2012 Domaine Joseph Faiveley Echezeaux

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Domaine Joseph Faiveley
Grand Cru Red barrel
Score: 91-93
Tasted: Jan 15, 2014
Drink: 2024+
Issue: 53

Note: from the climat En Orveaux
Producer note: Erwan Faiveley and Bernard Hervet describe 2012 as a "tough vintage to manage and this was particularly true in the Côte de Beaune as there were several hail storms that wreaked havoc. In fact so much so that we have never made such a small harvest for our whites. The Côte de Beaune reds were hit hard as well though thankfully the Côte de Nuits fared much better because even though the flowering was poor everywhere, at least there was no hail. The biggest surprise of all though was the Côte Chalonnaise as it gave us both excellent quality and good if not abundant quantities. Across all of our appellations we probably came in about where we did in 2010. We began picking on the 19th of September and we noticed a definite difference between what we harvested before the rains that fell on the 26th and those that were picked afterwards. We picked all of our grands crus between the 21st and the 25th and finished all appellations by the 28th. The fruit was ripe and largely clean with sugars in the 13 to 13.5% range which means that there was very little chaptalization and in most cases none at all. We did our normal vinifications except for using a bit more whole clusters. What we mean by this is that it's not so much that we augmented the percentage of whole clusters for any given wine so much as we used them for wines where we had not previously done so. Overall the 2012s have a rare harmony of high phenolic ripeness, good but not high alcohols and balanced acidities. They should age well yet deliver pleasure in their youth, which is not always the case." As to my take on the quality of the Faiveley 2012s, I would say the same thing that I did about their 2011s. This is to say that Faiveley did a very nice to excellent job in 2012 but primarily in the Côte de Nuits because I was not wowed with the Côte de Beaune offerings. To be fair, they are respectable but uneven due to the hail and no one can do anything about the random acts of Mother Nature.
Tasting note: This is also exuberantly fresh if quite restrained with a lovely spice character to the primarily red currant suffused nose. I very much like the complexity of the seductively textured medium weight flavors that brim with dry extract on the racy, intense and balanced finish. This refined effort will also need at least a decade before it will be able to realize its considerable potential.