Chateau de Santenay Mercurey Rouge Vieilles Vignes 2018
Château de Santenay is one of Burgundy’s largest wine domaines. Its prestigious heritage, which comprises a remarkable Château with a glazed tile roof and 90 hectares of vineyards, is the product of a time-old legacy that is closely tied to the history of the Burgundy wine region. This remarkable château, with its varnished tiles, is a spectacular piece of heritage closely tied to the region’s history. Its vineyards are split between the Côte d’Or and Côte Chalonnaise. The diversity of its ‘climats’ results in a rich palette of wines with distinctive styles that reflect the subtleties of the Burgundy varietals.
The Château was built in the 9th, 12th and 16th centuries. It was formerly one of several properties belonging to the Duke of Burgundy, Philippe le Hardi (1342-1404), and was named after him for centuries to come. In 1395, Philippe le Hardi signed the founding document for single varietal cultivation in Burgundy. The document was named the “Ordonnance de Philippe le Hardi”. Pinot Noir thus replaced Gamay as the varietal used for red wine production in Burgundy.
For the last 20 years, the domaine has been taking an environmentally-friendly approach to growing, proving itself to be a true pioneer in this respect. It has been TERRA VITIS certified since 2004 and was certified by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2009 for its use of sustainable growing methods. In 2015, it was one of the first wine domaines to receive ‘High Environmental Value’ (HEV 3) certification respecting a new set of specifications issued by the French Ministry of Agriculture. In 2016, the domaine set up an apiary close to the vineyards in order to verify that the techniques used were harmless to bees, which are very sensitive to the environment. Plans are already in place to introduce more hives.
"Our objective of enhancing the diversity and subtleties of our ‘climats’ lies at the heart of our winemaking philosophy. From the vineyards right through to bottling, every effort is made to ensure that quality remains the top priority. Our white wines possess exceptional aromatic purity, precision and elegance. Our red wines reveal the depth of the Pinot Noir varietal with a rich palette of red and black fruit aromas. Our delicate wines are characterized by their freshness, density, bright color and elegant tannins. A team of experienced and dedicated winemakers bring their savoir-faire and passion to the vinification process."
"The Château’s vat house has a vinification capacity for 5,000 hectolitres of wine. Our state-of-the-art winemaking facilities ensure the highest quality possible and allow us to bring out the true potential of the terroirs whilst respecting the raw material and optimizing every stage of the winemaking process. Our latest generation presses ensure gentle extraction. The facilities provide us with optimum temperature control throughout the vatting and ageing cycle. Several temperature-controlled cellars give us a combined storage capacity of up to 1,600 barrels." - Chateau de Santenay Winemaker Gérard Fagnoni
Beloved for its deep and flavorful reds made of Pinot Noir, Mercurey is the largest and most important village in the Côte Chalonnaise of Burgundy 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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”