In a nutshell: A highly rewarding Pinot Noir from one of the leading producers in the Côte Chalonnaise region of Burgundy.
The lowdown: Mercurey is one of five appellations within the Côte Chalonnaise and is famed for producing deeper reds than its neighbours, having some similarities to wines of the Côte de Beaune slightly further north. This lovely premier cru example from top producers Domaine Paul et Marie Jacqeson comes from one of the best sites in the village, a tiny 0.7 hectare plot planted in 1962. 2018 was an excellent year producing some darker and richer wines which are enjoyable now but will age very well. Aromas of morello cherry, black pepper and floral notes lead onto a well structured, full and fleshy palate with ripe tannins, flavours of red and dark cherry, balanced acidity adding a freshness, and finishing with a long length.
When to drink: A wine of great class that is drinking now though will age for another decade and more. Try with classic Burgundian dishes like beef Bouguignon or hotpot, or grilled or roasted meats with a rich sauce.
Founded by Henri Jacqueson in 1947, succeeded by his son Paul in 1972 and joined by Pauls daughter Marie in 2006, and more recently by his son Pierre, this domaine has long been recognised as one of the very best in the Côte Chalonnaise and its wines adorn the lists of many of the finest restaurants in France. They have 13 hectares of wonderfully sited vines, many of which are very old, and prune hard to reduce yields to around 35 hl/ha. They only work the vineyards manually, with very minimal vine treatments. They are one of very few producers in the village (together with Dureuil-Janthial) to hand-pick everything. Extremely proficient winemaking and judicious use of new oak (20% for whites and 25% for reds) make for beautifully crafted, ripe, intense, sensual wines which have the class to belie their origins.