Domaine Jean-Marie Guffens Mature Pouilly-Fuissé


I have been drinking and enjoying Jean-Marie Guffens’ wines for a quarter-century now. With his larger-than-life personality and tendency to utter the utterable, Guffens might not be everyone’s cup of tea. What cannot be denied is that he has the magic touch when it comes to making wine, and over the last two or three years, the demand for back vintages has dramatically increased. When I visited the winery in Vergisson this June, Guffens kindly opened three bottles, and fortunately, around a half ended up in my wine glass…the rest spilled over the table.

The 1990 Pouilly-Fuissé La Roche is certainly one of the finest among numerous mature bottles that I have tasted from Jean-Marie Guffens. There is a subtle reduction on the nose that plays to its advantage before revealing enticing scents of orange confit intermixed with oyster shell, Vervain and yellow flowers. Later, I notice a taste of butteriness accentuated by aeration, slightly obscuring some of its mineralité. The palate is well-balanced with citrus fruit, rounded in texture with saffron-tinged yellow fruit. It has a nigh-perfect line of acidity with a finish that echoes Muscadet. This is simply a delicious and quite intellectual 33-year-old Pouilly-Fuissé that will continue to give pleasure. 94/Drink 2023-2035.

The 1998 Pouilly-Fuissé Premier Jus is a wine I have drunk a few times before. Guffens remarked that he had encountered better bottles of this cuvée that, as implied by its name, comes from the free-run plus first vin de presse from three lieux-dits. The 1998 never fully clicks into fifth gear on the nose though you can tell its potential. It shows lemon verbena and peach skin scents, but they’re just a little smudged. The palate is rich, dense and intense, with a killer line of acidity, but it doesn't gel on the finish. I'll put a question mark against my score. 89?/Drink 2023-2030.

The 2001 Pouilly-Fuissé Tri de Levroutés is one of my favourite cuvées from Guffens. This has aged exceptionally well, with Mirabelle, dried honey, saffron and linseed oil scents that are all exquisitely defined and focused. The palate is plump on the entry, the residual sugar lending roundness and plushness, while the acidity keeps everything on an even keel. Seamless texture, fanning out without inhibition towards the finish, it is reminiscent of the sweet style of wines from Thévenet over in Viré-Clessé. Superb. 95/Drink 2023-2043.

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