Domaine Michel Gaunoux is a special and unique estate. It respects traditions and upholds these to the benefit of fans of older-school Burgundy.
Burgundy in retrospect
Burgundy has changed radically since I began my quest for great pinot and chardonnay in the early 1990s. Back then, producers had at least some older vintages to sell, and media coverage was less focused on the newest, latest vintage. Consumers too were more focused on the older vintages they were able to obtain in restaurants and from importers.
Today, all is focused on the latest vintage, even before it’s on the market. Most restaurants have only the most recent vintages on their lists, and the consequence is that most Burgundy is now consumed much too young, during the first years after its release. This tendency is only getting stronger.
Domaine Michel Gaunoux is different. Traditional and old school in the best possible way, it creates wines of very high quality, even by current standards. Wines of beauty, they are somehow beyond the new conventions of modern-day, fruity Burgundies.
A bit about Domaine Michel Gaunoux
Domaine Michel Gaunoux was founded by Alexandre Gaunoux in 1875 and is still owned and managed by the family. After Alexandre, his son Henri took over, followed by his son Michel in the 1950s, the father of current owners Anne and Alexandre. The name of the estate is a tribute to the founder’s grandson Michel Gaunoux, who passed away unexpectedly in 1984. His wife took over back then, and has now handed the estate over to her children, although she is still involved in a supporting role, helping to maintain traditions and the family spirit.
The estate has vineyards in three appellations: Corton, Pommard and Beaune. It owns 0.63 ha in Corton Renardes, 0.69 ha in Pommard Rugiens-Bas, and 1.75 ha in Pommard Grands Epenots. Also in Pommard, Gaunoux owns 0.75 ha in the vineyards Les Arvelets, Combes, and Charmots. These are blended into its Pommard 1er Cru cuvée.
In Beaune, the estate owns plots in 1ers crus Les Boucherottes and Les Epenotes in the southern part of the Beaune appellation near Pommard, and also in the village terroirs Les Prevolles and Beaux Fougets (also on the Pommard side of Beaune). The total area in Beaune is 2.04 ha. All the grapes from the Beaune vineyards are used to make a Beaune village, hence there is a good amount of declassified 1er cru fruit in this wine.
Domaine Michel Gaunoux also makes an excellent Bourgogne Rouge from a 1-ha holding in the Pommard lieu-dit Les Sorbins, situated in front of the town below the village terroir Rue au Port and RN974.
But let’s focus on the Corton, and go to Renardes!
The Domaine Michel Gaunoux plot of Corton Renardes
The Gaunoux plot is located in the core of Corton Renardes, the same area from which Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is producing its red Corton.
Renardes is quite a large chunk of Corton – 14.35 ha in total, just below Le Corton and north of Le Clos du Roi (see map below).
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