Domaine Jean Fery Cote de Nuits Villages 2018
Ruby red with fresh fruit cherry and black currant dominant. Spicy, with good structure and fine tannins. An elegant wine drinking way above its appellation.
Domaine Jean Fery
Nestled in the Hautes Cotes village of Echevronne, the Domaine Jean Fery is the master plan of Jean-Louis Fery, the latest in a wine line dating back to the mid-1800s. From 1994, with the help of Alain Meunier of the Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron, the Domaine Jean Fery went bio (without actually claiming the certification) and started expanding their vineyard holdings. From the 2006 harvest, Pascal Marchand took the reins, continuing the domain's quest for quality and integrity.
BURGUNDY 2018 VINTAGE
There has been talk over the past year of the 2018 vintage in Burgundy being one of the greatest of all time. Comparisons with the mythical 1947, and all that. But let’s be careful and take a closer look.
We’ve tasted some marvelous wines, both white and red, and from all of the appellation levels. Purity and concentration would be the key words across the board.
But lest we forget, 2018 was the hottest vintage in Burgundy since 2003. And frankly, we were expecting wines like we got in 2003: flabby whites and Cote du Rhone-like reds. But that did not happen. And the secret to understanding 2018 Burgundy lies in understanding the difference between these two very hot years.
If you look at 2018 from start to finish, not only was it hot, it was dry: 50% less precipitation than the annual average over the past 30 years. However, if you were here in the early part of the year, you’ll certainly remember the rain.
After a very dry summer in 2017, winter 2017-18 was wet. It rained nearly every day through March and into April. And the vine was slow to bud.
That all changed in the middle of April. Wet soil and higher temperatures brought on explosive growth in the vineyards that the vignerons had a tough time keeping up with. In a week we went from bud burst to unfurled leaves.
The first flowers burst in mid-May. The crop set regularly with very little disruption, and summer settled in. The early wet conditions followed by April’s warmth saw the onset of mildew, but the fungus never stood a chance.
It was a hot and sunny summer. Some would say it was a heat wave and a drought. And we started to see signs of stress in vineyards in certain sectors. Things were better where there was a little rain. But August was bone dry. In fact, there was no rain from June 15th to the end of October.
It was about this time that comparisons to 2015 cropped up. You could see ripeness rapidly approaching, and there was talk of harvest starting at the end of August.
The vines were incredibly healthy; no moisture means no threat from mildew or odium. No rot. Good ripeness.
And, for the first time since 2009….a normal yield! So, let the harvest begin!
And it did, in the last days of August. What was most astonishing right from the start was that the perceived acidity levels seem OK. Granted, there’s no malic acid, but the levels of tartaric acid seem to be compensating, and there is an over-all impression of balance.
Also amazing was the amount of juice the crop produced. Not only was the yield bigger than the past 10 years’ average, but the amount of juice set a record for Burgundy. So there will be a lot of 2018 around.
And all this in a year that felt more like the south of Spain than Burgundy as we know it. The only thing we can attribute the quality of 2018 to is the abundant winter rains, and the vine’s ability to go searching for water when it needs it.
COTES DE NUITS VILLAGE
Whether red or white, this is the wine King Henri IV had in mind to go with the Sunday chicken he wished every family in France to enjoy. It is as accessible as it is amiable, honest and straightforward in taste. The red, which has the gleaming crimson highlights of the Pinot grape, veers sometimes towards an intense garnet hue or, when young, a bright cherry. Its aromas run a classic spectrum through cherry, gooseberry and blackcurrant to notes of underbrush, mushroom and spices (cinnamon). This is a big-hearted wine, powerful in the mouth, full and meaty, and its tannins (more conspicuously present in the younger wines) are well smoothed-down.
The white is pale gold in color or sometimes a little darker. The fragrance is of white flowers mixed with plum. When older, ripe apple, fig, pear or quince appears, as well as some spicy notes. Lively and clean, it has both energy and elegance while nevertheless remaining direct in its expression and ultimately likeable.
These terroirs are worthy of carrying the appellation Village institued in 1964, of the southern villages of the Côte de Nuits or the appellation Côte de Nuits-Villages. Corgoloin in the South marks the border between the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. To the North, a part of the terroirs belonging to the villages of Brochon and Fixin. Both red (Pinot Noir) and white (Chardonnay) wines may claim the appellation. Wines which derive wholly from a single Climat may add that name on the labeI.
The hill-slopes of Comblanchien and Corgoloin are carved into the hard limestones of the Upper bathonien. The slopes are gentle and regular, not reaching the rim of the plateau. In the upper part the brown soil is only slightly limy with, lower down, a thick layer of pebbly scree, while at the foot of the slope is an extensive area of brown soils over accumulated alluvium. For their part, the wines of Fixin and Brochon lie on the red-brown soils of the piemont composed of alluvium mixed with pebbly limestone.