Jean-Philippe Fichet is a grower from Meursault who is driven by the desire to make great wines. From the second you enter his immaculate cave you know there will be serious wine to be found. The spotless converted barn close by l'Hôpital in Meursault is airconditioned and provides a welcome relief from his scattered and cramped conditions of a few years ago. Jean-Philippe's father bottled a few wines himself but mostly sold in bulk. The Bourgogne Blanc, Meursault Criots, Gruyaches and Puligny Montrachet Referts come from him. The other wines are on share-cropping agreements with various owners. Fichet’s big step forward came in 2000 when he moved the whole operation to splendid cellars at ‘Le Creux du Coche’ by the Hôpital de Meursault where he has been able to oversee all aspects of vinification and maturation with much greater efficiency. He has a negociant’s licence to enable him to buy the owners part of the wines he makes under the share-cropping system, as well as his brother’s and sister’s vines. Jean-Philippe is looking for purity in his wines. He uses whole bunches when the grapes are fully ripe, but crushes some in less ripe years before pressing. The juice is left to settle for 12 hours and the fine lees are retained. They may occasionally be stirred but as gently as possible. The lesser wines are raised in demi-muids for the first year, then assembled in tank. The single vineyard wines receive 18 months in barrels which range from new to 6 years old with a maximum of 30% new barrels on any cuvée. He deals mostly with lieux-dits in Meursault with just one 1er Cru in Puligny. Constantly experimenting and refining, his wines have real definition and individuality,with the individual terroirs clearly exposed. Les Chevalières is the most mineral and austere of his wines and rewards keeping for between 5-10 years. Though this is essentially a white wine domaine there are also red wines from the appellations Bourgogne Rouge, Côte de Beaune Villages and Monthélie. Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
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