One of the most impressive white Burgundies I have tasted comes from a very old yet relatively unknown terroir on the backside of the mighty Corton hill.
It is of course the splendid Aligote from Nicolas Faure, which comes from ungrafted 100-year-old vines.
I tasted the 2014 Aligote the first time I visited Nicolas Faure, and while I have tasted it a couple of times since, the first time is still something special: a true vin d`emotion event.
But let’s take a closer look at this cuvee from the backside of the big hill.
The plot and the wines
Nicolas Faure’s plot is located behind the Corton hill going north from Pernand-Vergelesses.
We are still in the Pernand appellation cadastre-wise, and the plot is one of many in this area.
Looking at Google maps’ street view shows that some development is going on. But this is apparently an area that has hosted vineyards for decades, hence we also find some very old vines.
Nicolas Faure’s plot is 0.2520 ha located in the lieu-dit La Grande Corvée de Bully (plot 000 AI7).
A part of the plot has been planted with Chardonnay, so the area producing Aligote is even smaller. Only 723 bottles were produced in 2014, and 728 in the 2017 vintage.
The map below shows the more precise location of the Faure plot – note the old Aligote vines are in the eastern end of the parcel.
The history of the plot
Let’s face it – the backside of Pernand does not contain the best-documented vineyards in Burgundy.
The name and terroir were, however, already known back in 1521, according to Rodier, writing in 1920.
Looking at the old cadastre maps from 1825 we see La Grande Corvee de Bully with the area divided into many plots, indicating wine production even then.
Enlarging the photo further we see the plots in the area which are today Faure’s Aligote. It looks like plots 1237-1240 cover the area today belonging to Nicolas Faure, but it could also include 1236.
Tasting impressions – the first crush
The Bourgogne Aligote La Corvee de Bully 2014 is one of the very best Aligotes I have ever tasted. The nose is very pure and vibrant with delicate white orchard fruits, hints of menthol and anise, and lovely minerality. On the palate, intense and saline with vibrant, pure fruit. It’s quite linear and focused with an impressive length. The purity and depth of fruit are unique for an Aligote in my view. Magnificent by any standard, and a one-of-a-kind wine. Truly exceptional!
(Drink from 2022) – Very Good+ – (90 – 91p) – Tasted 15/06/2016 –
Further tasting notes
I have had the pleasure of tasting the 2014 Aligote several times and it has never let me down. The second tasting gave me perhaps an even greater experience.
Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne Aligote La Corvee de Bully 2014
I was very happy to find this in a restaurant, as it is one of the very best Aligotes I have ever tasted. The nose is pure and vibrant with delicate white orchard fruits, hints of grass and anise, and lovely minerality. On the palate, intense and saline with vibrant pure fruit – quite linear and focused with impressive concentration and length. The purity and depth of fruit are unique, and the power is tremendous for such a balanced wine.
(Drink from 2027) – Fine – (91 – 92p) – Tasted 20/06/2017 –
Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne Aligote La Corvee de Bully 2015
The 2015 version of the Corvee de Bully is a richer and more generous wine. The nose offers more exotic orchard fruits – expressive and rich. On the palate, ripe yellow fruit with fine mid-palate focus. The acidity is very good for the vintage; clearly the old Aligote vines have done well under the somewhat hot 2015 conditions. Not quite at the same level as the refined 2014, but a lovely Aligote in the making.
(Drink from 2022) – Very Good – (89 – 90p) – Tasted 15/06/2016 –
Due to the bad frost in 2016, no Aligote was made from the old vines of La Corvee de Bully. The next vintage of this wonderful wine was the 2017.
Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne Aligote La Corvee de Bully 2017
The Aligote La Corvee de Bully 2017 is a delightful wine. The nose is very pure and vivid, with delicate white orchard fruits and notes of grass and anise. On the palate, intense and saline with lovely depth and power. Not as intense as the 2014, but I do adore the 2017s. A lovely wine.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good – (90 – 91p) – Tasted 12/02/2019 –
References & Sources:
- Jules Lavalle, Histoire et Statistique de la Vignes et Des Grands Vins de la Côte d’Or (1855)
- Batault-Morot, E. Plan statistique des vignobles produisant les grands vins de Bourgogne. (1861)
- M.R. Danguy et M. Ch. Aubertin, Les Grands Vins de Bourgogne (1892)
- Camille Rodier, Le Vin de Bourgogne (1920)