Juice 2017 Mercurey Rouge, Vielles Vignes, Château de Santenay, Burgundy, FRA
Grape 100% Pinot Noir
Farming Sustainable, Vegan
Tasting Note The nose is intense with aromas of ripe black fruit including cherries, and a touch of spice. The palate is full with great structure, concentrated black cherry and slightly meaty, more savoury characters.
This magnificent property, which dates back to the 9th century, is also known as Château Philippe le Hardi, as it was once owned by the first Duc of Burgundy. Philippe le Hardi is famous as the person who banned the cultivation of Gamay in the Côte d'Or, saying in his edict of 1395 that only Pinot Noir could be used in the production of red wines from the already fabled slopes. Despite its long history, the property had fallen on hard times until it was taken over by the French bank Crédit Agricole in recent years.
We just love this particular expression of Pinot Noir. The vineyards of Mercurey tend to have a slightly higher clay content than that of their northern neighbours and this translates into a richer, more masculine, savoury style of Pinot than what one would generally find in Burgundy (at this price point). The estate was essentially a sleeping giant and the acquisition of the property by Crédit Agricole has resulted in a huge jump in quality and consistency across the range.
Whilst we would happily sit and enjoy this wine sans food, waxing lyrical about the more savoury, meaty expression of Pinot on show here we are also of the impression that it would be a mighty fine pairing with the Burgundian specialty of Coq au Vin along with many other classic local dishes though another that really excites us is oeuf en meurette which consists of eggs poached in a red wine sauce (meurette). The sauce consists of lardons, onions, mushrooms and shallots so if you were vegetarian leaning you could simply remove the lardons.