On the Trail

A Clear Example of Burgundy's Masterful 2015

David Driscoll
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You know it's a star-studded year for Burgundy when the wines of the Côte Chalonnaise, one of the area's more humble growing regions, taste like top notch Côte de Beaune. There are no grand cru vineyards in the Chalonnaise and the premier cru sites that do exist are generally coveted for their charm rather than their complexity. In a great vintage like 2015, however, where ripeness in the pinot noir is prevalent, you never know where you might strike pay dirt. We went to Burgundy this past Spring on a mission to taste everything we could—from Beaujolais, to Chablis, the Macon, and the Chalonnaise as well—because of how approachable and delicious the wines were tasting in their infancy. If there were ever a year to expand your horizons in terms of terroir, this was it. The wines we've brought in so far from Domaine Bart, Giboulet, and Parent show a level of top notch consistency that we haven't seen in red Burgundy perhaps since 2005. It's an exciting time to be a wine drinker. 

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The wine that put 2015 over the top for me personally, however, was the 2015 Domaine Faiveley Mercurey 1er Cru "Clos de Myglands," a wine that I've had numerous times in previous vintages, but has never tasted this darn good. While Faiveley also purchases fruit from other growers in Burgundy, this vineyard in the Côte Chalonnaise is entirely estate-owned, hence the term "monopole" (monopoly) on the label. It's located in Mercurey on a fifteen acre plot, tucked into the hillsides that stray south from the more prestigious Côte d'Or. Faiveley hand picks all the grapes from the Mygland site and it shows in the delicacy of the fruit, both on the nose and the palate. Each time I nose my glass of 2015Clos des Myglands the words "wow, wow, wow" pulsate through my brain. Simply put: this wine is everything I love about Burgundy and it reminds me of the excitement I once felt upon first trying the more serious premier cru level wine more than ten years ago.

I've read other critical reviews that also think 2015 might be the best vintage ever for the Clos des Myglands, with the extra ripeness rounding off the acidity, turning what might normally be crunchy cranberries into tart cherries and bright strawberries. Beyond that, deep in the glass, are cloves, forest notes, brush, and earth, all sweetly scented and voluminous on the nose. This is a beautiful, top-notch 2015 red Burgundy that drinks well right now—for tonight's chicken dinner, or tomorrow's brunch party. I'm sure it will continue to improve, but if you're looking for a showstopper for this holiday season I'd be hard pressed to find anything in the category this good for under $60. It's representative not only of the quality in Faiveley's Mercurey monopole vineyard, but of the 2015 vintage on the whole.

-David Driscoll