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Faiveley – le goût du terroir

The French term le goût du terroir translates literally to the taste of the soil, however, in wine-speak, taste in this context encompasses aroma as well, and terroir alludes not only to the soils from which the vines sprang, but the influences all around; all the elements involved in the making of the wine, the nature of the soils and the fruit, the sunshine hours or lack of, as well as the hand of the winemaker who brings everything together to give a wine its sense of place.  It`s how a connoisseur of wine can taste a wine “blind”, and pinpoint the wine`s identity, sometimes narrowing it down to a single estate and vineyard.  However, not all wines have a sense of place. Sometimes wines are so stretched they could come from anywhere.  High yielding, bulk-produced, under £10 bottles, almost always fall into this category. They can be well made, and even typical of the style and grape, but rarely of place. Next category up, between £10 and £15 bottles, you are likely to find more concentration, with length as well, and if you are lucky terroir. But it`s not until you spend £15 plus on a bottle that you can consistently find wines with typicity, depth of flavour and terroir.  I have dedicated this column for the next month or so to the £15-£20 category, and today`s example perfectly demonstrates the meaning of the term goût de terroir.  Domaine Faiveley Pinot Noir, Bourgogne 2018 (France) is a classic cool-climate red wine produced from small thin-skinned just-ripe Pinot Noir grapes grown on a limestone ridge in burgundy`s Côte d`Or. The wine is a pale, translucent, star-bright cherry colour.  It is of medium weight, with an elegant body. The wine has fragrant scents of fresh red fruits and a hint of oak from 12 months oak aging. The palate is intense and savoury with defining mineral notes and lively acidity, beautifully balanced.  Darker fruits evolve in the glass, suggestive of its Côte de Nuits origins within burgundy`s Côte d`Or; and crunchy, youthful tannins turn to soft fine grain. How delectable!




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