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FICOFI: 2017 Faiveley Montrachet Grand Cru

March 23, 2019
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Jerome Flous, winemaker of Domaine Faiveley

This FICOFI event on 05 March 2019 at Peach Garden, OCBC Centre, Singapore, featured a well-curated promenade of 2017 wines of Domaine Faiveley, still in cask, followed by a generous triptych of Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint Georges 1er, Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru and Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru to go with dinner with its winemaker  M. Jerome Flous in attendance. Having joined the domaine in 2007 at the behest of its seventh generation owner M. Erwan Faiveley (who took over from his father Francois in 2005), Jerome has largely been responsible for the shift in style of Faiveley over the past decade: wines that are more individualistic and expressive about each unique terroir, imbued with more power and layering without sacrificing the elegant beauty of Burgundy. With holdings of more than 130 ha, Faiveley certainly has plenty of depth and volume to offer. It is, therefore, not surprising that every Faiveley tasting event places severe stress on one’s mental and liver capacity. In spite of the allotted 90 minutes, I barely had time to finish up the promenade before moving on to dinner. It was a pity we didn’t have a wider range of the 2017 whites to taste (no Batard, no Corton-Charlemagne), but there was still plenty of excellent stuff. It’s no coincidence that the 2017 reds featured this evening come entirely from the Cote de Nuits. Erwan had explained to me in person last year that one has to be highly selective about 2017 reds and he’d felt that the Cote de Nuits reds were preferable than those of the Cote de Beaune. And it appears he is absolutely right, as the 2017 reds are nothing short of excellent, showing great sophistication with plenty of depth, layering and controlled power. Faiveley has had to buy in grapes for NSG Les Saint Georges 1er and Puligny-Montrachet Les Referts 1er in recent years while its own vines are being renewed, hence accounting for the non-domaine label for these two wines after 2015.

2017 Joseph Faiveley Puligny-Montrachet Les Referts 1er. Raw nutmeg with wild grassy elements on the nose, showing lovely restraint. Very well-proportioned with good focus, structured with fine intensity of clear citrus before finishing on a quiet note.

2017 Domaine Faiveley Bienvenues-Batard Montrachet Grand Cru. A distinct step up from the 1er, more lifted and poised with a rich creamy tone that led to an excellent presence of ripe clear citrus. Rather tight initially, uncoiling itself after some time to reveal superb acidity and layering, displaying great restraint and elegance with controlled intensity, finishing with a lovely tangy mouthfeel. Excellent.

2017 Joseph Faiveley Montrachet Grand Cru. The bouquet here is thoroughly unique, highly lifted in its perfumed exuberance of varnish, dense white flowers and vanillin that matched very well with very fine white peppery tones, longans, wild flowers and traces of nutmeg on the palate, very gently layered with lovely transparency and fine acidity, superbly proportioned and balanced, finishing with quiet refinement and linearity. Early days still, but already quite outstanding. Only 1 barrel available annually since 2014, from grapes purchased (from the Puligny side of Montrachet) in exchange for 2 barrels of Faiveley’s Chambertin-Clos de Beze.

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2017 Joseph Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint Georges 1er. Expressive nose of raspberries and bright cherries amid traces of vanillin that carried well onto the soft fleshy palate with lovely ripeness and concentration, yielding transparent textures suffused with saline minerals, subtly structured with highly supple tannins and subdued acidity. Very fine.

2015 Joseph Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint Georges 1er. Bright crimson. Exuding a gentle earthy pungency, this wine is beautifully poised with an abundance of red fruits with a bright polished sheen on the palate, its supple tannins conferring highly seamless textures with a soft gentle ferrous depth, finishing with good linearity. Already highly approachable. Quite excellent.

2017 Domaine Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er. Gentle red fruits dominate, softly aromatic with good density and oiliness in its mid-body that conferred a bit of boldness, imbued with bright salinity. Good finish.

2017 Domaine Faiveley Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Forward balance of red fruits. Rounded and fleshy, coiled with tight intensity, not yielding much detail. A bit too overdone, I feel.

2017 Domaine Faiveley Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru. Red fruits dominate with some stern minerality on the nose that carried well onto the palate with gravelly detail though quite subtly integrated, softly structured with fine intensity.

2017 Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru. A perennial favourite within Faiveley’s portfolio, the Latricieres in 2017 is showing well, subtly flavoured with dark roses and red fruits that exude a lovely rosy fragrance. Very well layered on the palate with excellent presence and purity, already open and fleshy with fine intensity and vigour. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. Deep ruby. Effusive in perfumed aromas, covered with great open concentration of ripe wild berries, grassy elements and earth, gently nuanced with subtle intensity. Highly supple with poised elegance, tapering to a rich velvety finish. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru. As expected, the king of Chambertin exudes a bold presence of ripe wild berries, earth, dark cherries and black currants, structured with excellent intensity of fruit with fine inner precision and layered with highly detailed earthy minerals, yet impeccably proportioned for such a masculine wine. Already accessible now with great potential for future complexity. Quite a complete wine already even at this stage. Outstanding.

2017 Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru. This monopole is highly aromatic with an open bouquet of perfumed red cherries and strawberries, very bright and bold with faint overtones of rye, malt and paraffin amidst dense red fruits, displaying fabulous intensity and concentration. One of my perennial favourites. Excellent.

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This was followed by the triptych of NSG Les Saint Georges, Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley and Mazis-Chambertin at dinner, featuring three vintages per wine where the 2013 and 2007 were common to all…

2015 Domaine Faiveley Puligny-Montrachet Les Referts 1er. Pale. Notes of cool vanillin with distinct bright minerals dominate on the nose with further dense white floral tones and wild grass on the bright minerally palate, revealing raw detail amid the lovely acidity and concentration with traces of paraffin, just slightly short. Quite excellent.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint Georges 1er. This wine exudes a great earthy pungency with a forward balance, excellent in concentration and intensity of fruit with an acidic spine. Bright, bold, powerful and deep without being too assertive, showing tremendous swagger. Highly attractive. Very successful for a tough vintage.

2007 Domaine Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint Georges 1er. Complex earthy nose with some evolution. Deeply layered with abundant fruit and complex minerality that is particularly rich and sophisticated. Very classy. Almost opulent. Superb.

1999 Domaine Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint Georges 1er. Incredibly deep garnet core, proffering lifted dark currants and dark plums with a medicinal trace. Beautifully integrated and structured with gravelly detail and earthiness amid deep velvety textures that impart great succulence, finishing in a flourish of open intensity. Quite glorious.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru. Some early evolution is evident. Sleek narrow structure, imbued with very good depth of red plums that impart fine presence but somehow it lacks distinction. Probably a vintage-related issue.

2007 Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru. Outstanding bouquet of complex deep velvety characters, deep dark berries and dark cherries with an attractive earthy pungency that carried very well onto the medium-full palate. Rich and opulent, poised with lovely crisp acidity, brimming with quiet intensity. Superb.

2000 Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru. Evolved with a vermillion rim surrounding a deep garnet core, proffering deep dark currants amid slightly dryish textures with overtones of white smoke and licorice. Fleshy and rounded with excellent concentration and good transparency, just a tad short. Quite excellent.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. Closed on the nose though the palate is rather full, imbued with gentle dark currants and black berries that belie its bold tannic intensity, quite seamless but lacking inner definition. Short as well.

2007 Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. Dark in colour and tone. Medium-full, open with a lovely succulence of tangy dark currants and ripe raspberries that stretched with fine linearity to a long glowing finish. Quite excellent.

2003 Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. Glorious hue of deep ruby. Closed on the nose though the palate is beautifully open with chiselled definition, imbued with a deep velvety cushion of ripe raspberries and wild berries with overtones of smouldering ember without any trace of heaviness nor heat stress. Excellent.

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