On a sunny afternoon last week, my fellow Private Client Account Managers, Martin and Peter and I attended an insightful tasting of the wines of Domaine Faiveley. Hosted by winemaker Erwan Faiveley, this was more than a regular tasting with lunch. Held at the two Michelin starred ‘The Square’, chef Phillip Howard devised a menu that beautifully and sympathetically allowed these excellent Burgundies to show themselves in style.
Domaine Faiveley, established in 1825, is one of burgundy's oldest domaines and is now run by the seventh generation. Erwan Faiveley took over from his father in 2007 to run the domaine with the ambition to put his identity and style on the future wines of this famous house.
The afternoon began with Faiveley's Bourgogne Blanc from their negociant operation, a minority side of production. This served as an excellent, well rounded aperitif.
Fresh and balanced, the 2011 Pouilly Fuisse was introduced with Langoustine claw stuffed courgette flower - a mousse of refined intensity brought to life with a lift of acidity, orange blossom and gentle honey from the Fuisse.
Introducing his 2010 Meursault Blagny, Erwan identified this vineyards location as very close to Puligny and this was true not only in geography. With only a little classic Meursault richness, this wine was fresh with pineapple and a subtlety of oak and worked sublimely with a stunning slow cooked turbot dish from the kitchen. The pinnacle of food and wine pairing.
On to the reds and Erwan introduced his 2011 Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru “Les Cazetiers”, a wine that initially felt too young on the palate, yet opened up beautifully with The Square's saddle of rabbit – the Gevrey’s veiled power matching the rabbit’s intense flavour.
Wanting to show the development of the Faiveley style since taking over the estate, slow cooked rib of beef was matched with Erwan's father’s 1995 Clos de Vougeot. Showing plenty of development and maturity on the nose, yet a remarkable vitality in colour and on the palate, this was another well-judged match. If you have some 95s in the cellar, now is the time to bring these out and see how they are getting on.
Back to the current man at the helm for Faiveley's 2011 Mazis-Chambertin, served with the cheese course. This wine had tension, intrigue and vitality with a structure undercut by bright red fruits. Plenty of maturing still to do, this was paired with the Portuguese mountain cheese Serra da Estrela (DOP).
The final flourish was an intensely flavoured, yet delicately constructed Brillat-Savarin cheesecake accompanied by our final wine, 2009 Corton Charlemagne. This was true Corton, brimming with power and majesty that rounded off this stunning tasting in style.
As the last of the Corton disappeared, we all seemed in agreement on our wine of the afternoon. Caught off guard by Erwan's 2010 Meursault Blagny, this was a close second but the 1995 Clos de Vougeot, showing layers of complexity and maturity at 19 years of age won out.
Our thanks for a hugely enjoyable afternoon must go to the charismatic winemaker and host Erwan Faiveley, Mark Bingley at MMD, the team at The Square restaurant, and of course to our clients in whose company it is always a pleasure to share such exquisite food and wine.
Private Client Account Manager
A final comment from one of our clients:
“Many thanks to the FINE+RARE team for their excellent hospitality at the annual Domaine Faiveley Grand Cru lunch - a brilliant ‘up-close and personal’ opportunity to explore many outstanding wines of contrasting styles and vintages with Erwan Faiveley as our guide. Delicious food pairings from the kitchen at The Square really added another dimension to the tasting. Best of all was the opportunity to discuss, dissect and, most importantly, to enjoy the wines with others who are passionate about Burgundy. While it’s always difficult to play favourites when such quality is on offer, the 2011 Mazis-Chambertin was structured yet beautifully elegant and the 2010 Meursault 1er Cru Blagny with its bold floral and earthy notes really stood out for me. **What a treat! Thank you F+R.”
To view our current listing of Domaine Faiveley please click here.