Albert Bichot Mercurey 2012
The simplicity of this wine will perfectly accompany your aperitifs with friends: tapas with chorizo, cured ham or Corsican dry sausage for example. For drinking with a meal savor this red Mercurey with braised beef, couscous and tajine. With cheese we recommend strong cheeses such as epoisses or soumaintrain.
Since 1350, the Bichot family has called Burgundy home. But, it was in 1831 that Bernard Bichot founded a merchant house bearing his name in Monthélie, a couple of kilometers south of Beaune. At the end of the 19th century, his grandson Albert Bichot took the family business into a new direction and created the winery, Maison Albert Bichot as we know it. The family heritage has been perpetuated from father to son since then. The family crest, consisting of a deer and antlers, has been synonymous with the winery since its inception.
Since 1996, Albéric Bichot has represented the 6th generation managing the winery. The winery’s mission is to utilize the best fruit possible to create the best wine and best expression of terroir. In the constant pursuit of accomplishing this mission, Albert Bichot has acquired 250 acres of vineyards in the most reputed growing areas throughout Burgundy. In addition to this expertise as a wine-grower, Albert Bichot carefully sources grapes with an extremely hands-on approach, in order to vinify many of its regional and village wines, enabling them to supply high quality wines with continuity. For these grapes sourced from our partner growers, quality, and a close partnership, are of the utmost importance.
Albert Bichot owns 6 Domaines set at the heart of 5 great vinicultural regions that make up Burgundy: Chablis, Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, and Beaujolais. Each estate consists of vineyards cultivated with sustainable practices, as well as facilities, cellars and dedicated winemaking teams devoted to wines of that Domaine and region.
The 6 estates include:
- Domaine Long-Depaquit in Chablis
- Chateau Gris in the Cote de Nuits (Nuits-St.-Georges)
- Domaine du Clos-Frantin in the Cote de Nuits (Nuits-St.-Georges)
- Domaine du Pavillon in the Cote de Beaune (Pommard)
- Domaine Adelie in the Cote Chalonnaise (Mercurey)
- Domaine du Rochegres in Beaujolais (Moulin-à-Vent)
Beloved for its deep and flavorful reds made of Pinot noir, Mercurey is the largest and most important village in the Côte Chalonnaise with most of its vineyards tucked away in hillsides or stretched along the aptly-named “Golden Valley.” This valley, sheltered from the moist and cool air that funnels along at lower elevations, is ideal for ripening Pinot noir.
Mercurey follows strict yield laws, similar to those at the Côte d’Or village level, promoting the development of deep, full, concentrated and age-worthy Pinot noirs. In their youth, a chewy and rich structure supports flavors of ripe strawberry, raspberry and cherry. Age brings notes of underbrush, tobacco and cocoa.
While Pinot noir claims the majority of Mercurey vineyard acreage, Chardonnay does grow here and produces uniqely floral and spicey scented white wines.
One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).
In the Glass
Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.