Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Vielles Vignes 2010
Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
Although all of the bottlings of red wine at the Fourrier estate are from old vines (and are so labeled), this cuvee simply referred to as the Gevrey Vieilles Vignes. The source of grapes is the Champerrier vineyard. Here, Fourrier owns about three hectares of vines, most of which were planted between 1928 and 1955. In contrast to the "Aux Echezeaux," this parcel is on the northernmost side of Gevrey bordering the village of Brochon, a location that tends to produce wines of more tannic backbone and overall structure.
International Wine Cellar - "Good bright, full red. High-pitched aromas of tangy red and darker berries and rose petal, complemented by lower-toned earth and smoke notes. Boasts terrific volume for village wine: dense, salty and soil-driven, with raspberry fruit complicated by earth and minerals. Really stimulates the taste buds on the smooth, long, lightly saline finish. Terrific village wine."
Domaine Fourrier Winery
The Domaine Fourrier (previously known as Pernot-Fourrier) has a long history in Gevrey Chambertin extending over four generations. The estate was founded by Fernand Pernot during the 1930s and 1940s. Unmarried and childless, he enlisted the aid of his nephew, Jean-Claude Fourrier, who then took the reins of the domaine in 1969. One of the first domains to actually export its wine to the USA, it is also one of the most well-endowed estates in the village with holdings throughout the most heralded appellations. Having weathered a period of eclipse through the latter part of the 1980s, the domain was re-energized in 1994 upon the arrival of Jean-Marie Fourrier, son of Jean-Claude. Jean-Marie burst on the Burgundian scene by wisely combining the traditions of his father and uncle (using, for example, vines of a minimum 30 years of age for the estate bottlings), his experience gained while working with Henri Jayer and the Domaine Drouhin (in Oregon), and his own clear sense of style. Ever since his ascension, the wines of Domaine Fourrier have garnered critical acclaim. He now works the domaine with the assistance of his sister, Isabelle, and his wife, Vicki. View all Domaine Fourrier Wines
Burgundy is a small region, only about a fourth the size of Bordeaux. The narrow thread of vineyard land stretches from the city of Dijon to Lyon. The five main districts of Burgundy are – from North to South - Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais. Chablis is far removed geographically (above Dijon) and adheres to its own classifications. Beaujolais is its own region due to grape variety, vinification methods and regulations. Leaving us with the Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais as the heart of Burgundy.
Grapes of the region are easy to remember - Pinot Noir for reds, Chardonnay for whites. Burgundy can be called home for both varietals, despite their increasing presence in every winemaking country. In this area red wines out number whites, although the quality for both is unparalleled.
A bit of History...Once owned and run by the church and nobility, the vineyards of Burgundy were seized during French Revolution and sold off piece by piece. Further separation occurred with Napoleonic Law, which ordered that inherited land be divided among children equally. These two factors put Burgundy where it is today – a myriad of vineyards and villages, each with a number of growers and producers.
NégociantsBurgundy is organized by plots of land and labeled as such. About half of Burgundy works on a négociant system. Growers of small plots sell grapes, or more often, barrels of already made wine, to négociant houses who then blend it with other wines from that region and put it under their label. While the négociant system may sound like a way to produce mass amounts of anonymous wines, that is, luckily, not the case. Wines are labeled with a sense of place, so you know what land you are getting. There are some négociant houses that are much more renowned and consistent than others, and for the most part, the system works. But times are changing. Some growers are purchasing more land and making the wine on their property, under their label, for more consistency. On the other side, négociant houses are buying up their own vineyards so they will have more control over winemaking.
Classification SystemThe classification system is similar to a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is the most basic of the classifications, the Burgundy AC, meaning grapes can come from anywhere in the Burgundy region. Next up is a village wine, such as Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits, or the villages within these regions, like Givery-Chambertin or Puligny-Montrachet. The label will say Appellation Puligny-Montrachet Controlée. At the next level is the premier cru. A wine that says Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru will still be Appellation Puligny-Montrachet [premier cru] Controllée, but may include the premier cru vineyard name, such as Les Pucelles. At the tip of the pyramid are the grand cru vineyards. There are only 30 in the Côte d'Or and the name of the vineyard is the appellation name.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.