We first came across the Domaine Jean Fery some years ago when we met up with Pascal Marchand. He’d recently been liberated from the world of corporate winemaking, and was setting up his own negociant house in Nuits-St-George at the time. It was great to catch up; driving in his car, we left Nuits St George along the Hautes Cotes ridge road. As we arrived in a place called Echevronne, nestling between Beaune and Nuits-St-Georges, we could see vineyard workers getting a horse down from its trailer. This, Pascal told me, was the Domaine Jean Fery.
Winemaking in the Fery family runs back along a line at least as far as the eighteenth century. But when Jean-Louis Fery took over his parent’s estate in the late 1980s, he was fulfilling a childhood dream – to provide the means of developing the family estate by investing in infrastructure and new vineyards. Slowly but surely, he’s created one of the most impressive small-scale domains in Burgundy, new or old.
His winemaking process is biodynamic (if you want to learn more about this style of winemaking, have a look at our article on biodynamic winemaking). In a nutshell, the method specifies certain mixtures of natural minerals and herbs which promote growth and soil quality. The practice also uses an astronomical calendar (much like the old Farmers’ Almanac) to ensure sowing and planting is done at the optimum time. 2008 saw the official declaration that the vines were in conversion to organic production. The wines of the Domaine Jean Fery are outstanding, but they’re more or less unknown outside of the region – meaning you have the perfect mix for a classic Elden Selection.
For his white wines, he uses oak barrels with 50% new oak, and a malolactic fermentation process. For his reds, symbiotic yeasts are used to lend to complexity to the grape juice, before these also go through malolactic fermentation in oak barrels. Whites are fine and filtered, but reds are not (we explore this topic more in our fining and filtration article).
Some of his top wines include the red Vougeot 1er Cru ‘Les Cras’ (deep and powerful and at the same time floral), and his white Savigny les Beaune 1er Cru ‘Les Vergelesses’ (a real eye catcher – fresh, elegant fruit notes with spice tones, a hint of honey and flinty smokiness). But he also offers some great everyday-drinking wines such as the Bourgogne ‘Les Monatines’ Blanc and his Cote de Nuits Villages. And if you just can’t decide between them all, why not try a mixed case? You’ll receive 12 bottles of his finest selected wines (6 red and 6 white).
The domain as it stands today is among the most eclectic in Burgundy, with quality vine holdings up and down the Cote. The addition in 2010 of a parcel of Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Abbaye de Morgeot’ shows that Jean-Louis’ passion and dedication is still aglow.