2018 Victor Fagon Nuits Saint Georges Premier Cru En Rue de Chaux
Here is the simplest way I’ve found to describe this wine:
“Bertrand Ambroise’s are not wines for the faint-hearted. The reds are neither fined nor filtered and are matured in barriques of which 75-100% are new. They are opaque in colour and on the palate are full-bodied and intense with copious amounts of chewy black fruits. His Nuits Saint Georges is enormously concentrated.” – Jasper Morris, MW.
And all that is true – I’ve been sucking down this Premier Cru for a couple of weeks now, and I have to tell you, it’s pretty darn amazing: bold black fruits, graphite and earth, lots of palate weight and density, and a long mineral finish.
Yes, making wine this way is a bit “old school” because nowadays commentators (including me) like to describe red Burgundy as “elegant, sophisticated, and the polar opposite of Napa Cabernet.” This wine isn’t Napa Cabernet, but it is powerful. It’s so amazing that I don’t feel the need to justify Bertrand’s winemaking other than to say two things. First, Burgundy should be diverse in every way, including winemaking style.
But wait. Why are we talking about Bertrand Ambroise and not what this bottle is labeled – Victor Fagon? It’s because of politics. Here goes.
Bertrand Ambroise was exclusively and for a long time imported into the United States by Bobby Kacher. Bobby retired and sold his company to Fine Vines. Fine Vines has since collapsed, but holds the importing contract. Bobby’s right-hand man, Craig Baker, has been working with many of Bobby’s domaines to get the wines into the States again. The Victor Fagon label is Craig and Bertrand’s exclusive label for the outstanding wines of Maison Bertrand Ambroise. The name on the label represents Francois’s son “Victor” and “Guy-Crescent Fagon”, doctor to Louis XIV and important benefactor to the wines of Nuits Saint Georges. So we win by getting the wines, and the producers win by getting paid by a very large Burgundy market.
And even better, we get the wines at a great price. We got a little stash of the 2017. It’s exceptional, so don’t miss it.