Wine from Burgundy, particularly the Côte d’Or, has been skyrocketing in price for so long that most wine enthusiasts alive today can’t remember when $15 could fetch a premier cru. However, for those looking for the Burgundy experience, the Côte Chalonnaise offers an affordable alternative. While wines from Côte Chalonnaise are generally everyday drinkers, the better producers match their northern Côte d’Or brethren and can be a remarkable value. Mercurey is the largest Chalonnaise appellation as well as the most significant in quality, with 32 premier cru vineyards.
Meix Foulot is one of the most prominent domaines in Mercurey, in terms both of size and excellence. They own numerous choice plots that capture the full range of this underappreciated appellation. Domaine du Meix Foulot has been in the hands of the de Launay family for many generations. Paul de Launay took the reins during the 1960s and began to bottle a larger percentage of the wine produced at the domaine (as opposed to selling in bulk by the barrel). In the mid-1990s his daughter, Agnès, began to work alongside and is now solely in charge. In recent years Agnès has brought a new level of precision and refinement to the wines, easing back on extraction and tailoring her barrel regimen to suit the particularities of each site.
Produced from ten plots scattered throughout the villages-designated portion of the appellation, Meix Foulot’s basic Mercurey Rouge is aged half in two-to-four-year-old barrels and half in cement – a careful élevage which allows the pure fruit to be prominent. The vineyards are managed in as natural a manner as the domaine considers possible and no herbicides are used. Although Mercurey’s broodingly savory character appears as an undertone, this cuvée is more about pure Pinot Noir pleasure.
The 2017 village Mercurey has subtle aromas of smoke, berry fruit and spices. Elegant and medium-bodied, without being timid, this Pinot Noir displays freshness, black berry and dark raspberry notes with a mix of “sauvage” that hint of soil, which adds a very nice rustic component. The soft, supple tannins are well integrated. It is ready to drink, although it will cellar for the next five years. Like the Mascarello Nebbiolo we featured last week, this is a value fine wine for drinking now or in the near term.
Domaine Meix Foulot Mercurey Rouge 2017
Retail Price: $ 36.99
Sale Price: $ 31.97
Past Cellar Selections:
Giuseppe Mascarello Nebbiolo 2018
Lopez de Heredia Bosconia 2006
Domaine Huët 2019 – Grand Cru from the Loire Valley
Brunello di Montalcino 2015 – Selected Bottles
Shafer Vineyards – Relentless, One Point Five and Chardonnay
Paul Jaboulet – Majestic Wines from the Northern Rhone
Alion and Pintia – The Other Vega Sicilias
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey – Magic in Burgundy
Don Melchor 2015 – 98pts!
Muga ‘Selección Especial’ 2015 – Classic Rioja
Domaine A. et P. de Villaine – Budget DRC?
Three Oderros: for the Picnic Table, the Dinner Table and the Cellar
Castilla Ygay 2010 – at 98 pts a ‘First Growth’ Rioja
Chateau Troplong Mondot St. Emilion 2017 – 98pts!
Burgundy with age from Jean Chauvenet
Cornas and Côtes-du-Rhone from Franck Balthazar
Quintessa 2016 – 98pt Bordeaux Blend from Napa