Terroirist Tuesday: Côte Chalonnaise: Meet the Winemakers

Welcome to Terroirist Tuesday: Côte Chalonnaise, Part 3 of 3 | Meet the Winemakers: Domaine du Meix Foulot

by: L. M. Archer, FWS

Domaine du Meix Foulot | Agnès Dewé de Launay, Winemaker
Le Meix Foulot | Touches | 71 640 Mercurey

In the slender shadow of Burgundy’s supermodel Cote d’Or lies the girl next door, Côte Chalonnaise. And like the girl next door, Côte Chalonnaise is the wine region folks barely notice – but once noticed, rarely forget.

The wine village of Mercurey, considered the heart of Côte Chalonnaise, produces some of the region’s finest red and white wines. binNotes recently visited one of Mercurey’s most historic and prestigious domaines, Domaine du Meix Foulot.

Situated upon the ruins Château de Montaigu, a castle built in approximately 950 AD at the request of the Duke of Burgundy, the vineyards of Meix-Foulot have belonged to the family of Launay for more than two centuries. Patriarch and domaine owner Paul de Launay, a man of towering height and formidable abilities, passed the wine making baton to his equally towering and talented daughter, Agnès Dewé, in 1996. A woman of grace, humor and pragmatism, Agnes provided our group a glimpse of the domaine’s wine making facilities, housed in an immaculately restored stone outbuilding. Here, she touched on her wine making  approach – she follows ‘no recipes’,  espouses minimal intervention, and engages the wisdom and patience of a mother overseeing the ‘élevage’ of a high-spirited child.

Domaine du Meix Foulot comprises over twenty hectares farmed as ‘close to nature’ as possible, and includes notable Mercurey 1er Cru Clos du Château de Montaigu,  a 1.9 hectare monopoly climat. Vines average 35 years, grown on a clay-limestone soil.

Tasting Notes:

Diffuse golden October sunlight glazed the turning hillsides of Domaine du Meix Foulot during the late afternoon of our visit. Bottle carrier of wines in hand, Agnès held court ‘in field,’ overlooking the vineyards from which each wine derived. The effect – magical. The ability to take notes – thwarted by juggling  glasses and sensory overload. But the impressions garnered still haunt.

Mercurey offers some of Burgundy’s most affordable 1er crus, with D. du Meix Foulot a prime example. Clear ruby robes, bright red fruits, light body, medium acid, soft tannins, balanced structure, and delicate finish – these are wines of versatility that span many courses, including lamb, risotto, and soft cheeses.

In the end, Mercurey 1er Cru 2009 – Les Veleys and Mercurey 1er Cru 2009 – Clos du Chateau de Montaigu emerged as clear binNotes favorites. Rosenthal Wine Merchant  imports to the US; consult your local wine shop to arrange a special delivery – well worth the effort.

Tasting Menu:

Mercurey Rouge 2009 D. du Meix Foulot
Mercurey 1er Cru 2009 – Clos du Chateau de Montaigu – monopole
Mercurey 1er Cru 2009 – Les Veleys
Mercurey 1er Cru 2008 – Les Veleys

This concludes binNotes Terroirist Tuesday series on the Côte Chalonnaise. See you again next week for a sneak peek at binNotes series on the Côte d’Or. Santé!

Côte Chalonnaise: Parts 1 and 2 live here:

Côte Chalonnaise, Part 2

Côte Chalonnaise, Part 1

Thank you:  D. du Meix Foulot – Agnès Dewé de Launay et de la familleBIVBFWS

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved. All images courtesy of the author.

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