Which site would you like to visit?
In the Côte d’Or, a single vine row can separate a $1000 wine from a $100 one. Sometimes, it results in a thirty-fold increase in price, as in going from La Grande Rue to Romanée Conti. But it can also result in a mind-bending bargain, as when you cross the road from Meursault Charmes and enter the 70-year-old Les Pellans vines that produce Jean-Philipe Fichet’s Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes.
For years, Rare Wine Co. clients have been given the inside track on Fichet's perennial overachiever, which is one of the transcendent values in white Burgundy. Vintage after vintage, it delivers strikingly Meursault-like orchard fruit and blossom aromas and intense stoniness, plus the minerality and texture you associate with the likes of Roulot and Ente.
Not only does it taste like Meursault out of the gate, it also ages like Meursault, with the balance and nuance that can only come from perfectionist winemaking.
An RWC Exclusive: Magnums!
We don't know why we didn't think of it before. But for the 2015 vintage, we asked Jean-Philippe if he would, for the first time, produce magnums of Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes exclusively for Rare Wine Co. private clients. He did, and they sold out in a heartbeat.
For the 2016 vintage, we asked again, but we also asked Jean-Philippe if he wouldn't mind signing the labels as well. And he graciously did.
At a mere $79.95 a magnum, you will not want to miss these.
A Fluke of History
You’d need to delve deeply into Burgundy history to understand how you could buy a magnum of 2016 Fichet Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes for $79.95, instead of the $150+ it would cost if it were labeled “Meursault,” or the $250+ if the label read “Meursault Charmes.”
Published in 1855 as part of Lavalle’s landmark study of Burgundy, the map at the top of this offer provides insights. In the lower left hand corner you can see Les Pellans. At the time the map was drawn, there was no Meursault appellation, only a series of lieux dits.
Over time, vineyards were classified (with considerable arm-twisting from owners). And the decision was made that the left side of Les Pellans would become Meursault villages, while the right side (Fichet’s part) was left as simple Bourgogne.
As for the direct juxtaposition of Fichet’s section of Les Pellans with Meursault Charmes above it, that is even harder to explain. Not only do the two crus share similar soil, the dividing line between the two is one of the very rare places in all of Burgundy where a premier cru vineyard directly abuts vineyards classified as Bourgogne.
Site, Skill and Toil
Of course, a great site is nothing without stellar viticulture and winemaking. Fichet’s Bourgogne V.V. is known for its vibrant acidity, a quality that stems not only from highly mineral soil but from Fichet’s intimate knowledge of his vines, and knowing just when to pick.
In fact, everything Fichet does is with an eye to perfection. A decade ago, dissatisfied with the compost he was buying, he started his very own compost-making facility. He applies this same attention to every detail in the grape growing and winemaking process.
Coupled with 35 years of experience and back-breaking work, it enables him to produce such a marvel of richness and elegance from his oldest vines. Rendered in Jean-Philippe’s laser-guided, transparent style, the 2016 Fichet Bourgogne Blanc V.V. has more Meursault character than the majority of Meursaults.
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