Domaine Faiveley seems to have gotten quite a “bargain” in acquiring the Jean-Pierre Monnot estate in 2008. It added to its already impressive roster of vineyards a strong presence in Puligny-Montrachet – including village Puligny and the 1ers crus Les Referts, Champ Gain, and La Garenne.
Even more prominently, important plots in grands crus Batard-Montrachet and Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet supplemented Faiveley’s beautiful parcels of Corton-Charlemagne.
The Batard-Montrachet is perhaps the top wine in the white Faiveley portfolio, although it is a close race among the three big grands crus.
So let’s take a look at the Faiveley Bâtard-Montrachet – history, plots and the full monty.
I like Faiveley whites
I have really come to enjoy the Faiveley whites, with their controlled yet vivid fruit. They have a fine hedonistic balance without going overboard in a hippie, organic-wine style. The oak is balanced and permits or sustains fine energy and tension in the wines.
Faiveley’s Batard-Montrachet parcel was planted in 1985 and 1997. It is the youngest of the domaine’s three grand cru vineyards – just coming of age. The Corton is an old Faiveley property, acquired in 1874 and planted in 1933, 1935, 1987 and 1988, with a bit subsequently in 2010.
The Faiveley plot in Batard-Montrachet
Domaine Flaveley owns a medium-sized plot in Bâtard-Montrachet. It’s around the 10th largest owner, with a 0.3508-ha section located in the northern end of the large Bâtard vineyard.
Erwan Faiveley, as mentioned above, acquired the plot from Jean-Pierre Monnot in 2008, a purchase that brought him some Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet as well.
The Bâtard plot is just east of the Bienvenues parcel. According to Clive Coates, Monnot had previously sold the juice to Maison Louis Latour – or at least he did so in the mid-1990s.5
I for one am happy to see the progress made since Faiveley took over. This is really becoming one of the finer, more elegant Bâtards.
Domaine Faiveley’s plot, no. 144, is located in the northern, narrow end of Bâtard-Montrachet. It abuts directly the Faiveley plot in Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet (see below).
It is likely that the Monnot holding dates from before the creation of Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet as an appellation, as he had plots before the separation of Bâtard and Bienvenues in 1937-1939 (see below).
It’s clear that the two plots are quite similar terroir-wise. But with the wines, the Bâtard is somewhat more structured, with a greater mineral intensity. There definitely is a difference – although it would be interesting to see if one could identify it in a blind tasting.
The history of the Faiveley plots
When Faiveley acquired the Bâtard plot from Jean-Pierre Monnot in 2008 it did not get his full Bâtard holding, as a small plot, cadastre no. 145, apparently was sold to another grower.
When Rodier authored his work in 1920, Bienvenues was still a part of Bâtard-Montrachet. Bâtard was then labeled as containing 22.5285 ha, and one would expect that Bienvenues was included as a part of the Puligny end of Bâtard-Montrachet.
Looking in Rodier at the Chassagne end of Bâtard, however, we see that Monnot is listed as an owner of plots there.
On the Puligny side, Rodier lists another Monnot plot, so it’s likely that Faiveley’s plots were owned by Monnot back in 1920. I could not, however, find any older citation of Monnot as an owner of Bâtard.
An elegant and airy Bâtard
The best Batard-Montrachet I have tasted from Faiveley – so far – is the 2017 version.
Domaine Faiveley Batard-Montrachet 2017
The Batard is a step up in intensity and energy from the Bienvenues – as one would expect given the character of the two terroirs. The Batard is deeper, but it also a refined, balanced effort. The bouquet has intense white and yellow orchard fruits and a very slight hint of hazelnuts. It is infused with a both powerful and energetic minerality. A lovely and very balanced effort.
(Drink from 2028) – Outstanding – (94-95p) – Tasted from cask 14/11/2018
Many thanks to Eve Faiveley for the detailed information about the Monnot plots and the wines produced.
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)
- Clive Coates, Cote d’Or (1997)