Tasted in Mercurey with Julien Bordet, 16 November 2020.
Julien on 2020:
“We finished in August for the first time. A small yield, and that’s down to the heat and dryness – there was no frost here. About half a harvest for pinot, about 20% down in the chardonnay which is normally about 30% of the total.”
Julien on 2019:
“A very different year – it was quite complicated for the whites and we had a smaller harvest which needed to be harvested very quickly as the maturity came so quick. A couple of episodes of frost but it was more the weather around flowering that had an effect on the yields. A sunny vintage in the reds but with plenty of structure too. We started the harvest 09 September and the reds were bottled at the end of this September.”
Not quite as consistently brilliant in the reds as 2018 at the same stage. Yet overall, a serious selection here – wines that will all – both colours – benefit from a little patience, but all is in place. Some great villages buys as normal here, but my heart went to ‘La Favourite!’
2019 Mercurey Vieilles-Vignes
27 hectares of villages here, this an assembly of most parcels of sufficient age.
Plenty of colour. Hmm, there’s a vibrant depth of red fruit – almost a little cushioned. Mouth-filling, good attack – with lots of depth to the slightly saline flavour and a faint tannic grain. The finish is currently the most pleasing part to me – this is very tasty here – I’d wait 18 months-plus before retrying – I think it should be fine.
2019 Mercurey Framboisière
A nice monopole as it’s 11 hectares close to the village of Fontaines, two parcels are practically north facing – very interesting in the hot years says Julien. 25% wc and new oak – a mix of coopers. 25% wc used this year.
The nose is more compact, faintly spiced too – far from effusive to start but slowly becoming more and more attractive with air. Ouf! That has an intensity of flavour – growing wider as the flavour melts over the palate. There’s a cherry-stone style to the width of slightly perfumed finishing flavour. Here is a wine that commands attention but also needs the respect of 1-2 years in the cellar. I think it will be excellent.
Only 100m from the plot of Framboisière but a different world.
Showing its dark-berry fruit a little quicker than the Famboisière. Again a fine attack of intense flavour – here with an extra clarity and fineness of texture – really a super wine – very juicy too. Driving with good finishing energy – a little bitters but always with silk. This could be great!
Ever since 2009 Julien has seen an area in the Clos du Roy that he thinks superior with a very fine selection of pinot noir – no thermoregulation in wooden tanks – old-style production vs the others, 6 barrels to start but only 3 commercialised, 50% wc and 50% new wood.
Not a fully open nose, but one of width and an impression of textural silk. Ooh – yes! Great wine – covering the palate, floral-infused, beautifully textured, long and completely delicious already – but with the depth of flavour and structure to keep as long as you like. Bravo!
These not yet bottled but they are ready… Only about 50% yields in the whites in 2019 – they didn’t like the cold during flowering. ‘The wines started rather opulent, the freshness really seemed to grow over the course of the elevage:’
2019 Montagny Blanc
All from same hillside. Cold stabilized, 20% new wood
A fine open nose of energy, a faint sherbet and a depth that is suggesting some harder minerality. Lots of gas. Mouth-filling, and also full of energy. A tannic touch here, then a middle-flavour that is so juicy you are forced to spit or swallow. Wide finishing, always mouth-watering. That will be an excellent villages…
2019 Rully Les Villeranges
A wider nose of faint spice and a more concentrated but also more compact core of fruit. Supple, layered flavour but to plenty of mouth-watering effect. Sweetness in the finishing flavour that slowly becomes more mineral – holding after the sweetness is gone. Very good!
A very different style of nose – there’s a green-herb impression here over an orange/grapefruit agrume. Wide, perfumed, again an agrume style, slightly creamy finishing. This is completely delicious and for such an overlooked label very worthy of your time!
2019 Mercurey Clos Rochette
50% oak elevage, half of that new. Monopole, also neighbouring Framboisière. The bottom of the slope is a little richer soil and it’s this part that mainly sees some barrel elevage.
Here the nose shows a slightly more exotic fruit but still in the spectrum of agrume. Wide, more mouth-filling as it grows over the palate. Energy and complexity here – not yet as delicious as the previous wine, but that will come – more mineral and slightly saline-inflected in the finish.