Tasted in Nuits St.Georges with winemaker Jerôme Flous, 20 April 2018.
8 Rue du Tribourg
Tel: +33 3 80 61 04 55
Link to Latricières-Chambertin profile
Domaine Faiveley are the second-largest owners of Latricières-Chambertin, with a block of 1.2067 hectares, sandwiched between the vines of Rossignol-Trapet to the south and Drouhin-Laroze to the north. Faiveley’s vines sit directly in front of the Combe de Grisard where there is a small cone de dejection – “Really the soil is a little different here” says Jerôme Flous.
The Faiveley vines date from a single transaction that took place in 1934*, purchased from the once famous producer, Jules Regnier of Dijon, a domaine that disappeared in the inter-war years – their Clos Blanc de Vougeot going to Heritier-Guyot before Vougeraie/Boisset. The vines have the following planting dates – 0.4 hectares done in 1989, a section in the middle in 1957, another 0.29 hectares of pinot très fin planted in 2007, and the last, a parcel near the road, was planted this year in April – the replanting was of old vines that only delivered 5 hl/ha.
*“Fast forward to 1931 and some very tough economic times after the market crash of 1929. Wines were not selling at any price and thus the stocks held on Régnier’s books were vastly over valued. Faiveley had business dealings with Régnier and was forced to step in when Régnier was at risk of going under. They replaced approximately two-thirds of Régnier’s capital base in 1934 but in doing so took control of the underlying assets, which formed the basis of much of Faiveley’s holdings in Gevrey and Nuits today. So, as of 1934, Régnier ceased to exist.” – Allen Meadows
Jerôme explains “If I had a podium for the wines we produce, then Latricières would be one of my top three. It’s not a wine for non-connoseurs, but I find almost the texture of a Chevalier-Montrachet but mixed with the depth of Gevrey-Chambertin. Of-course replanting here is a nightmare – a few times we had to break some rocks or there would have been nowhere to replant. Almost always we harvest our last grapes here – If I was to harvest late every vintage here, then 9 times out of 10, it would be the right decision! We normally harvest Charmes first, Bèze and Mazis about the same time, then Chambertin and Latricières is last.
“Each year we make two cuvées and from two dates of harvest too, the volume mandated that before, but it will be a little easier now that the new cuverie is completed – so let’s see. Of-course the two cuvée were blended before bottling – usually with as much as 7,000 bottles produced.”
Walking through the regimented, newly pruned vines, Jerôme shares “This is all down to Nathalie, our tâcheron, she is an artist here, she’s millimetre perfect!”
For the tasting we go as far back as Jerôme’s first vintage – “I’m more comfortable talking about the vintages that I know and the wines that I’ve made, the style before wasn’t the same. I changed a lot in the vines, the barrels – practically everything. For me the first time I really think I started to see all the benefits was 2013, and everything came together – the work, my own experience and the vintage – in 2015. The wine is always destemmed – except when not!”
First I will include a note for the 2006, made before Jerôme got his hands dirty here. The rest – 2007 onwards – were tasted in the newly opened and newly painted winery in Nuits St.Georges, and maybe the new paint had some effect as I noted in almost every wine a smoky note which I haven’t experienced tasting the domaine’s other wines, in other places…
A deep nose, a little age and some leather notes and slowly adds a few higher tones. Not bad volume, melting flavour, a slow wave of finishing flavour, slight and an attractive bitter-chocolate aspect. Good but compact rather than open with clarity.
My first baby, the first vintage with the new style, more open – though the vintage was anyway like that.
A little age to the colour. The nose also has a little age – sweetness and dry leaves plus a smoky undergrowth. Supple, glycerol, but really a concentration in the middle. Rather layered and a little monolithic but the finish melts wide and wide – leave it for 5 years it’s not the longest and it needs to open out more, but it’s more than good and shows lots of potential… carafe today…
‘This was very hard to taste in the first years and was harvested one month later than the 2007’
A more open nose, floral, a little meaty yet still finer than the 07. More line, more freshness – but not too much. A vibration and open impression – almost minerality. The oak is present like the 1st wine with a fumé impression. More persistent in the finish.
‘Another quite early harvest, though not as early as 07, a good volume harvest too.’
A nose with a similar characteristic to the last two with a little fumé – probably oak and florals to balance – its like the 08 with a little more weight. Hmm, vibrant again, this time with more depth of flavour – there’s a slight drag from tannin but this is a complex wine of depth and really quite a sexy combination of texture and flavour. A super line of finishing flavour – so intense yet without weight. A great baby wine.
A mid-September harvest – rather classic – ripe but not too much – a year that’s the most classic in my mind.
Whilst there is some freshness above, this is a nose of depth and width, slowly adding weight. Hmm, on the palate there is more depth again, more layers of flavour, – airy – not a weighty wine yet the flavours are ever-present and changing. The best yet – really a wine with everything. Bravo…
‘2011 resembles 2007 to me. A week before the harvest there was a lot of rain so the wines are not the most concentrated and they also lost a little acidity – the last days count – before that it could have been another 2009. It’s a vintage that’s turned out nicer than I expected at bottling.
Open, complex, a little herb, still a little fumé like all so far – sweet and floral too. A fine width of flavour here, open wine, layered wine, and really a distinguished finish – really grand cru despite the end of the vintage.
‘Less classic than 2010 but its a vintage that I love. The smallest harvest of all these vintages less even than in 2010 – coulure was the problem – we had 8°C at the end of June!’
A little less fumé, a freshness and width of aroma, not super-deep. Ooh, wide, open, just a fabulous combination of texture and open, layered flavour. Lovely length, floral flavour. Lip-smacking finishing flavour. This is almost as good as the 2010- bravo!
‘I find it 2008 plus, plus – I love this vintage. A normal, clean harvest but the wines were closed for a year after bottling – people didn’t like that very much!’
There is freshness, this is also the most narrow of noses, yet at the same time it remains very inviting. Really a mouth-filling volume – there is so much energy here with no overt disadvantages – such a finishing complexity too – long finishing waves of flavour – a hint of bitters/astringence in the finish. This is super – really excellent. Nose has opened up a lot, still fresh floral and fumé now – not lacking versus the others…
‘Was a miserable summer – quite a complicated vintage.’
A nose that has the freshness of the others but is a little rounder – slowly adding some ripe strawberry fruit. Mineral, direct, layered, a little more compact, but with super texture, growing a little tannin in the middle – a considered, layered wine that’s young but approachable. I like this very much.
‘These 15s were hard to taste at the start – they were tannic and severe. There’s 15% whole clusters in this as I was worried that it could be too sweet and I wanted to be sure there was some energy.’
Still that fumé impression, but an almost textured width of aroma – the first with this. Ooh, this is different. Volume, but not too much, layered concentration, but not too much, complexity but not too much. The only thing that could possibly be improved here would be the clarity and energy. But this is certainly great wine – and so persistent… a wine to dive into and experience! Bravo!
‘Only bottled for two weeks so we will see how it shows… It’s extra-ordinary because it was harvested in October, like the 2008 and the 2013, but you have the impression it was harvested in August. We have the same acidity as 2014… it’s also the vintage with the highest phenolic maturity…’
This nose is quite different to all the previous wines – less focused but no fumé notes, nicely textured and wide. Mouth-filling fruit-led flavour, transparent, beautiful purity. Open and fresh. Very ripe but super pure – I love the clarity of this wine. It has better freshness today than the 2015 and really great texture – less profound than the 2015 but simply gorgeous. Bravo wine again!