Magical and Scarce: 2016 Faiveley
What’s the Best Deal in the January Sale?
Trending Wines of the Weekend
Can You Bottle Pure Joy? (A Staff Pick)
What’s Wine Spectator’s Hottest Burgundy?
January Sale Recap
Who’s the greatest negociant in Burgundy?
What happens when these two are combined?
The Magical New 2016 Faiveley Arrivals
One of the last top estates to arrive in our shop has been Faiveley, a legendary name who’s been on a roll in the last half decade or so. The 2016’s are undoubtedly the finest collection of wines that Faiveley has produced and some of the strongest wines of the vintage.
So take notice and act fast.
The modern incarnation of Faiveley began in 2007 when Francois Faiveley retired and his son Erwan took over the management of the Domaine. Erwan has transformed the winemaking, holding onto the age-worthiness the domaine was known for, but also giving them significantly more youthful charm. (Under his father’s regime, one didn’t think about opening a Faiveley for the first 15-20 years; now they can be quite tasty young.) The holdings have expanded (especially on the white side) and the overall quality levels are higher than they’ve ever been.
On that front, it’s important to note that Faiveley is both a negociant and also one of the largest and most important landowners in Burgundy. While they’re thought of as a negociant by most, their domaine bottlings account for a far larger share of their production—a testament to the quality-mindedness that has driven the producer to new heights (on the bottles, negociant wines are labeled “Joseph Faiveley” vs the “Domaine Faiveley” bottlings from the estate vineyards).
The recently arrived 2016’s are a testament to the current quality of the winery. They represent everything we love about Burgundy and are priced exceptionally well for wines of their tier. Most of Burgundy had tiny yields in ’16, so to see prices remain stable from 2015 is a minor miracle that we’re happy to capitalize on. You can see all of them in our web store if you click here or read on for some highlights.
Faiveley’s white game has improved a ton in the last few years.
Domaine Faiveley Charmes, Meursault Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
James Suckling 92-93 points “Has quite a rich, candied-citrus character, but what makes this really exciting is the long elegant and salty mineral finish. Drink from release.”
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points “(malo finished): Pale yellow. Sexy hints of peach and mango on the nose. Creamy in the middle and surprisingly easy and open-knit today. (The yield here was normal, as with the Blagny.) An attractive midweight wine with moderate intensity, this premier cru finishes with a dusty note of lime peel, a touch of salinity and a slightly phenolic character. Faiveley noted that this wine is less concentrated than the 2015 and similar in balance to the 2009.”
The next best price is $139.99
Joseph Faiveley Les Charmes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Burghound 92-94 points “Much more subtle though by no means invisible oak sets off beautifully layered aromas of plum, spice, earth and a whiff of underbrush character. There is terrific richness and density to the velvet-textured and voluminous flavors that possess a real sense of mid-palate density thanks to the abundant level of dry extract that also buffers the moderately firm tannic spine. This is at once a relatively elegant version of the appellation yet it is also altogether serious.”
The next best price is $145
Joseph Faiveley Les Amoureuses, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($379.95) $319 special
Burghound 92-95 points “A wonderfully spicy nose combines notes of red and dark cherry with those of violet, lavender and Asian-style tea. The vibrant and beautifully detailed middle weight flavors possess a polished mouthfeel thanks to the refined tannins that shape the lacy yet entirely seriously finish. This is class in a glass. (92-95)/2028+.”
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points “(one new barrel made, but there was not a lot of frost here): Bright ruby-red. Initially quite reduced, the nose cleared somewhat with air to reveal dark scents of black raspberry, cherry and mocha. Then wonderfully supple and sweet on the palate if a bit dominated by smoky oak today; perhaps a bit thicker and riper than Faiveley’s other Chambolle-Musigny premier crus but less expressive today. Finishes with distinctly dark, even purple, fruit flavors and good savory minerality. This needs a racking.”
Domaine Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($449.95) $379 special
Stephen Tanzer 94-97 points “Bright, dark red-ruby. Knockout sappy nose combines black raspberry, crushed rock and white pepper. Boasts remarkable intensity and clarity–not to mention class–to its flavors of raspberry, spices and pungent minerals. Wonderfully sappy and dense but almost magically light on its feet. This sharply delineated wine finishes with ineffable rising perfume and outstanding length. This wine manages to combine the best traits of Faiveley’s other Gevrey grand crus–not to mention the finest qualities of the 2016 vintage–in an utterly weightless package.”
Burghound 93-96 points “(from a 1.29 ha parcel). This is softly oaky with a wonderfully spicy array of black cherry, pungent earth and evident sauvage nuances that can be found on the impressively rich and seductively textured broad-shouldered and concentrated flavors that coat the palate with extract, all wrapped in a balanced, long and deep finish. I very much like the way this fans out on the strikingly persistent finish. Note that plenty of patience is a requisite here and it would be largely pointless to open a bottle before its 10th anniversary. (93-96)/2036+.”
Domaine Faiveley Corton ‘Clos des Cortons’ Faiveley Monopole Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Stephen Tanzer 95-98 points “Bright ruby. Fruit-driven aromas of crushed black cherry and dark raspberry convey outstanding pungent lift. Incredibly concentrated, sappy and primary, conveying outstanding juicy purity and compelling thickness to its dark fruit and violet flavors. At once hugely powerful and utterly seamless, this wine finishes with great spicy length and lift. A real essence of Burgundy–and likely to evolve gracefully for 25 years or more.”
Burghound 92-95 points “Touches of wood and menthol can be found on the brooding and inexpressive nose of plum, dark cherry liqueur, freshly turned earth and a gamy note. There is an appealing sense of underlying tension to the concentrated big-bodied flavors that also coat the palate with dry extract while exhibiting excellent length on the balanced and very firmly structured finale. Patience strongly advised. (92-95)/2036+”Sub $100? It’s hard to believe.
One of the best value premier crus in Gevrey.
Domaine Faiveley La Combe aux Moines, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Burghound 91-94 points “(from a large 1.2 ha parcel). Discreet wood easily allows the overtly sauvage and earth-infused aromas of dark berries and humus to shine. The intense, muscular and powerful big-bodied flavors possess good minerality that really comes up on the austere and sneaky long finale. Textbook CAM. (91-94)/2031+.”
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points “Good dark red. Pure, cool, very reticent aromas of raspberry, redcurrant and licorice plus a positive hint of mustard seed. Backward and unforthcoming on the palate as well, showing subtle saline mineral and soil tones but little easy sweetness or fleshiness. Finishes with slightly granular but ripe tannins and very good length.”
The next best price is $96.94
The average price is $102
Domaine Faiveley Lavaux Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
James Suckling 92-93 points “Flint, spices and black fruits on the nose, making this an exuberant one. An exciting wine that combines earthy power with a racy elegance, which is what makes it stand out. The serious tannic structure at the finish suggests that this has great aging potential. Only the third vintage of wine. Try in 2021.”
Burghound 91-94 points “This is aromatically interesting, and particularly so for LSJ, as there is an exotic character of dried yellow fruit to the otherwise more typical aromas of earth, humus, game and wild dark berries. There is a relatively refined mouthfeel to the tension-filled, muscular and mineral-driven flavors that culminate in a beautifully persistent finish that is moderately austere but not strict. Patience required. (91-94)/2031+.”
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points “Bright dark red. Deeper pitched and more musky than the Clos des Issarts on the nose, showing more dark fruits and violet than raspberry and minerals today. Then plush and fresh in the mouth, offering surprising early appeal and sweetness to its flavors of dark berries and flowers. Can’t quite match the Clos des Issarts for its tightly coiled spring, but boasts excellent old-vines intensity and plenty of verve. Despite its firm tannins, I suspect this wine will give relatively early pleasure. The yield here was less than 30 hectoliters per hectare, according to technical director Jérôme Flous.”
The next best price is $129
Domaine Faiveley Les Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($159.95) $139 special
James Suckling 93-94 points “A deep and complex wine that makes this site often referred to be the best of Nuits St. Georges. A potential Grand Cru. The dense structure and impressive tannins extend through the long, velvet finish. You can drink this now for the generous blue fruits, but if you want all the minerality give it five, ten or more years of aging.
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points “Bright red with ruby tones. Very pure, youthfully medicinal aromas of black raspberry, violet and menthol. Wonderfully rich and subtly sweet, offering grand cru volume and depth to its flavors of red and darker berries, licorice, spices and minerals. This utterly suave wine boasts a rare combination of ripeness and coolness. The youthfully medicinal finish mounts slowly, with saline soil and mineral tones emerging as the wine opens in the glass. Splendid potential.”
Burghound 91-94 points “A broad-ranging nose features notes of red and dark raspberry, cherry, lavender, earth and a suggestion of the sauvage, all of which is trimmed in just enough wood to notice. There is excellent delineation and vibrancy to the overtly powerful medium weight plus flavors that also possess obvious muscle before concluding in a saline and lightly austere finish. This is quite firmly structured and will need plenty of time to reach its full apogee. In a word, excellent. (91-94)/2031+.”
The next best price is $150
The average price is $160
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2016 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $44 January Sale Special
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2016 375ML ($37.95) Was $29, Now $26 January Sale Special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese (AP 09 17) shows very fine botrytis and orange tea character on the delicate and nicely concentrated nose. Very elegant, piquant and lush on the palate, with mineral expression, refreshment and persistent structure, this is a serious and complex Auslese of great class. Highly recommended.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Well-crafted, showing a bright and suave character, displaying ripe peach, mango and mineral nuances, this auslese sings harmoniously on the palate. Silky and full of energy, with a lingering aftertaste of lime and honey. Very delicious now, but will also age for years. Drink now through 2034.”
The average price is $51
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This off-dry Riesling was fermented to “only” 8.5% of alcohol and exhibits 29 g/l of residual sugar. The first nose is quite captivating as it offers fresh and zesty flavors of citrus, white peach, flowers, mint and herbs all wrapped up in some spicy fermentation notes and reduction. The wine is light as fresh water and dances on the palate. The whole structure is light and airy. At the moment, the finish is rather smooth and delicate but will gain in precision and depth in a few years’ time. 2020-2035”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(20% whole clusters and 50% new French oak) Lurid red. Blackberry and boysenberry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cola and candied violet, and a smoky mineral note lends nervy lift. Incisive dark berry and bitter cherry flavors slowly gain flesh and become sweeter in the midpalate. Impressively precise and energetic, delivering strong finishing thrust and dusty, building tannins that make a late appearance.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $46.99
Stephen Tanzer 88-90 points “Medium red. Smoky strawberry and a whiff of gibier on the nose. The palate shows an almost liqueur-like sweetness to the creamy flavors of red fruits, coffee and mocha. Sappy acidity and substantial tannins give shape to this lush village wine.” ST
Now it’s even lower!
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “Medium red. Alluring perfume of raspberry, rose petal and high-toned cardamom spice. Broad, rich, dense and fine-grained yet somehow weightless, displaying powerful mineral support to its red berry and exotic spice flavors. The bracing, resounding finish features pronounced soil-driven salinity and a hint of youthful bitterness. Magnien predicts that this will be the last of his 2012 négociant wines to reach full maturity. Superb Burgundy.”
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($89.95) Was $77, Now $69 January Sale Special
Stuart Pigott – JamesSuckling.com 94 points “Still a little funky from the wild ferment, but there are also beautiful notes of floras and ripe white peaches. Very elegant and polished with a super vibrant finish that makes you reach out for the glass again. Drink or hold.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This delivers a beautiful nose of flowers, whipped cream, herbs, smoke, vineyard peach, and apricot blossom. The wine is delicate, light weighted and has good presence with ripe fruits including peach, pear and a touch of toffee on the palate. It develops quite some Spätlese presence and intensity in the hugely long finish.”
The average price is $36
Wine Advocate 91+ points “Richer, fuller and denser is the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape, which is composed of 65% Grenache and the rest equal parts Mourvedre and Syrah. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by abundant notes of black fruits, licorice, lavender, Provencal herbs as well as a meaty richness.”
Now it’s even lower!
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92-94 points “Good bright, deep red. Reticent aromas of black cherry, minerals, mint and menthol. Densely packed, fresh and energetic, showing a strong spice character to its black cherry and mineral flavors. Has the thickness of texture to carry its tannins. Finishes spicy and long, with a lingering note of chocolatey oak. From a crop level of 38 hectoliters per hectare: Serafin made four barrels, compared to a normal five.” ST
Now it’s even lower!
Case-12 Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2017 750ML ($189.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
James Suckling 91 points “Beautiful, garrigue herbs and flowers across fragrant, red berries. The palate has a very deep-set, plush and ripe core of dark-berry flavors, amid glossy, ripe tannins. Great value. Drink or hold.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 100% Syrah 2017 Cotes du Rhone is a bargain superstar, offering hints of smoke, cracked pepper, blueberries and black olives. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a long, supple finish. For the $20 (or less) I’ve seen it selling for, you’re not going to find a better Syrah.”
Simply put, this is fantastic Chateauneuf for the price, from a great vintage.
Chateau de Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Sourced from three lieux-dits (including La Crau), Saint Cosme’s 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of approximately 60% Grenache, 20-25% Mourvèdre and bits and pieces of other varieties. It’s full-bodied, rich and spicy, with hints of cumin, licorice, cinnamon and clove all swirling about on the long finish.”
Hermitage, from a good vintage, under $50? It’s not a dream.
Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2013 750ML ($119.95) $49 special
Case-6 Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2013 750ML ($549.95) $279 special (that’s only $46.50/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 94 points “One of the gems in the vintage is the 2013 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes, which comes from both the Bessards and Grandes Vignes lieux-dits on Hermitage Hill. Completely destemmed, then vinified in stainless steel and concrete tanks, the wine is aged 18 months in 30% new French oak; it offers terrific notes of dark fruits, graphite and ample minerality in a full-bodied, layered, ripe profile. It’s more approachable than the Les Bessards, yet will still have three decades of longevity.”
James Suckling 93 points “This has a refined, fragrant and very composed character with inherent aromatic spices and a stony edge, in addition to licorice and some star anise. The fruits are in the dried-plum and dried-cherry spectrum, but this also hints at plenty of cloves, cardamom and pepper. The palate’s succulent, powerful, even and really finely layered. The tannins are most definitely a feature now, and this has plenty of ageing potential. Enjoy the dark-plum and black-cherry finish. Best from 2020 and for a decade after that. Fom 100% granitic soils.”
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Brilliant violet. Complex mineral- and smoke-accented scents of dark fruit liqueur, violet and olive paste gain urgency from a smoky mineral quality . Juicy and sharply focused on the palate, offering sappy blueberry and bitter cherry flavors that deepen and become sweeter with air. Shows excellent depth and vivacity and finishes spicy and very long, displaying a resonating floral quality and building tannins.”
The next best price is $79.97
The average price is $88
Arriving Friday, but already selling briskly.
Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2015 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2015 750ML ($479.95) $369 pre-arrival special (that’s only $61.50/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 95 points “This is loaded with well-defined loganberry, blackberry and boysenberry pâte de fruit flavors, flecked with anise and black tea notes and carried by a fine iron streak that lingers wonderfully. A wine of cut, purity and precision. Best from 2020 through 2035. From France.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “A blend of Syrah grapes from several lieux-dits, including Les Bessards, the 2015 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes is aged in new and second use barrels. It’s a dark, concentrated wine, meaty, rich and tannic but with a bright beam of cassis fruit that lifts it and gives it great definition and shape on the palate. Give this medium to full-bodied wine at least 5 years in the cellar and drink it over the next 15.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “While the Les Bessards gets all the attention, the 2015 Hermitage Domaine Des Tourettes isn’t far behind and is unquestionably the value play. Beef blood, cassis, blackberry liqueur and loads of crushed rock nuances all emerge from this ripe, concentrated, full-bodied Hermitage that has a classic, structured profile. It’s well worth a case purchase and will keep for two to three decades. As always, this cuvée comes from two parcels, the lower part of the Bessards lieu-dit and the Les Grandes Vignes located at the highest point on Hermitage Hill. It’s completely destemmed and sees 16 months in 30% new French oak.”
The average price is $88
Two cases out of three disappeared this past weekend—it’s going fast.
Heymann-Lowenstein Schieferterrassen Riesling, Mosel 2016 750ML ($37.95) Was $29, Now $24 January Sale Special
January sale wine!
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 89 points “The 2016 Riesling “Schieferterrassen” is ripe and flinty on the nose, spicy and piquant, with lingering salinity and intense fruit on the palate. Tensioned and stimulating, with good ripeness, but a lush and elegant wine.”
A Staff Pick
Donnhoff captured the high drama turned serenity of the 2016 vintage in near perfect form with their Spatlese from the Hermannshohle vineyard. This is a truly Great Wine vintage in, vintage out, so 2016 took it to the next level. This is a wine to cellar for decades. This is a wine to open tonight to bring tears to the eyes, levity to the heart and silence to the lips. A wine whose precision and ever-building drama evoke Barber’s Adagio for Strings. I could spell out the grocery list of aromas captured in this wine, but I won’t spoil the fun. To paraphrase both David Schildknecht and Stuart Pigott, it’s a multifaceted masterpiece of elegance and minerality.Is this the greatest Riesling ever made? No. But it’s the greatest Riesling you’ll want to open and drink whether tonight or in a decade (especially for the price). And isn’t that what it’s really about?
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Case-6 Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($399.95) $259 special (that’s only $43.17/bottle!)
Stuart Pigott – JamesSuckling.com 96 points “Another 2016 Spätlese from Dönnhoff that’s still a bit shy on the nose, but on the palate it’s like a huge glittering diamond with more facets flashing many colors. An extremely long super-mineral finish that is impeccably clean in spite of the generous grape sweetness in this masterpiece of elegance. Better from 2018 with decades of ageing potential. Made from organic grapes and Fair’n Green certified.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 94 points “A fascinatingly multifaceted nose incorporates wet stone, leather and almond extract with more familiar white peach, quince and lime. A seductive aura of lily-like perfume hangs over this entire performance. The palate is palpably dense despite alcoholic levity, and subtly creamy while retaining animating primary juiciness. In common with its Brücke sibling, this leans more toward quince as it launches into a finish of honeyed richness – a function of nearly overripe but also nearly botrytis-free berries – yet retaining freshness as well as transparency to crystalline stony mineral nuances. “Under the right conditions,” observed Dönnhoff, “Hermannshöhle delivers something extra in the realm of sweetness, and for that you need cool nights that preserve slightly harder acidity” – which 2016 delivered in spades. Look for significantly more from this bottling after it’s had a decade or so in bottle.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2016 Nahe Riesling Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Spätlese is bright, fresh and coolish-piquant on the nose, with flinty and slightly reductive aromas. Lush and piquant on the palate, this is a generous, mouth-filling Spätlese with a long, piquant and spicy-mineral finish. The Hermannshöhle is more dense and rich on the palate, the Brücke more light, delicate and finessed.”
Arriving ETA June:
Louis Jadot Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 97 points “Rose, cherry and spice aromas introduce this light-bodied, saturated version. The flavors add wild strawberry, incense and kirsch notes, while remaining persistent on the kaleidoscopic finish. Feels tense now, yet should develop nicely over time. A mineral element lingers. Best from 2023 through 2045.”