By Paul Caputo

The largest appellation in the Côte Chalonnaise, Mercurey AOC produces both red and white Burgundy that in good vintages can represent an excellent bargain. Reds can offer delicious fresh cherry notes with a touch of spice. Light and thin examples are easy to find though and great care should be taken when buying these wines. There are far too many examples out there trading off the reputation that commune level Burgundy has earned in the Cote d’Or and getting stuck with a duff one is like catching a cold.

The explosion in demand for Burgundy over the last thirty to forty years has meant that everything has shifted up a level (or two). Basic wines are not cheap. Good vineyards in Mercurey have achieved Premier Cru status while many others fall into the category of more recently planted. The jury is still out of course over whether these newer plantings can do the appellation justice.

Produced with 100% Pinot Noir, the wines can be great. There are around 650 hectares of Pinot Noir under vine as well as about 60 hectares of Chardonnay.