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The lovely, pastoral commune of Mercurey is the most important appellation for Red Burgundy south of the Côte d’Or. At its pinnacle, this village produces some of the most pleasurable, pitch-perfect Pinot Noir on the planet. And because it is a bit off the beaten path, the value is astounding. Our current obsession is the “Les Caudroyes” cru bottling from newcomer Domaine MIA. Everyone on the tasting panel was blown away by the classic combination of pure, sappy red fruits and gamey, savory earth that the French refer to as sauvage. This is a silky, sensuous Burgundy experience that lovers of Pinot Noir cannot miss. Oh, and you can only find it at SommSelect, so stock up before it is gone!
Mia Subotic is on a mission. She took the helm of her family’s estate in the Côte Chalonnaise three years ago and, in that short time, she has completely revolutionized this historic domaine. With the help of acclaimed consulting winemaker David Duband, she is committed to producing the most terroir-true, naturally made wines possible. But she isn’t exactly starting from scratch. The domaine she inherited dates to 1860, and was previously known as Louis Max. With 20 hectares of vineyards, this estate had a longstanding reputation for producing solid, traditional wines that provided excellent value. Mia, then, is building an ambitious project on top of a very solid foundation.
The project starts, as it should, in the vineyards. Mia hired Alain Charleux, a well-respected vineyard manager, and together they have converted the entire property to Certified Organic farming and are using many biodynamic practices. The harvest is now done entirely by hand and sorting for the best fruit is rigorous. In the cellar, the grapes are fermented with native yeasts in tanks and neutral barrels, and around 30%-50% whole clusters are employed for extra lift and savor. The experience and talent of David Duband is invaluable in producing wines that are clean, bright, and terroir transparent. As with his own wines, he is very judicious with the use of new oak and, in keeping with Mia’s philosophy, only small amounts of sulfur are added as needed.
“Les Caudroyes” is a limestone-rich, lieu-dit vineyard with vines that average 40-plus years of age. The wine it produces is precocious, silky, richly fruited and enjoyable while young. The 2019 will take off fast with a short decant. Serve it in a Burgundy stem on the cool side and you’ll immediately notice gobs of red and black cherries, wild raspberries, cloves, cinnamon, crushed violet, game and the tell-tale earthy, savory minerality. It is a polished, pristine Pinot but it does not lack for classic Mercurey character, so it is no wonder that Burghound’s Allen Meadows gave it his “heart” for “outstanding.” Of course a no-brainer pairing would be beef bourguignon, but given the warmer time of year, it would also be perfect next to grilled salmon with summer corn and mushrooms. The 2019 is a truly classic performance from a rising star; for lovers of Burgundy or Pinot Noir in general, this is a slam-dunk!
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