The Forey domaine now exploits about 10 hectares of vineyards; 5 as proprietaire and 5 through the systems of fermage and metayage. The primary family holdings are in Nuits Saint Georges, Vosne-Romanée and Flagey-Echezeaux. With the recent additions, the domaine extends its reach into the villages of Vougeot and Morey Saint Denis, as well.
A manual harvest is followed by a 3 to 4 day cold maceration. The cuvaison usually continues for three to four weeks. During that time Forey does a pigeage the extent of which depends on the underlying structure of the vintage. The malolactic fermentation occurs in barrel. There is now only one racking done during the period of elevage. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered after spending 16 to 20 months in small oak barrels and demi-muids (used primarily for the village and simple Bourgogne appellations) with 20% to 50% new oak used depending on the structure and the character of the vintage as well as the amount produced of each individual cuvée.
|Bourgogne Rouge: This wine is produced from various holdings in Vosne and Nuits, all of which are old vines (from vines planted between 1954 and 1974). The elevage is done in the larger demi-muid barrel format and is usually the last wine harvested but the first wine to be bottled. We purchase between four and five barrels (1200 to 1500 bottles) annually.|
|Vosne Romanée: Forey farms 14 separate parcels that cover together a bit more than one hectare to create the village Vosne Romanée. Most of the vineyards are on the northern side of Vosne bordering Vougeot. The oldest parcel was planted in 1942 and the major portion of this wine is from vines in excess of 40 years of age. Forey ages this wine in a mix of small barrel and demi-muid.|
|Nuits St. Georges: This village wine is from three parcels of about one hectare total size that are planted to vines of more than sixty years of age. The two primary parcels are in “Plantes Aux Barons” (.40 hectare) and “Charbonnieres” (.60 hectare), both of which are in Prémeaux on its northern border with Nuits. These low-yielding old vines produce a concentrated and classic Nuits.|
|Morey St. Denis: The village offering from Morey Saint Denis is sourced from grapes in “Clos Solon” and and “Les Crais”. The vines were planted in 1966 and another section in 1986. Under most circumstances, Forey does not rack his wines during elevage, permitting the wines to rest on the fine lies until they are racked when ready for bottling.|
|Morey St. Denis 1er Cru: There is precious little wine produced from this miniscule parcel of less than 1/10th of a hectare of 40 year old vines (as of 2009). The single parcel crosses the boundary of two 1er Crus: “Les Blanchards” and “Clos Baulet”.|
|Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Perrieres: In this, one of the great vineyards of Nuits, the Forey family has owned 0.42 hectares of vines for many generations. The vines were planted between 1937 and 1942. This cuvée, for us, has been consistently outstanding, never being anything but excellent for the thirty years we have been purchasing it (1980 through 2009).|
|Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les St. Georges: Forey controls one-fifth of a hectare in this lieu-dit, perhaps the finest in the entire appellation. The vines were planted in 1933. Old vines are wonderful but that factor makes for very tiny production which makes this one of the most highly-allocated wines in our entire portfolio.|
|Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Petits Monts: Like the Nuits Les Saint Georges, Forey exploits a mere one-fifth of a hectare in this elite lieu-dit which is situated just above Richebourg. The vines were planted in 1970. Again, production levels are miniscule leading to the necessity of severe annual allocations.|
|Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Gaudichots: As many of you know, the Grand Cru La Tache was born from the Gaudichots vineyard. The Forey family has owned their parcel of Gaudichots for many generations. When I made my first visit to the Forey cellars, the one barrel (sometimes a barrel plus a “feuillette” was made in particularly generous vintages) was blended back into the village Vosne Romanée. I argued that it made sense to do the extra work to bottle a separate wine declared as Vosne 1er Cru “Les Gaudichots” and Jean Forey agreed. The 1983 vintage was the first that was so declared and we have had the privilege of presenting this great and rare wine ever since.|
|Echezeaux Grand Cru: This fine Grand Cru is from a Forey-owned parcel of three-tenths of a hectare. The precise site is in the climats of “Les Treux” and “Clos Saint Denis” which generally are geographically between “Les Suchots” and “Les Grands Echezeaux”. One third of the vines were planted in 1949 with the rest being planted in two waves: 1974 and again in 2004.|
Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru: Forey works a one-third hectare parcel in the northern part of the Montiotes Basses section of the Clos. One part of the vines were planted in 1968 and another part in 1972. Forey’s version of this appellation is particularly sturdy.
With over thirty harvests under his belt, Regis Forey exudes the calm, warm confidence of a seasoned Burgundian vigneron operating at the apex of his powers. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Regis crafted robust, dense wines from his family’s enviable holdings in the Côte de Nuits—impressive wines which have aged superbly, but which do occasionally bear traces of a certain youthful striving. In recent years, however, he has honed a style that prioritizes subtlety in numerous ways: a shift from traditional 228-liter Burgundy barrels to 500-liter demi-muids in order to reduce the influence of oak; less manipulation of the cap during fermentation (once-per-day punching down at most) to promote gentler extraction; an increasing incorporation of whole clusters (which reduce color and emphasize higher aromatic tones); and a markedly reduced sulfur regimen.
For the vigneron, aging can be a beautiful thing. Youth frequently seeks to announce its place in the world with maximum volume; age, more comfortable in its accumulated prowess, understands that a softer voice can be just as powerful.
For the vigneron, even great vintages carry with them potential pitfalls. The 2015 growing season in Burgundy was a relative breeze, with even ripening, ample sunshine, little disease pressure, and stellar conditions at harvest time. As with other “solar” vintages like 2005 and 2009, the temptation to really lean into such healthy, beautiful fruit in […]
On February 6th, we will receive the impressive 2014 vintage wines from Regis Forey. Our visit to his cellar this past September unveiled one of the best lineups we have experienced, perhaps since the great ’89/’90 vintages. Both the 2014 and 2015 vintages show enormous potential, though we were particularly captivated with the purity and […]
BY STEPHEN TANZER | JANUARY 26, 2017 Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur François Bitouzet described 2015 as “a very silky, balanced year for Volnays” despite the challenging conditions. “It was a very dry year with strong oidium pressures, even worse than the last bad oidium year, 2004,” he told me in mid-November. “We had to treat the vines […]
A brief note about some of the wines we have consumed over the past few days … Coteaux Champenois Blanc (Coulon) 2008: the “deposit” or “veil” that was present when we first released this wine seems to have disappeared; the wine is scintillatingly replete with the terroir of Champagne – stony to its core with […]
I just left the cellars of Domaine Forey having tasted through the 2010 and 2009 vintages with Regis Forey. For years I have been begging Regis to take his foot from the lever and not be afraid to show the tender side of Burgundy. Regis is a good friend and sensitive vigneron who appreciates our […]