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FICOFI: Domaine Faiveley

May 26, 2016

Domaine Faiveley is a major negociant-cum-producer with a vast portfolio. That Georges Faiveley (4th generation owner of Faiveley) was a co-founder of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin demonstrates amply the importance of Faiveley in the history of Burgundy over the last couple of centuries. Established in 1825 and still family owned, now with massive holdings of 120 ha, it is simply not quite possible for anyone with some interest in wine not to have tasted Faiveley before. Wine produced entirely from vines under its direct holdings are labelled under the Domaine, while wine produced from grapes bought from growers come under Joseph Faiveley. Now helmed by its seventh generation owner M. Erwan Faiveley since 2007, this estate has gone from strength to strength, having added the great whites of the Cote de Beaune to the domaine’s portfolio since 2008: Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru and Puligny-Montrachet La Garenne 1er.

It was good, once again, to meet up with Erwan at this FICOFI event held at Golden Peony, Conrad Centennial Singapore, 13 May 2016, where Erwan still remembered about our visit to his cellars last September. Quality at Faiveley has improved over the years through strict pruning of the vines, hand sorting of grapes at harvest and prolonged vatting times. Whereas previously the wines of Faiveley, in my opinion, tended to be somewhat backward, I have noticed that Faiveley now seems to understand the different individual pieces of terroir better and the wines now do reflect very well their origin with no lack of vibrancy and vigour.

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2014 Joseph Faiveley Puligny-Montrachet Champ Gain 1er. Dry with an attractive earthy pungency, slightly grassy, rounded and satiny smooth with a hint of peaches. Very agreeable.

2014 Joseph Faiveley Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 1er. Exuberant and highly aromatic, of melons and white roses, quite racy and exciting, excellent in supple intensity, matched by  chalky minerals, ending in a persistent finish marked by exotic tropical fruits. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Gentle aromas of morning dew sprinkled on white flowers, gleaming with glorious creme de la crème, medium-bodied, already quite open and minerally, very well-proportioned and balanced, slightly stern a the finish. Structured and poised. Not as outwardly muscular, unlike the Batard of Joseph Drouhin, but very correct, nonetheless. A wine of great nuance and promise. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er. Great color and intensity with an abundance of red and dark cherries, rounded with plenty of presence, excellent acidity and linearity. Bold and crisp at the moment but likely to develop excellent complexity over time. Excellent potential.

2016-05-13 21.27.152014 Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. Deep ruby with extended notes of cherries and mulberries and traces of ash. Structured and firm with lovely intensity and tension from the fine acidity, long and minty at the finish. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru. Great bouquet of dark cherries, raspberries and camphor, slightly darker in tone. Surprisingly open on the palate, the fruit set a bit backwards to favour a more minerally balance, very well proportioned and somewhat understated. Doesn’t call attention to itself. Needs time to flesh out. Excellent potential.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Quite an intense bouquet of raspberries and dark cherries, smooth, rounded and ripe with a tinge of sugar burnt that doesn’t disguise the fact that this wine lacks dimension and layering, consistent with Clos Vougeot in general.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Corton Faiveley Grand Cru. One of only nine grand cru monopoles in Burgundy. This wine possesses great layering and intensity, medium-full and already quite open with bright fruits supported by a rich vein of dark currants, rounded and well-balanced, never overwhelming. Far richer and more sumptuous than Corton in general without any vegetal trace. Consistent with a previous tasting from barrel last September in Faiveley’s cellars.

2011 Domaine Faiveley Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Rather restraint on the nose but the complexity is unmistakable, displaying an abundance of coconut, fig, white flowers and supported by chalky minerality with traces of icing. Excellent in definition, layering and balance. Quite full but not showy. Excellent, but I think the 2014 will surpass this in time to come.

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2011 (left) and 2014 Joseph Faiveley Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru

2011 Joseph Faiveley Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. Superb bouquet here. Beautifully aromatic, deeply intense and highly captivating, matched by notes of white chocolate, varnish, coconut, fig and full creme de la creme with understated minerality and cutting acidity that creates a fine tension across the palate, medium to full-bodied, fabulous in intensity and concentration though yet to develop further complexity. This is a confident and luscious beauty, a wine that’s truly singing. Outstanding.

2010 Domaine Faiveley Latriceres-Chambertin Grand Cru. Clear ruby, displaying intense dark cherries, raspberries and some smoke, opening up on the mid-palate where it is layered but lacking in structure and detail.

2010 Domaine Faiveley Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru. Feminine, as expected from this growth. Pleasant and solid with a forward balance of raspberries and mulberries as if to make up for the lack of layering and complexity.


M. Erwan Faiveley (standing, fourth from right)

2007 Joseph Faiveley Pommard Les Rugiens 1er. Darker in tone and colour with dark cherries and raspberries of great intensity, matched by firm acidity and lovely tension on the palate. Robust but unevolved.

2007 Domaine Faiveley Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Cool ripe fruit, distinctly autumnal, with good harmony and linearity but lacking in distinction.

1995 Domaine Faiveley Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Perhaps it is the vintage but this is a much better Clos Vougeot. Deeper with excellent fruit at just the right degree of ripeness, still fresh, open and layered with far greater complexity and detail, finishing on a minty note. Still youthful.

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