A Master of Burgundy’s Magnificent Mercurey
Louis Latour fans — this is your day in the sun: Decanter Magazine was bullish on the 2015 vintage in the Côte Chalonnaise, calling the reds “a great success, replete with bargains,” a welcome alternative to the year’s more expensive neighbors just to the north in the Côte d’Or. You’ll find the same mix of limestone, gravel, and clay soils beneath the Côte d’Or’s hallowed Grand Cru vineyards and the rolling hillsides in and around the village of Mercurey. The New York Times has credited “the best Côte Chalonnaise reds” for conveying “what makes Burgundy the promised land for pinot noir wines, and often at far more affordable rates” — and that’s what we have for Wine Access clients today, courtesy of our friends at Louis Latour. The 2015 Louis Latour Mercurey is hands-down the BEST Côte Chalonnaise red we’ve tasted all year at under-$25. A mere 250 cases are bound for the U.S., and Wine Access has the lion’s share: 150 cases up for grabs. At $21.99 per bottle, in a heralded vintage from an esteemed producer, we expect many of our clients won’t be content to order by the bottle.
The name Louis Latour needs no introduction to Wine Access clients, nor wine lovers around the world. Family owned for 11 generations and now presided over by the seventh Louis — Louis-Fabrice — Maison Louis Latour’s holdings include some of the most famous Grand Crus in Burgundy, from the Côte de Nuits and Chevalier-Montrachet to the Côte de Beaune, as well as the lion’s share of the Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Over the years, we’ve sipped those powerhouses from classic vintages at our HQ, in the cellar at Corton Grancey, and at homes. We’ve also learned that Latour brings the same care and concern to their entire portfolio, with our old friend and chief winemaker Jean-Charles Thomas leading the way.
The 2015 vintage has been greeted as a modern classic that finished with a glorious, early harvest. Temperatures were mild from January to April, the vines getting off to a quick start. The mid-summer months were stifling hot, but August brought a series of cooler, cloudy days, punctuated by sporadic rainfall to rejuvenate thirsty vines. August closed out with another blast of heat, prompting wineries throughout Burgundy to harvest early in September. The famously fickle Pinot Noir clusters demanded, in such a year, the most careful of hands at the sorting table and in the cellar. They had that and more at Louis Latour, and the evidence greets one at first sip of this 2015 Mercurey.