Fourth-generation vigneron Fabien Coche took over his family’s domaine in 2005. Hailing from one of Burgundies most famed families (Coche-Dury was part of the same domaine until 1940 and is run by his cousin Raphael), Fabien has quickly become the Coche of the current generation making the most waves. His enviable vineyard holdings total nearly 11 hectares spread across Meursault, Monthelie, Pommard and Auxey-Duresses.
Fabien Coche’s father is a first cousin of Jean-Francois Coche-Dury and it is not so long ago that the two domaines shared almost identical labels. Fabien started working with his father in 1998 and since 2005 has taken over the running and now has his own his own distinctive labels.
Farming practices here are traditional and sustainable for the 40 plots of vines that the family owns and now with 20 vintages experience Fabien has really found his groove in the vineyards and for the wines he is making crystaline pure expressions from each vineyard site. Average vine age is impressive here with more than 60% of vines over 60 years old.
Stylistically the wines at this estate are incredibly pure with little (if any) discernable mark from the hand of the winemaker with new oak at a low 25%. I would place the style of his wines in-between that of his cousins Coche-Dury and Roulot. Fabiens wines have the acidity and purity of Roulot without the trademark SO2 which tends to mark Roulots wines when young, and also without the rich luxuriant texture that so defines Coche-Dury. Here we simply find real old vine depth delivering some of the purest expressions of each vineyard site that we have seen.
2017s due in the second half of 2019. All wines very limited.
White Wines - one of the first of the younger generation to age longer on lees - up to 18 months for his 1er cru whites
From old vines planted 1950’s to 1970’s in the commune of Meursault in the lieu-dit of Les Penteaux. Aged mostly in tank with just 5% going into barrel. Bottled in August. This shows great intensity of flavour and character showing ripe orchard fruits with the fine lifted floral aspect of Aligote. Notes of pear and even apricot indicate the depth and ripeness apparent here. Still fresh and lovely yet with terrific texture and surprising depth. An excellent introduction to any tasting and very promising for what is to follow. A great discovery.
2017 Bourgogne blanc “Grandes Coutures”
Coming from 7 parcels of beautifully situated vines owned by the estate all within Meursault just below the village. This wine is whole bunch pressed then raised in 500 litre barrels (only 5% new) then moved back to stainless steel for 6 months in tank and bottled with no fining or filtration in January after a total of 15 months on lees. This is clearly not an average Bourgogne blanc with weight texture and character way above its humble appellation label. A Bourgogne blanc that delivers freshness and attractive Chardonnay fruit yet is also very complex and fine.
’Vinified in 350-liter barrels and spending two winters on the lees, the 2017 Bourgogne Chardonnay offers up a complex bouquet of citrus zest, dried flowers and beeswax, followed by a medium-bodied, satiny palate with good tension at the core and impressive length and concentration for its appellation.’ 88 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, May 2019
2017 Meursault “Le Limozin”
From a superbly sited vineyard that lies just below 1er cru Genevrieres and also borders on to 1er cru Les Charmes on the south side towards the Puligny Montrachet border. Coche’s vines here are 40-45 years old and the wine shows a step up in intensity yet still with the finesse and softeness typical of Charmes. Bottled early April 2019 after elevage of about 18 months. Very fine structure and notable length this has lovely balance already and is the most immediately approachable of all his Meursaults. A very fine village wine of considerable complexity.
’The 2017 Meursault Le Limozin is superb, revealing a complex bouquet of green apple, Anjou pear, citrus oil, honeycomb, white flowers and subtle spices. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and broad, with a satiny attack, excellent concentration and a generous endowment of structuring dry extract. This will be well worth seeking out.’ (90-92) points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, May 2019
2017 Meursault “Les Chevalieres”
Les Chevalieres lies just above the village of Meursault where the slope follows at the same altitude as the premier cru’s just a little further south. Chevalieres adjoins Les Luchets which is positioned against the top part of this lieu-dit. Tasted early April 2019 the day before bottling, not surprisingly this showed a tiny bit of struck-match SO2 complexity. Despite the hint of reduction this showed lovely fine floral lift over what is clearly a very deep and rich wine showing obvious real old vine intensity. This is a real step up in intensity and character with the cooler site adding a little more acidity and lift to the wine. A fabulous village Meursault.
’The 2017 Meursault Les Chevalières gets my nod as the finest of Coche's lieux-dits this year, and it was showing especially well when I tasted it. Wafting from the glass with notes of lemon oil, white flowers, almond paste and subtle nutmeg, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a deep, tensile mid-palate built around a bright line of ripe acids, concluding with a long, chalky finish. Coche owns the last plot in Chevalières, touching Meix Chavaux.’ (91-93) points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, May 2019
2017 Meursault “Les Luchets”
Les Luchets lies above the village quite high on the slope, which is where many of the younger vignerons favour for cooler more mineral wines terroir and better natural acidity. This vineyard is the ‘signature’ vineyard of his cousins the Roulot family, and in terms of quality it both the Coche and Roulot families that have made Meursault such a destination for so many wine lovers. Bottled early April 2019, the day before we tasted and Fabien described this wine as tendu meaning tense or tight. The aromas certainly seemed to show a cooler aspect with more citric acidity lifting the fruit and lengthening the palate. This showed great structure and length finishing very long with a beautifully formed line of fruit on the palate. A wine to wait a few years for.
2017 Meursault “Les Charmes” 1er Cru
From 100+ year old vines in this signature 1er cru site located on the Puligny Montrachet border. Located just below Perrieres, Charmes always shows a silkier texture and rounder finer texture and flavours making this one of the most seductive and indeed charming wines of the cellar. Shows real depth and dimension of fruit from the ancient vines, great finesse and very fine acid giving great length. A very impressive 1er cru.
’The king of the cellar chez Coche this year is the 2017 Meursault 1er Cru Charmes, a beautiful wine that unfurls in the glass with scents of white peach, oatmeal, spring flowers and subtle spices. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and satiny, with a deep, concentrated core, lovely purity and a bright, precise finish. This is a classic in the making that will reward cellaring.’ (93-95) points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, May 2019
2017 Meursault “Gouttes D’Or” 1er Cru
From 80+ year old vines located in the middle of the appellation in one of its best 1er cru sites which gained its name from the from the tiny flint stones which glistened in the vineyard hence the name meaning drops of gold. Notably floral and lifted this wine shows excellent old vine intensity and lively acidity giving great shape and length to the palate. Finer and more racy than the Charmes this wine wants more time to show its best. A fabulous 1er cru by any standards.
’The 2017 Meursault 1er Cru Goutte d'Or is an elegant, precise wine that was less advanced in its élevage than the Meursault lieux-dits that proceeded it. Offering up aromas of apple, pear, white flowers and pastry cream, it's medium to full-bodied, satiny and delicately textural, with good concentration and reserved depth at the core that suggests more is to come. I look forward to revisiting it from bottle.’ (91-93)+ points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, May 2019
2017 Meursault “Perrieres” 1er Cru
Perrieres stands alone in Meursault as its finest wine and many regard this vineyard as a candidate for upgrading to Grand cru status. Located on the southern border of the appellation bordering Puligny Montrachet, here the aromas and flavours and structure of this fabulous 1er cru site are very distinct with real intensity and lift and perhaps more citric character. This outstanding wine is indeed very perfumed and mineral with great dimension and intensity. A wine to wait for this is obviously very young and will benefit from several years in a very cool cellar to show its best. Clearly the best white of an absolutely outstanding range of Meursaults. Totally brilliant.
Red Wines - bottled unfined and unfiltered with just 20% new oak used with very gentle extraction to capture perfume purity and freshness.
2017 Bourgogne rouge Pinot Noir
From 2 parcels aged 30 to 60 years old located in Meursault and Pommard this wine is 100% destemmed with no pigeage (plunging of the cap) or remontage used in the vinification. Aged in larger 300 litre barrels and bottled before the harvest in August so as not to impart any overt oak influence. The resulting wine is vibrant lifted and very pretty yet also quite substantial for just a basic Bourgogne level. Fabiens vinification for this wine is all about capturing finesse fragrance and purity and he has succeeded brilliantly.
2017 Auxey Duresses rouge
From the lieu-dit of Les Clous which has more limestone soil giving a fresher finer aspect to the aromas and the structure. This vineyard is full south facing and situated between the village Auxey and its neighbouring hamlet of Petit Auxey to the west with the vines averaging 30 years old. Just 20% new oak used here and bottled in December this wine is made with just 10% of whole bunches in the ferment. Fine fresh delicate strawberry aromas. Real finesse here with very fine and more substantial tannins from the limestone finishing with lingering perfume. Bright crunchy and very moreish. A great value.
2017 Monthelie ”Les Barbieres” 1er cru
This 1er cru vineyard sits quite high on the slope and faces full south. Made with 30% whole bunch ferment in 2017 this wine shows rich and deep aromas given some lift and finesse by the use of whole bunches in the ferment. Shows lovely floral lift and also excellent freshness with excellent depth and intensity. A serious 1er cru with only 20% new oak used and bottled in December 2018 to retain freshness and finesse. Fabien aims to capture the fresher side of Pinot and these reds are lithe and effortless and not at all worked.
2016 Meursault rouge
Meursault borders on to Volnay 1er cru Santenots on the north and so not surprisingly there are some terroirs in the village suitable to red wines. Indeed historically the percentage of red wines produced in Meursault was much higher than currently as now just 4% of the production of Meursault is planted to Pinot Noir. Fabien has 3 small plots totaling half a hectare with average vine age of 30 years close to the Volnay border and for this wine he uses just 10% whole bunches in the ferment giving a wine with very pretty fine aromatics. Deeper and more substantial that his Auxey-Duresses yet still serious while retaining its perfume and freshness. Excellent generosity and texture.