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Faiveley – 2012s

DSC02929The following were tasted with Erwan Faiveley in Nuits St.Georges, 30 Jan, 2014.

Erwan Faiveley on 2012:
“Very heterogeneous. We certainly have some of the best wines of the last 10 years.

  • For Mercurey/Chalonnaise the quality is extraordinary.
  • For the Côte de Nuits, the quality is good to extraordinary.
  • For the Côte de Beaune the wines range from brilliant to so-so; sometimes the wines are too big and concentrated.

“So, I think that the average 2010 is better, but the best 2012s are much better! We kept quite a bit of CO2 in the 2007s and that was a success – so will probably do similar in 2012.”

The reds:

2012 Mercurey Clos du Roi
Destemmed and bottled (probably in that order!)
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is pretty and clean, with deep red fruit. There is depth and presence here, and above-average mid-palate complexity. For a wine from this region, this is very, very good indeed. I love the intensity of flavour.

2012 Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
Apparently in need of one more racking before assemblage.
This is aromatically modest – shy but somehow suave – clean, precise red berries. The CO2 blurs the texture slightly. There are no fireworks, but there is density and a growing, growing width of flavour – it’s long-finishing too. I think this will be super, but an elegant rather than bombastic Pommard.

2012 Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Chaignots
Some whole-clusters here.
Deep, dark-red fruit – this nose is rather inviting. In the mouth this has super width, lifted by fine acidity. The fruit is cool and red – very interesting – this is lovely. There are faint, sweet barrel notes in the finish too. Super wine.

2012 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les St.Georges
Faiveley have one of the smallest ownerships in this vineyard.
The nose is not so wide, but the (not too dark) is very lovely. Unfortunately a little CO2 spoils my appreciation of the wine’s texture, but the fruit seems high-toned and complex, and has lovely and very long finishing flavour. Impressive wine.

2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
Faiveley already had 2 hectares of this, and are adding 2 hectares more from the Dupont-Tisserandot acquisition!
The nose has high tones and faint spice but today is rather shy of depth. There’s just a little fat with a slowly growing expression of ripe tannin coming to the surface, There’s a little salty minerality and a darker finishing flavour. Here is a rather complete wine – lovely stuff.

2012 Echézeaux
From the south-facing Combe d’Orveaux, next to their plot of Chambolle and Prieur’s Musigny.
This has understated, but very pretty red fruit – it’s ripe and hints of, without fully revealing, a floral note too. After the Cazetiers this is more long-limbed and gangly but has good texture and a lovely complexity. Simply a very fine, interesting and individual character – just how I love my wines.

2012 Latricières-Chambertin
Medium colour. The nose is very elegant indeed; flowers, red fruit. In the mouth this has a cooler personality, quite some flavour dimension and like the Echézeaux, the tannin builds and slowly comes into view. The flavour is rather modest in the finish, yet somehow vivid and long – despite its modesty if has perfect focus. This wine will never be about absolute power, but what a glass to curl up with!

2012 Mazis-Chambertin
The plot is just below the Clos des Ruchottes and Clos des Issarts.
Spicy and dynamic – the nose holds real interest. A little CO2 spoils my appraisal of the texture a little yet this seems well upholstered, a little gras if you like, and has an intense, linear expression before widening in the mid-palate and then slowly fading. After the contemplation of the Latricières, here is a wine of ebullience – like first meeting the person who got to the party one hour before you!

2012 Chambertin Clos de Bèze
Faiveley have three separate plots in Bèze, and have always vinified them separately.
Medium, medium-plus colour. This nose has super depth – a red-fruited depth. Here is a really excellent blend of attributes; supporting tannin and a cool but perfectly ripe fruit. There seems little minerality in the mid-palate but it’s there in the super-long finish.

2012 Chambertin Clos de Bèze Ouvrées Rodin
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose gives a padded, textured impression with pretty red fruits and lots and lots of depth. The texture is really silky, a faint tannin slowly floats to the surface but it is very modest having been engulfed by the rest of the flavours. There’s a faint salty tang – just like the Cazetiers – and then a very wide line of flavour ushers you through the mid-palate into the finish. This is basically a much more contemplative version of the previous Bèze, similar to the Latricières but with even more density. Clearly something of a ‘wow’ wine…

2012 Corton, Clos des Cortons Faiveley
This vineyard has the highest planting density of the whole Faiveley estate – 12-13k vines per hectare.
The nose is wide and fresh with faint herbs. Wow! Here is amazing density. A big, round wine with a little tannic drag but basically a very fine texture. The shape seems to remain round all the way to the finish. ‘After Rodin’ the finishing intensity is somewhat modest despite very impressive length, but the density is amazing.

The whites:

2012 Mercurey Clos Rochette
The nose mixes high tones with quite some aromatic density – even a hint of sea-shell! Impressive shape, despite modest fruit flavour – quite some minerality though. I dare say, I might describe this as a ripe Chablis (blind). There’s good style and interest if not quite a perfect level of incisive freshness – for Chablis! – Great Mercurey!

2012 Puligny-Montrachet 1er La Garenne
From a tiny plot of vines.
The nose offers high tones, good depth though less overt density of aroma. The balance is well-crafted. A slowly, slowly evolving flavour and complexity ends very nice indeed. This wine started quite shy but ends up very talkative and with a mineral flourish in the finish.

2012 Bienvenues Bàtard-Montrachet
Erwan notes that this wine and the Bâtard will now spend some time in stainless-steel before bottling to increase the apparent level of freshness – he says that he already sees a big change.
This nose has fresher, higher tones and more elegance. It’s not so deep but becomes more and more complex in the glass, augmented by a few barrel notes. Full in the mouth, hints of salt and very mineral – there seems a soft-textured coating in my mouth. The acidity comes through very slowly. Another wine that is contemplative, rather than dynamic.

2012 Bâtard-Montrachet
This nose has more width and density yet it is a fine and never cumbersome impression. Another wine whose flavour profile is overwhelmingly mineral – though starting narrow seems a little anonymous for the first impression. Yet it is longer in the finish and like many here starts narrow but gets wider and wider in both flavour and interest.

2012 Corton-Charlemagne
From 0.7 ha of vines on the on the Ladoix side, just above the Clos des Cortons Faiveley.
The nose is very fine and very pretty indeed – no waiting for this one! – but it is a nose of absolute elegance, rather than power. Right from the start, this is focused, articulate and dynamic – there’s even a hint of astringent tanning. Simply a performance of bravado – versus the last wines that could have been academics 😉 Brilliant stuff

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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