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du Bouchot

Domaine du Bouchot Winemaker Antoine Gouffier

Domaine du Bouchot Winemaker Antoine Gouffier

Next to Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé seems impressively conservative. Whereas the organic and biodynamic cultivation in Sancerre has been introduced as early as decades ago, the first domaine in Pouilly was certified as late as in 2009. It was the Domaine du Bouchot. With the 2019 vintage, vintner Antoine Gouffier took it over from family members - after a transition period.

It is impressive to which level Antoine Gouffier has raised the wines of the Domaine du Bouchot already with the first official vintage. Antoine knows the terroir of the 10-hectare domaine very well because it is the wine estate of a part of his family. For a long time, however, it was not quite clear if he would be able to enter the wine estate.

More about du Bouchot

Promising start

After his training, Antoine went to the USA to learn the ins and outs of the three-tier system at various wine importers. Then he went to Argentina to spend a year with Michel Rolland, but above all with his right hand man, the South African Thierry Haberer at the Clos de los Siete wine estate. This contact led him to South Africa to none other than Duncan Savage. It was in South Africa that he met Ilse Nel, his wife today, who originally trained as a cook but who now runs the domaine with him.

10 hectares, 5 wines

The plots of the Domaine du Bouchot are spread over 15 different sites around Pouilly. They are mainly found on the Caillottes and Terres Blanches. The Caillottes form a layer below the Terres Blanches. They are characterized by Calcaire à Astéries from fossil starfish as well as the Calcaire de Tonnerre, originally a very hard limestone, which has weathered to a sponge-like porous limestone.

The Terres Blanches are composed of a weathered Saint-Doulchard marl with high amounts of exogyra virgula oysters and thin layers of glauconite, i.e. ferruginous mica. On the Caillottes, rather full-bodied wines are produced, on the Terres Blanches rather fruity wines, which can be understood by the two terroir wines.
The MCMLV is also from the Terres Blanches, but from old vines, which bring even more depth and substance to the wine. Besides these three wines, Antoine is producing the only orange wine of the appellation so far, as well as a rare Chasselas from the AOC Pouilly-sur-Loire. Both wines are only available in homeopathic quantities, they might complete the program next year.

The three Pouilly-Fumé are each fermented and aged in stainless steel. Antoine ferments spontaneously without additives. Only during ripening and shortly before bottling he adds small amounts of sulfur. From the 2020 vintage on, the wines will bear the demeter certification.

Text and wine expertise: Christoph Raffelt