Tasted in Mercurey with Guy Cinquin, 23rd February 2015.
Domaine de l’Europe
7 rue Clos Rond
Tel: +33 3 85 45 23 82
Guy Cinquin was a champion ‘ballooner’ and still offers aerial tours of the Burgundy landscape, but these days he’s (possibly!) more focused on his domaine in Mercurey. That said, his wall are adorned with more ballooning memorabilia than wine – even his label wears a balloon 😉
Guy Cinquin’s domaine is just 3 hectares. He is originally from the Beaujolais, though worked for many years at a large domaine in Mercurey as their wine-maker; but decided in the end, he says, that small was more beautiful…
There is a little Crémant here and both red and white Mercurey. He’s been quite busy collecting medals for his wines, though he says that he chooses to present his wines only to the Guide Hachette and the Concours de vins de Bourgogne. It is his results in the latter that first brought him to my attention.
Guy says that he does absolutely everything himself, though admits to occasional help from his wife too – but the vines are all his! Guy says that the domaine’s not bio but he remains ‘respectful of it’ – “I think a lot about the relationship between man and the vine, I try to bring some human energy to the plants – sincerity and affection. Vinifications are to music; some years I choose Vivaldi, other years comedy musicals – it’s the rhythm. There are examples in the production in tomato plantations – it doesn’t affect the volume, but the quality is different.”
He tries to spend every possible day in the vines, If it’s not possible with the tractor I will still make treatments with a backpack, walking through the vines.”
On average, just 12,000 bottles per year are produced “80% of my bottles are drunk by clients I know. The pleasure is in a client ringing and saying they drank ‘xyz’ yesterday and it was lovely!” The labels, maybe not surprisingly, feature balloons, and his fingerprint too “The fingerprint of the vigneron…!”
And Guy’s philosophy?
I try to keep things as natural as possible, to wines in my image, round wines. Before I was rigorous and hard as regisseur, but not here!
The grapes are triaged at the vines and collected in small, 15kg cases before being fully destemmed. There’s a cold soak at 5-8°C followed by a fermentation that generally lasts for 15-22 days.
Guy on 2013:
“2013 was a difficult, late vintage and the wines vary a lot. They are not like 2012 where the quality was quite regular… I see 2013 is a vintage for connoisseurs of pinot noir, whereas 2014 is a more commercial vintage, with good volumes and more generous wines.”
Cremant Cinquina Boulle
60% gamay the rest chardonnay.
Soft and sweet with a faint biscuit note. Round, growing intensity, lots of exotic fruit, almost dried fruit too – long too. I’m not the biggest fan of the flavour profile, but I’m still quite impressed with its persistence showing a little bitter note.
2013 Mercurey Blanc
One parcel in Chazeaux, white ground with a little marl above. These vines are over-grafted from pinot.
A forward nose that hints at banana to start, but then becomes more focused and interesting with a good freshness and a suggestion of oak. The palate is a hint mineral, fresh, and has a fine intensity. Sweetness leaches from the tongue, going on very long. There’s some barrel accompaniment, but this will fade…
2013 Mercurey Rouge les Closeaux
Medium colour. The nose has a nice weight of red fruit hinting towards redcurrant. Round, and very nicely balanced and also showing a lovely intensity of fresh red flavour growing from the core. Really pretty in the mid-palate into the finish. Again plenty of finishing flavour and weight.
2013 Mercurey Rouge les Chazeaux Vieilles Vignes
Less wide but with more bass and a more floral aspect – very nice. More structured, more lithe, and with plenty of intensity – more serious wine. Similar intensity in the finish to the last wine, with just a hint more sweetness – this is very good!!
2013 Mercurey Rouge Levitation
Cordon pruned, with small bunches of grapes. A little longer toasting on these barrels and 40% new wood vs 30% for the last wine. Recommend 10 years of aging…
Just a hint deeper colour. The nose has soft fruit and a faint floral above. Wide, intense and a little more phenolic but with fine texture and super intensity in the mid-palate – serious wines the last two, wines that deserve cellar time – impressive.
Deeper colour. Deep, complex a little spice and with good freshness too. Large but supple – plenty of weight of flavour here. A well of deep flavour that’s quite contemplative but with good balance. Really very much a baby but super wine with a long line of finishing flavour. Excellent.