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: Alain Burguet and…Alain Burguet

Two expert selections from Michael Adler

Michael Adler 5.29.15I have a soft spot for Burgundy’s smaller, family-run domaines. I find that their wines speak more to the passion, personality and livelihood of their makers than wines produced by larger, more corporate estates. Winemakers like Dominique Gallois, Christian Moreau and Alain Burguet are prime examples, and I’m always proud to promote and champion the wines from estates like these—of course, it’s easy when the wines are this good.

Domaine Alain Burguet, now run primarily by Alain’s two sons Jean-Luc and Eric, occupies about twenty acres, primarily in Gevrey-Chambertin. Historically, the estate made just two wines, a Gevrey-Chambertin and Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, but in the last decade or so, the domaine has expanded its line to include two additional Gevrey bottlings, as well as smaller amounts of Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanée and Chambertin Clos de Beze with fruit purchased from Domaine Damoy.

The two wines I’m featuring today are Burguet’s 2013 Bourgogne Rouge Les Pince Vin and 2010 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Champeaux, both highly sought-after cru wines that make regular appearances on NYC’s top restaurant wine lists.

Domaine Alain Burguet 2013 Bourgogne Rouge Les Pince Vins $45.99

Burguet’s Pince Vins, though bottled and labeled as a Bourgogne Rouge, is essentially a Gevrey-Chambertin in everything but its name. Straddling a section of Gevrey vineyard, Pince Vins is a plot on the north end of Gevrey-Chambertin that’s much in the shape of a pincer, hence its name. While most vignerons who make a Bourgogne Rouge in addition to their village-designated wines use purchased fruit from other appellations, Burguet only bottles fruit from its own estate vineyards to craft a Bourgogne Rouge of near-unparalleled depth and complexity. Light to medium in body yet firm and structured on the palate, the ‘13 Les Pince Vins offers ripe aromas of red and black fruits, leading into a palate packed with savory and earthy notes, and just a touch of sauvage. This is an unbeatable value in under $50 Burgundy!

Domaine Alain Burguet 2010 Gevrey 1er Cru Les Champeaux $135.99

Vintage after vintage Burguet’s Gevrey-Chambertin Champeaux is the estate’s most sought-after cru, and in an exceptional vintage like 2010, it has the necessary structure and acidity to age for two or more decades, though it is also quite expressive now five years after harvest. Dense and dark in the glass, it wafts with alluring aromas of red and black fruits, roses, wet earth and dried herbs, and it culminates in an incredibly long, powerful finish. Elegant and finessed yet full of power and energy, this ’10 Les Champeaux is a wine of beautiful dichotomies that evolves constantly in the glass from the moment it’s poured to the last hedonistic sip. Fans of well-wrought Gevrey-Chambertin should not miss out on this gorgeous ‘10 Champeaux.

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

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar

Crystal 2014Although I love Italian wines, France was my first love. It started in Bordeaux and spread to Burgundy, where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay rule the roost. I can easily get lost in any of the villages in the Côte d’Or, but of late, I find myself often reaching to the Côte de Beaune for both white and red wines. They are not only great partners for the plethora of produce available this season but they are also phenomenal to sip on without food.

One of Burgundy’s storied estates, Domanie Pousse d’Or has some weight of history behind it. This domaine has seen name changes, various combining of estates, a series of legendary winemakers at the helm, and a roster of Burgundy all-stars. Pousse d’Or always impresses me. Its masterful winemaking and choice parcels of land represent some of the very best in Volnay, Pommard and Santennay, and the estate’s wines clearly standout in tastings as a result. Pousse d’Or’s forward thinking viniculture has been instrumental in the region as the domaine pioneers new techniques to enhance the wines and elevate overall quality levels.

Pouse d’Or’s Volnay and Pommard are my soft spots, but if I had to choose one, I would have to go with Volnay. Today I am highlighting two very special monopoles, the Clos d’Audignac and the Clos de la Bousse d’Or, both 1er Cru sites from the 2013 vintage.

Pousse d’Or Volnay 2013 Clos D’Audignac 1er Cru $99.99

This bottling exudes elegance and class; it ages incredibly gracefully and offers a silky texture to the contrasting rustic dark fruit and earth that I love in Volnay wines. There are many dimensions in the glass, and with or without food, the wine sings. This ’13 bottling is strangely approachable in its youth, but it’ll continue to take on layers of grace and elegance as it ages.

Pousse d’Or Volnay 2013 Clos de la Bousse d’Or $99.99

Bold, rich and luxurious, this special bottling boasts impressive depth and complexity and a long, lively finish. This bottling benefits with additional time in the cellar or decanter if you wish to approach early. I cannot speak highly enough of these special monopoles; year in and out they always impress.

Expert Picks: La Gibryotte and George Noellat

Two expert selections from John Camacho Vidal

CamachoPinot Noir is France’s legendary grape and, along with Chardonnay, it’s what gives Burgundy its reputation and vice versa. Although Pinot Noir now grows in many parts of the world, the grape thrives in Burgundy, offering an exceptional ability to translate terrior, or a sense of place. Blue to violet color with a thin skin, Pinot Noir has been cultivated in France since the first century. The grape is so fickle and difficult to cultivate that leading wine critic Jancis Robinson has called it “the devil’s grape.” Pinot Noir gets its name from its appearance; when it’s on the vine, the grape clusters look like black pinecones. Pinot Noir tends to make elegant wines that are full of red fruit aromas and flavors that with time reveal a plethora of secondary characteristics such as earth, smoke, violet and truffles. They can be light body and inky in color and are among the most desirable wines in the world. This weekend I had the opportunity to pour two wines that showed how spectacular this grape varietal can be.

La Gibryotte 2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (C. Dugat) $99.99

Gevrey-Chambertin lies in the Côte de Nuits sub-region of Burgundy, and this bottling from famed producer La Gibryotte comes from seventy-year-old vines. The nose is elegant—full of red fruit, spice, iron and earth. The palate is powerful with silky, fine tannins and cherry fruit on the finish, which gets some nice oak and spice lingering on the end. Drink 2018 -2035.

George Noellat ​1979 Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts 1.5L $299.00

This wine has some age on it and is ready to drink. The color is leaning toward brownish brick hues and the nose is full with hints of prune, game, leather and minerality, followed by some warm cigar and spice. The tannins are silky and well integrated with the acidity lingering nicely on the finish. Drink now!

Inside IWM, April 20-23, 2015: Who, What, When, Where, How?

A look back at the week that was

Gianfranco Soldera before his very big botti

Gianfranco Soldera before his very big botti

This week on Inside IWM, our writers answered the five important questions: Who, what, when, where, and how?

We answered “Who?” with Gianfranco Soldera, and this recollection of time spent at the maverick winemaker’s estate.

We answered “What?” by pouring out glasses of this lovely under $22 Antinori Orvieto.

We answered “Where?” when Julia Punj investigated Aspen’s love affair with rosé wines and her suggestions for the best places to enjoy it while in Aspen.

We answered “How?” with this look at decanting wines and the myriad ways that decantation can add to your wine experience.

And we left “When?” up to our panel of experts, who each picked a wine to drink now and a wine to drink later. Three of our experts picked two wines from a single producer. David Gwo sang the praises of Paolo Scavino, Barolo Modernist. Justin Kowalsky served up value Burgundy from Domaine Chevrot. Camacho can’t contain his love for Giuseppe Quintarelli, the “Master of the Veneto.” And Robin Kelley O’Connor remembered October and Burgundy’s Paulée de Meursault at the Château de Meursault with his two selections.

Cheers to answering life’s questions–preferably with a glass of wine in your hand!

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