Tasted in Mercurey with Nathalie and Jean-Claude Theulot, 23rd February 2015.
4 Rue de Mercurey
Tel: +33 3 85 45 13 87
Nathalie took responsibility for her grand-parents domaine ‘Emile Juillot’ in 1987 – her parents didn’t make wine, hence the domaine skipped one generation. Nathalie’s husband, Jean-Claude Theulot was already making wine at the domaine since 1985 – Domaine Michel Juillot is a cousin in the same village.
The domaine covers 11 hectares, about half of which are villages vines and much of the rest 1er cru. There’s also 1 hectare of regional vines – about 20% of production is white wine. The vines are ploughed here – no herbicides – and all the harvesting is all done by hand.
Jean-Claude notes “For me a good wine should be drinkable relatively young, but keep the freshness and energy whether it is opened at 5, 10, 15 years – or whatever…” To that end, everything is 100% destemmed; “Many of vines in Mercurey were planted in the 1960s and whatever they planted, normally the stems don’t ripen so well – at least here in Mercurey, hence, almost everybody destems.”
Jean-Claude on 2013:
“I’ve 28 years experience of vinification, but a surprise like 2013 is something rare. The wines are lovely which is such a contrast to the growing season.”
There are 6 reds and 2 whites in 2013. About one-third of the production is exported, the rest of the sales are through about 40 cavistes and individual buyers. Production is about 60-70,000 bottles in a normal year, but it was closer to 50,000 in 2013. There is good quality here – though I thought the reds to be the pick of the bunch…
2013 Mercurey Vieilles Vignes
Three different parcels, looking for a ‘gourmandise’ wine. . 75% barrel elevage, about 25% new oak.
The nose is deep and cushioned and has good, slightly powdery fruit. In the mouth there’s good attack and a fine intensity of flavour. A direct, crunchy fruit with a slightly hard edge but interesting none the less.
2013 Mercurey Château Mipont
100% barrel elevage with 30% new oak.
A similar medium-plus colour. The nose has more obvious complexity and a little herb too. A little more supple with super acidity and growing intensity. A long, if modest intensity, finish. Lovely…
Another soft, textured but dark fruited nose – similar to the vieilles vignes – it’s very attractive. Fuller, super intensity, freshness and bright flavour – indeed mouth-watering flavour. Long and lingering…
A monopole of 1.5 hectares with a little blanc also planted.
The nose is cushioned and reminds of heavy limestone red vineyards. Lovely weight in the mouth, fine extract, lovely flavour – head and shoulders above the other wines if similar aromatically.
2013 Mercurey 1er Champs Martins
Also medium-plus colour. The most discreet of these aromatically, a weight of ‘something’ underneath but a nose only of suggestions. Big, less-fat but there’s more action and complexity – really a wine of energy and eventually a little richness towards the finish. Like many in 2013 (the concentrated ones) there’s a little stone-fruit bitterness in the finish, but it’s still a finish of bravado…
2013 Mercurey 1er Les Combins
Also a little tight but with higher toned aromas above the dark fruit – modest but lovely. Weight but then intensity – dark, acid fruit – really similar to dark cherry fruit like griotte. Very good!
2013 Mercurey Les Chenaults blanc
On a south-facing hillside with plenty of limestone. Fermented part in barrel and part in tank.
Medium lemon yellow. Wide, pretty, sweet notes of boiled sweets – though quite appealing. Nice freshness and a growing sweetness – a well-judged combination. There’s a hint of oak supporting it all but this is a fresh, tasty mouth-full. I like the slightly phenolic finish too, it’s like a slightly ironic joke with a wink that makes you think, hmm, they are not so dumb!
2013 Mercurey 1er Champs Martins Blanc
100 oak elevage, about 25-30% new oak but in 4-500 litre barrels.
Medium lemon yellow. Quite a complex nose with quince and flowers, maybe a little reduction that hints of oak too. Nice weight, very nice silky texture again plenty oak supporting the flavours but this has a lot of quality and a modest minerality about it too. Modest intensity finish but not at all modest length. Quietly and assuredly complex with just enough sweetness to avoid any austerity. Fine!