins. The wine can, and should, be allowed to age for decades to come, but the glory is here, now.

Burghound notes "an interesting contrast in textures as the mid-palate is supple thanks to the relatively fine-grained tannins yet the linear finish is robust to the point of rusticity." It's precisely this marriage of force and finesse that makes Gouges so remarkable.

I always think it's telling to watch a winemaker's response to a particularly charged vintage. Gouges seemed almost as shocked as I was. "Never in a million years would I have predicted this level of quality based on the incredibly difficult growing season we had." Of course, the success is no accident, no fluke. The heights reached in 2013 are a testament to the traditional, always honest and meticulous winemaking, practiced over the course of decades.

He sums it up pretty well by saying, "they just make you feel like drinking them."

I'll rein in my excitement to say that yields at Gouges were very small in 2013. There's not a lot of this wine. But if you're checking your email on a summer's day, well, let this be a worthy consolation. Get what you can.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits