On the last two days of my Burgundy trip I had five tastings. Domaine Faiveley, Domaine Pascal Bouley, Maison Camille Giroud, Domaine des Croix and last but not least Domaine J.-F. Mugnier in Chambolle Musigny.
All visits offered lovely 2015s .. confirming the findings from the tastings done earlier on the week. Again please note .. it’s very early and the 2015 are still developing in cask .. and some are not through malo yet .. things can change on the route to the bottled wines.
Domaine Faiveley — en route for greatness
This was my first visit at Domaine Faively and I was received by Erwan Faiveley the young a dynamic head of Faiveley.
Faiveley has been improving quality significantly over the last years and I think its safe to say that ambitions are still very high here .. and a further rise in quality is on the agenda. Faiveley is currently rebuilding the winery in Nuits-Saints-Georges – a huge project – and has expanded the vineyard holdings with some real gems over the last years – the Dupont-Tisserandot estate and a new plot of Musigny from the Dufouleur estate.
The style have changed over the last 5 years to a lighter and refined expression of the Burgundian terroirs – and now the wines can be appreciated without decades of cellaring. The old Faiveley wines often required very extensive cellaring to unfold .. and were perhaps not the most refined Burgundies made .. but given sufficient cellaring they would in fact offer tremendous drinking, and unfold the complexity. They were pretty old school and quite a contrast to the wine making employed now .. were refinement rather than power is in focus.
Erwan is ambitious and brutally honest about his own wines – and I really admire the dedication and the “no bullshit” attitude in saying that they have done better with some wines than others.
The overall quality of the wines tasted – only a fraction of the many wines produced by Faiveley – was very high … with quite a few wines offering the 2015 magic of extraordinary fruit, freshness and balance.
I have written a few articles about the Faiveley Musigny, and it was therefore a treat to taste one of the two casks of Musigny – the Dufouleur cask – to check out the potential. Faiveley had little or literally no time and chance to influcence the viticulture of the vineyard, as the plot was acquired around the harvest. The wine from this plot is nevertheless a very elegant and lightfooted 2015 .. pure, transparent and refined – showing the greatness of the Musigny terroir.
Pascal Bouley – a new name for me
I like to explore new estates … and I was therefore thrilled when Domaine Pascal Bouley contacted me about a visit.
I normally only accept invitations or visit Domaines where I know there is a good chance that I will like the wines and find them interesting, as I really don’t want to make bad reviews if it can be avoided. I like to recommend wines, and see no point in visiting estates where I’m sure I don’t like the wines.
In this case I did however make an exception .. an let me just say .. I’m happy I did, as both the 2014s and 2015s from Domaine Pascal Bouley are pure, elegant and transparent wines.
I had a lovely tasting Pierrick Bouley, the son of the house, who is now making the wines. Pierrick is making wines with a light hand, low extraction, quite minimal use of new oak and relatively low use of sulphor … so these are classic Volnays with a quite generous fruit.
The bigger wines are more serious as the terroir calls for, and the lesser Volnays are just adorable in the 2015 vintage .. generous, energetic and pure.
I rearlly enjoyed these wines … and I must say I prefer them to some of the more “modern”, darker and more oaky Volnays made. Volnay should be all about refinement and lightness in my book … not dark or darker wines.
Most certainly not my last visit at Domaine Pascal Bouley.
Domaine des Croix
It’s always a pleasure to taste wines with David Croix one of the most talented wine makers in the region.
David did very well indeed in the 2015 vintage, and if the freshness remains after the bottling these are truly magnificent wines. The offer a beautiful expression of terroir, lovely juicy red fruit, loads of energy … in other words very balanced and delightful Burgundies in the making.
It’s hard to pick favorites as all the wines show well … but the Cortons are out of this world energetic and vibrant with a tremendously delicate mid-palate fruit.
Will get back with more details and notes from this tasting … but these wines surely look very promising at this stage – chapeaux David or should I say Mr. Corton.
Maison Camille Giroud
Camille Giroud offer another expression of David Croix talent, and I must say that the 2015 wines made here are also truly delightful.
The Beaune wines are really singing as is the Corton, and some of the Gevreys are really showing the unique 2015 magic.
All the wines are of very high quality … but just as at other estates .. some have this extra freshness, fruit and energy.
Domaine J.-F. Mugnier …
I adore the wines from this fine estate, and it’s always very interesting to taste here, as Frédéric Mugnier often have some insightful comments about both the market, the vintage and Burgundy as a whole.
The 2015s here are as expected magnificent, and Frédéric Mugnier seems very happy with the development of the wines in cask – but as he points out it is indeed very early to taste the wines.
This leads to a talk about the fact that most Burgundies are consumed way to young these days – and that collectors that only buy the big grand crus rarely experience the full complexity of a Burgundian wine.
This is why Frédéric Mugnier now keeps his Musigny in the cellar for later release – for how long you ask?! – and for the time being the answer is 2 to 10 years, as this depends on numerous factors.
Seen in this light it seems somewhat contradictory to taste the 2015s .. as some of them most likely not will be ready for drinking within my lifetime … but nevertheless they are tremendous wines.
This leads me to the drinking window discussion … i.e. a wines window of opportunity. Some producers make dark rather extracted wines, that requires a long cellaring to show true Burgundian complexity .. whereas others make more forward and openly styled wines, that can be enjoyed with more pleasure even mid-aged or young.
In my view this is an important topic, as some wines need 10 year to mature, while other might need 20 years in the cellar to unfold just a little. Collectors should take this into account when the plan the cellar .. otherwise they will never experience the full pleasure of the wines collected.
As for the Mugnier wines, they actually have a rather large window of opportunity, as they are made with a light hand, and especially the village and Clos de la Marechales are enjoyable even rather early on. They still need years of cellaring to unfold the full complexity, so cellaring is highly recommended. The grand crus should in most years be cellared for at least 15 years to unfold fully in my view.
The 2015s will no doubt offer tremendous pleasure for those how wait until the wines matures, and I’m pretty sure that the Musigny will be out of this world delightful when I turn 75 in 2040 … the virtue of patience is required to get maximum pleasure of the grand crus from Burgundy.
The village wines and the 1er crus could then be enjoyed while one waits for the 1er crus – and a fully mature village wines can offer just as much and often more complexity and pleasure than a closed grand cru.