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Jean-Philippe Fichet Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2017

  • V90
  • RP90
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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V 90
Vinous
(from estate fruit, in Meursault Les Pellans and Les Millerands, on the Puligny side of the village; aging in used 500- and 600-liter barrels): Bright, pale yellow. Complex aromas and flavors of white peach, citrus fruits and minerals, plus a toasty nuance. At once fine-grained and nicely chiseled, conveying a captivating balance of sweetness and acidity. Finishes with real punch and length. This is Bourgogne Blanc at the quality level of Meursault. (I also liked Fichet's regular Bourgogne Blanc, but the sample I tasted from estate fruit will be supplemented by some purchased fruit prior to being bottled.)
Barrel Sample: 88-90
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

A considerable step up over the regular Bourgogne, Fichet's 2017 Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes unfurls in the glass with notes of beeswax, pear, white flowers and waxy lemon rind. On the palate, it's similarly tangy but fleshier and more concentrated, with depth and structure that nod to Meursault.


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Jean-Philippe Fichet

Jean-Philippe Fichet

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Jean-Philippe Fichet, France
Perhaps more than any of his peers, Fichet is testing the limits of transparency, to find the very soul of Meursault’s terroirs. It was Meursault’s destiny to have its soils revealed in this way: their intense stoniness is magnified by an exceptionally low water table, forcing the vines’ roots deep underground. Even if uneconomical, Fichet would rather produce a very small amount of wine from his best sites than to lose their unique character in a blend. Fichet has flown largely under the world’s radar. He began as a grower in 1981 but was forced to rebuild his domaine from scratch in the 1990s, having lost all his best fruit sources—including a piece of Meursault-Perrières—for lack of long-term contracts. But he learned from this experience. By 2000, he had used carefully negotiated long-term fermage and mètayage agreements to create an extraordinary new domaine, brimming with exceptional sites. Fichet’s methods reflect his philosophy: he is famously meticulous and abhors taking short cuts. His low yields, the foremost key to quality, are achieved through severe winter pruning rather than by green harvesting. And he believes his wines’ expressiveness is enhanced through a patient 18-month élevage, with little new oak and by avoiding aggressive lees stirring.
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Meursault

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Known to offer a magical balance of smoothness and freshness, Meursault's quality is hard to rival. The village lies in the middle of Côte de Beaune, just south of Volnay. Meursault is said to mean “mouse’s jump” because in the past the plots producing Pinot noir and those producing Chardonnay were no more than a mouse’s jump from one another. Today the village is almost exclusively Chardonnay. A tiny bit of Pinot noir is produced here with the best coming from Les Santenots on its northern side near Volnay.

While there are no Grands Crus, Meursault’s numerous acclaimed Premiers Crus can compete with any other top-notch white Burgundy. Some to know are Les Perrières, Les Genevrières, Les Charmes, Le Poruzot, Les Bouchères and Les Gouttes d’Or.

Meursault produces outstanding village level wines as well. In general great Premiers Crus and even village level Meursault (Chardonnay) have enticing aromas of lime peel, tropical fruit, crushed rocks, spice and hazelnut. On the palate there is a wonderful balance of brightness and a seductive length with flavors of white peach, pineapple and citrus.

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Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

RARRAJPFBVV17_2017 Item# 532712

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