How long do you keep your serious Nuits-Saint-Georges before popping

Hello there,

I organised a little tasting which included four Nuits-Saint-Georges wines (and a couple of ‘other’ wines). We tried two Gouges 1999s (notes below). Les Saint Georges was just approaching drinkability and was a positive joy. The other was Vaucrains which was a tightly-wound ball of throbbing tension that was a fight to get anything from. So I wondered how long other Berserkers kept their ‘Oooh fancy!’ Nuits wines before popping them. Spill the beans, I’m interested!

I have to say I do not disapprove of necking these things when they throb with intense, and somewhat indomitable, vivacity. At such young ages they may well give your tasting apparatus a good leathering, but when you’ve battled your way through a glass or two you know you are alive! Yeah, power up!


Here are the notes:
Ooh cripes, this smells terribly lovely. Chock-full of ravishing, lewdly desirable fruit together with a rich earthiness and one hell of a lot of class. It throbs with multi-dimensional, stylish aromas which I know will make this a joy to drink. The dark fruit character and powerful soil action make this nose very Nuits in character and utterly beguiling for the lover of engaging experiences. It has a powerful structure which is a shade on the tough side, but this, together with its impeccably ripe fruit and harmonious acid levels, make it burst energy and vigour. The finish is extraordinarily long – yum, that is how I like it. Sure, it is a smidgen on the burly side but the overall impression I’m getting from this is that it is engorged with sybaritic thrills and dissolute gratification. Just beginning to show some magisterial maturity but has a very long life ahead of it so no rush to pop your bottles.

This is a deep, brooding nose of restrained animation. Much swirling and sniffing are rewarding me with layers of powerfully ripe fruit intertwined with a commanding earthy character. I’ve got to swirl a lot, though, it is not letting its profound sensuality out from its strapping frame without a fight. This nose is complex and stylish but more than that it is definitely on the closed and youthful side. The palate is tough and unyielding too. The tannins are certainly robust, tough almost, but it does have enough fruit, acid and minerality to give it the balance required see it through this brawny phase if given more time in the cellar. Its flavours persist for an impressive period after swallowing. This is a great bottle of wine, but it really does need a lot longer for all its elements to resolve into something more enchanting.

all NSG are not alike. Gouges needs forever, Chevillon a long time, depends on the producers more than the locale, IMO . . .

It certainly doesn’t seem possible to keep Gouges too long, though 92 and 94 are good drinking now. My guess is that the 99 LSG hasn’t closed down yet and will shortly do so for a long time. Chevillon is approachable much younger but rewards age, Faiveley sometimes stays open for a few years but then needs 20 or so but Vosne side vineyards like Murgers and Boudots in general probably need a bit less, and are in general not so NSG. Arlot can be drunk quite young. It is as ever the producer rather than the vineyard which is the determining factor as Alan says, though I can’t be the only one for whom NSG means Gouges, Chevillon and Faiveley above all.

I’m the last person to offer advice on NSG wines, since I’ve only had a few; but the scuttlebut I’ve picked up from browsing various sources is that the 99 reg Burgs are maturing slowly. If that’s so, though, I’m surprised your LSG was even in the ballpark.

Just want to say, I’m enjoying your Burg posts here, David (and envying your connections) - thanks.

So are '97 and '85.

As everyone else says it varies. I’d keep Gouges longer than Chevillon, Vaucrains (much) longer than Pruliers.

For the Gouges premiers I calculate 20 + years of bottle age at least from good vintages, 15 years from lesser ones. The 89s are starting to drink well, 88 is still young, 76 & 83 fully mature. Buying Gouges - being older - is often a multi generation project. Luckily I started early. Chevillon is accessble a little bit earlier, but for drinking in the 10-12 years range I prefer the Clos de Marechale from Faiveley ( since 2004 Mugnier ), and the wines from Gerard Mugneret who sadly lost some vines lately and sometimes the Hospice de Nuits wines.

Hello there,

I’ve had 40+ year old Gouges and they have been perfectly drinkable; so my experience is also that you really have to try to over-age Gouges as Tom suggested. I also agree with Jay that the 1997s are dishing out high-level pleasure points at the moment, but again I’d say no rush to drink, wouldn’t you agree with that Jay?

Nuits for me also generally means Gouges and Chevillon, but in recent years I’ve expanded my range to include Mugnier and de Montille. So far I have not regretted making those purchases. I do like Chevillon quite a lot, they are fleshier and more forward than Gouges; fleshy things can be great. L’Arlot wines maybe vigorously delicious when young but they do age rather flatteringly.


I’m hanging on to my '05 Chevillon’s until you guys tell me to open them [wink.gif] .

that '99 LSG is a stunner, isn’t it, David. Kevin Shin brought one to a NSG dinner one evening in fall of 2007, unpoured until relatively late in the evening. It blew my mind, I immediately went on the hunt. One of the most beautifully balanced young wines I’d had the pleasure to drink.

Regarding how long to age NSG - well, I think it depends, of course, on the vineyard and producer. I don’t subscribe to the notion that all gouges is undrinkable young (see above) - but I do think NSG from Vaucrains needs lots of age (more than LSG) if the producer and vintage are sound. In contrast, wines from Boudots, while benefitting from age, seem more - hmm, what’s the right word - stylish perhaps and tend to need less time to charm. Of course, I mostly drink Grivot’s Boudots so maybe that speaks of grivot - but I don’t think so.

Chevillon’s 93s are in a really great place right now if you can manage to open one without TCA (he must have had a really bad batch of corks in that vintage as I’ve experienced a very high attrition rate and so have my friends), with the Les Cailles more attractive than the Vaucrains (haven’t had the LSG).

Another producer’s NSG that I enjoy within 15 years of vintage is Bocquenet. Of course, his bottling isn’t a premier cru but it’s a terrific wine in most vintages and well worth cellaring. Both the 93 and 96 have proven to be very attractive drinks in the last five years.

97 is certainly delicious now chez Gouges, as were 2000 Pruliers and Clos des Porrets a couple of years ago-I wonder if they still are?

Another producer of merit is Domaine Leroy - I know they make a Boudots and a Vignerondes. A 1990 Vignerondes a few years ago was just superb, with density, ripeness, length, depth, complexity - the whole nine yards! And the prices 5 - 10 years ago weren’t bad! [shock.gif]

I plead the 5th amendment!

NSG is one village I don’t have a lot of in my cellar but I recently got turned on to Grivot Boudots and I’m very happy. The 2006 was smoking good a month ago, open for business but will also benefit from 5+ years in the cellar…

Hello again,

Yes, the 2000 Gouges were ravishing a couple of years ago. I had a few of bottles of LSG which I ploughed into with rabid enthusiasm. When Gouges wines sing they are utterly beguiling and suffused with charm, albeit somewhat brawny charm. Good Burgundy is just a throbbingly beddable experience.


David, regarding Gouge, my impressions are mostly as above, but I emphasize that Gouge wines appear to be barely short of indestructable. I have never had a Gouge that didn’t still have massive structure, going back to the early 90s (and I drink a lot of Barolo, so I am no tannin wuss). I think you have to age them approximately forever.

I have little experience with other NSG producers so cannot comment.

I would throw Mugneret-Gibourg’s Chaignots into the mix too. Perhaps not a chevillon vaucrains or Gouges LSG but still a glorious and consistently great NSG. Has a nice ageing profile too drinks well throughout its life IMHO.

I’m hanging onto my last 2 '02 Chevillon LSGs. I got spanked hard for opening the 1st btl a few yrs ago. Based on btl #1 the other 02s should be ready in 2017. Wonder how the Mugner LSGs are dinking? Anyone had an 05 of the Mugnier Marchale?

In addition to producer, a lot depends on vineyard. E.g., I think one generally can begin to drink wines from the Vosne side of Nuits earlier than from the heart of Nuits. So, for example, I’ve gone through most of my (fabulous) 1993 Chevillon Chaignots, but have yet to dip into my 1993 Cailles (although it may be time to start doing so).

A word about Gouges: about ten years or so ago, when I was visiting, there was an open bottle down near the barrels, and I was asked if I would like sample it. Of course, I said yes. It was a 1964 (Pruliers or Vaucrains, as best I can remember) and it was fabulous. I was told the bottle had been opened five days earlier. I don’t know if the wines can live forever, but it’s close enough for most of us.

I’ve been drinking a bunch of the '96 Leroy NSGs lately and while they are just opening up, they have a long way to go before peaking…the lesser village NSG are drinking nicely now…


Ugh. So I’ll be half dead with no taste buds left before the 2005s HDN wines I bought are ready to drink.
[stirthepothal.gif] deadhorse