A busy long weekend, so now’s the time to catch up.
Friday and Saturday I was touring with a client so no (extra!) dirtying of my hands/fingernails. Of course, there are practically no domaines that are open for tastings during the harvesting period – and you could double that on Saturday.
The last days gave me chance to catch up on the best (IMHO) of the commercial possibilities that remained open. You have previously seen (in the diary) that I’m happy to visit Armand Heitz’s Le Cellier in Pommard so duly did this again on Saturday whilst touring the vines of the upper Chalonaise and Côte de Beaune.
For Friday I tried out two new ones – Faiveley and their renovated winery in Nuits, and Trapet’s place neighbouring the Rotisserie de Chambertin. Both are to be paid for but I find the experience and the wines deserve their place and price – I was very happy with both – I’ll even include the tasting notes at the end of this post.
Faiveley were, of course, harvesting when we visited on Friday but our timing was impeccable such that we managed to watch their triage and the filling of their wooden fermentation tank with Charmes-Chambertin, first bumping into François Faiveley and just a couple of minutes later Erwan Faiveley too – both pictured, right. Erwan is very happy with his grapes, suggesting that, at this stage, he sees “A little of the structure of 2012 in the reds.” It will be interesting to see if he still holds that opinion, post-fermentation – I will ask him later in the year when I visit to taste his 2021s.
For our lunchtime tasting – with possibly the best Boeuf Bourguignon I’ve ever eaten in France(!) – we were at Trapet, paying for the 8 wine tasting menu that includes wines from both Alsace and Gevrey-Chambertin. Some heavy rain accompanied our slurping but the sky was already turning blue as we exited the building to tour the vines – we were lucky.
On Sunday I was back at the home domaine in Beaune – and this was to be a long day – a Chorey day, and the domaine has a lot of Chorey!
We kicked off slightly later than usual in the cuverie – 08h00 – and that was because the train to Beaune that carried many of our pickers was late! So the picker, naturally, started a bit later.
We began with a little red Chorey before moving on to Chorey Blanc. The grape clusters had fine shape and were nicely firm – not giving up much juice in the bins. Unfortunately, the domaine was hit 3x by hail in 2022 and the hail of June was the worst, principally impacting our Chordey Blanc – some smaller areas were 100% losses. The clusters delivered to the domaine looked very good but triage was time-consuming because almost every bunch had some hail damage where we were removing every split grape – the affected ones looking like black-eyed peas. We did a great job – but it was a long job!
Before 4 hours and 15 minutes of standing in just one spot, afternoon triaging red Chorey, we made space for lunch – from both a timing and space in the stomach, perspective. 3 good wines were drunk 😉 But back to the red Chorey: Although in the same area as our white, and theoretically also with some hail damage, the triage here was much easier. Split grapes were much rarer, there was no rot, and the average maturity was brilliant. In the recent vintages, you hardly need to weed out the unripe bunches – because there are none – except the occasional second-set bunch that shouldn’t have been picked.
So far, pHs are a bit all over the place this year – certainly not as low as in 2020 – but the alcohols seem in control; the analyses here range from 12.9-13.8° so far. I’ll keep you posted as to how that goes…
Some wines from Friday:
2014 Faiveley, Mercurey 1er Le Clos du Roy ‘La Favourite’
Just from the top part of the climat
I like the volume of aroma here – a base with some dried leaf maturity and quite a strong floral perfume – potpourri in style. Open, lovely waves of fine acidity add a certain tension to the flavours. That’s even showing a subtle, grainless, finishing tannin – subtly accenting the texture. I might even wait another year or two to drink this but it’s a very tasty wine.
2019 Faiveley, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
More than 9 ha are owned in Gevrey – they only make two VV cuvées, this and one in Mercurey.
Almost an extra silkiness and certainly a more direct aroma – growing with a little, fresher, floral note. Extra density but great mouth-feel too. This is so mouth-watering and completely delicious – I wouldn’t feel a bit embarrassed drinking this today – it’s delicious and the faint spice from the oak makes no extra demands. Bravo!
2016 Faiveley, Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Chaignots
Narrower but deeper aroma – dark and cushioned – a little fine cooking spice – there are some stems here but I don’t particularly see them. Incisive, cool, fresh in the mouth – I love it! The spice and salt are stronger in the finish. Simply excellent – that’s a delicious, young wine.
2018 Faiveley, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
A fine, almost airy, width of aroma – less power but some fine perfume here again. Like the previous wine this is beautifully expansive – more oak visible in the flavours but, again, not too distracting. The structure is moderately visible in the middle and finishing flavours. A wine that’s more to wait for – but a super wine.
2018 Faiveley, Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley
A broad and finely spiced aroma – at the risk of being distracted by the label I would say muscular – but faint flashes of perfume can also be seen. Really impressive in the mouth – rich but still generous, modestly oaked – this is more visible in the finishing flavours. A great wine…
2017 Trapet, Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Ostrea
A faintly spiced, nicely transparent width of aroma – the depth with a slightly darker-red fruit. Super in the mouth – mineral, modestly structured, lots of freshness. Drink with pleasure now, despite the structure – but wait 10+ years with ease!
2017 Trapet, Gevrey-Chambertin 1erClos Prieur
Less spice and maybe more clarity to this nose. Bigger, more energetic and mouth-watering – almost juicy. Right at the end a little chalky structure. A simply gorgeous wine…
2017 Trapet, Chapelle-Chambertin
A lovely round cushioned fruit – not a full-power nose but a very attractive nose. Ooh – that has a super and quite intensely direct flavour. A baby but such an attractive one.
2017 Trapet, Latricières-Chambertin
This nose has more width and a more rose-petal perfume. Those rose petals are visible in the flavours too, more delicate and complex at the same time. Not more delicious than the Chapelle but more my personal style of wine – a great 2017 in a delicate style.
2014 Trapet, Chambertin
A tighter, less expressive nose. mOre mouth-filling, energetic and complete wine in the flavour. Structural too – I’d drink this happily today but give it another 10 years for the ultimate joy.
2020 Faiveley, Ladoix Les Marnes Blanches
A nice puff of freshness – round, lovely fruit rich but with nice energy. Mouth-filling, even a hint of structure but the roundness – a halo of fine tannin and stony length. I would wait 2-3 years for the oak to fade and accentuate the freshness but this is a remarkably tasty wine.
2020 Faiveley, Meursault 1er Blagny
Here the nose has a little more gassy impression – perhaps some CO2 here – ripe lemon citrus in the aroma. Ooh – now that’s got a beautiful definition – direct, gorgeously shaped, mineral, slightly chalky finishing – a baby and possibly a great one…
2020 Faiveley, Corton-Charlemagne
Narrower, but with depth and freshness – tension! Broad, bubbling with fresh complexity, the oak is visible but a mere accent in the opening flavours – a broad wave of flavour to ride. Unquestionably great wine. Super long. Grand Vin.
There were some other delicious wines too 😉