Jean-Philippe Fichet is a driven man: hard work is second nature to him and he runs marathons for fun. He is also a perfectionist and ruthlessly honest about his wines, which drives him to even greater achievements. After starting off with a tiny property, he now has a domaine of 7 hectares, mainly of village Meursault, including a number of choice lieux-dits, among them Meix-sous-le-Chateau, Tessons and Clous, with a little Puligny-Montrachet in the premier cru of Les Referts. His goal is to express, and bottle, the nuances of each of his plots as honestly as possible, whether premier cru or unclassified vineyard.
Fichet wines are powerfully concentrated, yet fresh. In the vineyard, he is an advocate of ploughing, to cut off the superficial roots which can rapidly take up surface water. This encourages the main roots to penetrate deeper into the soil to supply the right quantity of water to the vine in times of drought, flood, or anything in between. That, in turn, regulates yield, and also seems to promote increased acidity in the grapes. In the winery, the magic ingredient is a long, leisurely period of élévage – eighteen months is par for the course. Fichet favours a combination of 500l and 225l barrels and a lowish percentage of new oak, which does not exceed 30% in any year. All of which focuses clearly on the wine itself, and accounts for the striking clarity and depth achieved by Fichet with remarkable consistency, year on year.