A Unique Area Of Burgundy, Mecurey
In 2011, Benoît Eschard, an “Arts & Métiers” engineering graduate, decided to take over Domaine Jeannin-Naltet in Mercurey, from his uncle who was looking for a successor.Benoît’s motivation for taking it over was a more personal one. He was taking on, not just a family heritage, but a vineyard, in the heart of a celebrated terroir, which needed to be tamed. Like most European winemakers, they think of themselves as Farmers first, winemakers second. Most of the finished wine comes from the work in the vineyards. There are a plenty of Premier Cru’s in Mercurey but but today I wanted to review the star of the Domaine from a very small plot of hillside land.
2016 Domaine Jeannin-Naltet Premier Cru
Clos Des Grands Voyens Monopole
The star of their selection of terroirs, Le Clos des Grands Voyens is a 4.9 hectares monopoly vineyard ( A Very Small Plot of Land like this in Burgundy Lingo is called a “Monopole”) Located on a south-facing hillside, this plot of brown, stony, clay soil produces a complex wine with complex aromas and complex flavors. Everything is harvested by hand. The average age of the vines in this vineyard is 42 years. The wine is aged for one year in 100% French Oak and 30% is New.
You would think with all the Burgundy I have drank over the years and all the Oregon Pinot Noir as well, it would be easy to blind taste and know which pinot was from where? It’s not an easy task anymore with ripe vintages in both places. So many somms like myself can’t detect which is which. Warm years in both places when drank young are very very too close to call. This wine is a beautiful garnet red. It being so young it took a solid 3 hours to start showing its true personality. Intense aromas of Bright Red Fruits, Red Raspberry, Red Currant, Strawberries and some blackberry as well ,entwined with floral notes, and hints of underbrush.
On the palate a medium body 13% Burgundy style alcohol levels with a juicy high acid entry, with very ripe berries, licorice and poking it’s head out on the finish a hint of spice from the Oak Ageing. I think in 3-10 years less ripeness, less acid and more earth will shine through but at $36.99 a really solid Pinot Noir that I will score 91 points out of 100. Food pairings would be, salmon, tuna, duck breast and even filet.
In the YOLO Category I think that right now you put a Cristom, Boedecker Cellars, Evening Land, Domaine Serene, Domaine Drouhin next to this young, ripe vintage, ripe fruited Premier Cru– I would love them all. They would however be very very hard at this young age of the Burgundy to be able to tell which was Oregon and Which was the Monopole from Clos Des Grand Voyens. This can become more difficult as global warming takes effect and ripe years keep producing ripe new world wines in an old world terroir. Either way I would buy this Burgundy, especially the American Palate who doesn’t like all that earth and likes juicy, riper styles to enjoy now. As the “Mercurey” is rising this might give some Americans a style of Pinot Noirs they can enjoy at a fair price? Sainte!
Grape-fully yours, Larry
Another Winner From Exporter French Libations