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Quality and Value from Burgundy at Close-out Prices

Price: $33/bottle or special six-pack discount of $179 SOLD OUT

We’ve uncovered a very limited amount of 2011 Domaine Tupinier-Bautista Mercurey Vieilles Vignes (~375 cases annual production) and 2011 Domaine Tupinier-Bautista Mercurey Premier Cru Les Vellées (~130 cases annual production) and are offering them at close-out prices.

These wines cover both the quality and value aspects of Côte Chalonnaise as well as underscore the particulars of the vintage. The fruit for both wines is grown in clay and limestone, hand-harvested and hand-sorted before a 15 day tank vinification and 12 months of aging in oak barrels. Both show pretty cherry fruit and firm acidity on top a backbone of fine tannins. The main difference between the two is a slight increase in concentration and wood tannins in the Premier Cru, as one would expect given the choicer real estate.

Photo Manu TUPINIER-BAUTISTAThe Tupinier family has been growing fruit in the vineyards of Mercurey since 1770. In 1997, Spanish-born Manu Bautista succeeded his stepfather, Jacques Tupinier, to continue producing Burgundy using traditional methods but with the spirit of a new generation.

The Côte-d’Or gets the honor of being the most significant region in Burgundy for good reason. But with prices rising due to a string of low-yielding vintages and high demand, Burgundy enthusiasts are wise to diversify their consumption to cover the entire region (including Beaujolais, but we’ll talk about that in another email).

Wines from Côte Chalonnaise are considered more rustic than those from their northern neighbors in the Côte d’Or, yet their early drinkability and generally lower prices make them extremely useful. Mercurey is, by far, the most important appellation in Côte Chalonnaise. And the consistency of the wines produced in Mercurey make them a good bet even in off years.

Not that 2011 is an off year. While not quite on the level of 2009, 2011 still ranks among the best vintages in Burgundy of the last decade. Most winemakers call it a “nice surprise”, producing red wines that have developed extra structure in barrel. The distinction of the 2011 is early-picked grapes yielding ripe, but not over-ripe flavors, for wines full of charm and mellow fruit. These are wines to drink and enjoy relatively young in most cases, with supple tannins and moderate concentration.

We suggest purchasing a six pack of each wine and drinking one or two Vieilles Vignes a year until gone and then starting in on the Les Vellées Premier Cru. Although both wines will also reward the impatient drinker, especially if there is a roast duck in the mix.

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Posted on 2014.02.05 in Burgundy


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