Jean-Pierre Guyon isn’t as well known as he should be. I first came across him with Dirk Niepoort, who has made a wine in Burgundy with him (and that Dirk should choose to work with him is a very strong endorsement). I then caught up with him over lunch at the excellent Trinity in Clapham, where we tasted through his range.
He decided to begin working organically in 2006, and to return to old-fashioned ways of working. He began using 100% whole cluster, and in 2012 got his organic certification. He also started working without adding any sulphites until the spring, although if he feels the wine needs sulphites before that, he will add them. He also does lots of experiments and blind tastings, so he knows what he is doing, rather than just guessing.
We discussed a few current issues. One is vine health and trunk diseases. He thinks that the older greffe anglaise is better than the omega graft, and results in better graft union healing and there’s less risk of transmitting virus. He thinks trunk disease is largely a problem of pruning, and is moving to pruning methods that respect the sap flow. It’s also good to prune when the sap is rising, he says, because as it comes out it cleans the wound. He uses a lunar calendar for pruning.
Premox in white Burgundy? The pressing is too fast, and people don’t extract enough. The problem was partly caused by moving to pneumatic presses. People keep the first juice and throw away the taille, but they should have kept that too. He thinks that the premox problem got better between 2011 and 2014, then worse in 2015 and 2016, and that 2018 will be catastrophic.
Domaine Guyon Nuits St Georges Blanc Les Argillats 2014 Burgundy, France
Complex, refined and quite powerful. Lively and spicy with nice definition, showing ripe pear with a hint of peach, but always in a nice tension. Combines richness and freshness, with nice minerals and spices. 94/100
Domaine Guyon Morey St Denis Blanc La Bidaude 2014 Burgundy, France
There’s an apple and pear edge to this: quite distinctive and a little oxidative. Rounded and smooth eith pear and nut notes. Smooth, elegant with nice depth. 92/100
Domaine Guyon Bourgogne Rouge 2013 Burgundy, France
Fresh, fine and supple with lovely red cherries and redcurrants. There’s a savoury edge. Lovely precision to this wine which is slightly sappy, and is fresh and fine with nice grip and detail. 92/100
Domaine Guyon Chorey-Les-Beaune Les Bons Ores 2014 Burgundy, France
80% of the vines here are centenarians. Supple and fine grained with nicely structured fruit. Some soft velvety character, too, supplemented with a grainy structure. Lovely balance: a refined wine. 93/100
Domaine Guyon Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er Cru Les Peillets 2013 Burgundy, France
Fresh, vivid, floral and crunchy with raspberry and red cherry fruit. Very red fruit in character with nice crunchy structure. Good focus with pure, fresh floral fruit to the fore. 94/100
Domaine Guyon Vosne-Romanée Les Charmes de Mazieres 2013 Burgundy, France
Supple, rounded and expressive with a silkiness to it. Very pure and elegant with nice raspberry, black cherry and plum fruit. Has some darker hints. Textural with nice grainy structure. 93/100
Domaine Guyon Vosne-Romanée Les Brûlées 1er Cru 2013 Burgundy, France
Sweetly aromatic nose is floral with some cherries and plums, as well as some wild strawberry notes. Supple, elegant and smoothly textured palate with lovely depth. Shows sliky cherries and plums with lovely weight. Textural, delicious and fine grained with real finesse. 94/100
Domaine Guyon Vosne-Romanée En Orveaux 1er Cru Burgundy, France
Lovely floral nose with cherries and a bit of damson, as well as some sour cherry and liqourice. Fresh and floral with great structure. Bright and expressive with supple fruit, good brightness and nice focus. Great purity and structure to this wine. 96/100
Domaine Guyon Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2013 Burgundy, France
Fresh, aromatic, floral and sappy with some sour cherry, plum and herb notes. The palate is supple and fine-grained with red cherries and plums. Nicely structured with great focus and precision, showing good concentration. 96/100
Domaine Guyon Echezeaux Grand Cru 2013 Burgundy, France
Seamless, and showing great concentration. Floral and supple with some green hints integrated well into the sour cherry, plum and black cherry fruit. Good structure and concentration here with real precision. Has potential for development. 96/100
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Availability in the UK: Raeburn Wines