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Domaine Goisot: In the Yonne with Guilhem Goisot and his underdogs…

Photo © James Broadway Photography

In the hills and slopes just outside the AOC of Chablis and south of Auxerre there are two AOCs: Saint-Bris, for Sauvignon Blanc and Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre (Burgundy from the hills of Auxerre) for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. These hillside soils are very, very rocky and rich in limestone to some 80-metres of depth. They also produce tiny quantities of outstanding Aligoté.

I wonder how many domaines in Burgundy have to allocate their Aligoté? Laurent Ponsot and his Clos des Monts Luisants, made from 100-plus-year-old vines, is one. Not sure about Aubert de Villaine’s Bouzeron Aligoté? There are 12.5-hectares worth of that baby though so plenty to go around? Lafarge? Rouget perhaps? Add Guilhem Goisot to this list. We would love to get more but we get what we are given.  

Thanks to some wonderfully stubborn, quality focussed growers, Aligoté’s reputation as Burgundy’s curate’s egg remains steady; it’s true that there are plenty of lacklustre examples, but the good stuff is more than worth the sniffing out. Aligoté is a vine that typically requires age (largely to moderate yields) and needs to be planted in the right site. Unfortunately, much of Burgundy’s Aligoté vines are planted in lessor terroirs and it is very often cropped too high. However, when it is made from old vines in a great terroir, and when it is managed by a great grower striving for quality, the results can be wonderful.

Back in June, Guilhem Goisot told me that, although he receives regular requests from many of his importers, less than 5% receive an allocation of the old vine Aligoté below. So we are part of the lucky few! The second wine we can offer at this time offer is a tiny reship of the Goisot Côtes d’Auxerre Bourgogne Blanc, made from Chardonnay. I challenge anyone to find another white Burgundy that offers better quality for the price. — Rob Walters

To view the wines, please visit

“… these wines deserve a higher profile and the truth of the matter is that quality is shoulder-to-shoulder with far more famous labels. In Goisot, we have a grower as meticulous and as principled as you will find anywhere and the results can be seen in the glass. Driving away from this village, population 1,101, I was reminded that delicious, complex and thought-provoking wine does not only come from the most famous areas, especially when winemakers are as talented and dedicated as Goisot.” Neal Martin,


Photo © James Broadway Photography

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