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The Third Generation of Domaine Faury

by Tom Wolf

Buy this collection (4 bottles)

$222.00
The Third Generation of Domaine Faury - Tom Wolf
The Third Generation of Domaine Faury - Tom Wolf

When you first meet Lionel Faury, it’s easy to mistake him for a gentle giant. At six foot five, with a linebacker’s frame, he is soft-spoken, humble, and good-humored. Lionel’s modesty and affability, however, belie the intensity he brings to the job—and sport—he loves. Last year, he won his tenth Joutes Nautiques, the French championship of water jousting (Google it!). Lionel is equally, if not more, successful in his day job as one of the northern Rhône’s great vignerons. What links the two? “Passion,” he replied when he visited Berkeley in January.
                Lionel represents the third generation of his family to grow grapes and make wine in Chavanay, south of Lyon. After the Second World War, his grandfather planted vines and orchards, to make wine and sell fresh fruit. When Lionel’s father Philippe took over, he replaced the fruit trees with more vines and dedicated the entire family business to wine production, crafting top-notch northern Rhône reds and whites. The Saint Joseph blanc, in particular, attracted Kermit early on: “The aroma is what I’ve always dreamed possible in a white Saint Joseph... It was so perfect in barrel we didn’t want to fiddle with it, so it was bottled by hand, unfiltered,” he wrote in our June 1996 newsletter. Philippe also made stellar Côte-Rôties, Saint Joseph rouges, and Condrieus.
                Today, Lionel runs the domaine and continues to take it to soaring heights. More than his father or grandfather, he has to contend with the challenges of climate change. “It seems there is no more spring and autumn here, only summer and winter,” he says. Preserving freshness and acidity in the face of warmer vintages is one of his primary goals, and he achieves this masterfully by keeping more leaves on the vines—thereby providing more shade to the grapes—as well as pursuing shorter macerations and more whole-cluster fermentation than the domaine used to. He’s also thinking about how to retain more moisture and less heat in his soils.
                In these wines, you will taste the passion of a classicist trying to uphold the best traditions of the northern Rhône, and also the creativity of a thoughtful vigneron navigating the hurdles of the present and future. Faury’s 2018 blancs are sublime now. The rouges will evolve beautifully, but they, too, are packed with class and drinkability today.





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Warnings


Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol


Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa