1996 Musigny Faiveley

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Average critic rating : 87.0 points



This remains quite closed and tight aromatically with distinct geranium notes (which I consider a mild technical flaw) interspersed in the otherwise nicely elegant spicy dark fruit notes. While the underlying material is impressive, the wine still seems disjointed and it's frankly hard to say whether it will ever come together. I have had this wine on at least four occasions and I remain perplexed by it because, save for the geranium hints, there is nothing overtly amiss yet this just doesn't possess the same degree of harmony as the best here. 87? May 2006, www.burghound.com, Try from 2008+



Medium red. Aromas of bitter cherry, mocha, smoked game and underbrush. Tight and quite unevolved, and showing a bit of heat today. An herbal complexity and the wine's rather tough structure are reminiscent of Bonnes-Mares. This is unyielding today but the tannins are not dry. Showed a sappy sweetness on the back end as it opened in the glass. May well merit a higher score with six to eight years of bottle aging. Mar 1999, www.vinous.com

Faiveley is most often referred to as a negociant though should probably be viewed as a very large domaine that does a bit of negociant work on the side. Faiveley is one of the largest landowners in the Côte de Nuits, with 123 hectares, of which 12 are grand cru.

The style here has completely changed over the past decade. “Old-style” Faiveley wines, which are very-roughly defined as pre-2005, are classically austere, a little tough, and require a great deal of time in the cellar to show their best.

The “new” style is considerably more forward: the wines have plenty of sweet and seductive fruit, though with a satisfyingly firm structure underneath. “Textbook” is perhaps a bit too easy a description, but the style here will please both lovers of fruit and lovers of tradition. What is undeniable is that the domaine is currently firing on all cylinders.

Wines to look out for include the monopole of Clos des Cortons Faiveley, one of just two vineyards in Burgundy to include the name of the owner in its appellation, and the Chambertin Clos de Beze Les Ouvrees Rodin – a selection from their very best parcel of Clos de Beze that was traditionally reserved for the family’s cellar.

“This is classic, expert wine-making; currently second to none. Burgundy at its best.” Clive Coates MW

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