Of the three 1er Crus we love from Raquillet this is always the most mineral and has the purest feel. As we taste in the cellar this will be bottled in March, racked last week - and now 'en masse' in tank. Despite this recent 'agitation' the smart, serious edge is very clear. Sophisticated feel, you can just sense the wood, but all round there is a step up in intensity, depth of fruit and power. This will need a moment to fill out and settle. But it is complex and very impressive - one for the connoisseurs. (40% new wood, as on all François's 1er Crus.) L&S (Nov 2019)
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The 2018 Mercurey 1er Cru Les Veleys is also very promising, and with a little bottle age, it may well rival Les Nauges for the title of his finest red this year. Mingling aromas of wild berry fruit, cassis, coniferous forest floor and spicy new oak, it's medium to full-bodied, velvety and layered, with lively acids, powdery tannins and a penetrating finish. Still a little tightly wound after its recent bottling, it will reward at least a year or two of patience. Drinking range: 2021 - 2035 Rating: 92+/100 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate(Jun 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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