Wine Talk

Snooth User: JonDerry

Burgundy Tasting - Domaine Faiveley

Posted by JonDerry, Feb 21, 2012.

The Faiveley tasting attended last night with a good friend at Wally's in Westwood, more than surpassed my expectations. As someone who's shied away from Burgundy and has not had much experience with it, this proved that my evolving palate has a big potential for Burgundy. The tasting started out a little like a cattle call, with about 40-50 people and three people pouring, but it sorted itself out within fifteen minutes or so, around the time when a couple more tables with bread and cheeses were brought out. There were 12 reds and 8 whites poured, including a few previews to the 2010 vintage, which were a highlight.

Vintage-wise, the 2008 and 2010 wines showed best. 09's were good with supposed earlier drinking windows, but they didn't have quite the concentration of the 10's. The 08's, along with having the advantage of slightly more bottle age, come from a more classical vintage according to the reps.

The first red that was poured turned out to be one of our favorites, if not the favorite wine of the tasting, but as luck would have it, none were available to purchase. We went back a couple times to confirm, and re-taste the wine. This was the 2008 Domaine Faiveley Mercurey "La Framboisiere": The wine has tension, as with most outstanding wines, good dynamics between the fruit and the acid. This gave tastes of sour and sweet cherries and raspberries. Not overly complex or long, but a wine you just don't want to stop drinking. Here's a link from K&L http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?s... - the wine goes for around $34 now, and though Wally's is the only shop in the US to carry it, they were unfortunately out of stock last night.

Other wines that stood out:

2008 Chablis: Just remember the smooth lemon zest with just a hint of cream, great lively texture, and of course, freshness.

2009 Chasagne Montrachet: This was interesting, as both myself and my friend preferred the Chasagne to the Puligny. It had more nectar, making it slightly sweeter than the Puligny, which had a taste of wheat or some bitter quality that I didn't like, and as I remembered from the only other Puligny Montrachet i've had. We bugged the rep about this a couple of times, and she finally pulled over Erwan Faiveley, who's now running the show as the 7th generation in his family to do so. While he spoke to us, it was with a not so subtle favoring of Puligny Montrachet, noting that Chasagne had been planted for reds before whites came more into style around the 1960's and 70's. 

2010: Pommard, Volnay, and Nuits St. Georges. These are wines I will seek out to cellar later on in the year when they come in. If the early returns say anything at all, these wines have a very nice concentration of tart red fruit character and great freshness.

Faiveley's Website: http://www.domaine-faiveley.com/gb/...

Apparently, they're one of the largest producers in Burgundy, behind Jadot, Drouhin, and possibly a couple more that I can't think of. But what I like about Faiveley, is that they're able to provide some level of economies of scale, without it being a corporate operation. In an environment like Burgundy, where spacing is limited, this seems to be a rare balance, which allows for some reasonably priced wines, still produced with the gentle touch and integrity of a family domaine.

Replies

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 21, 2012.

Other 2009's I should mention that are drifting back into memory are the Gevrey Chambertin, and the Clos des Vougeout.

The Gevrey Chambertin definitely needs time for the oak to integrate, noticed the oak up front more than any other wine.

As you might expect, the Clos des Vougeout needs time to come together in general, very tight and primary at this point.

Will be spending some time with the 2008 Blagny Piece Sous Bois later this weekend, so i'll have to report back on that one.
 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 21, 2012.

They also have a Monopole property in Mercurey, which I've had, and wasn't overly impressed with.  But thanks to your notes, I will start looking at the Faively bottlings anew.  Certainly they offer a good range of price points, and are often more competitive on price for the particular crus they source.  This, to me, is what makes Burgundy a challenge, and not one that I have really wanted to take on:  In addition to a somewhat confusing and micro-denominated classification system, individual vineyards are owned by several owners (unless the label says Monopole, a la DRC).  So the advice I always received was, "Know the producer."  But the labels are so similar (big difference:  Cursive script or not) and the producer names so often buried.  And there's no shortage of small producers.  So you try a bigger producer like Faively, have a so-so experience, and that frustrates you. 

But it sounds like a return to Faively is in order, at least on a provisional basis. 

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 21, 2012.

I've had much the same frustration in the past Fox, as you know.

The 2008 Mercurey "La Framboisiere" my friend and I liked so much was indeed under the monopole label. I'll see if I can get more of it, and can send you a bottle if I do.

The 08' Blagny La Piece can also be had for under $40, along with another 2009 Mercurey clos myglands, which is closer to $30, would definitely recommend these wines. Have wine-searcher linked up if you're interested.

 

 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 21, 2012.

The Myglands was the one that I had, now that I see the name--I was too lazy to see if I made a note in CT or here.  Seems like I'm due to go back, tho.  I will keep my eyes out for the Mercurey Framboise.  They have strong distribution in these parts.

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 22, 2012.

Thought this was a more than interesting passage taken from a Burgundy article by WineDoctor:

"Although his opinions of wines from Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley have carried great clout for many years, Parker never seemed to establish a similar reputation when assessing Burgundy. An endorsement of the 1983 vintage, a year tainted by hail and rot, caused the eyebrows of many Burgundy savants to rise sharply, although it is only fair to say that the vintage certainly has plenty of fans, and overall opinion is divided rather than one-sided. With the 1993 vintage a much more negative opinion was expressed, and yet the wines found much more favour with other palates, such as Clive Coates who described it as “an exciting red-wine vintage”. Years later, as Burgundy drinkers became increasingly familiar with the vintage and its wines, the debate continued to rage on Parker's online forum, with many fans of the region vociferous in their appreciation of the vintage. The furore over this vintage was a turning point for The Wine Advocate and Burgundy, and with time Parker ceased reviewing the region and focused his attention elsewhere. Perhaps the final straw came in 1996 when he faced a lawsuit for libel from François Faiveley, of the Burgundy négociant of the same name. Faiveley was infuriated at Parker's comments in his Wine Buyer's Guide (Fireside, 1993) in which he wrote “the Faiveley wines tasted abroad would be less rich than those one can taste on the spot" - a statement which I believe Faiveley interpreted as meaning the wines he shipped to the USA where not the same as those he served Parker when tasting in Burgundy. The case was due to come before France's superior civil court, the Tribunal de Grande Instance, Parker being summoned to appear in February 1994, but he settled out of court before the proceedings got underway. This episode seemed to mark the end of Parker's relationship with Burgundy, as he subsequently turned over its review to hired associate Pierre-Antoine Rovani in 1997"

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/regionalguides/burgundypart07.shtml

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 22, 2012.

Parker's blind spot is Burgundy, no doubt.  Oh, and Spain.  And a lot of what he likes in CdP hasn't wowed me, but that's just me--there's a thread here about my disappointment with 2007 S. Rhones in general.  So I have the blind spot sort of in common with him, but not necessarily much else.

I love PN, but when you say Burgundian, I think, gee, I've had thin red acid and I've had oaky, non-varietal stuff (a criticism that Parker had was that a lot of the high-priced "name" Burg is an oak trick, funny enough from him), and one or two that were good, but it's hard to say there's a common thread... and how can you say in one breath that Burg is better than RRV, SLH, SRH, WV for reflecting site specific flavors and then say there's something ineffably "Burgundian" about it that the others lack?  (Try some of Roar's different SLH wines and tell me they aren't teasing out "terroir."  Or read Asimov's column today in the NYT about Rhys.) As folks who were at the October Drink GdP's Wine know, Burgundy just isn't my entry point/point of ref for PN, for historical reasons as well--I grew up in Northern Cal.  If you go by common experience and volume, the reference for "Burgundian" would have to be those Bourgogne Rouges that can be just this side of dreadful or a pretty good value.

 

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 22, 2012.

Fox, I think everything's aligning for a CA pinot noir v. a red Burgundy taste off.

Bring your Roar, favorite Sonoma Coast, and RRV selections, and i'll find some Burg's with village designations, or whatever I can come up with in a $30 - $75 range.

Have to say that CA pinot has disappointed me more often than not, and by that I mean much more often than not. But admittedly, I haven't had Roar, or the most informed labels around. I went through a phase where I tried every Pinot I came accross, and have only been impressed a couple of times. One was a 2004 Hitching Post Fiddlestix, another a 2007 Domaine Carneros, Carneros (but this was a delicate wine that needed to be tasted right at its' sweetspot), and probably the first was a 2006 Whitcraft Aubaine, which i'm not sure how much i'd like any more. Pricing out at $60, $30, and $60 respectively, however the $60 Pinot's are probably going for more like $75 now if they can be found. 

Maybe later in the year some time around fall? If we can't meet, I can send you the Burg's and you can send me the the CA pinot. Taste along with a friend for a wider perspective.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 23, 2012.

I missed the Faiveley tasting here in NY, but I must say that thier wines are certainly becoming more attractive. I think they really have worked hard to improve quality across the board over the past decade. Thanks for sharing your notes.

Cali Pinot V Burgundy. That sounds like a great blind tasting. Maybe I can work that into my schedule. I think that in many case I would prefer the Burgs, but then again I look for austerity in my wines.

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Reply by duncan 906, Feb 23, 2012.

I am jealous because I am, a big fan of Burgundy and have reviewed several for Snooth but I live in London and knew nnothing about it.It sounds like you chaps who did go had a good time

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 23, 2012.

Okay, JD, we should work on that.  I am due for a trip to LA, so if we can get GdP, maybe reactivate Lingprof, emark is in your area... or we do it up here and get outthere, HondaJohn, NapaGirl (also silent here these days) I'm up for it.  I just bought more Roar via the newsletter, and I would probably want to include some Littorai, Holdrege, Siduri, Scherrer (former assistant to Dehlinger)--best thing about Siduri would be that he sources from all up and down the coast.  Fall is a possibility either location.  You've got my particulars--texting still works. GdP, give us an idea of your travel plans to the West Coast.

 

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 23, 2012.

The first date that seems pretty firm is LA the first week of April.

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Reply by EMark, Feb 24, 2012.

Mark and Peggy would be interested in participating in Los Angeles.  First week in April looks reasonable for us.  However, sometimes details get in the way.  Not sure I can bring examples as grand as I've heard so far, but I will try to do my part.

 

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 24, 2012.

Great, let's definitely do the event in L.A. 

Bring as many Pinot's as you want Fox, we'll get an equal amount of Burgs. We should definitely span accross multiple vintages, including one at least 10 years old.

Let's make the 1st week of April the tentative plan, and of course I can host in my home or we can look at public options if you guys would rather.

 

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 24, 2012.

Everybodu just should bring a wine/ wines that they are enthusiastic about. I can maybe send my wines along early to let them settle down.

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 26, 2012.

Absolutely, getting everyone together is the main thing...anything after that is house money.


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