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November 19, 2013

Domaine Faiveley Les Saint-Georges 1er Cru 2008

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During our Burgundy en primeur 2012 recognisance we tasted Domaine Faiveley’s leading Premier Cru plot Les Saint-Georges from Nuit-Saint-Georges, which was stunning. We were also delighted to taste a slightly more aged incarnation from this superb vineyard plot, the 2008 and were so impressed we immediately secured the remaining parcel. The 2008 is staggeringly good and for £40 a bottle in bond one would struggle to find a more complex and powerful red Burgundy. The very low yields of the 2012 vintage mean that prices haven risen and the 2012 will release for around £325 per six bottles, which makes the 2008 hugely under-priced at £255, this discrepancy will undoubtedly correct itself in the near future.

Les Saint-Georges – A great Primeru Cru or a future Grand Cru?
The vineyard of Les Saint-Georges is the undisputed king of the village of Nuit-Saint-Georges which is found directly below Vosne-Romanée. Like all of Burgundy’s leading villages, in the 19th Century, Nuits took the name of its most famous vineyard plot and appended it to its title, creating Nuits-Saint-Georges as we know it today. The vineyard is also the village’s oldest recorded plot; already established in 1,000 AD and by 1,023 it was the region’s only tête de cuvée, being placed alongside the Romanées, Richebourg and La Tâche. The Côte de Nuits, which is the name given to the famous Pinot Noir producing vineyards, begins at Nuit-Saint-Georges, a village that does not contain a Grand Cru plot, or at least not yet! It has long been considered that Les Saint-Georges should have been classified as a Grand Cru by the authorities in 1936; in 2009 a collection of producers petitioned the National Appellation Institute (INAO) to correct this.

The soil of Les Saint-Georges is truly remarkable, combining all three types of Bathanonian rock (Premeaux, white oolite and Comblanchien). The earth is stony allowing incredible drainage aided by the 7-8 degree slope, with a mix of clay and sand. It has the best of its two neighbouring site’s terroir, Les Vaucrains and Les Cailles and as a result the wine possess the former’s balance, subtlety and femininity, with the vigour, richness and full body of Les Vaucrains.

Domaine Faiveley have one of the leading plots on this vineyard and are in great company, as Henri Jayer, Méo-Camuzet, Mongeard-Mugneret and Thibault Liger-Belair amongst others all produce wine on this great vineyard. Domaine Faiveley is amongst the oldest family of winemakers in Burgundy (founded in 1825), passing their expert knowledge from generation to generation, they also boast plots in many of the leading Red and White vineyards throughout the Côte d’Or. The running of the Domaine was recently passed from Francois to his son Erwan.

The INAO upgraded the vineyard La Grand Rue in 1992 and many believe that within the next decade Les Saint-Georges will achieve Grand Cru status, thus forcing the price up dramatically. Yet in the meantime it remains one of the greatest 1er Cru plots in the whole of the Côte de Nuit and the 2008 is exceptional. Allen Meadows aka Burghound, the leading Burgundy critic gave this 91-93 points and awarded it a pink heart denoting his personal passion for the wine, along with the ‘outstanding‘ score: Burghound is famously low scoring only having given one 100 point score in his career.

We were blown away with the 2008, which is displaying a wonderful concentration of redcurrants, raspberries, combined with sweet spices nutmeg and cloves, including early signs of farmyard, hung meat and seasonally, rich Christmas cake. Yet, the wines’ true mastery was found in the earthy flavours and a wonderful note of truffles! This wine will appreciate in value, catching up with its equivalent recent vintages and as the Les Saint-Georges plot goes from strength to strength; perhaps evening becoming Grand Cru. However, this wine provides immense pleasure now and all Burgundy or Pinot Noir fans should own a case, it will drink perfectly this Christmas and will improve for 15 years in bottle.

Allen Meadows – Burghound, 91-93 Points – Jan 30, 2010
A discreet touch of wood sets off the ultra pure red berry, sauvage and subtle spice notes that complement perfectly the earthy, supple, round and gorgeously detailed middle weight plus flavors that culminate in a powerful, mouth coating and very firm finish. A beautiful combination of elegance and muscle. Drink: 2018+, Sweet spot Outstanding

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