TN: 1996 Fourrier Gevrey Clos St. Jacques

Medium ruby with a pale rim. Somewhat muted nose of damp earth, dark cherries, blueberries and game. The aromas are more pronounced with vigorous swirling, but at this stage the nose is more or less closed. Old vines concentration is evident here, as flavors
of dark cherries and soil stain the palate. The tart acidity that marred the wine in the first hour (after two hours in a decanter) gradually gave way to a bracing acidity in the second hour and to the last drop. Moderate finish and tannins emerged by the third hour. This was not an uninteresting drinking experience as sweet fruit appeared when the tart acidity receded, but at present this is marked by the vintage.

Good to know – thanks for the note!

i feel like i thought 96s were opening up and loosening free of that acid but the most recent ones I’ve had have been acidic beasts. (96 dujac CSD, 96 rousseau CSJ).

Ouch! A friend opened the '96 Rousseau CSJ about a year ago, and you’re right, it’s an acidic beast.

The '96 Fourrier Gevrey Villages VV, by the way, has searing acidity and tannins. Don’t know if this will ever come around.

Grrrr… I got one 96 AR CSJ, -and I loathe acidic beasts. Get all sweaty on the forehead, just thinking about it.

I opened a 1996 Drouhin Beaune Greves last weekend and while I liked it very much and it was, by far, the best (and last) bottle of that purchase there was certainly no shortage of '96 acidity.

1996 is well before the style changeover. I’d think 2001 is where this estate started to really get it together, maybe the 2002 is the first ‘great’ vintage?

I disagree. I started buying the wines with the 1998 vintage and loved them from then though I have since been priced out. IIRC his first vintage was 1995 so he was still getting used to things at that point. Though a mag of 1995 CSJ about a decade ago was very impressive.

2001 was the vintage that had some issues with severe bottle variation on some wines.

1996 Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuées was drinking great the other night

I think Jean-Marie’s first vintage was 95, not sure. I bought a single b of Griotte and it was so hard and charmless I didn’t buy more–even though it was about $50 and there were cases of it. He has learned a lot since then.

96 Rousseau Beze last year also seemed more tight and shut down than it was 2 years prior when it was the greatest wine I had ever tasted.

got a bottle of 96 Fourrier Griotte. Any recent tastes?

Pretty good two years ago.

Yes it was. This was absolutely singing. Thanks for sharing Alan!

I remember buying wine from Howard Ripley, an English merchant specializing in Burgundy and Riesling, and asking him to suggest a few bottles to complete a case. He added some Fourrier 1998s. By the time I figured they were ready to drink, they were cult favorites. 1998s are indeed spectacular.

When John Gilman was writing up the 1996s, the wines at that stage seemed to have resolved the acidity, and I remember in particular the Dujacs were extraordinary. The acidity in the CSD tasted recently was a little less resolved, but I am pretty confident that this is just another phase.

Funny what you think you know. I was ‘sure’ that J-M didn’t start making the wines until the late '90s and really didn’t hit his stride until the 2002 vintage. After Jay and Alan said otherwise I did a little research. Seems he started making the wine in 1994 (according to AM). Huh. Are the '98s and '99s good? Worth buying?

Personally, I think so. YMMV of course…

I went long on the '98s when they were cheap and widely available. I’ve drunk multiple bottles of the Clos St. Jacques, Cherbaudes, Champeaux and Combes Aux Moines, and they are all quite good. Very Gevrey with good concentration and nice fruit. They’re drinking well now but can age. The Cherbaudes is especially open and delicious. The '99s were also widely available and a good buy, with the Clos St. Jacques costing $45. Haven’t opened any yet.

per Bill Nanson: Jean-Marie officially took over the wine-making at the 10Ha domaine for the 1995 vintage, but the actual changeover was in 1994, though due to onerous taxation on succession the whole of the 1994 vintage was sold off to the ‘Grand Négociants’ to provide the necessary cash for payment.

So I was in essence right that 95 was the first Fourrier vintage for J-M, as the rest was sold off. I didn’t know that.