Tuesday 8 May 2012

A Magic Night With Faiveley Wines

I was invited to a tasting of 2009 Faiveley wines with Bernard Hervet, the chief winemaker, present and I of course jumped on the opportunity.
It was a very interesting tasting with lots of stunning wines and upfront comments from Bernard Hervet about a range of topics.

He took over the wine making in 2005 and have since changed almost everything. The barrels have been replaced, when the harvest begins, the upbringing etc. You could sense that he wasn´t that impressed with the earlier Faiveley wines, although he didn´t say that outright (so that have to be my interpretation...)

He compared 2009 to 1959 and said it was "very generous in terms of balance and sweetness" and continued with a tip - if you can feel a moccha note in a young Burgundy vintage, it is normally a really great vintage that can age well.

Well, on to the moccha hunt...

2009 Nuits St. Georges Les Damodes, Faiveley
A young, very fresh, lightish nose with notes of lingonberries, blueberries, pine nuts, dried herbs and a cool oak note. Cool and fine. Very fresh.
The taste is a bit tense at first but soon opens up with a lovely rasberry fruit and notes of forest floor, lingon bushes and expensive leather. Very refined. Light on its feet but lots of character. Very fine.
91p (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées, Domaine Faiveley
A stunning wine from start to finish! The nose is sooo gorgeous with notes of lingonberry jam, christmas spices, summer flowers, expensive leather and a lovely perfumed note. I could sit and sniff on this for hours.
The taste is cool, elegant and poised with notes of lingonberries, rasberries, assorted spices and the feeling of a cool autumn walk in the forest. And it has a good punch, albeit the elegance. According to Bernard Hervet this plot is just next to Bonnes Mares. And this was, in his book, for sipping on its own. He sad "to serve this to a Boeuf Bourguignon would be criminal" :-)
95p (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers, Domaine Faiveley
A bigger, meatier nose with a lovely moist earth scent alongside notes of ripe rasberries, dark chocolate, almond paste, and wait, isn´t it? Oh, yes it is, a distinct note of moccha coffe! Very deep and fine. A big structured wine.
The taste is pure, fresh and sweet with notes of rasberry coulis, chocolate, moccha coffe again and new leather. The finish is very long, tight and ends with a foursquare note. I have no reservations that this will turn out to be a great wine in due course, but the finish wasn´t as great as the others.
Bernard Hervet thought that Les Cazetiers is generally better than the Clos St Jacques spot and should be elevated to a Grand Cru.
92p (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Chambertin Clos de Bèze V.V., Domaine Faiveley
Somewhat mixed emotions about this wine. On one hand - extremely glad to have tasted it - one of the best wines so far this year. On the other hand - a little frustrating that I can´t get hold of it.
If a win the lottery then? Nope. These bottle came from the family reserve - one barrel - only 300 bottles made. The Clos de Bèze for sale, that is sold out by the way..., is not a VV.
How was the wine then you ask? The nose is so concentrated, so tight, so deep that words can´t do it justice. It offers up the sweetest rasberries, the richest scented summer flowers, heeps of freshly grounded coffe and a big bonfire in a distance. This nose is to kill and die for.
The taste is more muted, it has the same concentration, the same sweetness and intensity, but even with the most vigorous swirling in the mouth, you can´t really get it out. The finish does go on for over a minute. A perfect wine in the making, too bad I never will get to taste it down the road.
98p (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Corton Clos des Corton, Domaine Faively
I have tasted this monopole several times, last time it was the 1990 the other year, and that was still hard as nails. The 2009 opens up with a tight, young, impressive nose with notes of wild rasberries, dark chocolate, warm herbs, iron and the same bonfire note as in the Clos de Bèze. Very, very deep. A lovely perfumed note appears with air. Very intense.
The taste is tight, focused and just great with a great dollop of young, sandy, sweet tannins. The fruit is concentrated, sweet and yummy. The finish is very long and ends with a marvelous purity. Great stuff!
96p (tasted 2012/05)

As the Burgundy tradition calls for, the whites was served after the reds. And what a lineup!

2009 Chablis Les Clos, Domaine Faiveley
If I understand it completely, this is made from bought in grapes. None the less, a stellar wine. The nose is young, fresh and delicate with notes of grey pears, oyster shells, lime peel and sugared water. Very salivating.
The taste is pure as a mountain river with an intense lemon note, there are lemons in all kind of shapes - peel, juice and lemon cream. Very long and focused. Really lovely.
93p (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Bâtard-Montrachet, Domaine Faiveley
This almost perfect creature was served out of a magnum - the object of my wet dreams now...
What can you say - the nose is bottomless deep and hauntingly beautiful with everything that makes world class Chardonnay - white peaches, cold butter, summer flowers, dusting sugar, sweet minerals, ripe pears and a hint of banana peel. This is as good as it gets. Although very young of course.
The taste is brilliant, pure, intense and hedonistic at the same time and goes on forever. Notes of lemon cream, cap gun powder, grey pears, white peaches and sweet minerals fills the mouth. This is, also, perfection in the making. Give this baby another 5+ years and it will knock your socks off! :-)
As good as the 2008 Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet from Faiveley that made my Top 10 list last year - http://barolista.blogspot.se/2012/01/ten-most-memorable-wines-of-2011.html
98p (tasted 2012/08)

2009 Corton-Charlemagne, Domaine Faiveley
In my view, a mistake to put the Corton Charlie after the Bâtard, but what do I know... But nevertheless, this is a gorgeous wine, with a nose that offers up lovely notes of grey pears, cookie dough, summer flowers, rose water and blood oranges. A bit restrained but it has a great intensity.
The taste is very young, very fresh and cook with notes of flint, wet rocks, grey pears, dry licorice and cookie dough. A long, intense finish. Very, very young. This baby needs at least another 3-5 years to open up some. Great wine. This comes from the same plot as the Clos des Corton, just a little higher up.
94p (tasted 2012/05)

The tasting part of the evening was offer and we were greated with some food and more Faiveley wines to match!
First out was a aspagarus soup with a bottle of

2007 Chablis Les Clos, Domaine Faiveley
It was interesting to compare the 07 and 09 versions of the same wine. The 07 had opened up much more and went perfectly with the soup. Interesting enough it was by far the best match, the 09 whites didn´t go that well with the soup.
The nose is deep, fruity and fine with notes of ripe pears, minerals, hard candy and crushed sea shells. Very good. A touch of metal after a while but not in a negative way.
The taste is pure, fresh and medium intense with a creamy minerality and notes of grey pears, lemon cream and a fresh after-the-rain note. A medium long finish. Very good but the 09 has more intensity and stuffing.
89p (tasted 2012/05)

Then we were served a yummy Boeuf Bourguignong and two more red Faiveleys. While Bernard Hervet wasn´t looking I tried the Chambolle-Musigny with the Boeuf and he was right - not a great match although maybe not a crime...:-)

2008 Nuits St Georges Aux Chaignots, Domaine Faiveley
A deep, sweet, lovely nose with notes of lingonberries, smoke, christmas spices and a fresh forest floor. Very deep and fine. A touch of meat after a while.
The taste is still young, intense and tight with notes of red currants, lingonberries, chocolate, green peppars and a fine iron note. Long and fresh. Went great with the Boeuf!
91p (tasted 2012/05)

2007 Echezeaux, Domaine Faiveley
At first we was not impressed, the nose was fine but the taste was flat and rather dull. Another bottle was opened and that was much more like it! The nose is deep, meaty and fine with notes of blueberries, rasberries, sweet flowers, herbs and new leather. Very fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is tight, sweet and creamy with lots of lingonberries, rasberries, dry licorice, chocolate and a nice earthy note. The finish is long, sweet and intense. Drinking great now but this could be kept for lots of years. Very, very good.
92p (tasted 2012/05)

2007 Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Domaine Faiveley
Another magnum hits the table! Give me some! The nose just explodes from the glass with notes of chocolate covered rasberries, licorice, sweet forest floor, a touch of meat and a lovely smoky note. This has matured somewhat and is sweet and lovely, although it is far from being mature. Great depth.
The taste is more tight that the nose and the fruit is lip smacking good with sweet blue- and lingonberries, dark chocolate, hard cherry candy, smoke and some cigarr tobacco. A fine freshness in the finish. Not as heavy as one might think a Chambertin in this stage would be, this is in a great drinking window. Yummy!
94p (tasted 2012/05)

I walked home with a smile on my lips, pondering over some of Bernard Hervets opions - "in all 2007 and 1979´s there is a touch of sweet orange peel"; if a wine have a high acidity level, like 86, then decant, otherwise never"; "I´m a spoiled guy"...I felt like one too....:-)


  1. Sounds like an awesome evening. Well written report that makes me thirsty! Try to sneak out with the V.V. (and the Montrachet) inside your coat the next time :)

    1. Thanks! If I get the chance I will, but with a VV inside me instead...:-)