Mercurey from the Côte Chalonnaise in Burgundy, France, is an often ignored and under-rated wine, eclipsed by its bigger brothers of the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits. Offering a good value, cheaper alternative, at its best this wine can hold its own weight with the big name Burgs and often outshines some much more expensive well known choices.
This 2012 Mercurey is produced by Domaine Louis Max; based in Nuits St Georges but with vines across the whole of the region, they produce most Burgundian wines you can think of. It was originally established in 1859 by Evgueni Louis Max. Thirty years later, Evgueni’s son, Theodore, joined the business, building a house, cellars and office that still exist today. The domaine is now managed by Philippe Bardet, who became president of Maison Louis Max at the beginning of 2007.
Made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes this light and fruity wine, while living up to my statement of good value, unfortunately fails to deliver at punching above its weight. While very pleasant to drink this bottle represents a wine true to its origins and typical of the style rather than one that delivers more.
In the glass it has a beautiful cherry red colour with a deep, dark and glassy translucency. On the nose it’s very fruity, with cherries again, as well as strawberries and sweet cassis. In the mouth it delivers mild tannins, again with a fruity sour cherry flavour giving good acidity. The fruit though tastes light if even little thin. It certainly doesn’t coat the mouth with a luxurious viscous feel but the taste of red fruit does linger on the palate. It would pair nicely with cold meats, pâté, and salads or meat dishes such as rabbit, veal or leaner pork dishes.
While I might sound negative about this wine I should stress that it’s good and I would drink it again. I simply feel it is worth the money it costs rather than being the hidden gem I was hoping to find.
- Price: £15 a bottle
- Producer: Domaine Louis Max
- Origin: Côte Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
- Style: Light and fruity Pinot Noir with mild tannins but good acidity.
- Food Pairing: Cold meats, pâté, salads, rabbit, veal or leaner pork dishes.