Domaine Felix / Burgundy
Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc?! Beautiful Burgundy done differently
Considering Pinot Noir a solid variety for Rosé, Felix couldn’t have been happier on tracking down his Burgundian namesake to find they indeed excelled at this style. Happier also to find them farming less appreciated appellations which correspondingly sell for substantially less than the big communes, supporting our continued campaign of sourcing interesting wines at the value end.
Tracing winemaking history back to the 1600s, today’s phase of the Félix family’s operation took root in 1981 with Hervé Félix taking over the domaine. Holdings quickly expanded from 11 to 31 hectares, bottling was now done at the domaine, and vineyard chemical use was greatly reduced, to culture raisonée methodology (chemicals only used when absolutely necessary to save a crop) from the early 2000s.
Rosé for Burgundy purists from 100% Pinot Noir. Grown and made as a rosé and interestingly winemaking involves two days' maceration, rather than being of saignée method. An interesting and complete style, combines a lightness and prettiness with depth. It is of course Pinot-esque, with an earthy depth and a brush of fruit tannin over the mid palate, wrapped around sweeter fruit flavours of strawberry, orange rind, wild cherries and some steminess which adds interest - the sweet/savoury-earthy pull of the wine makes this a compelling pink.
Perfumed and pretty Bourgogne Rouge. Continues the house's style of balancing brightness with earthiness, a nose of rose petal and small red berries is countenanced by a touch of herbs and steminess. Fruit remains bright on the palate with cranberry and raspberry, with a cooling quality on the palate which renders this wine immensely drinkable. Tannins are ultra fine, with some lead pencil/graphite minerality adding depth to the finish. Everything you'd expect from a well made entry level red Burgundy, it has poise and definition, and at 12.5% alcohol, all too approachable.
Big brother Bourgogne. 90% Pinot Noir and 10% César, a rare varietal local to the Yonne department, authorized for Bourgogne in Auxerre, as well as Irancy reds; its firmer tannins add structure, grip and longevity.
A gorgeous wine, a greater concentration of red fruits against the entry Bourgogne, with a deep and savoury tannin profile complexing its plusher beginnings. Nebbiolo-esque if you will, it's got a bunchy earthiness which sets it up as great for pairing with protein based dishes - a nice steak above all else.
A bright, mid-weight style. Shows a classic white Burgundy oatmealy nose with some old-school Chablis characters of wax, honey and lanolin, with the tiniest note of oyster shell. These themes continue to the palate, especially honey, over peach and nectarine fruit. Leesy character adds fullness but the wine keeps on its toes, requisitely tense and defined at its edges. An easy drinking bistro style with plenty of charm.
A fine and elegant Petit Chablis. Feels old-school in sharing the Bourgogne's themes of beeswax, honey and lanolin, away from the sometimes face-ripping austerity of Chablis. A cushioning of grapefruit and lemon fruit wraps over oyster shell and flint. Aromatics of white flowers add further dimension, as does a briny tang to close. A pleasant glass to glasser.
The one permitted appellation for Sauvignon Blanc in Burgundy. At their best these wines rival Sancerre in quality, and the lower prices inevitably commanded only adds to their attractiveness. Juicy and refreshing, delivers the bright fruit of Sauvignon over sweet peas and green peppers, with hints of nettle and smokiness at its edges. A fine stony mineral spine adds important depth, clearly distinguishing the wine's Old World origins. A classy little number.