Domaine Faiveley has over the last ten years assembled an important holding of white Burgundy vineyards, mainly with a new stronghold in Puligny-Montrachet which includes village Puligny and the 1ers crus Les Referts, Champ Gain, and La Garenne.
Even more notably, it now has relatively prominent plots in grands crus Batard-Montrachet and Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet supplementing its old and beautiful parcels in Corton-Charlemagne.
The Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet is a very good wine in the Faiveley portfolio, almost – or perhaps sometimes – matching the fine Batard and Corton-Charlie.
So let’s take a look at the Faiveley Bienvenues – history, plots and the full monty.
I like Faiveley whites
I have really come to like Faiveley whites, with their controlled yet vivid fruit. They have a lovely hedonistic balance without going overboard in a hippie, organic-wine style.
The three grands crus battle each year for the yellow jersey, and while the Bienvenues is always in with a chance, the Corton, with its old-vine character, is my current favorite.
The Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet vineyard was planted in 1980 and the Batard in 1985 and 1997. The Corton is an old Faiveley property, acquired in 1874 and planted in 1933, 1935, 1987, 1988 and a bit in 2010. So there is quite a number of older vines on the Corton hill.
The Bienvenues-Batard parcel is nevertheless 40 years now and in its prime, producing a very balanced and expressive wine.
The Faiveley plot in Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet
Domaine Flaveley is the second-largest owner of Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet, with a 0.5057-ha section located in the southern part of the vineyard.
Erwan Faiveley acquired the plot from Jean-Pierre Monnot in 2008, an acquisition which brought him some Bâtard-Montrachet as well.
The Bâtard plot is just above the Bienvenues parcel purchased from Monnot. According to Clive Coates, Monnot had previously sold the must to Maison Louis Latour – at least in the mid-1990s.5
Domaine Faiveley’s plot no. 19 is located in the southern end of the vineyard, one parcel over from the Ramonet section.
It is likely that the Monnot holding dates from before the creation of Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet as an appellation, as he had plots even before the separation of Bâtard and Bienvenues in 1937-1939 (see below).
It’s clear that the two plots are similar terroir-wise. But in the end the Bienvenues seems a bit more generous with its mid-palate fruit, softer perhaps ( to say more supple would be going a bit too far).
The history of the Faiveley plots
As mentioned, Faiveley acquired the Bienvenues plot from Jean-Pierre Monnot in 2008, though there is no historic ownership information in the old sources, as Rodier wrote his book well before the Bienvenues vineyard was created in 1937.
But it’s pretty clear that in 1920, when Rodier authored his work, Bienvenues was still a part of Bâtard-Montrachet.
Bâtard was then labelled as containing 22.5285 ha, and one would expect that Bienvenues was 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 evidence regarding Monnet ownership of Bâtard.
The best Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet I have ever tasted – so far – is the 2017 version from Domaine Faiveley.
Domaine Faiveley Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet 2017
The Bienvenues is a magnificent vine. It is rare that I prefer it to the Batard Montrachet, but in this case they are at worst evenly matched. The nose offers cool, pure, orchard fruits supported by fine minerality and a touch of oak. On the palate, intense and elegant with lovely power and length. An elegant grand cru, with beautifully balanced oak and very pure fruit. This is both a lovely and an exciting white from Faiveley, and it should not be overlooked.
(Drink from 2028) – Outstanding – (94-95p) – Tasted from cask 14/11/2018.
Thanks a lot 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)