Jean-Philippe Fichet, Meursault lieu-dit Les Gruyaches, 2017

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Jean-Philippe Fichet

You know the story: As the most famous white burgundy producers become scarcer than hen’s teeth, even the producers we used to call “overlooked” are becoming allocated. The growers we used to depend upon to stock our shelves with great Chardonnay have become once-a-year treats that don’t make it to the shelf for long, if at all.

For better and for worse, we can add Fichet to the list.

Hard as it is for his fans, it’s obviously fair: Fichet is as big a talent as they come in Burgundy and nobody does a better, more meticulous job of expressing their terroir. He has lots of old vines with deep roots and the naturally low yields that give you not just his sites' tastes, but even their unique textures.

He accentuates the natural concentration by managing yields through rigorous winter pruning rather than a heavy summer green harvest. (That was one of Jayer’s secrets, too: he said that by the time the vine had created all those shoots you spend the summer pruning, the vine had wasted too much of it's essential goodness).

The farming is “lutte raisonée,” minimizing inputs. Most wines ferment in barrel (generally, older) on wild yeasts, and age for 11-18 months depending on the vintage and the site. Likewise, though Jean-Philippe uses relatively little batonnage, he will use some in certain vintages or cuvées.

The resulting wines are delicious and pure, with the sense of terroir that makes them worth thinking about, and the delectable fruit that makes us want just to drink them up.

Professional Reviews

Burghound

BH 92
"Here there is no reductive funk with its cool, pure and airy nose that reflects the essence of pear, acacia blossom, hazelnut and citrus peel. The vibrant medium weight flavors possess a notably more refined mouth feel while exhibiting a subtle minerality that carries over to the refreshing and impressively complex finale. This is a lovely Meursault villages that should amply reward mid-term keeping."

Antonio Galloni

AG 93
"(from very old vines adjacent to Meursault Charmes; picked on September 2; aging in 10% new barriques): Pale, green-tinged yellow. Aromatically pure, complex, high-pitched scents of citrus fruits, spice oils, flowers and minerals. Sweet and plush on the palate, with no hard edges, with the wine's sucrosité nicely buffered by ripe acidity and crushed-stone minerality. Finishes classically dry, saline, firm and long. Fichet refers to this vineyard as "the little brother of Charmes" and a look at the map will show why."

Robert Parker

RP 92
"From a lieu-dit that touches premier cru Charmes, the 2017 Meursault Les Gruyaches exhibits lovely aromas of pear, iodine, Meyer lemon and white flowers. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and satiny, with excellent old vine concentration, chalky dry extract and a long, mouthwatering finish." -Robert Parkers

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