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To Mercurey and Beyond

Bottle of Faiveley's Mercurey Clos Rochette 2008

It’s not often that you get the chance to taste a Chardonnay from Burgundy’s Cote-Chalonnaise village of Mercurey, given that 90% of the village’s output consists of vin rouge. Citrus and fruit aromas are the first to tingle the nose on this Joseph Faiveley Mercurey Blanc Clos Rochette 2008 $25/btl followed by a light smokiness and wet stone. On the palate, notes of minerality and florals are distinct and crisp. The silkiness that ensues in the mouth gives it an extremely smooth finish, bringing along with it notes of pineapple and sweet apples.

At $25 per bottle, this Chardonnay is a great pick for a warm summer night dinner or barbeque, and pairs nicely with a variety of seafood dishes. Below you can find a grilled shrimp kabob recipe from Chef Billy Della Ventura to pair with this gem. All you need to do is fire up that grill, assemble your kabobs and pop a bottle of Faiveley’s Clos Rochette to enjoy a wonderfully paired and simply delicious meal.

Shrimp Kabob recipe

Now for a little background and a brief history lesson…

Domaine Faiveley was founded by Pierre Faiveley in 1825.The Domaine’s reputation took hold in the early 19th century when many Burgundian wine producers began traveling to Northern Europe to trade their wines for textiles.Today, the Domaine rests in the hands of seventh generation Erwan Faiveley.The family owns vineyards in some of the most prestigious appellations such as Pommard, Gevrey-Chambertin, Volnay and Puligny-Montrachet, among others. Several climats are owned exclusively by the family including Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos des Issarts, Beaune 1er Cru Clos de L’Ecu, and the Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru. Not bad, right?

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2009 Burgundy – A Red & White-hot Vintage

One of Domaine Faiveley's vineyard sites in Burgundy

The buzz surrounding 2009 Burgundy began long before its release and now that these wines are available for purchase, the excitement over this truly spectacular vintage continues.  While rumors that 2009 was going to be the next 2005 have been laid to rest for the most part, it is clear that both vintages share a superior quality and success that spans the entire region, from Chablis to Beaujolais.   It is true that the praiseworthy 2009 vintage is the most widely successful since 2005, yet the two vintages are different and 2009 has something very enticing to offer, the drink me now element!

At this point, it would be remiss to not mention the profundity of the 2008 vintage.  The difference between ’08 and ’09 is that the former will require patience and needs more time in the cellar, whereas the latter is already showing marvelously – instant gratification.

Back to ’05 versus ’09.  Dry conditions in 2005 caused vine stress and led to high tannin levels.  These strong tannins plus the vintage’s higher acidity are the recipe for serious structure and great aging potential.  Burgundy’s 2009 growing season was marked by a hot, sun-filled August with below average rainfall.  However, there had already been enough rain in May, June and July to prevent drought, giving the fruit softer tannins and lower acidity than the conditions in 2005.  The resulting ’09 Burgundies are delicious, fruity and showing beautifully now.  Intensely fragrant with concentrated flavors, these wines are approachable in their youth, but will no doubt age as well as their great predecessors, such as those from the 1999 vintage.

2009 has proven to be terrific vintage for both red and white wines.  The reds offer rich aromatics and fruit flavors, with soft tannins and pleasant textures.  These Pinot Noirs may not age quite as long as their 2005 counterparts, yet they possess the allure that draws us to red Burgundy again and again, that elusive elegance and grace.  The delicate fruit aromas, floral fragrances and whisperings of exotic spices sing in this superb vintage.

The 2009 white Burgundies are equally as seductive.  These rich, soft Chardonnays are nothing short of being delightful to drink now.   Excellent balance, plentiful fruit and pure, persistent minerality give these wines poise and magnetism.

The youthful charm of the 2009 vintage makes these wines extremely difficult to resist.  Those who have patience will surely be rewarded, but one could argue, why not start drinking the 2009s while I’m waiting for my 2005s to become more approachable?

Buying Guide: Top Producers and Wines

Christophe Cordier is a hot name in Burgundy’s winemaking scene.  Located in the Maconnais region, in Fuissé, Domaine Cordier is known for premium wines made from the very best vineyard sites. Pure, focused aromatics and opulent, intense well-balanced flavors are hallmarks of Cordier’s style.  His wines offer both extraordinary quality and value.  Christophe is a proponent of crafting wines from hand-harvested, low yielding vines and minimal intervention in the vineyard.  Fermentation is carried out in wood, giving the wines integrated flavors and incredible texture.

Both the 2009 Domaine Cordier Pouilly-Fuisse Vielles Vignes ($24) and the 2009 Domaine Cordier Vire Clesse Vieilles Vignes ($37) are excellent white Burgundies to try.  At these prices, you could open these wines and enjoy them any night of the week!

Domaine Marc Morey is one of the Côte d’Or’s most renowned and sought after producers.  In the 1950s, Marc Morey began making wine in the cellar of his family’s 100 year-old home, establishing his domaine in the heart of the Chassagne-Montrachet village.  Today, Morey’s daughter Marie-Jo and her husband Bernard Mollard carry on the legacy that he began, making focused, terroir-driven wines.  The domaine’s ownership spans nearly 25 acres of Villages, Premier and Grand Cru vineyards. The couple’s daughter, who works with them at the estate, will continue the family’s tradition of winemaking.

We are excited about everything that Domaine Marc Morey has to offer, from their 2009 Domaine Marc Morey Rully 1er Cru Rabource to their 2009 Domaine Marc Morey Chevalier Montrachet.  These are white Burgundies that you won’t want to miss out on.

Domaine Joblot, located in the tiny village of Givry, in Burgundy’s Côte Chalonnaise, is a small producer crafting some very serious red Burgundies.  Here, brothers Jean-Marc and Vincent Joblot work together to create powerful, fragrant wines that are truly sublime.  The brothers take meticulous care in their winemaking, carefully selecting grapes from low yielding vines, destemming 100% of their fruit and using the finest oak barrels.  The resulting wines are limited production and superior quality with a style resembling the best of Chambolle-Musigny.  It is no wonder that Domaine Joblot has developed a cult following!

Domaine Joblot wines are superior quality at incredible price points.  Available quantities of the 2009 Domaine Joblot Givry Celliers aux Moines and the 2009 Domaine Joblot Givry Clos de la Servoisine will not last long.

Domaine Joseph Drouhin is one of Burgundy’s finest and most important domains, showcasing the very best of each area within the region.  From the beginning, Drouhin’s style has been elegant, balanced and harmonious, always striving for perfection in its wines.  Domaine Joseph Drouhin wines possess a distinctive purity of taste.  In their youth, they have fruity and alluring aromas, and as they age, these wines develop extravagant complexity.  Crafted to age gracefully for up to forty years or more, the Drouhin portfolio is filled with gems from the very best Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards.

Some of Domaine Drouhin white Burgundies to try now, or to add to your cellar, include the 2009 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches and the 2009 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet. For Drouhin red Burgundy, the 2009 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Volnay and the 2009 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Vosne-Romanée are superb choices!

Henri Boillot is a 5th generation winemaker in Burgundy and has established Maison Henri Boillot as an exemplary Burgundian producer.  Boillot family has been growing vines in the region since 1855, founding Domaine Jean Boillot in 1885.  Henri took over the family estate in 2005, after making a name for himself with his own négociant business and his rich, powerfully styled Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.  Henri’s stunning wines convey his meticulous technique and passion for natural, sustainable farming practices that maintain the soil’s authentic character.

Henri Boillot’s wines are produced from only the finest sites in the Cote d’Or.  Whether a Bourgogne Blanc or Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Boillot uses the very best grapes, resulting in wines of sublime purity and distinction.

If you’re interested in trying these extraordinary red and white Burgundies, we recommend the 2009 Maison Henri Boillot Volnay Les Chevrets, the 2009 Maison Henri Boillot Meursault Les Genevrieres and the 2009 Maison Henri Boillot Puligny Montrachet Clos de la Mouchere.

Domaine Faiveley is located at the heart of both Burgundy and the Côtes de Nuits, in Nuits-Saint-Georges.  Founded by Pierre Faiveley in 1825, Domaine Faiveley has been passed down through seven generations.  The family owns vineyards in some of Burgundy’s very best regions, including Gevrey-Chambertin, Pommard, Volnay, Puligny-Montrachet, Mercurey and more.

Domaine Faiveley is known for its fine, age worthy wines, the result of exceptional vineyard sites and a particularly lengthy fermentation period.  Faiveley’s wines are transferred to oak barrels for maturation and stored in their vaulted cellars, which date back to the 19th century.

The 2009 Domaine Joseph Faiveley Chablis Les Clos, the 2009 Domaine Joseph Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin Clos des Issarts and the 2009 Domaine Joseph Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin Les Cazetiers are just a few of this legendary producer’s highly-rated wines.

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