The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Domaine Faiveley and…Domaine Faiveley!

Two expert selections from Michael Adler

Michael Adler 5.29.15Based in Nuits-St.-Georges, the family-owned Domaine Faiveley has been making wine since 1825. Led by the charismatic Erwan Faiveley, the estate has been investing heavily in improving its quality in both the vineyard and cellar, and in the process, it has redefined itself in the eyes (and palates) of wine professionals and collectors. Erwan has committed the estate to a spare-no-expense campaign to increase the estate’s quality in every vintage, and he’s done quite a commendable job. It also helps that the estate has gone on a huge buying spree, picking up several additional acres of grand cru holdings and really strengthening the top end of its portfolio. It also used to be that Faiveley’s grand cru wines needed decades before true approachability, but that’s no longer the case.

It’s quite rare for one Burgundy estate to own the entirety of a classified vineyard and be the sole producer of wines from that site; when this happens, it’s known as a monopole. Domaine Faiveley is much more than your typical Burgundy house, and two of its monopoles, Clos des Myglands and Clos de Cortons Faiveley are outstanding. Today I’m pleased to introduce you to a pair of Faiveley monopoles that will knock your socks off—and do it in style.

Domaine Faiveley 2013 Mercurey 1er Cru Clos des Myglands $56.99

The Pinot Noirs of Mercurey are known for being somewhat denser and fuller bodied than the average red Burgundy, and this ‘13 Clos des Myglands is no exception. It shows lovely notes of raspberry, cherry and minerals, with hints of forest floor and a long, spicy finish, and it offers exceptional value for a premier cru monopole. Trust me when I tell you this ’13 Mercurey is an absolute steal under $60, and it’ll be quite versatile in terms of its drinking window.

Domaine Faiveley 2013 Corton Clos de Cortons Faiveley $299.00

Perhaps Faiveley’s most prized and sought-after wine is its Corton “Clos de Cortons Faiveley” Grand Cru, a powerful, tannic beast of a Pinot. Dark and intense with an alluring, ethereal perfume, this is a wine that will enjoy a very long life. The ’13 bottling of Clos des Cortons Faiveley is a textbook example of the “iron hand in a velvet glove” cliché, seamlessly balancing finesse and elegance with explosive power and energy. Spicy and woody notes abound on top of its gorgeous red fruit and subtle mineral notes, and this wine will easily live for 20 to 30+ years when cellared properly.

Expert Picks: Latour-Giraud and Jean-Philippe Fichet

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky

Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiI will always make the argument that nowhere in the world makes white wine quite as well as Burgundy does. However, even Burgheads cannot simply say that they love white Burgundy. That is because in the whole region—which is just 35 miles north to south and 1.5 miles wide—there are multiple microclimates, a range of different terroir, and ultimately wildly varying wines. The three most prominent villages for white Burgundy are Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault. Today I wanted to show off two superb selections from the latter. Meursault shows off the best of the region by marrying its round flavors and rich textures with a lively acidity that makes your mouth water. These two bottles from Latour-Giraud and Jean-Philippe Fichet are recent favorites.

Domaine Latour-Giraud 2013 Meursault Genevrières 1er Cru $99.99

Latour-Giraud is an estate that went through a dramatic revival in the 1990s, all thanks to Jean-Pierre Latour (the current owner and winemaker). While it has holdings elsewhere, the majority of Latour-Giraud’s vines are located within five appellations in Meursault, Genevrières being one of them. Genevrières is revered as one of the finest vineyards in the whole Côte d’Or, and this 2013 bottle reinforces that reverence with its exquisite structure that’s balanced with finesse and a racy acidity. Drink now-2025

Jean-Philippe Fichet 2013 Meursault Gruyaches $102.99

Domaine Jean-Phillipe Fichet has made it a personal mission to reveal Meursault as one of the best, if not the best in the world for white wine. Fichet holds vineyards in other villages, bit its Meursault properties are that the estate’s focus. These tiny holding can make as little as four barrels of wine in any given vintage, but the estate wishes to focus on the purity of expression from the site rather than blending. This Meursault Gruyaches is pure dynamite. Drink now-2025.

Expert Picks: Pousse d’Or and…Pousse d’Or

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar

Crystal 2014Every week my colleague Joe and I discuss our “wines of the week,” those bottles that left a lingering impression and were remarkable for their ability to raise our eyebrows and get us excited. The last few for me have been stylish red Burgundies that blew me away, and if I had to choose a few favorites from this special French region, Volnay, Pommard, Morey-St-Denis and Chambolle-Musigny would be at the top of my list. Today I share two gorgeous wines from a producer that makes me fall in love with the reds of the Côte de Beaune each time I open a bottle.

Located a few kilometers from Beaune in the commune of Volnay, Domaine de la Pousse d’Or is one of Burgundy’s most prestigious names and the estate’s silky voluptuous wines exemplify why. Pousse d’Or’s 32 acres of vineyard are spread among the communes of Volnay, Pommard and Santenay, each producing distinctive and stylish wines. With a rich and vibrant history that can be traced back to the Dukes of Burgundy in 1110, Pousse d’Or is one of the leading producers of the region and one that should have space in any serious wine cellar. I wanted to highlight two spectacular offerings from the fairytale 2013 vintage, and both are gorgeous.

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or 2013 Corton Clos du Roi $109.00

Deriving from a 3.5-acre vineyard, this wine offers mysterious aromas of tobacco, dark red fruit character, earth, smoke and hints of baking spices. There is incredible depth and complexity tightly bound with soft yet firm tannins. With outstanding length on the finish, this is a serious a wine that will only get better and better with time.

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or 2013 Volnay Clos des 60 Ouvrees $109.00

This small monopole is a very special plot responsible for wines that show an aromatic yet rustic side of Volnay. The wine is beautifully polished with playful tannins, rich earth and spice notes and a lingering, silky finish. I enjoyed this with IWM Chef Mike Marcelli’s braised duck leg with sunchoke and chestnut, and I was in absolute heaven.

Expert Picks: Château de la Maltroye and Bachey-Legros

Two expert selections from Francesco Vigorito

Francesco 2014It’s quite difficult to find exceptional values in Burgundy, so whenever I come across some spectacular Burgundy bottles in the under $40 range, I get pretty excited. Château de la Maltroye and Bachey-Legros both make phenomenal Burgundies, and they somehow manage to keep the price down, while keeping the quality very high. Maltroye’s Bourgogne Rouge has always been one of my very favorites and you simply can’t beat a $35 Chassagne-Montrachet from Bachey-Legros. Don’t hesitate to snag these value Burgundy bottles!

Château de la Maltroye 2013 Bourgogne Rouge $29.99

This wine is pretty, delicate, floral, and elegant. Château de la Maltroye makes Pinot Noir the way it’s supposed to be, and to get this Bourgogne Rouge for less than $30 is a steal. It drinks way above its price point; pound for pound, it’s one of the best pours out there!

Bachey-Legros 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet Plantes Momiéres $34.99

Exclusive to IWM, Bachey-Legros has taken us by storm. It’s simply unheard of to get a high quality Chassagne-Montrachet with character for less than $35. This one derives from a single plot of land, Plantes Momiéres, adding even more distinction and character to this wine from a rarely heard of producer. This ’13 Chassagne-Montrachet is a definite bargain that’s easy on the wallet and delicious on the palate!

Expert Picks: Jean-Philippe Fichet and…Jean-Philippe Fichet!

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar

Crystal 2014“Love at first sip” is how I describe the magnificent whites of Jean-Philippe Fichet. In the early nineteenth century, Meursault was esteemed above all other Burgundy villages for its white wines, a respect rooted in the incomparable diversity of its soils. But later in the same century, the rise of Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet and Corton-Charlemagne pushed Meursault from the limelight. Today, Meursault is back on top, but more specifically, Fichet is on top!

Jean-Philippe Fichet is one of the leaders of French winemakers to keep an eye one. His influence, passion and dedication points the way to the region’s future, and more producers are following in his footsteps. Fichet’s methods reflect his philosophy: he is notoriously detailed and absolutely loathes taking shortcuts. To put it succinctly, the wines Fichet creates today have few rivals for their class in Burgundy, and I have yet to be so impressed by a set of wines for their precision, depth of character and flavor and overall expressiveness. I find no better wine to welcome this early spring weather that is now upon us.

Jean-Philippe Fichet 2013 Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes $41.99

This Bourgogne Blanc is anything but ordinary! This old-vine bottling is made from declassified premier cru fruit on the Fichet property. The nose offers bright aromas of citrus, acacia and hints of honey blossom, and the wine slides across the palate leaving a trail of citrus, stone fruit and minerals behind. You will be hard pressed to find another Bourgogne Blanc this good.

Jean-Philippe Fichet 2013 Meursault Tesson $117.99

Fichet’s main event, his Tesson easily beats other great grand cru white Burgundy for its sheer finesse, elegance and complexity. Deriving from vines planted as early as 1949, this concentrated Meursault offers layers of zesty citrus, white tea, stone fruit, white flowers and minerals. I decant this white before drinking as it releases additional layers of magic with added air-time. Get ready to have your socks knocked off with this beauty!

keep looking »