Tasted in Mercurey with Manuel Bautista, 23rd February 2015.
Place de Touches
Tel: +33 3 85 45 26 38
Fronted by Manuel Bautista, this is an old family domaine by the church in Touches that looks down on the town of Mercurey. The domaine is 10 hectares and mainly of Mercurey, but there are a few labels from bought-in grapes too.
Manuel meets me for my appointment looking like he’s just come off the rugby pitch – he’s a powerful-looking guy and (I know it’s a cliché, but…) his reds are built just like him; fast, powerful and direct. It’s almost a surprise when he says “You know, I really loves whites, so it’s such a shame that Mercury has so little of its vineyards planted to white – it’s only about 15%.” In fact he likes his whites so much, he even has a small négoce operation – but, it seems, he prefers to buy his chardonnay from Puligny!
Manuel is the step-son of Jacques Tupinier and can trace the Tupinier family back to before the French Revolution. Manuel has been making wine here since 1997 and he notes that 2013 was the first time he ever had to harvest in October! The domaine has 10 hectares of Mercurey including a number of premier crus.
“Everything here is manual” says Manuel; “working the land and even harvesting in small cases.” The whites have no batonnage as he prefers a mineral aspect to fat. The reds are destemmed and there’s no pigeage during the fermentations – “I like real vin de gardes, so I have a long cuvaison but would rather macerate than punch down – and with good grapes you’ll get good colour – the primary material is everything!”
Manuel on 2013:
“2013 was a hard vintage for working but I like the fruit it’s delivered. The wines are less powerful though more mineral – much more-so than 2012 for the whites. The 2014s are looking good too – almost a blend of 12 and 13.”
This is a good address, indeed I’d go as far as to say, a very good address for the whites – something not so easy to find in Mercurey! The sales here are mainly to cavistes and individuals, but about 35% is exported.
Round, fresh, oak notes. Ouf! lovely sweetness and acidity. Forward high-toned fruit in the mid-palate and lots of intensity. This is super.
2013 Mercurey 1er les Vellées Blanc
Aromatic weight, texture and even a little richness, yet is nicely fresh. Direct, intense and rather mineral too. Another really lovely wine.
Deep colour. Deep, impressive dark cherry and cassis nose, fresh too – impressively adds a warmth of fruit too. Good freshness and lovely weight of concentrated fruit flavour. Lots of extract here but its direct and impressive bravo!
Deep colour again, the nose has depth and a little more fineness, not quite so spicy or overt cassis. Fine fruit with fine intensity too – the acidity growing in the mid-palate. Just a hint of furry texture in the finish but virtually no dryness. Fine length again. Bravo!
2013 Mercurey 1er les Vellées
Medium-plus colour. Narrower but still fresh aromas, hinting at a little reduction. Just a little rounder in the mouth but with very fine fruit flavour. Still excellent freshness. A little furry texture again and long finishing. Super! Nose now has a beautiful red fruit note. Yum!
2013 Mercurey 1er Clos du Roy
Medium-plus colour. Deep aroma with a perfect fresh cassis note. Silky but lithe and muscled too. Really intense in the mid-palate. Fresh and with a hint of dryness in the finish, but this is super though one to wait for.