2013 Les Favarelles ‘Nez de Muse’
Region: Vézelay < Burgundy < France
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, granite/limestone soil, 10ppm SO2 at bottling, native yeast, unfined/unfiltered
Winemaker: Patrick Bringer
Patrick Bringer and Isabelle Georgelin are the husband and wife team behind Les Faverelles, a tiny domaine in the semi-mountainous region of Morvan in Northwest Burgundy. The couple left Paris in 2001 for the historic village of Asquins (where Isabelle is now the town’s Mayor), close to Vézelay (the regional appellation for their wines). There they found 5 ½ hectares of pinot noir and chardonnay perched on a beautiful south-eastern slope, along with a medieval cellar no larger than a SF studio apartment. The winters here are colder and snowier than Chablis, and the summers are among the warmest in Burgundy. Patrick believes that this combination of elements allows his 15-30 year-old pinot vines to retain a refreshing minerality. Nez de Muse is a feather-weight Pinot Noir from this cold-weather climate, fermented and raised entirely in cuve de bois (large wood tank). In Vézelay, ripening is generally slower than the Cote d’Or, a fact that has lead most growers to routinely chaptalize (or add sugar during fermentation to bring up potential alcohol). Patrick staunchly opposes this practice, believing that it obscures the true terroir of Vezelay. As a result, even in warm years like 2014, his wines tend toward a refreshing 11.5% alcohol (as opposed to the standard 13% of the region). Also rare for the region, this pinot was wild fermented, unsulfured during vinification, and received only a homeopathic dose of 10ppm so2 at bottling. It was bottled without filtration.