2018 1er Cru Les Naugues Domaine François Raquillet
This south facing vineyard is full of lovely old vines that often produce really very small grapes. This of course adds power and structure. And the 2018 Naugues does not disappoint fans of this more 'hefty' 1er cru. Francois will be bottling this in March as it needs that second winter in the cellar. As always this bold wine has bigger shoulders than the other vineyard wines, there is always more power here. The wine is tighter and more focused for now than the Vasées or Veleys. A profound mineral scrape is there underpinning the firm serious fruit which adds a sense of grandeur and purpose. That packed fruit core is great - with sweet juice popping through, but nicely measured and never losing focus. Well done, serious stuff that will need time to get more showy, more flashy. Certainly one for the cellar that will give great pleasure in the medium term. (40% new wood, as on all François's 1er Crus.) L&S (Nov 2019)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The 2018 Mercurey 1er Cru Les Naugues is performing brilliantly, offering up a deep bouquet of crushed cassis, blackberries, dark chocolate and spices, framed by a deft touch of new oak. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and concentrated, it's built around ripe, powdery tannins and lively acids, concluding with a delicately vanillin-inflected finish. This will reward a year or two to come together, but it has turned out very well. Drinking range: 2022 - 2040 Rating: 93 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Jun 2020)
Sleek and dense polished nose of dark fruits and leather. Certainly on the riper spectrum of fruit but pleasant, chewy tannins and just enough zippy acidity. Drinking range: 2020 - 2025 Rating: 15.5 Alistair Cooper MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2020)
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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