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Ric visits Domaine Faiveley

September 26, 2015

Domaine Faiveley must surely count as one of the most famous names in Burgundy. From its origins as a negociant in the wine business, bottling wines from grapes bought from growers, Faiveley has evolved to become a domaine in its own right, now owning their own parcels and controlling every step of the winemaking from the cultivation of vines right down to bottling and marketing. Faiveley has certainly come a very long way although the problem, I suspect, is that there are still people who do not appreciate enough the quality of Faiveley and its enormous ability, drive and passion. It was, indeed, our good fortune to be welcome at the door of this famous domaine on 25 September 2015 by none other than M. Erwan Faiveley, the seventh DSC_5573generation and current owner who hosted us to an wonderful morning of tasting from barrels in its cellars, followed by lunch and more wine within the cellars. It so happened as well that, on this day, Faiveley was pressing the 2015 harvest of its Musigny Grand Cru, and hearing that sent shivers of excitement through all of us, heightening the anticipation of what was in store. And as if he sensed that, Erwan wasted no time bringing us through to view its presses and vats, each bearing the name of famous plots of vineyard, reminding us instantly of the huge range of wines that Faiveley makes, following which we then descended to oenology heaven, its cellars. The following is the list of wines tasted straight from barrel:

2014 Faiveley Nuts St Georges Les Porets 1er. Fresh, succulent, savoury, weighty, good length, slightly earthy.

2014 Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Issarts 1er. A monopole. Only 20 barrels. Good concentration and fragrance, structured, subtle with quiet intensity, long. Great potential.

2014 Faiveley Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees 1er. Powerful dark flavors with bright red fruits, some wood, fleshy, harmonious, feminine. Excellent.

2014 Faiveley Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru. One of only nine grand cru monopoles in Burgundy, reminding us again of the importance of Faiveley. Very attractive, displaying bright red fruits and cherries. Slightly dry but neither lean nor vegetal. Surprisingly good for a Corton though a little short. EDSC_5635rwan related to us a long story about how this vineyard came into the family and the subsequent trials and tribulations as others tried to wrest control of it. This tasting has really changed my opinion of Corton.

2014 Faiveley Echezeaux Grand Cru. Good color ,fairly intense, smooth, good concentration, fleshy, masculine.

2014 Faiveley Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Some cedar, sweet tannins, good density, touch of briar and earth. Not distinctive. Could do with more character. Not surprising, given that Clos Vougeot is largely second division grand cru.

2014 Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. Powerful, aromatic, sweet. Excellent purity, depth and length. Very well integrated tannins, rounded, already accessible. Excellent.

2014 Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Beze Les Ouvrees Rodin Grand Cru. From a parcel very special to Faiveley. Darker tones though rather restrained now. Lovely integration, not showy. Hint of coconut. Great purity. Rounded. Excellent.

2014 Faiveley Musigny Grand Cru. Here our hearts beat faster, knowing now that Faiveley has acquired its own plot in Musigny. Dark tones, striking notes of cocoa and mocha. Open velvety textures. Excellent concentration, well managed tannins, remarkable balance. Bit short now but should develop very well in bottle. Quite outstanding.

DSC_56202015 Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons Grand Cru. Just pressed only two days ago!! We are told the 2015 is, in every way, an excellent vintage. Already showing ripe cherries ad raspberries with crisp acidity and generous proportions. Rounded. Good concentration. What a surprise… what a privilege!!

2014 Faiveley Bienvenues Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Lifted aromas of intense citrus, slightly creamy, very fresh, excellent acidity though not too crisp, displaying good linearity and definition. Excellent.

2014 Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Beautifully lifted aromas of citrus, morning dew and some grassy elements. Good focus. Excellent concentration.

I can tell you I did not spit a single drop from any of the above. Moving on, we trooped to a dining area within the cellar for a delicious lunch hosted by Erwan, followed by more wine:

2010 Faiveley Mersault Les Charmes 1er. Clear citrus, good acidity and intensity, yet light and  delicate.

DSC_56232008 Faiveley Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Lifted aromas of white flowers, very good concentration of fruit supported by flinty minerality, good delicacy, still tight. Should become even better.

2009 Faiveley Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru. Poured from magnum. A monopole. Dark, earthy tones. Powerful with velvety tannins. Yet to develop. None of the usual gruffiness and burliness of Corton. Faiveley has really changed my opinion of Corton.

2000 Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er. Still intense and vibrant, fresh, gentle, bright and slightly spicy.

1998 Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. Still displaying a youthful intensity. Balanced and open but austere at the finish.

This visit has been a real eye opener with many of us developing a newfound admiration for Faiveley. We cannot thank Erwan Faiveley enough for his time and FICOFI for making this visit possible.

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