- Domaine Fourrier
- Pinot Noir
- 2019 - 2029
- Case size
- Available Now
Neal Martin, December 2015,
The 2014 Chambertin Grand Cru is not quite as expressive on the nose as the Clos-de-Bèze, but it gradually opens with red cherries mingling with raspberry coulis and fresh fig. The palate is medium-bodied with a saline entry and a fresh line of acidity, gently building in the mouth with a slightly meaty, structured finish. Very fine, though the Clos-de-Beze has the refinement. As ever, about 50% of my discussion with Jean-Marie was "off the record" and unpublishable, so I will restrict myself to talking about the vintage in question, the 2014. Like last year, I was treated to his complete range of both domaine and négoçiant bottlings, the latter boasting the addition of the Mazoyères-Chambertin. "The challenge in 2014 was the attack of bud break at May," Jean-Marie began. "There was oïdium then, but a lot of people were away on holiday [referring to the deluge of national holidays in France that month]. As it was warm in June, it explains why there was such a good success of flowering. The rain in July made the berries bigger, so this made them less concentrated and more focused on red fruit than black fruit. The rain also impacted with more grass and created [the environment for] drosophila suzukii. It was important not to go on holiday in August because of this. We could organically spray in the vineyard three or four weeks before the harvest; that didn't kill the flies, but it made them go away. If you didn't treat it, by the end of the alcoholic fermentation you could have VA of 0.30-0.32 before malolactic, which means that you would have volatile wines in the end. This is why there is such a variation in the vintage. You had to pay attention throughout the growing season. We picked from September 12 and then over the next five days." "The second factor in 2014 are the small yields between 2010 and 2013, and so there was a danger of having too many new barrels in 2014. I bought some old barrels around three-years-old that I buy direct from a négoçiant, in order to ensure there is the same percentage as other vintages. The acidity levels were very nice, around 3.2 to 3.25 pH. My fear is that there is such an excitement about the 2015 and people might miss the vintage. I think the 2014 is a perfect vintage for wine lovers who might not want to keep wines for 20 to 25 years. I think there will always be the generosity of the vintage, a vintage of pleasure like the 1999." As I anticipated, there are superlative wines created by Jean-Marie in 2014. Eagle-eyed readers might spot not one but two Clos Saint-Jacques. He decided to make a Cuvée Centenaire for the second time, the first in 2010, from the oldest vines in the vineyard and it is bloomin' spectacular. There are only two barrels, but if it is any compensation, the regular Clos Saint-Jacques hits all the right buttons and both challenge the theoretical supremacy of the Griotte-Chambertin. That's not all though. Check out the wonderful Chambolle-Musigny Gruechers or Gevrey Combe Aux Moines, indicative of a winemaker at the top of his game. And to think -- he is hardly known in his home country (though at least there is more for those abroad). The négoçiant line is has its own fair of gems, though it is not as consistent as his domaine wines. I thought his Chambolle Amoureuses was better in 2013 and didn't really warm to his maiden Mazoyères-Chambertin that seemed over-awed by this fantastic take on Chambertin Clos-de-Bèze. Drink: 2018 - 2035. 91-93/100
Jean-Marie Fourrier took over his family domaine in 1994 and has attacked every vintage with dynamic determination and ambition, building the reputation of the estate with astute viticulture and fanatical winemaking. He had learned from the best, most notably the late Henri Jayer of Vosne Romanée and Domaine Drouhin in the Willamette Valley in Oregon with whom he did his formative training. He is a keen participant in the growing trend towards minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery. The domaine has a remarkable array of very old vines, many having been planted between the wars. The Fourrier wines are pure and balanced.
The greatest village in terms of notable grand cru vineyards, Gevrey Chambertin has no less than 9 of them including its most famous Chambertin and Chambertin Clos de Bèze, and includes a premier cru vineyard that many people deem grand cru in quality - Clos St. Jacques. It encompasses approximately 400 hectares under vine also making it the largest top quality vineyard area in the Côte de Nuits. Gevrey-Chambertin has many followers who seek out its deeply coloured, robust and textured wines. They are often firmer than the neighbouring appellations of Chambolle Musigny and Vosne Romanée and can take several years to soften once released. Due to its size and reputation, the list of excellent producers is noteworthy and many are worth seeking out.