Bernard Faurie is well into sixities and still a driving force behind some of the purest expression of Hermitage that we know.
Tasting recent vintages, you're left feeling that Faurie is at the top of his game.
Faurie is making one of our favorite renditions of Hermitage. He uses old fashioned methods - whole clusters, the grapes are foot trodden and the wines are aged in demi-muids.
There is no grander, more regal expression of Syrah than Hermitage. Faurie captures Hermitage's elegance and complexity with such detail and in such an honest fashion.
Much of the strength of Faurie's Hermitage comes from the greatness of his sites. He owns plots in some of Hermitage's best vineyards - Bessards, Le Méal and Greffieux. Unfortunately, while his holdings are great, they are also small. They amount to 1.7ha. If Faurie isn't better known, it's because the size of the domaine places a major cap on the exposure that the wines get.
For Faurie, the Bessards is almost always an essential part of profound Hermitage. This is one of the appellation's greatest sites. Bessards is famous for its intensely granitic soils and the sternly structured, emphatically mineral and tension-filled wines it produces. (The Chaves consider Bessards essential to their Hermitage.)
The Greffieux/Bessards bottling is a bit gentler and more elegant than the Bessards/Méal bottling. The texture is slightly more suave and the floral elements are more pronounced.
Le Méal is richer and meatier. With the Bessards element, the Bessards/Méal bottling is staining and powerful with an emphatic mineral streak. It carries this power with plenty of finesse and breeding.
Faurie produced beautiful 2014s. He capitalized on the vintage's brightness and textural allure to produce radiantly elegant and monumental expressions of Hermitage. In any vintage, Faurie turns out wines of incredible clarity and harmony. The 2014s exemplify this.
These are beautiful, unembellished examples of Hermitage. One of the upsides to Faurie not being better known is that the wines are very fairly priced. Faurie is among our two or three favorite producers of Hermitage, and when you factor in the price there's no competition.
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Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
2014 Bernard Faurie Hermitage