By Allegra Angelo
Falling for Fabien Coche
As a sommelier I'm grateful to be constantly surrounded by fine wines, but I'll admit it, sometimes the tasting routine makes me numb. I call my weird sensory numbness the "wine funk," and it happens when I forget to take a moment to sit down, breathe, and spend time with a wine I love. The good news is that it's easy to snap out of the funk — it just takes one special wine and one long smell to instantly mute the world around you and bring you back to the first love basics.
I recently had one of those very special wines, and it wasn't insultingly expensive. It was a Chardonnay from Burgundy, a 2016 Saint-Aubin by one of my heroes, Fabien Coche. To say the white wines of Fabien Coche are “superb” is an understatement. I would argue, “surreal.” They are the kind of rare wines that make you wonderfully snap, like jumping into a cold pool (after an ugly hot day), sharply awakening every nip and tuck of your senses. They are massively intense, yet mind-blowingly weightless, swimming by with delicious precision and verve.
The Coche name in Burgundy holds serious wine clout. Fabien Coche hails from the same 1940s family (Coche-Bizouet) as the beloved Domaine Coche-Dury, run by Raphaël Coche, Fabien’s cousin. Fabien, though, is no Chardonnay slouch. He’s arguably one of the most underrated winemakers in Burgundy, writing his own story for a while, taking over the winemaking duties from his father in 1998. The Domaine, located in Meursault, compromises of 12 hectares, sustainably farmed, with an astounding proportion of old vines (more than 60% are over 55 years old!) The harvesting is done manually, but Fabien prefers to pick a bit later than his neighbors (sometimes by much as a week), resulting in wines with crazy high aromatics followed by lightning concentration on the palate. Want-in on sensory altering Coche experience? Click the bottle below, and take your Chardonnay game to the next level.