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Domaine Fichet – 2013

DSC06536Tasted in Igé with Olivier Fichet, 22 April 2015.

Domaine Fichet
651 route d’Azé – le Martorêt
71960 Igé
Tel: +33 3 85 33 30 46
www.domainefichet.fr

This domaine began flight in 1976, started by Olivier’s parents, before that it was in the local coop (Cave des Vignerons d’Igé). Oliver’s brother, Pierre-Yves joined his parents in 1988, and two years later it was Olivier’s turn.

The original part of the domaine, from 1976, houses traditional concrete tanks, though today with an epoxy coating on the interior, and also today, all with thermo-regulation. The tanks are mainly sized between 20 and 35 hl plus some of 50. Olivier say that it allows them to keep a separate for many of their small parcels. The domaine is 34 hectares today – ‘How many parcels?’ I ask – ‘Lots!’ replies Olivier. Actually from the 4 different grape types, they elevage 20 different cuvées. Barrels are only used for their cuvée prestige, in both pinot and chardonnay…

They do everything from A-Z themselves, including their own bottling, and including their Crémant, using a gyropallet. Even in the recent low yielding vintages, they have produced 200,000 bottles per year.

Olivier says that their sales are well diversified – lots of individuals buy directly from their shop – almost 30k bottles per year. Overall, 40% are exported, 40% to individuals and the rest are sold to cavistes and restaurants…

The wines…

There are even vendanges-tardives wines in 2013 – it’s a big range here – so I chose to concentrate on their whites – and what outstanding wines they were!

2014 Chardonnay, Vin de France
From the other side of the road to the Mâconnais appellation, hence, the AOC, or rather, the lack thereof!
Bright, fresh, quite powerful and certainly an inviting aromatic. Just a little round, just a little rich too, but with a fine bead of acidity through the middle. Lots of ripe fruit in the finishing flavour.

2014 Bourgogne Aligoté
From Mâconnais – one hectare and one cuvée, in bottle 1 month.
Fresh aromas of ripe melon – it’s quite pretty. Bright in the mouth too but with a lovely combination of fresh intensity and concentration – really excellent aligoté!
2014 Macon Villages La Crépillionne
A lieu-dit in Igé.
A more discreet nose but with fine and fresh highlights – really very good. A width of concentration but with very fine balance. There’s a step-up in intensity even after you swallow – excellent again!

All the last three wines elevaged in tank with low temperature fermentations, and are already bottled.

2013 Macon-Burgy Les 3 Terroirs
A small village with 80 inhabitants, this a blend of parcels from that village.
Screwcap – and probably because of that there’s some reduction. Swirling quickly lifts the majority. Quite large-scaled in the mouth, but still with some reductive flavours. The shape and intensity are good but the reduction is a little too much in the short time I’m with this wine – it seems to be slowly blowing off though…

2013 Macon-Igé Chateau London
8% of this is elevaged in barrel. 5 hectares this parcel, the oldest vines elevaged in barrel but there are multiple vine ages. Long elevage on fine lees. 1978 was the first vintage that they labelled with this lieu-dit. “Argilo-calcaire with a slow ripening, but always ripe by the end of the season. Even in the 1400s the lieu dit was there, but no Chateau!”
A hint of oak is noticeable on the nose, with a floral overtone. Wide and fresh but with plenty of buffering richness. This shows plenty of oak notes so I wouldn’t personally drink this before it’s about 3 years old – but I find it very fine!

2013 Macon-Burgey Les Verchères
Elevage in barrel, 20% in new oak.
A bright and pretty line of green lime, only very slowly rises a little creamy oak as a support. Big, round, with richness but also balancing freshness. There’s a mineral expression here with just a little saline character. This is very good! The oak is hardly noticeable in the flavours. Very good wine.

2013 Pouilly-Fuisse Terroir de Fuissé
From a long-term contract of purchased grapes – the vineyard work done as the domaine wants and harvested when they want too. Same vinification as the last wine with 20% new oak.
There’s a fine fresh line of aroma with a little oak-packing at the sides. Lots of action here, energy and complexity plus not a little power too. Long, again more an impression of texture than flavour from the oak. Excellent!
2013 Macon-Igé La Cra
A steep lieu-dit – not planted before as it’s so challenging – lots of small chalky stones as the name suggests. Similar vinification to the last two, but increasing the % of new oak to 30% and also the average age of the other barrels being a little younger. 45 yo vines bottled in December – 12 months in barrel and then 3 in tank.
A deep, very floral nose – really inviting. Big, mouth-filling but richness balanced with fine energy and complexity – this is very impressive wine, quite unlike any other I’ve tasted. Special…

The following series were tasted blind before showing the label:

2009 Mâcon-Igé La Cra
Deeper colour. A more ripe nose, glacé lemon rather than flowers… Wide and slightly padded, with a ripe core of fruit flavour too. Bigger shape in the finish, super length, clearly a sunny vintage but good balance.

2008 Mâcon-Igé La Cra
Also medium golden colour. Much more age on the nose, a hint of gunflint and some direct roasted lemon skin. Really beautiful balance here, concentrated too. The flavours are love or hate – I love – when I know the vintage, it’s actually younger showing than I might have expected – Yum

2005 Mâcon-Igé La Cra
Deeper colour again. Quite evolved with quince and baked apple. Fine balance with clearly ripe and evolved fruit, almost raisin-like – but not a trace of oxidation. Impressive stuff!

2004 Mâcon-Igé La Cra
Also deep golden colour. The nose is wide and waxy with an attractively faint pyrazine – nettle. Fresher in shape with more open acidity. This is a really fine palate – the nose is now opening but more from the perspective of a little gunflint impression. What a great series of wines!!!

Now time to get sweet:

Quintessence 2009
Started with testing many parcels but ended up with a particular selection of old vines with small grapes that achieve porriture noble with some ease (if allowed!) – it depends on the vintage, but harvesting can be as late as the start of December – its anyway not possible every year. Very little botrytis in this 2009 vintage…
Freshness despite the ripe notes, with concentrated flowers. Wide, almost textured like tannin, really clinging concentration of flavour, but not in a cloying way – good balance. Really excellent length. yum!

2013 Quintessence
100% botrytis this time. Only 340 half bottles, equivalent to 7 hl/ha. Barrel fermented to 13.8%.
Golden. This smells gorgeous – wax, lanolin, and super-focused too. Really begs you to take a sip… There’s something of a noisette flavour here, massively concentrated and rich, with, I would say, just enough balancing acidity. A wine to sip by the thimble-full – really super length. Bravo… It’s really not possible to say that it is chardonnay – wow!

2005 Quintessence
There was a lot of botrytis here
Starts with a reductive note, behind is baked quince and apple. Very good freshness, less richness but a macerated raisin flavour that is very becoming. A less complete sweet wine than the extra-ordinary 2013, but no less an experience in the glass!

2004 Quintessence
Again very much botrytis.
Much darker coloured, and with darker aromas too – I can’t really vocalise what they are – sort of brown though – but in a good way!

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