Although all of the bottlings of red wine at the Fourrier estate are from old vines (and are so labeled), we refer to this cuvée simply 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.
The 2011 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieille Vignes has an open, inviting, soft bouquet with red cherries, pomegranate seeds and rose petals. The palate is crisp and taut on the entry, slightly brittle tannins with a structured more masculine finish than the nose suggests. More tightly wound than the Chambolle Village, I suggest affording this two or three years in bottle.
There is enough reduction present to knock down the nose. By contrast there is good verve to the naturally sweet, ripe and solidly concentrated flavors that possess a textured mouth feel that delivers excellent length on the ever-so-mildly rustic finale.
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.