Gilles Lafouge is now the fifth generation to run the Domaine and his son, Maxime, currently at the Lycée viticole, will follow in Gilles’s footsteps very soon. Luckily for us at Latimer, Gilles was James’, our buying Director, neighbour when he used to live in Burgundy. The Bachelet-Monnot brothers had recommended Lafouge to James who sought an introduction. A few conversations later, James was trying the wines and was struck by the quality. Latimer are now distributors of these lovely wines.
Most of the vineyard holdings are in Auxey-Duresses with a few vineyards in Meursault and Pommard, all of which are farmed organically. The estate is a good example of what Auxey-Duresses has to offer, with grapes coming from the best vineyards such as Duresses (exclusively available at Latimer) and Climat du Val for the reds. Auxey is where one can find value for money which is not compromised by a lack of quality. With global warming now helping ripeness in areas that once were a little too cool, Auxey-Duresses should no longer be overlooked as a “lesser appellation”.
The wines of Lafouge show a fine balance of purity and freshness for the whites, with depth and structure for the reds. Since Gilles moved in his new winery in 2016, the wines have improved in quality with 2019 being some of the best he has ever made. With a high proportion of old vines, a dedication to caring for their terroir and a keen eye for detail, Domaine Jean & Gilles Lafouge has huge potential which is now being realised.