Domaine Francois Raquillet Mercurey Rouge 1er Cru 'Vasées'
Transposing Burgundy to London, one could say that Puligny Montrachet is Belgravia and Chambolle Musigny is St John’s Wood – impressive, heritaged addresses but expensive and can often leave you wondering if you are missing more excitement elsewhere. Judicious buyers perusing Cotes d’Or real estate might consider Haut Cotes de Nuits to the west (Kensal Green), Fixin and Marsannay (Camden and Kentish Town) in the north of Cote de Nuits, and Ladoix and Santenay (Bermondsey and Brixton) in the north and south respectively of the Cote de Beaune as interesting alternatives. There is nowhere east of the D974 of great interest although you could strain the analogy and say Comblonchien could be Clerkenwell in a few years… I think that leaves me suggesting that the Cote Chalonnais is like Tooting or Streatham – which might diminish the argument for some but the rather laboured point is that up-and-coming pockets away from the centre can often provide real satisfaction for less money. Here, Mercurey is one such area that is definitely fulfilling its promise, and Francois Raquillet one of the most interesting addresses. Francois has been harvesting his 12ha (8 planted to red and 4 to white) of increasingly old vines, some 70 years+, at the end of August for the last six years so is far less concerned by climate change than many Cote d’Or growers to the north. In fact the Chalonnais has been a beneficiary of the hotter, drier weather as it has helped reduce yields, and increase concentration and ripeness in the grapes, ultimately leading to richer, more gourmand, better wines. Thinking about it, the Maconnais is definitely Brighton. A little under an hour south, sunny and warm, relaxed, more concerned with pleasure than pretension... bravo indeed on a wonderful set of wines!
"Seventy year old vines in clay over limestone soils, from a 1.13ha south-facing vineyard, right next to the maison. There is significant number of millerand grapes and 50% new oak used. Sweet, intense cherry pastille nose, with violets, dried rose petals, framboise and cigar box and sandalwood notes. Redcurrants and hedgerow strawberries, coffee grains, some rich, spice, lightly herbaceous tannins, that direct the ample but crunchy fruits most pleasingly. Accessible now but this a serious wine for the appellation that will go toe to toe with more prestigious (and expensive) Cote d’Or sites." Tom Harrow, Wine Guru
"The 2019 Mercurey Les Vasées 1er Cru has a wonderfully detailed and quite complex bouquet with vivacious redcurrant and cranberry fruit laced with potpourri and wilted rose. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, a fine bead of acidity, very harmonious with a tender but persistent finish that I find very satisfying. This is a sophisticated Mercurey that will be difficult to resist in its youth. But try." 92 pts, Neal Martin, Vinous
"Deep purplish crimson. Gentler nose than the Vieilles Vignes with the fruit subsuming the acidity and tannin. This should make a pretty wine after it settles down in bottle. Quite a bit of fine tannin on the very end. Just very slightly rasping finish." 16 pts, Jancis Robinson
|Duty Paid / In Bond||In Bond|
|Bottle or Case?||Price by the Case|
|Wine Type||Red wines|
Domaine Francois Raquillet
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