(Côte Chalonnaise)


Mercurey Shelf Talkers   Vasees   VV   Naugues   Puillets

For decades Burgundy was simply too ripe and inconsistent to regularly recommend.  Much has changed in ten years.  A run of warmer vintages, coupled with a new generation of young vignerons willing to travel and taste Pinot Noir from the world's newer regions, has spawned the competitiveness ready to breed improvement.  Which landed us in Mercurey, a village in Burgundy's southern outpost known as the Côte Chalonnaise.  François Raquillet is a thirtyish vigneron who has embraced a back to the vineyard philosophy.  His father had left him some plots of fine Pinot Noir with older vines.  By keeping yields low and minimally handling the ripe fruit, François has deftly captured the essence of fine Burgundy -- gorgeous fruit mingled with oaky spice and a lingering earthiness.

Of Italian origin, the Brintet family has been producing wine for more than 4 centuries. The Domaine now has 13 hectares (approx. 32 acres) out of the 600 in the Appellation Mercurey. The vineyards are spread over different areas, called 'climats' (climatic zones), which produce wines with distinctive personalities, easily noticeable upon tasting.
This wine definitely merits its name as the vines from this climat are now 63 years old. The naturally low yield of these 'Vieilles Vignes' (old vines) produce structured and full-bodied wines. The intense aromas of red berries are melded with a touch of black currant that becomes predominant in the long finish. This wine reaches its apogee after 4 or 5 years, but can be drunk within 2 or 3 years. If the wine is drunk young, a long period of airing, after decanting, is recommended, 1 to 2 hours, to allow the fruit to come out.