While there is no one secret to Jean-Marie’s success, he has a very clear philosophy that he has followed from day one. Following the traditions of his father and uncle, he only makes wine from vines that are 30 years or older, believing that until the vine develops a root system it does not deliver flavour. All the wine produced from young vines is sold on to négociants.
There is an emphasis on working extensively in the vineyards. Beyond only using old vines, he debuds the vines prior to flowering, but eschews a green harvest, believing the old vines are balanced enough to reach adequate ripeness and instil a complex flavour profile.
Domaine Fourrier’s Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes comes from 12 separate parcels dotted around the appellation, whereas his Morey-Saint-Denis comes from one site in Clos Solon, just north of the Route D974.
All four of the domaine’s Premiers Crus are located in Gevrey-Chambertin, with three of them (Les Goulots, Combe au Moine and Clos Saint-Jacques) located on the higher-altitude, cooler Combe Lavaux. Despite their close proximity, each of the wines offers a distinctly different flavour profile. The Les Goulots Premier Cru is east-facing and in the shade by 4pm, due to the nearby forest which gives the wine a beguiling, cooler character compared to neighbouring Combe aux Moines. This south-facing flatter site is warmer– the walled clos better reflecting the heat too, adding more richness when compared to Les Goulots. The Clos Saint-Jacques Premier Cru further south is the top wine of the estate, coming from some of the vineyard’s oldest vines, planted in 2010. It is frequently cited as a wine of Grand Cru status, producing a richer style with more mineral complexity.
The Griotte-Chambertin is the only Grand Cru wine belonging to the domaine, situated directly below Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. The vines in the Fourrier plot were planted in 1928.