From vines over 55 years old, on the middle of a south-facing slope. Slightly muted nose. Plenty of energy on the palate. The wine is tightly knit at this stage but shows lovely elegance and poise. More density and structure too, on flavours of black fruit. There is a good mineral edge, but it remains gourmand. Drinking range: 2019 - L&S (Oct 2018)
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This is aromatically similar to the Cuvée Suzanne though the wood influence is slightly more prominent. There is a bit more volume to the attractively vibrant and textured medium weight flavors that exude a subtle minerality on the notably more complex and lingering finish. This too should be approachable young as the supporting tannins are already pliant. Drinking range: 2023 - Rating: 90 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Jan 2020)
The 2017 Mercurey 1er Cru Les Vasées unfurls in the glass with aromas of smoky blackberries, cassis, grilled game bird and espresso roast. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and nicely concentrated, its fine but chalky tannins largely cloaked in fleshy fruit. Drinking range: 2020 - 2033 Rating: 90+ William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Aug 2019)
The 2017 Mercurey Les Vasées 1er Cru has an engaging, slightly more savory bouquet than the Vieilles Vignes, revealing just a hint of bacon fat underneath the red berry fruit. The palate is well balanced with grippy tannin and dark berry fruit mixed with cedar, leading to a well-structured, quite persistent finish. This is another excellent 2017 from one of the Côte Chalonnaise’s best producers. Drinking range: 2020 - 2030 Rating: 91 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Jan 2019)
Domaine François Raquillet
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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