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The Mercrurey AOC is said to date back to 312 AD
The first traces of a vineyard in Mercurey date back to writings dating from 312. In the Middle Ages the vineyard developed as did the wine trade which was then sold under the name of "Beaune wines". It is in the 19th century thanks to the families of merchants that the wines of Mercurey take their own commercial identity and claim their particularity. The families of merchants were to build beautiful estates in the appellation.
The first classification of the Mercurey vineyard as a climat dates from 1899.
In 1923, the wine-growing community got together to sue the vignerons of the neighbouring village who were wrongly using the reputation of Mercurey wines to sell their product. Following the victory of this lawsuit and the motivation of the producers, then grouped into a defence union, the Mercurey AOC was recognised by the INAO in 1936. The list of climates benefiting from the mention "premier cru" was recognised in 1943. The will to protect the AOC is the main mission of the Confrérie Chanteflûte created in 1971.
The greatest catastrophe for the Mercurey vineyard dates from the violent storms of the summer of 1980. The vineyard and the villages were under water but the motivation of the producers to recover their vineyard allowed them to rebuild it and bring it to the highest level. The wines of Mercurey have gained in reputation, they now compete with the wines of the Côte d'Or with a reasonable quality-price ratio.
The Mercurey AOC benefits from a hilly landscape and geological diversity
The AOC covers 650 ha, in the communes of Mercurey and Saint-Martin-sous-Montaigu. The viticultural relief is in the continuity of that of the Côte d'Or, elongated in a north/south direction. Situated to the west of Chalon-sur-Saône, the appellation's vineyards are located on the slopes of the Girou valley (otherwise known as the Val d'Or). These two slopes (North and South) are themselves divided into 4 valleys perpendicular to the Girou. The soils come from sedimentary rocks (limestone and marl) which date from the Jurassic period. The particularity of Mercurey is that each geological stage can be found on the AOC.
This geological complexity gives 5 families of soils and sub-soils whose distribution is scattered over the AOC. There are stony calcareous soils not very thick on a calcareous base (240 ha), calcareous soils resting on a marly base with sometimes a sandy tendency and sometimes a calcareous tendency (190 ha), soils made up of pebbles with a red colour resting on a marly substratum (190 ha), deep soils made up of clay mixed with limestone (70ha) and colluvial soils located on either side of the Girou valley, the origin of which is linked to the erosion of the upper sub-soils.
The Pinot Noir represents 90% of the vineyard and the remaining 10% are planted with Chardonnay. The climate is a degraded oceanic climate counterbalanced by continental and southern influences. Summers are sunny and winters cool. Rainfall is distributed throughout the seasons.
The richness of Mercurey wines
The white wines made from Chardonnay have a golden colour with green highlights. The aromatic bouquet develops notes of white flowers, dried fruits (almonds and hazelnuts), spices with sometimes a note of minerality. The palate is tasty and rich. They have a nice length.
The red wines made from Pinot Noir have a ruby colour. The nose has red fruit notes such as raspberry, strawberry and cherry. Aging gives notes of undergrowth, tobacco and cocoa beans. The mouthfeel is rich, fruity and fleshy. The tannins sometimes bring a little firmness in youth. It is therefore best consumed after a few years of aging.
What food to enjoy with a Mercurey wine?
White wines are best enjoyed as an aperitif, but also with grilled fish or fish in sauce, cooked seafood or Asian dishes. They accompany a platter of hard cheeses.
The richness of the red wines will accompany a piece of beef or lamb but also white meats such as roast pork or simmered poultry. They can be enjoyed with a cheese platter.
The great vintages of Mercurey
The great vintages for the white wines of Mercurey are 1928, 1929, 1937, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1969, 1971 and 1978. Closer to our time we can note the 2002, 2005, 2010 and 2014 vintages.
The great vintages for the red wines of Mercurey are 1928, 1929, 1937, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1953, 1957, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1978 and 1990. Closer to home we can note the 2005, 2009 and 2015 vintages.
The great domains of Mercurey
The De Villaine estateThe Domaine De Villaine is of course one of the key players in the Côte Chalonnaise vineyards. This estate belongs to Aubert De Vilaine and his wife, Pamela, and was taken over in 2001 by Pierre de Benoist, his nephew. The cultivation method applied to the estate since 1986, respects the principles of organic agriculture. Bouzeron aligoté is the emblem of the Domaine but all the appellations of the Côte Chalonnaise are represented, including the AOC Mercurey. The wines are fine, elegant and convey the characteristics of their terroir of origin.
Domaine François RaquilletDomaine François Raquillet is located in Mercurey. Taken over by François Raquillet and his wife since 1990, the estate covers 14 ha of the Côte Chalonnaise. The work in the vineyard and in the cellar is meticulous in order to obtain high quality, balanced and harmonious white and red wines.
Château de ChamireyThe Château de Chamirey estate is located in Mercurey. The Devillard family has owned it since 1934. The estate extends over 37 ha, including 15 ha in premier cru, spread over the Mercurey vineyard. In particular, they own the white "La Mission" and red "Le Clos des Ruelles" monopolies.
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