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In 1825, Pierre Faiveley founded the firm that now bears the name Domaine Faiveley. At that time, the firm was a classic négociant, buying and selling wine. But from generation to generation, with a strong commitment to the quality of Burgundy’s patrimony, the Faiveley family has purchased vineyards and is today among the largest owners of classified vineyards in the Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise with holdings totaling 331 acres, of which 30 acres are grands crus and 67 acres are premiers crus.
On October 15, 2013, Domaine Faiveley reported it had acquired 50 acres of vines previously owned by Domaine Dupont-Tisserandot of Gevrey-Chambertin, including parts of the Grands Crus Charmes-Chambertin, Mazis-Chambertin and Le Rognet et Corton and Premiers Crus Lavaux St.-Jacques, Les Cazetiers and La Petite Chapelle.
Faiveley’s white wines are both silky and powerful. They bring together purity, tension and minerality. The red wines are the perfect illustration of a successful marriage of elegance, precision and concentration.
The objective of the family today, led by Erwan Faiveley, is to increase the firm’s holdings of great vineyards so that there can be complete control from vine to bottle across the entire range of wines. Along with this focus, Erwan Faiveley has renovated the Domaines cellars—in both Nuits-Saints-George and Mercurey—which now boast state of the art barrel presses, custom-designed wooden vats and among the finest, air-cured oak casks available in the world.
Domaine Faiveley is best known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, but small amounts of Aligoté are also planted in the Côte Chalonnaise. Currently, Faiveley has 10 hectares (25 acres) of grand cru vineyards out of a total of 115ha (285 acres). Faiveley owns parcels in Gevrey-Chambertin, Bâtard-Montrachet, Volnay and Pommard to name a few, however these are very fragmented with no single site being more than 1ha. The company also buys grapes from other growers. From one harvest to the next, the growing cycle of the vine is crucial and requires a great deal of passion, hard work and dedication. They strive to maintain high quality at the Domaine and work hard to ensure the optimum evolution of the vineyards. The rigorous Guyot pruning system is used in winter, followed by disbudding in spring and cropping and leaf stipping in summer. All of these stages are carried out with the utmost care and attention from our teams thanks to their unique savior-faire and almost two centuries of winemaking history.
The overall quality of 2018 wines is also explained by Veronique Boss of Domaine Drouhin in terms of the way the vintage shaped up. “They had a mild winter in 2017 with good rains with a lot of water deep in the soil,” she said. “And in late April the vines exploded with growth which set the harvest up early. They had a bright, warm and windy July and August which formed a very healthy growing season.”
The other notable fact in 2018 is quantity, with good yields across the board in both whites and reds. Availability should be better than we’ve seen in a while. We had a small crop of very plush and quite ripe wines in 2015, then 2016 was another brutally small crop of wine with good structures and longevity, a year that is particularly good for reds. Following that, 2017 is a more elegant year with fresh, crisp whites and elegant, approachable reds with lighter tannins. Notably, the quantities bounced back to more normal levels in 2017 without compromising quality.
So there are good choices in Burgundy right now. The wines from 2017 are very drinkable and more delicate and the wines from 2018 are very drinkable now but richer and more concentrated. The main difference is that 2018 has delivered more weight in the more generic end of Burgundy, making these especially good value and they are more widely available. Enjoy the 2017s and 2018s and, if you are lucky enough to have 2015s and 2016s, leave them in the cellar for a few years while you drink these two younger, approachable vintages.
Traditional winemaking with a modern twist is key in the production of wines from Domaine Faiveley. Modern barrel presses as well as custom wooden vats are combined with long aging in deep 19th-Century cellars to produce deep and rich red wines that need age to show their best.
For more information, or to purchase our 2018 Domaine Faiveley Wines, visit the Domaine Faiveley Collection.
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