The 2018 Mercurey Le Châpitre has once again turned out very nicely, offering up a brooding bouquet of cassis, black cherries and plums, framed by a deft touch of oak. Medium to full-bodied, supple and velvety, with a deep core of fruit, lively acids and powdery tannins, it's the most immediate of Lorenzon's reds. As I wrote last year, Bruno Lorenzon's exceptional wines continue to expand the parameters of the possible in the Côte Chalonnaise, shattering the glass ceiling that's typically imposed upon the wines of Mercurey; and he has fully realized all the potential of the 2018 vintage. The 2018 whites are a touch more demonstrative than the more tightly wound 2017s, and the reds more muscular; as Lorenzon puts it, he embraced the vintage rather than fighting it. But as the accompanying tasting notes attest, the results are spectacular. By now, readers will remember that Lorenzon's vines are trained higher than his neighbors' and often planted at higher densities, as well as being farmed organically—something that's still very rare in this appellation. Yields are routinely a mere fraction of his neighbors', and that makes itself felt in this abundant year. And in the cellar, attention is paid to every detail to safeguard the wines' finesse and precision: fruit is picked into small trays and kept cool before processing, and Lorenzon produces his own barrels for his wines' élevage. (WK)
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