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One of Burgundy's Best-Kept Secrets — And It Begins Under $40!
July 20, 2020

Discover the Under-the-Radar White Burgundy That Challenges the Prized Neighbors and Vineyards at a Quarter of the Price. The Yin and Yang of Meursault Begins with the Overachieving Bourgogne Insider Tip at Under $40.

"These are pure, tangy, acid-driven wines, and I suspect that it's only because Fichet has no premier crus in Meursault that he has attained less celebrity than several other famous growers who operate in a similar stylistic register, currently very much in vogue" — William Kelly, Wine Advocate

We are fortunate to taste thousands of wines each year, but every now and then we come across that one bottle that stands up, defies its category, and demands attention for its relative value. For white Burgundy and the region of Meursault, that wine is once again the prized lieux-dit, or non-classified vineyard, of Le Tesson from Jean-Philippe Fichet. The under-the-radar plot (and its owner) was recognized in 1855 by Jean Lavalle in his “Premieres Cuvée” classification system, when he ranked it alongside the more celebrated names of Genevrières Dessus, Charmes Dessus, Bouchères and Gouttes d’Or, but it has managed to maintain its low profile over the years. That is really beginning to change as Jean-Marc Roulot, Pierre Morey, and Fichet have begun delivering the full potential of the vineyard.

We are featuring a mini vertical of this prized plot, along with the debut of the 2018s from the rising star Jean-Philippe Fichet. Among the highlights of IWM’s signature values are certainly the Fichet Bourgogne Blanc and the prized Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes that abuts the premier cru Meursault-Charmes. Both Bourgogne Blanc wines are essentially village-level Meursault, and they represent some of the great values in the region. But that is just the start! The producer continues to operate below the radar with his lieux-dits, which may lack the glamor that comes with the more celebrated premier cru holdings of the region but overdeliver on style. We tasted the magical, terroir-driven 2016 Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet Meursault Le Tesson, and it epitomizes exactly what we are searching for in Meursault: that unrivalled yin and yang experience that dances between energy and texture, minerality and ripe fruit. Fortunately for us, like the vineyard, Domaine Jean-Philippe still remains a quiet secret, despite its successes. Here, the overachieving Meursault Le Tesson achieves world-class attention with relative value. It should be noted that the neighboring expression from Jean-Marc Roulot, the 2016 Le Tesson, can command four times as much at $300-400. According to Burghound, the 2016 vintage is when Jean-Philippe Fichet believes he produced his finest vintage to date, and we emphatically agree. This is a Meursault that outperforms its pedigree and challenges many premier crus.

While today’s offering begins with the overachieving Fichet Meursault Le Tesson, it does not end there. We are celebrating Fichet as well as the region as a whole, as there may be no more thrilling introduction, or conclusion, to the world of White Burgundy than Meursault. Our carefully chosen selections are vibrant and rich, laser-focused and delineated, fresh and precise. Meursault offers an intoxicating gateway for the exploration of other appellations and is the perfect foundation for understanding what is, the world’s finest white wine — Burgundy.


If you are a Burghead, you know the story. Before the rise of prized premier and grand crus from Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet and Corton-Charlemagne, there were the terroir-driven Chardonnays of Meursault. The old stereotype that Meursault is a rich and opulent wine is only part of the story. The region’s low water table, limestone marl soil, and vines’ deep roots help to give its finest expressions a distinct note of crushed stone and earth coupled with vibrant citrus fruit. A high-quality Meursault offers a desirable yin and yang experience, one that dances between piquant and mellow, texture and cut, and one that celebrates its nuanced flavor spectrum — like the Le Tesson from Fichet. This is the Meursault that is winning over today’s enthusiasts.

However, if you’re looking to explore the gradient shades Meursault has to offer in more depth, keep in mind that Les Perrières is best known for wines of longevity that emphasize a leaner profile, a signature note of dry extract, and a penetrating core of minerality; Les Charmes, on the other hand, is better known for rich, silky, round and harmonious wines with intense, yet almost weightless, flavor; and Les Genevrières finds a middle ground that displays the glycerin appeal and approachability of Charmes combined with the minerality and tightly wound core of Les Perrières. These points are thumbnail guidelines; there is much more to the region than these often pricey wines. IWM believes that this discovery begins with the unclassified plots/vineyards, or lieux-dits, from Jean-Philippe Fichet and his breathtaking Bourgogne Blanc at just $31.99.

Additional Notes and Reviews:

“I was deeply impressed by Jean-Philippe Fichet's wines, most of his 2018s exhibiting wonderful precision and complexity. It's another Meursault grower who is really firing on all cylinders at the moment and I especially admire the showing of his Meursaults at village cru level.” — Neal Martin

Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “I have tasted this wine five times and each time it reconfirms my belief that this is one of the great values in Meursault. It is one of those wines that delivers an awesome yin and yang experience — there are tension and ripe fruit, and you have the same zim-zam-zing with concentration and texture. With air, the layers of fruit meld well with the coiled core of minerality and energy that awaits underneath. Expect awesome notes of vibrant citrus and lime peel that echo with nuances of chalk, salinity, apples, and lemon curd. This wine is succulent, clean and pure, but persistence is the key word here, and the finish builds and lingers. This is one of the more palate-staining wines we have had from the 2016 vintage, and the finish goes on for minutes. There is simply a lot of wine here in each drop and will certainly please Roulot enthusiasts at a quarter of the price. Bravo.”

John Gilman, View from the Cellar: “The 2016 Tesson chez Fichet is my favorite of his lovely lineup of lieux à dits Meursault cuvées this year, as this wine is truly outstanding. The nose is pure, refined and zesty, delivering scents of apple, pear, hazelnuts, iodine, a quite complex, chalky soil signature, spring flowers and a lovely topnote of lime zest. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and complex, with excellent mid-palate depth, lovely focus and grip and a long, racy and exquisitely balanced finish. Fine, fine juice.”

William Kelley, Decanter Magazine: Fichet's Tessons is very successful, bursting from the glass with a generous and incipiently complex bouquet of ripe citrus, preserved lemon, pear and hazelnut. On the palate the wine is very concentrated, with more weight and texture than the Chevalières but lovely precision and energy too. (Drink between 2020-2045)

Neal Martin, Vinous: “The 2018 Meursault Le Tesson has another very pretty and endearing bouquet with white flower mixed with orange pith and nectarine aromas, a hint of pop corn in the background. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, taut and linear. The saline finish conveys brightness and energy. This is another impressive 2018 from Fichet.”

Neal Martin, Vinous: The 2018 Meursault Village offers grapefruit, blood orange and light candle wax aromas on the nose that needs a little coaxing from the glass. The palate is taut and crisp on the entry. This has very fine acidity with impressive tension and salinity on the finish. This Meursault from Fichet comes recommended.”

Jean-Philippe Fichet, Winemaker: “From two plots of old vines within Meursault sating as far back as 1945. Both plots are planted on clayey-limestone soil. "Les Millerands" is at the limits of the Meursault village while "Les Pellands" is the only Burgundy appellation located on the edge of the first "Les Charmes" wines. "Les Pellands" thus offers an exceptional site, worthy of the great Meursault wines. From the very first this Vieilles Vignes white burgundy offers a frank and deliberate attack, revealing its more complex aromas later. To the nose, acacia and honeysuckle give way to an exquisite concentration, with light notes of citrus fruits. This white Burgundy can obviously stay in your cellars for a few years before being consumed.”

Jean-Philippe Fichet, Winemaker: "A blend of three plots planted back to 1947 on clayey-limestone soils located in "Les Dressoles" (north side of Meursault), "Les Grands Clous Perrons" and "Grandes Coutures" on the south side of Meursault. The soil is clay and limestone, and relatively deep. This white Burgundy with hints of fresh white flowers and elegant aromas of fresh yellow fruit can be enjoyed young but also has good potential for aging, thanks to its fine acidity. This wine shows a nice balance in the mouth."

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All my best,