Francois Raquillet Mercurey Vieilles Vignes 2020
A delicious, voluptuous wine with notes of fresh fruits, and a smooth and unctuous texture. Can be opened from its 1st year and ages gracefully.
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11 generations of vine growing have grown strong roots and yielded beautiful fruit.
Coming from a long ancestry of 11 generations of father-to-son winegrowers, François Raquillet started working the vineyard with his father in 1984 and took over the estate in 1990 with his wife, Emmanuelle. Since then, he has made significant changes to the work philosophy by reducing yields and introducing premium quality barrels. The estate cultivates fourteen hectares of vines in the Côte Chalonnaise and offers a diversified range of white and red wines. Since 2018, their daughter, Jeanne, has joined her parents on the estate.
Working with vines
It involves meticulous work that starts in the vineyard with rigorous pruning and debudding as well as taking care of the soils, which facilitates ecosystem balance. The soils are worked for several years alternating tilling and plant cover. The estate does not use anti-botrytis and tending the vine (leaf removal) becomes a crucial factor.
At Domaine François Raquillet, harvests are manual and each grape is scrutinised by a team of six people at the sorting table so that only the best are selected for production..
The estate has 14 hectares, including 3.5 hectares as Premier Cru, with a yield of approximately 40 hectolitres per hectare for red wines and 50 hl per hectare for white wines. The density is 10,000 feet/ha, which encourages competition between vine stocks and therefore reduces the number and size of the grapes.
The estate cultivates vines according to the integrated pest management method.
- SURFACE AREA – 14 hectares
- Soils – Clay-limestone
- GRAPE VARIETIES – Pinot noir
- Agriculture – Integrated pest management certified since 2016
- HARVESTS – Manual
This cuvée comes from three south and east facing plots: les Chazeaux, les Ormeaux, and le Meix.
Average age of the vines is 60 years old.
plots, les Ormeaux and les Chazeaux, out of the three are pruned according to the Cordon de Royat method. Le Meix
is simple Guyot pruned. The soil is cultivated mechanically with several tillage operations a year. The vine is debudded to provide light in the middle and obtain optimum health for grapes. Leaves are removed from the vine. This work is an alternative solution to using anti-botrytis. The grapes are picked by hand and placed in boxes. They are then sorted on a table. These are very early vines that are often the first to be harvested.
Completely destemmed then gravity fed into stainless steel containers, the grapes are then placed in vats for cold (12°)
pre-fermentation maceration for 5 days. Fermentation occurs naturally with indigenous yeasts present on the grapes and in the fermenting cellar. Alcoholic fermentation in vats and malolactic fermentation in barrels. Very little punching down of the cap, pumping over twice a day on a daily basis is preferred. Devatting after 12 to 15 days
followed by pressing.
Pressed juice and free-run juice are combined before being kept in barrels for 12 months (20% new barrels). After light
filtration, the wine is bottled.
Wine Advocate – 90 points (2019)
The 2019 Mercurey Vieilles Vignes is showing beautifully, unfurling in the glass with aromas of berries, cassis, sweet spices, smoked meats and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, rich and textural, with fine depth at the core, powdery tannins and succulent acids, it’s a fleshy, gourmand red that’s already drinking well.
Jeanne Raquillet is now joining father François at this important 14-hectare Mercurey domaine, and as readers will observe, several new cuvées are entering the range. Having forsaken herbicides and begun to work the soils, the domaine is gradually moving away from chemicals in the vineyards. Winemaking is classic, with destemmed grapes and carefully chosen new oak, producing rich, generous reds and fleshy, succulent whites. The 2019 vintage has turned out very well indeed, and readers will find lots to love in this portfolio.
Decanter – 92 points (2017)
François Raquillet uses fruit from three different sectors of Mercurey to make this superb old vine cuvée from parcels that are all over 60 years old. It’s sweetly oaked, with an appealing interplay between red plum and strawberry fruit. Tangy acidity and Asian spices complete the picture. Great value.
Drinking Window 2020 – 2024