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Friday, 29 April 2011

Favourites - Dupont-Fahn

Last week I was singing a Maundy Thursday Mass (Byrd for 4 voices) with friends at the Dominican Priory in Montpellier.  Between rehearsal and service, we were invited for apéritifs at the apartment of a couple of singers, and among other good wines they offered us a Monthélie.  This is a red Bourgogne from one of the lesser-known villages just south-west of Beaune, and the best are excellent and floral.   This was certainly one of those, an absolute delight made by Michel Dupont-Fahn.  He now also makes wines in the Languedoc since he and his American wife spend part of the year in and around Montpellier, and this like many of his wines has had a good review in Hachette.

It was a real pleasure to find this wine during a pause in our musical day, but not a complete surprise.  The same friends who'd invited us to their flat, Phil and Katharine, had given us an introduction to the family as we prepared for our trip to the Côte d'Or a few weeks earlier.  We had a wonderful few days in the area around Beaune - more of that in other posts - but on the Friday morning we found ourselves heading for the little and very quiet village of Tailly to find Michel's son Raymond who makes wine there.

Tailly is south of Beaune, and a stone's throw from the illustrious vineyards of Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet.  So the story takes a fascinating twist - Raymond has (inherited? acquired? I forget the details) vineyards on the borders of classified vineyards in Meursault and P-M, so his wines have every chance of exceeding expectations based on the labels.  His white Bourgogne AOC comes from a vineyard in Meursault recently declassified from grand cru status.

It is not an exaggeration to say that when we sat at his kithcen counter and tasted the 4 white wines he offered us it was one of the best tastings we'd ever experienced.  The wines sang, and although he had none for sale (we look forward with bated breath to the offer of 2010 wines when they are released) the bottle of Bourgogne Chaume des Perrières 2009 he offered us for our wine tasting circle went down a storm, and was awarded a near-perfect score by at least one of us.  Father and son, the Dupont-Fahns are gifted winemakers.

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