Rhone Royalty Unembellished: 2009 Faurie Hermitage Bessards-Meal

Posted by Ian McFadden

Rhône Royalty Unembellished
2009 Faurie Hermitage Bessards-Méal

Hermitage is simply Syrah at its most noble.

And Bernard Faurie delivers some of the purest examples that we know.

Faurie's Hermitage has quietly snuck up on us and become one of the three or four examples of the appellation that we like best.

The explanation is pretty simple: these are honest wines from great sites that allow Hermitage to shine in all its majestic glory.

If Faurie's wines aren't well known, the quantities available have played a huge part. He only has 1.7ha and finding the wines has been an issue.

The small amount of vines that Faurie farms are very well situated. He owns plots in some of Hermitage's greatest vineyards - Bessards, Le Méal and Greffieux.

Finding enough wine for an offer has been very difficult and in the end, we only have a very small amount of '09 Bessards-Méal.

Bessards and Le Méal are generally considered two of the three top sites of Hermitage. Bessards is famous for its intensely granitic soils and the sternly structured, emphatically mineral and tension-filled wines that it produces. (The Chaves consider Bessards essential to their Hermitage.) Le Méal, in contrast, is richer and meatier. The two sites perfectly complement each other.

In the Rhône, 2009 is a very good vintage that produced concentrated wines. Faurie's 2009 Bessards-Méal takes the vintage's concentration and ample layer of fruit and gives it a grippy spine with plenty of floral-inflected lift. Faurie's elegant style married wonderfully with the vintage.

This is a beautiful, unembellished example of Syrah at its most elegant and monumental.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits