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DOMAINE BERNARD FAURIE

SAINT JOSEPH

What the critics are saying:

“Faurie has been one of the up and coming stars of Hermitage for over a decade but he continues to receive little acclaim. While his wines are full flavoured, they retain an elegance and finesse and, like those of Chave, start life very slowly... His winemaking style comes closest to that of Gérard Chave.” Robert Parker

 “Don’t worry Bernard! You make lovely wines, full of the authentic Hermitage qualities. Yours is a benchmark domaine in a wonderful appellation. Hang loose!”
John Livingstone-Learmonth, The Wines of the Northern Rhone.

The amusing quote above from John Livingstone-Learmonth gives you an insight into the mind of Bernard Faurie. In short, although Faurie is a quiet, unassuming winemaker, quite content to lay low in his Northern Rhone enclave and let his wines do the talking, he is also a perfectionist, constantly worrying about how he can make his wines better. Of course, it is people with this type of persona that invariably make the finest wines in their appellation and there is no question that Faurie today ranks amongst the finest producers in both Hermitage and St Joseph.
Bernard Faurie produces tiny quantities of wonderfully elegant reds in the cramped, modest cellar at the rear of his house. There is no fancy equipment here, just a few barrels and a pipette that Faurie meticulously washes each time he dips it in a barrel to extract a sample. As Livingstone-Learmonth has noted; “Bernard works almost obsessively to avoid any dirt or risk of infection in his cellar at all times; he is one of the only growers I know who washes his pipette after each wine during a tasting… this habit, of which he is not really conscious, shows just why this domaine produces such wonderfully pure wines. The grower’s commitment to them is total and respectful.” We could add to this that Faurie is also the only grower we know who refuses to tip wine back into barrels once it has been put in a glass. It is because of this fastidiousness that Faurie’s wines are so clean and pure.
Faurie’s family has owned vines on the hill of Hermitage since 1935. Today he owns a total of 1.7 hectares in Hermitage (le Méal and Greffieux) and approximately the same in St Joseph. He works his vines as naturally as possible, using a horse to plough, and makes wine in the classic manner - no de-stemming, whole bunch fermentation, natural yeasts, no fining and only a light filtration if necessary. The wines are aged for up to 24 months in predominantly 600 litre demi muids.
Whatever new oak there is, typically between 10 to 30 per cent, is simply the result of Faurie needing to replace barrels that have past their use-by date. His total production is a miniscule 600 to 700 cases and as we go to print, we are currently out of all stock. We are sourcing more, so please contact your accounts representative if you are interested in an allocation. 


Bernard Faurie

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