Producer note: Erwan Faiveley described 2015 as a 'great vintage for quality but not for quantity because there was a lot of shatter during the flowering. We chose to begin picking on the 2nd of September and overall the fruit was as clean as I have ever seen. Potential alcohols were excellent coming in as they did between 13 and 14%. Yields were quite disparate at between 25 and 35 hl/ha with very thick skins that natural gave us high solid to liquid ratios. As such we were very careful with the vinifications as it would have been very easy to over-extract the reds. Moreover because the stems were ripe and clean, we used more whole clusters than usual, which is to say between 25 and 30% for almost 75% of our wines. We also chose to lower the proportion of new wood somewhat with the balance being mostly from one year old wood. As to quality, I would say that 2015 was better in the Cote de Nuits than the Cote de Beaune and particularly from Chambolle to Gevrey. But I am also exceptionally happy with the quality of the reds from the Cote Chalonnaise.' Since the internal decision was taken to change many things about the Faiveley wines in 2007, the wines have steadily improved and in particular have become more consistent. Acquisitions have of course helped as have new equipment (in particular the new vertical presses) along with throwing out much of the older oak that was giving inelegant tannins. The very fine quality of the Faiveley 2015s is of course partially due to the excellence of the vintage but I credit their commitment to raising the standard of their game as well. By the way, for those readers searching for a good, and serious, value play, considering picking up some of the Mercurey 'Clos du Roy'; I believe that you will be impressed by the quality. (Frederick Wildman, www.frederickwildman.com, NY, NY; there are many sources in the UK, among them John Armit Wines, www.armit.co.uk, Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, Haynes, Hanson & Clark, www.hhandc.co.uk, Clarion Wines, www.clarionwines.co.uk and Justerini & Brooks, www.justerinis.com).
Tasting note: Reduction presently flattens the underlying fruit. Otherwise there is a really lovely texture to the medium weight plus flavors thanks to the abundance of mid-palate sap that coats the mouth and buffers the moderately firm, complex and lingering finish where a touch of wood emerges. This is very Charmes in style and like the Echezeaux, it should be approachable after 6 to 8 years if desired.
Tasted: Jan 15, 2017 Drink: 2027+
Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru Faiveley
France／Bourgogne／Cotes de Nuits／Gevrey Chambertin／Charmes Chambertin
Note: from a .62 ha parcel in Le Rognet, which is in Ladoix
Producer note: For more general information about the 2016 vintage chez Faiveley, please see Issue 69 or the database. Director Erwan Faiveley did note that 'chardonnay bunch weights were among the highest that we have ever seen, in fact we were surprised that the berries didn't explode! The good news is that the skins were thick and clean so we really didn't have any problems with off odors or flavors. Among our vines, we got hit pretty hard in Meursault though not too badly elsewhere.' (Frederick Wildman, www.frederickwildman.com, NY, USA; Altaya Wines, www.altayawines.com, Hong Kong; there are many sources in the UK, among them John Armit Wines, www.armit.co.uk, Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Lea & Sandeman, www.leaandsandeman.co.uk, Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com and Haynes, Hanson & Clark, www.hhandc.co.uk).
Tasting note: A difficult nose is presently composed by notes of reduction, sulfur and soft wood. Rich, full-bodied and powerful flavors are also blessed with an impressive amount of dry extract that coats the palate on the expressly dry but not really austere finale. Like the BBM, this too needs to develop better overall depth but the underlying material does appear to be on hand for that to occur.
Producer note: For more general information about the 2015 vintage chez Faiveley, please see Issue 65 or the database. (Frederick Wildman, www.frederickwildman.com, NY, USA; there are many sources in the UK, among them John Armit Wines, www.armit.co.uk, Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com and Haynes, Hanson & Clark, www.hhandc.co.uk).
Tasting note: This too is sufficiently reduced to render an evaluation of the nose impossible. There is more volume still to the concentrated, thick and opulent flavors that are borderline massive, all wrapped in a sappy and overtly powerful finish. As the description suggests this is a big wine but I prefer the relatively more elegant presentation of the Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet. Moreover I would not be inclined to age this for more than a few years as it risks becoming heavy.
Tasted: Jun 11, 2017 Drink: 2020+ Note: from Puligny fruit
Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru Faiveley
France／Bourgogne／Cote de Beaune／Puligny Montrachet／Batard Montrachet