Offering up an inviting bouquet of cherries, raspberries, sweet soil tones and subtle hints of smoked meats, the 2018 Mercurey Vieilles Vignes is medium to full-bodied, bright and lively, its pure core of fruit girdled by velvety tannins and tangy acids. Once again, this has turned out beautifully and represents a fine example of the appellation. As I wrote last year, the Faiveley family first produced wine from rented vines in Mercurey in 1933, finally beginning to acquire land there three decades later. Today, with over 72 hectares to their name, they number equally among the Côte Chalonnaise's most important landholders and its qualitative reference points, so I'm happy to resume coverage of their wines in these pages. Unsurprisingly, the style bears a certain resemblance with the contemporary Faiveley style as expounded in the Côte d'Or: that's to say, pure and precise wines that no longer display any trace of structural asperity for which the house was once known and often carry a judicious veneer of new oak in their youth. The Faiveley reds and whites from Mercurey, Montagny and Rully are more immediately accessible and see less new wood, but they play off the same themes and rank among the region's finest. What's more, the domaine's significant holdings mean that many of these bottlings are unusually accessible by Burgundian standards. (WK)
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