Jean-Philippe Fichet – 2020


Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet 2021Tasted in Meursault with Jean-Philippe, 13 October 2021.

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

This domaine experienced a fire in May 2021 when they lost part of the cuverie due to an overheating transformer which was in the roofspace – over 40 firemen attended the fire. Some of the barrels were charred but the wine within, after testing, was deemed to be fine so no losses there – except the €40k lab fees for testing every single barrel. “My biggest worry was the chlorine in the water that the firemen used but all the analyses were fine.” The domaine remains under construction, a project that is planned to last more than 5 months.

Jean-Philippe on 2021:
The bourgognes delivered about 60% of a normal vintage, the amount slowly reducing as you reached the hillside where we hardly had 15% of a normal harvest. I think the big thing was more the snow than the frost. There was rain this year but enough to support the mildew rather than to replenish the water-table – the hillsides remain terribly dry. The places with more clay are not so bad but where it’s more sandy or the mother rock is closer to the surface – like the hillsides, it’s something different. I can even envisage a time, one day, where there could be no vines on the hillside… I don’t agree with people who say the vines must suffer to produce good wine. My parents often had vintages that were too wet but they never saw such consistent dryness – here we are in October and it’s sunny and the ground is again very dry in what is supposed to be a normal vintage for rain.

Jean-Philippe on 2020:
In 2020 I’m happy with the volume and quality that we managed to produce – they have nice maturities too, lower than in 2019 with very good yields. It reminds me of the very good, generous, vintages a bit like 2009.

The wines…

If you forced me to name just one domaine to buy white wine in Meursault in the last (more than!) 10 years, my choice for young drinking would be JP Fichet – and the wines tasted on this day only reinforce that – bravo!

2020 Bourgogne Aligoté
‘The famous lost cepage thats coming back into focus – 30 years ago we had big grapes and lots of them, in 2018 we managed 13°, in the 80s sometimes it wasn’t higher than 9°!’
A nice depth of faintly yeasty aroma – actually quite attractive. Bright, lovely energy with a depth of pure fruit. A delightful mouthful! Really a fine and mineral length…

Since the 2019 vintage, Jean-Philippe is using the label Côte d’Or for his Bourgognes:

2020 Bourgogne Côte d’Or 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.’
A big nose – impressive, complex, slightly herbed. It explodes across the palate as no Bourgogne has the right to do. Layered, wide, incisive pure – it’s sneakily long too. Great Bourgogne – and this is just the first one! Bravo.

2020 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Blanc Vieilles-Vignes
From Pellans and Millerandes. All in 500 and 600 l barrels. Bourgogne Côte d’Or from this vintage wasn’t indicated as such before.
A little less width of aroma but there’s more depth here – the herb is stronger but it’s attractive. A little CO2 destabilising this but there are extra layers in the flavour a little more silk and contemplation here. I slightly prefer the energy of the first wine today but this has more – certainly in the finish!

2020 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
Usually 65% domaine grapes, in Auxey. ‘Typically a big restaurant clientele for this in the north-west of France to go with their fruit-de-mer dishes…’
A smaller nose, at the core some vibrance of energy, almost a suggestion of pyrazine. Nicely mouth-filling and energetic, good texture here, a higher-toned citrus fruit in evidence. The finish is a delight – open and fresh – a super wine.

2020 Monthelie Blanc
Vines with a lovely position with their backs to the north – it’s hot here in the afternoons. ‘The grapes are always golden here.’ White clay soil. An aperitif wine for Jean-Philippe, made from young 13-year-old vines; ‘They need more time, maybe another 5-10 years.’
Hmm- that’s a very inviting nose – a width of almost granular complexity – Genevrières style. Nicely incisive, mineral and direct – I would wait a little while for these bottles in the cellar but here is a lovely, slightly reductive, style of wine with fine structure and flavour – it’s excellent.

2020 Auxey-Duresses
​From Les Nampoillons from the side of Auxey towards St.Romain. Here the soil is more limestone and schist. Latest grapes to be harvested. ‘Historically they matured but always stayed green, but that’s changing a little in recent years.’
Directly a more energetic and agrume style of nose – very inviting. Concentrated but vibrant – this is a beauty – there’s a lot of wine here but it’s perfectly balanced. That’s great finishing, great Auxey!

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet
A nicely saline nose – though not a nose of power. The shape and fresh layers of flavour in the mouth are very delicious. Almost a smaller version of the Auxey but slightly more sophisticated texturally. That’s a very delicious and fine wine, beautifully finishing.

2020 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.’
A different aromatic shape – more high and low tones though narrower – a more vertical nose. There is extra here – almost a creamy accent to beautiful flavour – extra creamy depth. This is a wine to luxuriate in but it lacks not an iota of balance. Contemplative but still great villages- bravo!

2020 Meursault Meix sous Château
From a Clos in the middle of Meursault village. Limestone higher up and with clay below, ‘the most buttery of the domaine.’
A fine width of proper Meursault – ginger-spiced – aroma. A combination of richness yet incisiveness – there’s minerality here and a mobile style to the wine – layered in the finish. Classically delicious – a beauty! An extra layer of florals in this fine finishing wine.

2020 Meursault Gruyache
Now 93-year-old vines, planted in 1928, that sit under Les Charmes.
A more vibrant agrume fruit that’s slightly reductive in style. A little gas but here is a mouthful of great flavour – less together today than the last – but that’s the gas – probably the wine I would rather dink of these two though – also a beauty, and the finish is even better here – almost great villages today.

2020 Meursault Chevaliers
A more composed. Deeper but no less fresh nose – a little less aromatic volume. Extra depth of flavour here tough – multidimensional – layered, slightly rich, but fine and fresh. A simply gorgeous wine, the first with a faint touch of tannin in the finish – bravo!
2020 Meursault Tessons
A more direct nose – extra freshness for sure, more citrus style. Mouth-filling with freshness and a beautiful energy – that’s a great wine again and very different in style compared to the Chevalier – two great but very different wines. Bravo again.
2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Referts
‘Always hard to drink after the Meursaults…’ The vines that are closest to Meursault Charmes.
Ooh – that’s a great nose – fresh, complex, slightly reductive. Ooh – gorgeous – so layered, so mouth-watering – practically juicy. A faint tannin at the base and great flavour – wait for this a little while but that’s another great wine.

Les reds:

2020 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Rouge
This with bought grapes as Jean-Philippe is replanting his own – but from Meursault Les Lamboits
Plenty of colour. That’s a very bright, pure almost cordial nose. The flavours are similar – bright pure – and completely delicious with freshness and a certain cordial style.

2020 Auxey-Duresses
Also a contract but JP does all the vineyard-work.
Extra depth of colour. A broader and deeper nose, darker red fruit – more attractive to me than the first – more ‘classic’ a better word. Ooh, that’s lovely – a structural wine, layered, nicely textural flavour – tannic but with no grain. That’s a delicious wine with a delicious finish.

2020 Monthelie
Here the nose reflects more the Bourgogne than the Auxey – a cordial style. JP says there’s bret – I don’t particularly note on the nose but perhaps a little on the palate. He says he might find a local clientele for this wine – so don’t be surprised if you don’t see it.

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