While we place a lot of our focus on the great wines to come out of Italy here at Xtrawine, it would be irresponsible of us to not acknowledge and appreciate the many wonderful wines that the rest of the world has given to us. After all, the only way that the industry will continue to evolve and expand is if every winemaker looks far and wide for the inspiration that they need in order to produce an even better product.
As such, we have decided to take a look at a winemaker from the Bourgogne region of France. Domaine Antonin Guyon may not have a history that stretches back quite as far as some of its more illustrious peers, but the company has quickly developed a reputation for producing absolutely exceptional wines and has an interesting history for its short tenure in the wine industry thus far.
The story of Domaine Antonin Guyon actually starts in the 20th century, with the genesis of the company being in the 1960s. During an era that was transitional for many countries, with things like the civil rights movement, the conflict between communism and democracy and the peace and love movement that was ushered in by the culture of the day, one man was making a transition from what he had known for practically his entire life into an industry that would allow him to express his passions and demonstrate his skills when it comes to wine.
It was Antonin Guyon, then at the age of 55, who made the decision to buy plots of vineyard that covered a number of appellations in France. His first two purchases were located in Gevrey-Chambertin and Meursault, offering a perfect hilly location for the growing of his vines and allowing the patriarch of the company to begin establishing a reputation for itself.
Antonin soon brought his son Dominique into the fold, who combined a similar passion for the wine industry with a level of business knowledge that allowed the company to bring together around 350 different plots that were owned by more than 80 different people and companies through the commune of Meuilley in the Hautes Côtes de Nuits.
This allowed the company to spread their influence across many different appellations, meaning that they quickly built a line-up of different wines that is rivalled by very few others in the modern wine industry. They finished off their collection with 54 acres of south-facing vines in the region, which provided excellent soil and allowed the family to fully cement their roots and establish themselves as players in the wine industry.
The company’s quick expansion required more family members to join the industry, with Dominique’s brother Michel quickly becoming a part of what has now become the family business. Today, the pair spend much of their time in their Savigny-lès-Beaune cellars, looking after the winemaking processes of wide range of vineyards. In fact, together that now oversee the creation and overall quality of fifteen different appellations, again demonstrating the company’s dedication to providing as varied an option as possible when it comes to the wines they produce.
Of course, quality is not all that it takes in the wine industry, as it is important for the owners of any winemaking company to have plenty of business savvy to ensure that their products reach the audience that they intend it to reach and to allow for the continued growth of the company.
This is why both Michel and Domonique spend much of their time in the modern era of the Domaine Antonin Guyon taking care of the administration, marketing and sales of the many different wines that fall under the family’s auspices. It is this dedication to the business side of things that has allowed the company to achieve such swift recognition for their accomplishments and the pair continue to play an important role in the continued expansion of the company.
Of course, that isn’t to say that their work, particularly that of Dominique, is removed from the vinification process altogether. With the help of Vincent Nicot, who is the company’s vineyard manager and cellar master, Dominque continues to be an important factor of this vinification process and he still plays an important part in determining whether or not the wines produced by Domaine Antonin Guyon are of the quality that is expected of the company.
In the modern era, the brothers continue to promote and build upon the legacy that was started by their favour way back in the 1960s. It was the endeavour and desire of a 55 year old man that gave birth to Domaine Antonin Guyon and it is the hard work and dedication to quality that allows his two sons to continue on his footsteps and ensure this French winemaker established a reputation for quality that few others can rival.
There are so many great wines that come under the Domaine Antonin Guyon banner that it is quite difficult to choose just one to be the focus of this piece. However, after a lot of deliberation, we have decided to take a closer look at the Antonin Guyon Corton Clos du Roy 2009 due to its quality making it representative of everything that the company stands for.
This is a gorgeous, ruby red wine that is sure to catch the eye immediately and has a consistency and elegant colour that can be enjoyed long before the wine is introduced to the nose.
Upon taking in the scents you will immediately notice a fruity bouquet that is particularly prominent in darker fruits. Black cherry and raspberry should be amongst the notes that you spot immediately, offering a hint to the complex flavours that you will enjoy when you finally take your first sip.
To the taste the wine is both elegant and pure, combining beautiful tannins with a wonderfully crafted structure that makes it a true joy to drink. It is rich and concentrated, meaning it is best enjoyed with a dish that offers similarly rich flavours.