Last night we enjoyed a great tasting of the newly released 2010 red Burgundies from Domaine Faiveley, hosted by their export director Vincent Avenel. While blind tastings have their place, it’s always interesting to have someone like Vincent on hand to guide a an evening like this. His intimate knowledge of Faiveley’s winemaking techniques and their plots in various terroirs really added an extra dimension of understanding to the complex and varied Pinot Noirs we tasted.
Our line-up began with the 2010 Nuits-St-Georges ‘Les Saint Georges’, a Premier Cru vineyard, but widely regarded as approaching Grand Cru quality. This was delicious! Very fragrant with ripe plummy, almost pruney fruit flavours without any hint of over-ripeness.
Next up was the Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Combes Aux Moines’ Premier Cru. A real contrast, this was much more reserved and savoury with a strong mineral streak.
The 2010 Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Les Cazetiers’ combined some of the best traits of the first two wines. A deeper, richer nose. This seemed weightier and riper than the ‘Combes Aux Moines’, but with the same earthy appeal. Great depth and length. This was one of the highlights.
Next, we moved into Grand Cru territory with the 2010 Clos de Vougeot. This large Grand Cru covers 50ha, split between 80 owners. Faiveley own 3 separate plots, two near the bottom, and one larger plot higher up the slope near the Chateau. Though the consensus is generally that the higher portions of the Clos produce the best wines, Vincent pointed out warmer vintages, which are becoming increasingly common in Burgundy, can often favour the lower portion, which more easily retains moisture. Another example of the difficulty in making generalisations when it comes to Burgundy’s complex terroir. The 2010 Clos de Vougeot was complex, with delicious floral notes and seemed relatively delicate compared to the ‘Les Cazetiers’ and ‘Les Saint Georges’.
We moved on to a trio of Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Crus next. First up the 2010 Latricieres-Chambertin. A funky, earthy nose with forest-floor notes was a contrast to the Vougeot. This was delicate, cool and refined. Fresh and vibrant with very good length.
The Mazi-Chambertin was one of the stars of the tasting. A deeper, complex, more powerful nose led on to a ripe, weighty, full-bodied palate with sweet, plummy fruit. Great density and excellent length. Finishing with fine tannins all wrapped up in lush, sappy fruit.
The Chambertin-Clos de Bèze was also fantastic. Like a blend of the Mazi and Latricieres, this had power, complexity, ripe fruit and a nice earthiness. Stewed plum and cherry flavours mingled with notes of roasted coffee and spice. This was a very complex and interesting wine which would be great to revisit in a few years’ time.
The 2010 Corton ‘Clos des Cortons Faiveley’ was the final wine of the night. A monopole of Faiveley (they own the entire Clos), this was the only Cotes de Beaune wine tasted and was quite a contrast. Quite savoury with mushroom and forest floor notes. This also had darker fruit flavours with a plusher, richer impression.
This was an absolutely fantastic line-up of wines and a real treat to try all together. Vincent mentioned a change in style at Faiveley in recent years, with a move towards wines that are a bit less austere in their youth. This was definitely in evidence last night with every wine showing deliciously well. The whole range could be very succinctly summed up by Mary Anne’s tasting note on the first wine… “Yum”.