Château Jean Faure - St.Emilion 2017

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Julian Marshall
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1226
Joined: August 12th, 2011, 4:44 am
Location: Next to Auvers sur Oise, France
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 35 times

Château Jean Faure - St.Emilion 2017

#1 Post by Julian Marshall »

When is a Saint Emilion not a Saint Emilion? When it's like this one! If, like me, you stopped buying Saint Emilions after 2008, sold all your 2005s and migrated to the Loire in search of freshness, this one is for you.

I should however explain right away that it is not a "proper" Saint Emilion at all. In 2017, there were frosts much like the ones that are afflicting vineyards right now, so the entire Merlot crop in the Jean Faure vineyard was lost. As a result, the wine was made with 95% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. It's organic and...."only" 13°.

The nose is very mouth-watering, with layers of juicy raspberry and blackcurrant, then just a hint of herbs. The attack is full of the crunchy red fruit you might expect from a Roches-Neuves, then it broadens out into a middle section full of raspberries, quite lush but restrained at the same time, before a crisp finish focusing on blackcurrant and spices.

In her EP report, Jane Anson wrote that it was rather oaky, but I'm guessing that it was just an EP experiment sample, because I only got a hint of oak.

In style, it's like a cross between a Roches-Neuves and a Yannick Amirault, which is rather weird when you see Saint Emilion on the label. It has the freshness and elegance of a Loire red, which suits me fine, so atypical it may be, but I liked it a lot. No syrupy fruit, no mocha, no excessive alcohol, what's not to like?

I decanted it for five hours and it was already very approachable, but there is a tannic grip and it will be much better in a few more years.

Final amusing detail - the consultant is Hubert de Boüard! But Robert A can relax - not even he could ruin this.

James Billy
Posts: 1378
Joined: November 10th, 2016, 6:53 pm
Has thanked: 86 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: Château Jean Faure - St.Emilion 2017

#2 Post by James Billy »

[whistle.gif] I'm sayin' no'en!

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 25246
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida
Has thanked: 113 times
Been thanked: 156 times

Re: Château Jean Faure - St.Emilion 2017

#3 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

OK, Professor Marshall, where can I find this Bouard-inspired unicorn!?

You had me at Chinon.

I’ve never even heard of this Chateau.
“Dammit Brian, until you tuited this diatribe, I was haiku aging my sh*t.“
(Country Squire, circa 2020)


@lfert

User avatar
Julian Marshall
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1226
Joined: August 12th, 2011, 4:44 am
Location: Next to Auvers sur Oise, France
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 35 times

Re: Château Jean Faure - St.Emilion 2017

#4 Post by Julian Marshall »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: April 8th, 2021, 4:51 am OK, Professor Marshall, where can I find this Bouard-inspired unicorn!?

You had me at Chinon.

I’ve never even heard of this Chateau.
Hang on, normally you have exclusive access to all geeky wines! I stopped counting the number of French wines you can somehow get hold of which I can't (Ante Phylloxera by Clos de Maulevrier, for example!).

Well, my learned friend, you could be right - I don't see it on WS - maybe they decided it wasn't "suitable" for the US market! The 2017 was quite a small output - 10K bottles instead of the usual 70K, so that could explain it. But I have no doubt it will show up soon - I got mine from my local Carrefour.

Château Jean Faure was bought by Olivier Decelle in 2004, who had also bought Mas Amiel previously, plus some stuff in Burgundy subsequently. He sounds like an interesting character - he tried working with Rolland and Derenoncourt and then stopped. There is no mention of De Boüard on the website so perhaps that collaboration also ended. He decided to go organic - the 2017 is the first certified organic vintage. The 2018 vintage was hit by mildew - I'm going to look at it when it comes out, since it has 65% CF too. Depends on the alcohol level. I'm curious after tasting this.

But honestly, the 2017 is just a fun purchase to surprise someone with. It cost me 25 euros, and for that price there are lots of Loire reds which are as good and many which are better.

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 25246
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida
Has thanked: 113 times
Been thanked: 156 times

Re: Château Jean Faure - St.Emilion 2017

#5 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Julian Marshall wrote: April 8th, 2021, 7:12 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: April 8th, 2021, 4:51 am OK, Professor Marshall, where can I find this Bouard-inspired unicorn!?

You had me at Chinon.

I’ve never even heard of this Chateau.
Hang on, normally you have exclusive access to all geeky wines! I stopped counting the number of French wines you can somehow get hold of which I can't (Ante Phylloxera by Clos de Maulevrier, for example!).
Ha, it's good to be loved!

[snort.gif]
“Dammit Brian, until you tuited this diatribe, I was haiku aging my sh*t.“
(Country Squire, circa 2020)


@lfert

User avatar
Julian Marshall
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1226
Joined: August 12th, 2011, 4:44 am
Location: Next to Auvers sur Oise, France
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 35 times

Re: Château Jean Faure - St.Emilion 2017

#6 Post by Julian Marshall »

As a postscript, I opened a bottle of Roches-Neuves FDP 2017 to compare with the rest of the Jean Faure.

The Jean Faure did fine, but the Roches-Neuves was on another level:

The nose is already very complex, full of rose hips, red cherries, hints of spice, then some blackcurrant. In the mouth, the vivacity hits first - the trademark crunchy red fruit, but then it spreads out across the palate, a lithe blend of red cherries and redcurrants, then progressive waves of blueberry, blackberry and wild strawberry, before a crisp, elegant finish. Incredible stuff, already delicious but which will be better still in a few more years from now.

Compared to the 2018 FDP tasted recently, the 2017 is just as good but more accessible. The 2018 is a good bet if you're 40 or 50. The 2017 is a better bet if you're 60 (like me) or more!

I'm increasingly impressed by the 2017 vintage in the Loire - it's certainly ripe enough, but more restrained than the 2018. I've a feeling that it's going to be a good bet at auction in the future, rather like Bordeaux 2001 vs Bordeaux 2000.

Anyway, going back to the Jean Faure, it tasted much more Bordelais next to the Roches-Neuves, more straitlaced, thicker, perhaps less complex, but still very appealing.

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”