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Bernard Faurie Hermitage Meal Bessards Rouge 2017

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Gold capsule. 100% whole bunch as for all of Faurie’s reds. This is the wine where the vast majority of Faurie’s le Méal fruit ends up (not that there is much of that—Faurie farms just 0.2 of a hectare planted in the 1940s). As the name suggests, it is a blend of the vineyards les Bessards and le Méal. With its direct southerly exposure Le Méal is perhaps the Hill’s warmest site and produces it’s most layered hedonistic wine.Faurie’s vines here date back to the 1940s, so younger than les Bessards where the vines are now close to 100 years old. Faurie calls the wines from le Méal ‘vin noblesse’ and in this blend it gifts the wine a much more opulent, textured personality, while the Bessards, ‘the skeleton’, gives the wine structure, mineral drive and lifted perfume. Bottled by hand from one, used demi-muid, the 2016 blend is 60% Bessards and 40% Méal assembled at harvest time. The resulting wine is a deeper, darker Hermitage with more structural grip for now than the wines above. - Importer Note

“Youthful purple. Highly expressive, mineral-accented aromas of fresh black raspberry, cherry and exotic spices; a sexy floral note builds in the glass. Juicy and sharply focused, offering palate-staining red and blue fruit liqueur and spicecake flavors and a deeper licorice nuance. The floral quality comes back emphatically on the clinging finish, which is shaped by silky, harmonious tannins.” 94-96 points, Josh Reynolds, Vinous

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As Josh Raynolds notes, Hermitage’s Last Samurai is making the best wines of his career. That career is bookended by what Faurie calls a “disastrous” 1981 and, in 2015, what may be his finest collection of wines to date. Make no mistake, Faurie is today producing some of the Northern Rhône’s greatest reds, only he does so in such tiny quantities that he remains as close to anonymous as any great winemaker can be these days.

Although he’s in the twilight of his career, Bernard Faurie has no intention of retiring anytime soon. “I live with my wines,” he tells us. While he was speaking metaphorically it’s worth noting that he actually does live with his wines—Faurie’s winery, in fact a tiny garage, is attached to the rear of his house. “And besides, what would I do if I retire?” he goes on. Naturally we offered some words of encouragement: “Bernard, what would we do if you retired?!” We certainly would taste a lot less great Hermitage!

Even taking the hype of the vintage into account Faurie’s ‘15s are just mesmerising - pure, toned, graceful. The cherry, as if one was needed, is our first allocation of Faurie’s mythical Hermitage Blanc 2016, since the 2007 vintage. Stay right where you are, Mr. Faurie.

- Importer Note

Additional Information

Volume (ml)750ml
Winemaking PracticesMinimal Intervention
Vineyard PracticesMinimal Intervention
Product typeWine Red Shiraz
VintageBibendum Wine Co
RegionRhone Valley

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