François Raquillet – 2013

Update 2.4.2015(30.3.2015)billn

DSC06304Tasted in Mercurey with François Raquillet, 2nd March 2015.

Domaine François Raquillet
19, Rue de Jamproyes
71640 Mercurey
Tel: +33 3 85 45 14 61

The Raquillet’s can trace their roots in Mercurey back to the 17th century – that’s 11 generations – and there’s even an incredible family tree on display to prove it!

François joined his father at the domaine in the 1980s after studying at the Lycée in Beaune – from 1990 he was in sole charge – well, maybe, his father didn’t actually retire until 1995 – and François’ wife Emmanuelle also joined the team at that time.

The domaine had some vines in regional appellations, but François chose to sell them and concentrate on the best plots – but that still left him with a healthy 10 hectares.

François prunes hard, triages hard and buys better barrels than before. The fruit is, of-course, hand-picked and placed in small cases before being 100% destemmed – always aiming to keep the berries in-tact. There follows some pre-fermentation maceration and twice-daily pigeage. The Chardonnays are pressed then fermented and aged in larger 500 litre barrels.

François on 2013:
“2013 was really a vintage of the vigneron; really a lot of work was required during the year, but in the end we don’t have any monsters, rather nicely elegant wines. Everything I do is trying to keep manipulations soft, because I’m really looking for finesse.”

The wines…

Really top-level wines for the appellation. An excellent address in 2013 – concentrated, direct and perfumed – nothing forced.

2013 Mercurey Brigardière Blanc
A villages lieu-dit near Champs Martins on clay with a little limestone. The 25-30 year-old vines are always a little late due to their height. Elevage is in 4-500 litre barrels ‘for freshness.’
Wide, fresh and pretty aromas with hints of citrus. Some richness but vivacity too plus a nice mid- palate intensity. This is lovely.

2013 Mercurey 1er Les Veleys Blanc
“I think this one of the best 3 premiers in village – and there are 31!” Says François. Both colours are produced here – the white on top of the hill, the reds below. “The reds are normally more rigid and for keeping.” 70 year-old vines.
The nose is fresh, a little salty, the palate is also salty and mineral with a hint of richness but good balance too. Yum! Fine persistence too!

And les rouges…

2013 Mercurey Vieilles Vignes
Also 70 year-old vines, from 3 different parcels – blended together for the last 15 years. 12 months elevage with 20% new oak.
Nice, fine, dark-red fruit, which is rather focused and fine. Good width, rather silky texture, just a faint tang of salt and nice mid-palate weight. This is very tasty and has a nice extra dimension of dark fruit in the mid-palate with a little perfume in the finish. Very good villages.

2013 Mercurey Les Vazées
70 year-old vines once again, this time with 30% new oak in the elevage.
Even finer nose of dark red fruit, individual focused berries – lovely – a hint floral too. This is more direct, lithe a little more stuctured too, but with good stucture. The fruit has some floral character and again a finishing perfume.

2013 Mercurey 1er les Veleys
Will be bottled in mid-March. 12 plus 6 months elevage – that last 6 months in tank.
Starts with some reduction but a little swirling does the trick – flowers and dark red fruit. More weight and lots of silky texture. – slowly the tannin surfaces with a very fine but ripe grain. Super finish too. Excellent.

2013 Mercurey 1er les Naugues
Medium-plus colour. Here is a higher-toned, very pretty nose indeed, but there is still the support of good fruit. In the mouth this starts a little more discreet but grows and grows. I find more structure but nothing sharp and the tannin has good fineness, faint salt again to the flavour. Lovely mouth-watering flavour. Lovely length too – very tasty indeed.

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