When one writes about wine, the scribblings can easily become standard, run-of-the-mill gossip and notes. The re-use of content and text is systemized in this business as much as in others. But sometimes a little more reflection is needed.
Let’s take the essential question first: Why do I really like the wines from Nicolas Faure?”
The response it is a combination of things, but turns mainly on his unique talent to transform even unknown vineyards into enjoyable wines with a style and expression that is effortless and delicate, as well as a natural delivery of complexity. Faure’s wines flow in the glass with no apparent effort nor flashy show off of vinification. The tannins are fine and delicate and ad to the refinement of the wines, They are made by and with a natural, unmanipulated talent.
The wines do not pose as overly complex or extracted or impressively concentrated; they just are themselves. They give pure, almost unparalleled drinking pleasure, all without being picture perfect.
Faure’s production fairly exemplifies much of my concept of vin d’émotion. His wines have all that I need in a Burgundy – joy, emotion, drinkability – without the need to sacrifice the house, or the car I don’t have!
…. Epicureanism finds the greatest good or well-being by seeking modest pleasure in order to attain a state of tranquillity, freedom from fear (ataraxia), and absence from bodily pain (aponia). This combination of states is held to constitute happiness in its highest form. Epicureanism can be considered a form of hedonism, although it differs in its conception of happiness as the absence of pain, and in its advocacy of a simple life.”
The Winehog can do with tranquillity and a simple life – not pursuing points, excessive complexity, and great grand crus.
There is still Burgundian life below 200€!
Brompton life – contrasting
This year’s trip to the Faure tasting in Meuilley (6 km from Nuits-Saint-Georges) was something different, made on Mr. Brompton, my electric bicycle, in what I would call torrential rain (the Winehog likes to complain). Others would perhaps call it light, occasional showers, but the trip nevertheless gave a somewhat humid – but fresh – feeling to my arrival in the lovely village of Meuilley.
I have, as you know, covered the history of this estate and earlier vintages in previous articles (below if you need the background, and to spare ourselves a rewrite of the previous years’ yada yada yada).
- Visit at Domaine Nicolas Faure – mesmerizing wines
- Visit Domaine Nicolas Faure, tasting of the 2016s from cask
- Visit Domaine Nicolas Faure, tasting of the 2017s from cask
- Visit Domaine Nicolas Faure, tasting of the 2018s from cask
- Visit Domaine Nicolas Faure, tasting of the 2019s from cask
The COVID situation has deprived me of regularly tippling my favourites, as I usually enjoy wines from Nicolas Faure and others at local restaurants in Burgundy. These are just re-opening for terrace service as we speak. This gastronomic hole has been a serious business for the Winehog, as these experiences have unique qualities that both grace my palate and improve my overall well-being!
So with no further ado, the notes.
The Faure 2020s
The 2020s here are, like in other places, “cool” – meaning the wines have a somewhat cool stance despite the very hot summer in 2020.
Let’s face it: No vintages in Burgundy are cool these days. But it is a treat if the wines at least appear to be on the cooler side, and 2020 does just that.
To say that they’re better than the 2019s is perhaps to exaggerate at the moment. But they do have a concentrated structure of acidity and mineral components that give the wines both a substantial and a cool character.
First of the red 2020s was the Coteaux Bourguignons Mes Gamays; as labeled, a gamay-based wine.
Domaine Nicolas Faure Coteaux Bourguignons Mes Gamays 2020
The Coteaux Bourguignons Mes Gamays is different: 30% is vinified as rose and 70% as traditional gamay. This aim was to get a lighter, more “vin de soif” feeling from the low-yield, concentrated 2020. This works in my view, as the rose part infuses vivid freshness to the wine, which is perfect for the terrasse and friends (a few bottles, as they empty quickly). I know that some vignerons are reluctant to use methods like this, but as far as I know it’s not against any rules. It produces an energetic, vivid wine in a year that otherwise would have given much more density from grapes harvested on August 25.
(Drink from 2029) – Good – (87p) – Tasted 28/04/2021 from cask –
Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne Aux Argillieres 2020
The Bourgogne Aux Argillieres is showing fine acidity, coolness, and lovely balance, with red fruit, cinnamon and redcurrant spicing up the whole-cluster notes – even a hint of rhubarb. While not as hedonistically lively and decadent as the 2019, this has other, more classical qualities. Which do you prefer? Hot and vivid, or cooler and more restrained? This was also harvested on August 25.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good – (88-89p) – Tasted 28/04/2021 from cask –
Domaine Nicolas Faure Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Herbues 2020
When I started to taste Faure’s Les Herbues, I knew no one else that produced wine from this vineyard. Now, I have already tasted three different 2020 Herbues from cask – and all are giving Nicolas Faure a run for his money, sort of. The thing is, Nicolas’ relaxed, epicurean and easy-going style produces a different, less detailed, but more holistic and airy version of Herbues. It’s cool, elegant, and hedonistic in the sense of a vin de soif, and full of joy. With the cool tendency of 2020, it is perhaps the most classical since the 2014.
(Drink from 2029) – Fine – (90-91p) – Tasted 28/04/2021 from cask –
Domaine Nicolas Faure Aloxe-Corton 2020
The Aloxe-Corton is a bigger wine, and holds its own with the Herbues very well. On the richer side, it still a certain coolness that is lively and refined, with an intense bass note. Not extremely detailed, and with slightly darker fruit content, it still has a holistic coolness, with raspberries and sweet cherries caressing the palate.
(Drink from 2031) – Very Good+ – (90-91p) – Tasted 28/04/2021 from cask –
Domaine Nicolas Faure Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc 2020
The Hautes Côtes de Beaune is made from 80% chardonnay and 20% pinot blanc – and is starting to expand somewhat in complexity. The whites in 2020 are, judged at this stage, showing very well, and this for me is the best Hautes Côte de Beaune yet from the Faure estate. It is a vin de soif like the reds, yet without the serious depth of the Aligote.
(Drink from 2022) – Good+ – (87p) – Tasted 28/04/2021 from cask –
Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne Aligote La Corvees de Bully 2020
The Bourgogne Aligote La Corvees de Bully is one of my favorite aligotes. It is not a casual drinking wine; it’s a serious, demanding one, as its depth and complexity are impressive. This is wine that demands – and deserves – respect. Later harvested (September 8), it still has the unique combination of coolness and ripeness. This is a wine in the same league as the 2014 and 2017, and could eventually rival these for the title.
(Drink from 2030) – Fine – (91p) – Tasted 28/04/2021 from cask –
Tasting Notes for this producer
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne Aligote La Corvees de Bully 2017 February 19, 2019
- Domaine Nicolas Faure, Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Herbues 2016 November 23, 2018
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne Aligote La Corvees de Bully 2014 June 21, 2017
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Herbues 2015 June 21, 2017
- Domaine Nicolas Faure, Bourgogne Aux Argillieres 2014 October 11, 2016
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Herbues 2014 October 11, 2016
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Aloxe-Corton 2015 July 31, 2016
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne Aux Argillieres 2015 July 31, 2016
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Coteaux Bourguignons Mes Gamay 2015 July 31, 2016
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Herbues 2015 July 31, 2016
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Herbues 2014 July 31, 2016
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Herbues 2012 July 31, 2016
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne Aligote La Corvees de Bully 2014 July 31, 2016
- Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne Aligote La Corvees de Bully 2015 July 30, 2016
- Domaine Nicolas Faure, Bourgogne Aux Argillieres 2014 June 23, 2016
- Visit to Domaine Nicolas Faure – tasting the 2020s from caskWhen one writes about wine, the scribblings can easily become standard, run-of-the-mill gossip and notes. The re-use of content and text is systemized in this business as much as in others. But sometimes a little more reflection is needed. Let’s take the essential question first: Why do I really like the wines from Nicolas Faure?” The response ...
- Visit to Domaine Nicolas Faure – tasting the 2019s from caskIt’s good to be back in the Meuilley cellar of Nicolas Faure, in a lovely village with for me a tricky name to spell – Meuilley, Meuilley, Meuilley, Meuilley – in the valley above Nuits-Saint-Georges 😝 On this visit I was with Paul Wasserman and his team, harking back to the first tasting we had in ...
- Bourgogne Day 2 – Back in businessStarting in Nuits-Saint-Georges – Monday 8 am. It’s very early not; even time to get a cup of coffee at Place de la Liberation (the lockdown does give this name a new meaning). First out: Moron-Garcia Starting out with 2019s from Moron-Garcia, which are still fresh, vivid blessings. These are indeed delightful wines. The Corton is ...
- Aligote – Pernand-Vergelesses and behind the hillOne 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 ...
- Terroir Insight: Nicolas Faure Nuits-Saint-Georges Les HerbuesThe Nuits-Saint-Georges village vineyard Les Herbues is attaining a special status, with extra appeal to the true vineyard geeks – in the most positive way. Independent and individualist producers are exploring this terroir and making exciting wines – and in some cases even vins d’emotion. These are vignerons who spare no effort to make tremendous wine. ...