Château de Santenay, Mercurey Rouge
Alcohol (ABV): 13%
This wine is dark ruby in colour with excellent concentration. The nose is intense with aromas of ripe black fruit including cherries, and a touch of spice. The palate is full with great structure and silky, fine tannins. Concentrated black cherry and blueberry flavours are balanced by a subtle minerality. The finish is long and fresh.
This magnificent property, which dates back to the 9th century, is also known as Château Philippe le Hardi, as it was once owned by the first Duc of Burgundy. Philippe le Hardi is famous as the person who banned the cultivation of Gamay in the Côte d'Or, saying in his edict of 1395 that only Pinot Noir could be used in the production of red wines from the already fabled slopes. Despite its long history, the property had fallen on hard times until it was taken over by the French bank Crédit Agricole in recent years.
The property has 98 hectares of vineyard, 72 of which are in Mercurey. The fruit for the Mercurey Rouge comes from Chateau de Santenay's 72 hectares of vines planted across the Mercurey appellation. The soils are rich in clay, but the limestone is still very present as well as some areas of marl. These characteristics give the red wines of Mercurey finesse and structure.
In 2017, Burgundy enjoyed a return to average yields. Some areas were impacted by spring frosts which reduced yields slightly. Generally the vines’ growth cycle benefitted from an early budburst at the beginning of April, followed by a very warm summer. Ripening progressed at a good pace with the first grapes being harvested across the region two weeks ahead of average.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were cold soaked for seven days at 8°C to extract colour and flavour from the skins. Temperature-controlled fermentation lasted 12 to 14 days with daily pumping over and punch downs. The wine was then aged in oak barrels for 13 months.