2016 base, disgorged on November 2018. Fidèle is 100% Pinot Noir from Kimmeridgian limestone soils. This is mostly from 2016 and includes roughly 5% reserve wine from a perpetual blend started in 2001 and stored in a giant old foudre. (The vintage that makes up the majority of the blend is always stated on the back label with an “R” number—an abbreviation for récolte, or vintage).
The Fonnet vineyard provides the heart of this cuvée and the nearby lieu-dit of Biaunes provides much of the balance. The vines are an average of 30 years old. Gautherot keeps the yields particularly low—when Mother Nature has not already done that for him! Interesting to note that the R16 contains much of the Pinot juice from Sorbée plot—no saignée was made in 2016 due to the Pinot’s thinner-than-usual skins.
Following pressing in a traditional, vertical Coquard press, Fidèle was vinified entirely—without added yeast or chaptalisation—in used Burgundian barrels for 10 months (these barriques were purchased from Domaine Arnaud Ente in Meursault). The wine then spent 15-20 months on lees in bottle after the secondary fermentation and was disgorged with zero dosage. Gautherot describes this as, “a dangerous wine,” as it is so damn easy to drink. Very, very true.