Profile: Maison Fatien


Tasted in Beaune with Charly Fatien, 21 May 2019.

Maison Fatien Père & Fils
15, rue Sainte Marguerite
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 22 82 83

Situated deep in the historic old town of Beaune is one of those very rare things – a producer who actually makes wine within the walls of Beaune.

You probably don’t need all of your fingers to count the number of domaines who still make wine in the centre of Beaune – water and grape-juice in-combination being classed as ‘industrial waste,’ thus, most producers have been gently pushed out of the town centre over the last 30 years-or-so. There is a plaque that proclaims the presence of Maison Fatien on the large wooden gate – though it is invariably a closed gate, a place of discretion – Charly Fatien is, however, my welcoming host.

Charly has 4 hectares of domaine vines spread from Rully to Gevrey-Chambertin, he also buys grapes too, to make some of his wines. This domaine essentially had its beginnings in 1999 with the purchase, by Charly’s parents, of their house in Beaune – a house with impressive, dark old cellars plus wine-making space – though their vines in Gevrey-Chambertin had long been in the family. In 2005 the family’s vineyard worker retired, so Charly, who had worked at other domaines, decided to instal the production here in Beaune, next to the family’s neighbouring gites.

Charly maintains that his aim to make wine “By working naturally and without recourse to oenological products!” Sales are 90% to individuals with plenty of people from the family’s chambres d’hôtes buying, “But probably 60% of the sales stay in Europe, I’d say…

The wines

Wines that I’ve rarely come across before, but there’s high quality to the production here – occasionally some great wines for their labels, and in both colours too. Don’t pass these by!

First a few whites from barrel:

2018 Aligoté
Vines are older than 60 years-old. The wine is towards the end of its malo and will have 1 year in barrel then 3 months on tank before bottling.
A wide nose, plenty of interest. Full, round, nice shape, holds a fine weight of persistent finishing flavour. Very good.

2018 Côteaux Bourguignon
Vines in the bottom of Meursault, on the ‘other’ side of the route nationale
A bigger weight of aroma – quite mineral and forward. Direct, but widening, fine depth, layers of fine flavour – for the label this is really excellent, fine and mineral in the finish. Bravo!

2018 Rully
Here is a more mineral nose, higher toned notes too. A wine with more direction and a melting width of flavour. Long, tasty – this is very tasty, with a lovely finish, if today a little more bravado in the Côteaux Bourguignon. Elegant and long.

2018 Meursault
From Malpoirriers – Charly isn’t yet sure if he’ll include that reference on the label.
A nice spice to this very Meursault nose. Fuller, more impact, great shape, saline, complex, faintly spiced, modest tension and a super finish. Super.

2018 Meursault Cromin
Charly explains that he started with cuvées of Limozin and Cromin, but commercially everyone preferred the Cromin!
An even more classic Meursault nose – because of the extra oak! – spiced, salt and pepper too. More energy and acidity – also wider. I’d say more classic in all dimensions, including the amount of oak. Actually, today, I prefer the last, but the finish here is a beauty – really excellent wine…

Then some reds from barrel here, and all are from 2017, as they spend a minimum of 2 years in barrel. Charly doesn’t always destem everything, saying “I like the mechanical help they bring in fermentation, and I have an old, mechanical, wooden press so they can help – but only for that and only when ripe!” Charly is also a buyer of Hospices de Nuits wines too – but not every year:

2017 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
The grapes for this come mainly from Volnay and Pommard, plus one parcel in Savigny – maybe this will wear a Bourgogne Côte d’Or label…
Ooh, that’s a bright, nicely floral nose. Wide on the palate, with good intensity – there’s fine shape and line here with a very faint tannin. Elegant, floral, delicious wine.

2017 Beaune Les Beaux Fougets
More colour. More aromatic amplitude – ooh, that’s good! More drive and intensity – that’s really good! Long finishing – excellent wine.

2017 Volnay
A blend of Pluchots and Combes, lots of millerandes from the older Pluchots vines
A very lovely nose – width and florals, a little mineral-like graphite too. More direction to these flavours, less width, finer but not better in flavour. Finely floral wine. Excellent again, only the finish is more distinguished than the Beaune though.

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin
From Bel-Air
Plenty of colour. A very subtle reduction here – the first – other than that, fresh, pure and impressive aromas. Wide, vibrant, touched by the reduction in the flavour – touched by oak too – but not negative. Lovely, open and airy, but not facile wine… Great finishing again – the hallmark of the wines here!

2017 Pommard 1er Rugiens du bas
Hmm – more volume of aroma – fine, if not obviously complex but all the same it’s compelling, inviting, floral perfume. Hmm, beautiful shape. Fine, growing intensity, ooh, this is proper Rugiens – simply excellent before a great finish – bravo!

Some Hospices de Nuits wines – some for the domaine, some for clients:

2017 Nuits St.Georges Maladières Cuvée de Granger
Wide, plenty of floral impact, just a touch of oak. Nice shape, saline, a touch of interesting reduction here too. Broad, delicious wine, without overt structure but with very fine flavour. A super finish too!

2017 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Terres Blanches
But not white!
Lots of colour here. A bigger nose with lots of aromatic weight. Drive, good intensity, a tiny reduction, growing wider on the palate, and with fine layers of flavour too. Long. Ooh, thats good – concentrated, no overt tannin but its there if you search!

2017 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Didiers Cuvée Jacques Duret
The mix of old and young vines.
A narrower nose. Showing a little more oak. Fresh attack, growing in volume, wide, vibrant flavour – yes, certainly with plenty of oak right now – almost coconut in style but deliciously flavoured all the same, concentrated wine, with a great finish

2017 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les St.Georges Cuvée Sires de Vergey
Plenty of colour. A quieter, more compact nose., slightly floral. More mouth-filling, more structural, plenty of tannin, the flavour layered and wide. This is easily bravo wine – so good!

2017 Nuits St.Georges 1er Boudots Cuvée Mesny de Roisseaux
A little less colour. Also quite a compact nose. Fresher, with more attack. Wide, intense, less depth to the texture but more concentrated. Deeper layers of flavour in the finish – such excellent wine, and really not very far behind the LSG!

A little wine from bottle:

2015 Rully Blanc
A nice, fresh width of mainly mineral, but sweetly mineral aroma. Supple, plenty of fresh volume – easy, delicious, but not simple Rully – a nice saline line in the sweet citrus… yum!

2012 Meursault Cromin
Not the largest nose but one with florals and minerality entwined. Fine, fresh volume, energy, a little structure – actually a juicy wine. Delicious, with a grain to the texture. Hardly noticeable but with a touch of reduction in the middle. A super bottle.

2013 Meursault Cromin
Heres a faint reduction – but attractively too. More energy, more dynamic, the same grain to the texture. Super again.

2011 Meursault 1er Les Charmes
More colour. A more herbed nose – but one with lots of depth. Energy, minerality, a touch of pyrazine but complex and interesting. Ooh, lots of weight. This has that premier cru ‘extra’ but today I really like those Cromins more!

2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Lost 80% of the harvest to frost.
Modest colour. Ooh, thats like the 2017 – a lovely, indeed great, berry and floral nose. Supple, concentrated, layers. Great bourgogne!

2015 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
More volume of aroma – a sheen of aroma – red fruit, and quite inviting. Drive, freshness, energy, no lack of concentration, – if the 16 is great, this is excellent – the mid and finishing flavours take on ever-more purity. It finishes great, it just starts with less distinction.

2014 Gevrey-Chambertin
Less aromatic impact but more purity and a growing width in the glass. More structural, more complex, nice energy and flavour – there’s a touch of oak here too – wait for that to fade. But this is fine! Lots of textural tannin in the finish but it’s completely ripe.

2012 Gevrey-Chambertin
Ooh, I like this fresh, wide, nose a lot! Wide, complex, fresh and tasty – plenty of energy, no oak showing. That’s a young but absolutely drinkable, excellent wine. Fine length too. Such a good wine!

2015 Nuits St.Georges Maladières Cuvée de Granger
Some resemblance to the 2012 Gevrey in the aromas. But still some tightness here. Extra concentration, extra intensity. Ooh, that’s great and with super freshness, the barrel flavour is almost gone. Intense, concentrated, not oppressive. Bravo!

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

There is one response to “Profile: Maison Fatien”

  1. Jean Louis Le Guil21st April 2022 at 2:21 pmPermalinkReply

    Good Afernoon!

    We sell Fatien’s wines mostly to restaurant in Andorra, and we are totally convinced of the very high quality of the wines. But we have not yet tasted the Pommard Rugiens du Bas, according to your “paper”, we should try them.
    Nice review! and it is excellent to see a report on Charly’s hand-crafted wines.


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