Benchmark Bourgogne

After so many ordinary bottles of French “Bourgogne Rouge” it’s easy to see how a pinot lover can become skeptical. There are SO many uninteresting wines of this sort, often priced at sums that could purchase seriously good American pinot noir, that it is understandable how many could dismiss this category as unworthy of investigation. Yet, Faiveley is different, for here is a venerable house that is both serious producer AND grower of Burgundy: these folks have a reputation to maintain! It shows.

2002 Faiveley Bourgogne Rouge is a transparent garnet red in the glass showing color balanced between full and light extraction. Faiveley’s nose was soft and elegant, characterized by red fruits and light spice. At first, it offered scents of strawberry and leaf while after some aeration black tea and anise emerged. The use of oak was barely at threshold for this taster. Fresh flavors of tart cranberry and cherry were lean and well-balanced with refreshing acidity. Throughout its drinking, I was amazed at how polished Joseph Faiveley Bourgogne was considering its modest price. In fact, Faiveley may just have redefined the price/value ratio as this wine is extraordinarily good for the money!

In the end, Faiveley’s 2002 Bourgogne is an aromatically interesting and very well-balanced pinot noir. This pinot noir is significant for the money illustrating what can be done with basic Bourgogne-level wine when made by the hands of a skilled winemaker and vineyard manager. Maison Faiveley has certainly preserved their good name with this remarkable wine. Highly recommended!

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