I tasted in Meursault with Jean-Philippe, the 18 October, 2016.
Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet
2 Rue de la Gare
Tel: +33 3 80 21 69 34
Jean-Philippe on 2016:
“‘Moin de morosite.’ (Less Gloom!) Some are happy, others a little less because of the frost and the mildew – and not everyone managed to get on top of the latter problem, so lost a lot. The frosted vines also needed a lot of work. In the end I’m very surprised to make more than 50% of a normal harvest, I have to be very happy with that. Really it was about handwork and treatments, really this was a vignerons’ harvest. ”
Jean-Philippe on 2015:
“I’m really happy with the quality. It was necessary to harvest quite early, and to keep a good bourbe* The wines are not tense like 2002 or 2005, but are also much fresher than 2009 for example. You need a good volume to make a good wine, not too concentrated and to keep the acidity. This is a generous vintage with good maturity and an acidity that really brings super balance. Light isn’t the right word, but they have an ‘aerien’ (airy) quality about them.”
*The bourbe is some of the pressed material from the grapes – not the clear, pure juice.
As we walked into the cellar together, I commented on how I loved the smell of his cellar – “Every year I take the Kärcher (power washer) to the whole of the cellar’s walls, and I also replace the gravel floor every 3 years. I also love the smell of the cellar, but I want the smell of wine and oak – only!”
That’s attention to detail for you!
JP’s not happy with some of his new barrel choices last year, as he feels some astringency crept in – these barrels were not toasted, rather done with boiling water. He’s decided he won’t use them again. I didn’t detect anything amiss!
2015 Bourgogne Blanc
Elevage in a mix of 500 and 600 litre barrels – here the soils have the most clay of the domaine – ‘I’m looking for something easy to appreciate – a tasty wine.’
An engaging floral note over some sweetness. Fine, modest energy but it plays over the palate beautifully. Long and tasty. Fine wine!
From Pellans and Millerandes. No new oak – all in 500 and 600 l barrels.
Here is a different nose, some agrumed reduction, but modestly so. Some CO2 but also a fabulous energy and dynamism. Lots of waves of flavour – brilliant!
Usually 65% domaine grapes, in Auxey and Nantoux (bought) a big restaurant clientelle for this in north-west France to go with their fruit de mer dishes…
A higher toned freshness. Again, exciting, delicious, energetic flavour – a hint more mineral in this case. More nervosité. The last wine is easier today, but not better, just different.
White clay here – it’s a hot and sunny place. An aperitif wine for Jean-Philippe, made from young 9-year-old vines; ‘They need more time, maybe another 5-10 years.’
A tighter nose, implying if not overtly delivering ripeness. Rounder in the mouth, but with mouth-watering energy and salinity. This is super and it belies JP’s description. Fine finishing too.
The side of Auxey towards St.Romain. Here the soil is more limestone and schist. One of last vines to be harvested, tasted directly after one of the first to be harvested.
Direct agrume aromas, of modest intensity but fine clarity. In the mouth a faint reductive quality, but very tasty wine – yum!
From bought grapes – started with this in 2014, from a good grower who accepted to sell some – ‘I much prefer to buy some villages from someone good, as to buy from someone less good who has 1er crus.’ Some parts of Rully were much more frosted than others, here about 40% was lost to the frost in 2016.
Round, attractive, some boiled sweet aromas. Round in the mouth too, with a growing, mineral flavour – tasty wine here.
Also bought grapes from a ‘good worker, not so interested in making wines.’
A pretty and quite floral nose, this really has the family style of JP’s other wines, with energy and intensity, focus and freshness. Super!
Bought some Tillets and Narvaux – 20% of the total – to complete the cuvée this year.
Agrumes, a faint extra depth from reduction. Complex, faintly oaked, mineral and saline – tank 2 shows no oak. More mineral. This will be super.
2015 Meursault Meix sous Château
From a Clos in the middle of Meursault village. Limestone on high, clay below, ‘the most buttery of the domaine.’
A deep nose, modest of agrume. Round, softer texture, a crisp and complex mid-palate, suggesting a faint coconut, but really attractive and complex here – super! And really a super mineral wave in the finish! A hand that strokes before the grip tightens! Super!
Now 88-year-old vines, that sit under Les Charmes.
Here some firework reduction. Wow in the mouth, intense, muscular yet with super texture. Complexity. A richness of flavour in the finish without a broad-shouldered richness of texture. Fabulous wine!
A clarion call of mineral freshness and faint citrus, slowly adding flowers too. A hint more gas, but wow! I say wow again! Complex, growing intensity, energy too, a hint more sweetness than the last. Again fabulous!
2015 Meursault Tessons
A wider, brighter nose, more fruit too – still on a fresh wavelength. More ripe fruit on the nose, but gorgeous volume and fresh energy in the mouth. Mineral finishing. Just a gorgeous thing… ‘This is less ready than Chevalier’ says JP, ‘Like the Referts…’
2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Referts
‘Always hard to drink after the Meursaults…’
Really a deep, profound nose. A little extra fat, with but ingraining flavour, and complexity with good freshness, very faintly saline, long and palate enrobing (coating) with super-tasty flavour.