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Issarts love triangle

[gevrey-chambertin 1er cru les issarts]Faiveley 1990 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Issarts (Burgundy) — This is the French bottling, purchased directly from Faiveley at release. A French cousin regularly purchased and cellared a handful of Faiveley’s wines, and a number of years back as his health was failing and his doctors told him to stop drinking wine, he started giving away the last of his collection. I was the lucky recipient of a few bottles, and this is the last of them.

In retrospect, I should have opened it earlier. It’s always hard to judge with Faiveley, because there’s so much structure, but this bottle is in a stage where it’s pretty much all structure (mostly tannin) with dusty, dried-out remnants of fruit. That said, what’s there is muscular and brooding, and I think the wine shows its origins pretty clearly.

What the wine lacks in cohesiveness, however, is more than compensated by memory and gratitude. Thank you, Gaston. (6/16)

Raspberry beret

Faiveley 1993 Mercurey La Framboisière (Burgundy) – Very tannic when uncorked, and while this fades somewhat over the course of the evening, it never recedes enough to bring the wine into full balance. Despite that, the fruit…faded for the first half-hour or so, but making a gradual recovery familiar to fans of aging red Burgundy…is fairly dark and purple-toned. What it isn’t is very strong or fleshy, so it’s hard for me to judge if it’s going to last until something more aromatically mature develops, or whether it’s just fading. What I do know is that this bottle will likely never find balance with its tannin. And here’s an important caveat: the owner of this bottle (not me) thinks that there’s a possibility it experienced some minor heat effects at an earlier stage, so the above descriptors may have little or nothing to do with an intact bottle. (12/09)