At the western corner of St. Emilion, the once-great Chateau Jean Faure slumbered for decades in the shadows cast by its more famous neighbors: Cheval Blanc and La Dominique. Olivier Decelle purchased the estate in 2004 and Jean Faure's reputation has shot up like a rocket serving a wake-up call to Bordeaux's entire Right Bank.
Bordeaux's Right Bank produces the most voluptuous, sought-after clarets in the world: Cheval Blanc, Petrus, Lafleur. Jean Faure's vineyard is mere steps from Cheval Blanc's. What's more, it's composed of the same sandy, clayey soil and is planted to the same variety mix (more than 50% Cabernet Franc, a rarity in St. Emilion) as Cheval Blanc's.
Decelle is a patient, long-term thinker. He's very much in it for the long haul. When he took over Jean Faure, he immediately sunk a small fortune improving the vineyards and modernizing the chateau's cellar. For good measure, he hired superstar winemaker Michel Rolland to produce the estate's first vintage in 2004.
Given Decelle's success resurrecting Mas Amiel, there's no doubt that Jean Faure's future is very bright. But what's amazing is that you can already taste the stunning results '04 Jean Faure: this a beautiful wine, at once voluptuous and complex. Terrifically aromatic nose, densely concentrated, but still light on its feet--not overripe or heavy. Drink now for its primary flavors or age up to 15 years.
Suggested Food Pairing:
This is classically suited to rack of lamb or cassoulet, though a recent visit with Decelle had us eating a gorgeous meal together of duck confit legs served over haricots verts with golden potatoes that were fried in duck fat!