Jean-Philippe Fichet – 2018


Jean-Philippe FichetI tasted in Meursault with Jean-Philippe, the 10 October 2019.

Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet
2 Rue de la Gare
21190 Meursault
Tel: +33 3 80 21 69 34

Jean-Philippe on 2019:
The soil is so dry this year, partly because of that we have 30-40% less wine. I’m replacing vines, and the drill really needs its time in the dry soil – if we don’t get plenty of rain over the winter period it will be very complicated next year, I could lose a lot of vines.

Jean-Philippe on 2018:
2018 hasn’t the density of a great vintage but it’s open, fresh and delicious. Also, maybe a little less amplitude than the 2015s – by comparison, the 2017s are for keeping. But everything passed beautifully, the flowering was perfect, then there was some small rain just before the harvest. It could hardly have passed better. We started harvesting on the 30 August.

The wines…

What I said last year – it’s the same this year! “As a writer I should always display a certain detachment, an inscrutable balance, yet a visit to Jean-Philippe Fichet remains a highlight for me, each and every year – and each year I am equally rewarded. Humble in the face of nature, passionate about his work and always over-delivering in terms of his wines.

2018 Bourgogne Aligoté
The famous lost cepage thats coming back into focus – 30 years ago we had big grapes and lots of them, last year we managed 13 degrees, in the 80s sometimes it wasn’t higher than 9°!
A modest volume of aroma but it’s pure and invites you with a wink. Bright, nice volume, open, delicate, precise, delicious! The finish seems almost stronger than the first flavour – excellent.

2018 Bourgogne Blanc
Vines in the commune of Meursault – from the north and south of the village. 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.’
Hmm this is big, very big. Mineral, perhaps faintly reductive. Ooh that’s, super on the palate, almost vibrant, holds long in the finish too. Bravo Bourgogne!
2018 Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles-Vignes
From Pellans and Millerandes. All in 500 and 600 l barrels.
Mineral with a floral suggestion. More silky, beautiful drive, more elegance, saline, broad, with a finishing wave of flavour. Über-sophisticated Bourgogne – given the choice I would take the first of these – today – though.

Jean-Philippe expands on his thoughts about Bourgognes: “It’s about drinkability. For most of these 2018s you won’t see many half-drunk bottles – because they are so drinkable. A Bourgogne remains a wine of pleasure that you should be able to drink anytime – maybe a second too! I’m not looking for a bomb…

2018 Hautes Côtes de Beaune
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 little more open with a suggestion of lemon citrus. More ample, beautiful balance with almost a shimmer to the flavour. Again a touch of salinity, gorgeously expanding in the finish – bravo – my new favourite!

2018 Monthelie
Vines with a lovely position with their back to the north – it’s hot in the afternoons. The grapes are always golden here. White clay soil. An aperitif wine for Jean-Philippe, made from young 11-year-old vines; ‘They need more time, maybe another 5-10 years.
Hmm, a broader nose, complex with agrume fruit. Wide mouth-filling, nicely mineral a more floral style but a serious core of flavour here. Absolutely delicious and showing a great finish.

2018 Auxey-Duresses
​From Les Nampoillons from the side of Auxey towards St.Romain. Here the soil is more limestone and schist. The last vines to be harvested, tasted directly after one of the first to be harvested. Plus Les Closeau – assembled…
Wide, less aromatic volume, but still with pretty citrus, almost an agrume. More supple, wide, but more direct. Long, almost sherbet in the finish -so long. Bravo!
2018 Rully
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.’
Fresh, with more depth of aroma, slightly mineral – I wouldn’t guess Rully. Driving, delicious, complex, and with super tension. The finish holds great. Bravo Rully!

2018 Chassagne-Montrachet
Bought as must, an assembly of 6 parcels, from ‘a great domain that bottles not so much – they are more vignerons than winemakers.’ Working with them since 2014. Just one new barrel from 6.
Ooh, now that’s different and I would say, very Chassagne, and a very floral Chassagne too. A touch pf oak flavour here but subtle. Wide, powerful finishing. Very good

2018 Meursault
​From Les Clous, Chaumes de Narvaux, Limozin and others – 2-thirds hillside, one-third from the plain. ‘I’ve really tried to make Meursault in this style since 1996, precision and less oak was my starting point.’
Picture perfect, ginger and a faint minerality. Not a big wine but one that creeps up on you, ingraining, elegant, the biggest aspect is the finish. So easy to drink – excellent!

2018 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 little more emphasis on the ginger spice. Supple, richer, but with a vibrant middle and finish. Finishing sweetly, long with a touch of caramel – a different style here.

2018 Meursault Gruyache
Now 90-year-old vines, that sit under Les Charmes.
Ooh that’s a beauty; wide, mineral ginger-spiced – yes! Balanced, lovely volume in the mouth, delicious, complex, beautifully mineral in the finish, touched with butter, so long! A toss of a coin between seriously excellent and great!

2018 Meursault Chevaliers
A little smaller nose, but a beauty again. More impact, more drive but no hard edges, widening, mouth-watering. Vibrant finishing – directly bravo!

2017 Meursault Tessons
A fine, if less intense nose, a hint floral. Hmm, very mineral, wide, lovely energy, mouth-watering, long. This is super, showing extra elegance after the Chevalier.

2018 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Referts
‘Always hard to drink after the Meursaults…’
Hmm – a beautiful, sweet width of aroma, so beautiful! Nice volume in the mouth, bubbling with complexity, a nice tension, sweet finishing, maybe betraying a little sugar, but hey…

Les rouges:
I don’t look for either colour or extraction – cuvaisons of 12-14 days – I work for the aromas and flavours, not the colours.

​2018 Bourgogne Rouge
Vines in Meursault towards Volnay.
Ooh, that’s a bright, pure fruit nose. Pure again, almost a fruit juice – but delicious wine. Yum!

2018 Auxey-Duresses Largillas
Old vines from 1923
A little less colour but still plenty. More width of aroma, more elegance – this is a honey! Supple a little more structure though – more my style than the cordial of the first wine, tasty as it was! Finishing with a little tannin – all good. Lovely wine…

2017 Monthelie 1er Les Clous
Classified as 1er cru in 2006
Also a beautiful purity of fruit on this nose. Fuller, less overt tannin, complex, delicious, layered. This is what I’ve been waiting for! An excellent wine that’s very fine finishing…

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