DOMAINE FAIVELEY + DOMAINE BILLAUD-SIMON
BURGUNDY, FRANCE 2016
Though location is key and terroir is king, my mantra remains…producer, producer, producer. To heedlessly plunge into the matter at hand. Why producer? Terroir alone cannot create a wine. It takes a great artist – a master – who can craft a wine and portray the vineyard exactly as it is, from the humble Bourgogne to the great Montrachet, unequivocally communicating its beauty. Great producers do not discriminate between vineyards when composing their wines, pouring their heart and soul into each wine equally. The vineyard is their home and each vintage their children - wine runs through their veins, they bleed authenticity. These are the producers I look for, finding solace in the fact that every wine they produce is inherently delicious in its own way. The problem is, while these wines are possible to come by, they are never produced in large quantities.This is the case for the two wines we are featuring today. Produced by some of Burgundy’s best-known winemaking families, Domaine Faiveley is located in the Cote de Nuit village of Nuit-St-George while Billaud-Simon is based in the heart of Chablis. Although both producers are a source of some of Burgundy’s best, from their top-notch Grand Crus to their modest village level wines, it’s their dynamite values that are worth seeking out. When I’m looking to taste the best of Burgundy, without breaking the bank, these two producers are my answer.
Under the helm of Erwan Faiveley, Domaine Faiveley is on fire, producing stunning wines that show brilliantly at a young age. Founded as a negociant in 1825, the Domaine is one of the largest Grand Cru site holders, encompassing over 10 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards and 25 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards. After taking over the estate from his father, Erwan has sharply changed the direction of the wines from a bigger, more tannic winemaking style to wines of greater purity, focused fruit and supple tannins that are so delicious now - yet worthy candidates of stocking away to taste over the next couple years. Though based in Nuit-St-George, one of their greatest values comes from the village of Mercurey in the Cote Chalonnaise. With a winery facility located in Mercurey and a long history of farming its vineyards, Faiveley is easily one of the top producers here. Their Mercurey “Les Mauvarennes” is sourced from a single parcel with vines dating back to 1974. The soils are comprised primarily of clay and limestone in the heart of the appellation. Erwan himself cited 2010, 2015 and 2016 as three of the top vintages he has recently made, and it’s his 2016 reds that he called an “absolutely great great vintage,” despite its extremely limited production. Their 2016 Mercurey “Les Mauvarennes” is a masterpiece - juicy and vibrant, with seductive notes of fresh cherries and raspberry, a balanced frame and a long finish, this is a top value for under $30.
Next up, we have a stunning white from Billaud-Simon who represents the crème de la crème of Chablis. Situated in the heart of the village since 1815, Billaud-Simon is one of the few original domaines of the appellation. Spread over 20 hectares of the best terroirs, including four Grand Crus: Les Clos, Les Preuses, Vaudesir, and Les Blanchots, and four premier crus: Montee de Tonnerre, Mont-de-Mileu, Fourchaume and Vaillons. Now owned by Faiveley, Billaud-Simon continues to produce high quality Chablis from the banks of the River Serein. Focusing on the outstanding characteristics that come from the Kimmeridgian soils of Chablis, they craft focused, precise, mineral driven wines. Today their 2016 Chablis comes from vines located just to north of Fye and encompasses the best qualities Chablis has to offer. Nicely concentrated with ripe aromas of pear, yellow peach and lime peel, there is an impressive richness paired with an equally dry salinity and mineral backbone. An absolute knockout for less than $30, there’s no better deal you can find for this quality and price point. As the trajectory of Burgundy prices continue to soar, Erwan firmly believes that not having accessible price points is a tragedy for Burgundy in the market, so he continues to price his wines as moderately as possible so anyone has the opportunity to enjoy his wines – again, if you can find them. Though these extraordinary wines are unbelievably affordable, they are extremely limited. With only 25 cases of each for the country, we suggest you buy quickly to secure your order. We are selling these as a six-pack – three bottles of each - for 25% off for one week or until sold out!
*Offer NOT valid in-store. Offer is made pre-arrival, with the wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Summer 2019. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Lowest advertised price based on wine-searcher.com listings. Offer not valid in MO, NY, TN and WI. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Thursday, February 14, 2019.