Domaine François Gaunoux, Meursault “Clos de Meix Chavaux” Monopole
Domaine François Gaunoux, Meursault “Clos de Meix Chavaux” Monopole

Domaine François Gaunoux, Meursault “Clos de Meix Chavaux” Monopole

Burgundy, France 2019 (750mL)
Regular price$85.00

Domaine François Gaunoux, Meursault “Clos de Meix Chavaux” Monopole

Why does the word “Meursault,” perhaps more than any other, so vividly conjure in the minds of sommeliers dreams of white Burgundy majesty? Because of wines like Domaine François Gaunoux’s Meursault "Clos de Meix Chavaux.” This is Meursault styled as it used to be, a stirring interplay between golden-hued richness and striking freshness, the sort of head-spinningly complex wine the village’s hallowed reputation is based upon. In recent years, we’ve seen a turn across Burgundy away from the regal and rich toward the chiseled and austere. We love many of the resulting wines. But upon tasting Gaunoux’s stunning monopole bottling, we were reminded that little else can make our neck hairs stand on end like perfectly executed Meursault in the classical mode. Burgundy collectors, Chardonnay lovers, anyone who wants to know just why white Burg is considered maybe the greatest wine in the world, jump on this. It’s a bottle not to be missed!

The story of the Gaunoux family is long and tangled, but suffice to say, the name is synonymous with Côte de Beaune greatness. Domaine François Gaunoux was founded in Meursault in 1972, when Henri Gaunoux split his holdings between his two sons. François is now in his 80s, and his daughter Claudine runs the domaine. The family’s holdings would be the envy of any Burgundy producer – 12 hectares, all of it at least villages level, with large contiguous holdings in some of the Côte de Beaune’s most famous Crus for both red and white.

The Gaunouxs are unique for their single-minded pursuit of terroir purity. In a move we’re unaware of any other Burgundian making, in 2000, they got rid of every barrel in their cellar. In their stead went stainless steel tanks. The idea, Claudine says, is to make wine that tastes of their beautifully farmed fruit and nothing else. And what fruit it is: in a sharp turn away from the au courant mode of picking early, the Gaunouxs are some of the very last to harvest in their village, allowing their Pinot and Chardonnay to reach full physiological ripeness before it enters their cellar. The resulting wines are marvel, object lessons in full-throttle Burgundy terroir, yet unobscured by wood or any other enological makeup.

"Clos de Meix Chavaux” is the family’s flagship Meursault holding. It’s a 3.5ha monopole – meaning the Gaunoux family is the sole owner – immediately adjacent to the village’s most famous village-level lieu-dit, “Chevalieres.” Like “Chevalieres,” “Meix Chavaux’s” soils are rich in clay and have a high water table, lending density and power to the vines. But there’s also a prominent and very chalky limestone vein running through the vineyard, bringing freshness and mineral tension. Despite the warm and dry 2019 vintage, Claudine’s “Meix Chavaux” is perfectly lifted and vibrant.

Serve Domaine François Gaunoux’s Meursault "Clos de Meix Chavaux” in a Burgundy bowl, just below cellar temp, so you can fully enjoy the heady cornucopia of aromas. A quick decant wouldn’t be out of order either. It pours a limpid yellow with silver and gold highlights and soars from the glass with a practical checklist of classic Meursault notes: creamed apple, pear skin, just-ripe white peach, lemon zest, almond skin, hazelnut, fresh-churned butter, raw honey, and pulverized chalk. The palate is decadent at first blush, leaning into the orchard and stone fruits, before zipping to a tensile finish on the strength of some scintillating acidity. It’s a masterclass in balance, and a welcome reminder of why Meursault is near and dear to our hearts. It’s loaded with pleasure now, but even Claudine recommends giving her whites at least a few years in the cellar, so make sure to stock up!

Domaine François Gaunoux, Meursault “Clos de Meix Chavaux” Monopole

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