Outstanding Burgundy at a great price.
Old Vines from a Burgundy village should always make you sit up and take notice, but from a celebrated maker such as Raquillet and coming from a village that is enjoying a considerable period in the sunshine (climatically and commercially), then you can understand why we were particularly excited to stumble across it.
It's simply fabulous Pinot Noir! This is a wine that shows the quality of the southern villages in Burgundy and the benefit of using old vines: concentration of flavours, fine-grained tannins and a perfect delivery of palate-weight and acidity. This really is the perfect Burgundy way, but coming from a village of traditionally lesser standing, you also get really excellent value.
Coming from the 2021 vintage, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the freshness would be a more strident feature than normal, however, in these old vines, from the southern reaches of the region, the ripeness levels really are in balance with a bright and mouth-watering palate. Raquillet is widely considered to be the best producer in the region - perhaps that's what does it...
On a personal note, there was a period of ten days when Chris from the Allotment did some seriously hard work. The harvest of 2006 in Burgundy.
The employer was a chap called Roger and his three daughters; they owned some vineyard area of their own, but were principally hired to do the harvest for one of the large Burgundy houses. Based in Primeaux-Prissey, south of Nuits St George, the Allotment turned up for work at 6:45am each day and was bundled into a van with the rest of the workers.
Ten minutes later we were picking grapes.
Day one we were in Savigny-Lès-Beaune and as the mist cleared and the hazy sun rose, happiness descended. It was viciously hard work; back-bending to pick and carry grapes, then swapping to carry the great "panniers", which each carried 85 kilos of grapes on your back, that were carried to the ladders resting against trucks, up the ladders, shoulder down, grapes out. Repeat.
Coffee break was at 9:15am and out of the back of one of the vans appeared, miraculously, three Burco heaters with coffee tea and hot water. They were almost entirely untouched as worker after worker headed for many unlabelled bottles of red, white and rosé. "We want to work the vintage; we drink the vintage" was the attitude of one of the burly chaps who originated, like so many of the pickers, from the north of France, where an enthusiasm for grape picking (seen as a national right) was almost matched by a love for Pastis.
Many of the men were called Patrick, and the Allotment grew to become very fond of them all, and especially of the villages considered to be lower down the pecking order: Savigny-Lès-Beaune, Maranges, Santenay and Mercurey amongst them.
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Style: Silky, Medium, Elegant, Complex
Best food matches: Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Fine Dining, Charcuterie