2017 1er Cru Les Naugues Domaine François Raquillet


The classiest - and the most dense - of all François' wines. From a vineyard which is white marl, limestone and clay, vines over forty years old, high up the slope. Cherry is evident on the palate with a stony mineral backbone. Lively but closed. Lots of density but it retains brightness and movement - will be worth waiting for. Drinking range: 2023 - L&S (Oct 2018)

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(from vines planted in 1972 and raised in ~60% new oak). Here too the wood influence isn’t subtle though it does not overshadow the very spicy and slightly riper aromas of cassis, black cherry liqueur and soft earth wisps. The dense and succulent larger-scaled flavors coat the palate with dry extract that helps to buffer the notably firmer, more powerful, indeed even robust, finish. This serious effort is clearly built-to-age and is a wine that’s going to need at least 5 years to unwind. Good stuff and worth your interest provided you intend to cellar it. Drinking range: 2027 - Rating: 92 Allen Meadows, (Jan 2020)

Always one of the high points in the tasting, Raquillet's 2017 Mercurey 1er Cru Les Naugues is showing well, bursting with notes of spicy berry fruit, cherries, dark chocolate and grilled meats. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, satiny and altered, with good concentration, bright acids and fine, chalky tannins. Drinking range: 2022 - 2037 Rating: 92 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Aug 2019)

The Raquillet Nauges cuvée is sourced from two south-facing parcels that make up 0.48ha. The soils here are richer and more clay based, giving the wine a plushness and sweetness on the palate. It's supple and smooth with juicy berry fruit and fine oak. Drinking range: 2019 - 2024 Rating: 92 Tim Atkin MW - Decanter (Oct 2018)

François took over the running of this estate from his father, Jean, in 1990, with his wife Emmanuelle. Records show that the same family have made wine in Mercurey since the 1600s, and Francois is the eleventh generation.

With eleven hectares under vine, François has substantially reduced yields, introduced higher quality oak barrels (up to 50% new wood for the Premiers Crus) and significantly increased the quality of wines made at this domaine. François explains he tries to avoid over-extraction at all costs - his one aim is to deliver the beautifully pure fruit profile he gets out of the old vines - this he does with great success. It is a wonderfully transparent style - combined with good mid-palate weight.


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