2006 Raquillet LES VASEES

Postby Garagiste » Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:39 am

2006 Raquillet LES VASEES -- Please keep the discussion on topic. Off topic posts will be moved or deleted.

Burgundy

Dear Friends,

I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but my first experiencewithRaquillet was in a wine shop in Beaune. I was supposed to pickmyfriends up at the train station and I was already 20 minuteslate. I knew they wanted to dive right in, maybe a quick picnic withwine and localcheese, but they expected Burgundy par excellence after thelong trip - and(of most importance to them) they expected me to produce someunknown topwines out of nowhere. I have to say, I was so busy the previousfewdays that I didn't have a chance to work on their needs - so,Irushed into a wine shop that usually has fair prices and politely shoutedinmy best country French "Give me the best thingyou'vegot" - how American.

When I went to pay, I expected to be slapped with a Grand Cru price-tagbutinstead the merchant asked for (at the time) the equivalent of15Euros. 15 Euros? I said "Give me thebestyou've got, not the best Bourgogne Rouge you'vegot". I saw bottles of Roumier, Clos de Tart, Lafon andthe best producers in theCote d'Or on his shelf?

His reply was quick and stern: "This is the bestI'vegot".

Gulp.

It was not until I tasted the wine an hour later with the abovementionedgroup of friends that it all made sense. In arandomoccurrence in Beaune, I learned one of the biggest lessons in the winetrade- the best wines in the world are often right in front of you, but theyarenot going to make themselves known - you need to reach out andgrabthem. They usually come without any reviews or fanfare and theyareoften from relatively untested terroirs. This was myintroductionto Francois Raquillet and I still don't know how torepay thatmerchant (I've tried many times and he's evenbecome afriend since - we now trade wines on occasion as he has a penchantfor Germanwine).

I've taken up enough space with the story above as this offershouldbe about Raquillet and his treasure-trove of expressive, mineral andearthslathered Pinot Noir. He has become somewhat of an artisanalherosince my first sip of his Combins that day but I am more than happy toofferany of his wines at any time - especially the 2006s. As mostalreadyknow, Raquillet's group of 2006s are not only better thanhis highlyrated 2005s, they are like liquid terroir of Pinot Noir. I coulddrink them every night - they are a reminder of how much I miss PinotNoir init's rawest form - in its most sauvage andmineral-laden. The Vasees really stands out in 2006 and this isBurgundy the way it used tobe without the hit or miss element that plaguedthis region for years - Raquillethas harnessed a new style of sauvage andonce you taste it, you wonder whythis producer's trademark"rusticity" andunmanipulated style isn't theway all Pinot Noir shouldbe. If this fresh and lightly pungentwine is rustic, you can giveme everything they have. A pure delight withgorgeous mineral tone. Burgundy this special at thisprice? It still exists.

This may be strange but to give you an idea of the style, try to read bothofthe reviews below and combine them - that's the 2006 LesVasees.Raquillet's 2006 portfolio reminds me a lot of his 2001s (thus theNaugues review)and there is even more fine precision than the 2005 Les Vasees- together,the reviews are close to the style, i.e. more serious mineralunderpinningthan 2005 and slightly less obvious velvet than the 2001 reviewsuggests:

Burghound on the 2001 Raquillet Naugues: "Intense red andblackfruits of excellent complexity explode from the glass to revealmediumweight, powerful, very focused flavors and a long velvety finish.Velvet isnot a descriptor one often uses with Mercurey wines yet this isrefined,elegant and completely coats the mouth. A very pretty yet completelyseriouswine of real quality. In short, this is a simply dazzling effort forthevintage and highly recommended. Outstanding! 89pts"

Burghound on the 2005 Les Vasees: "Here the nose is a bitmoreelegant with slightly higher-toned red fruit aromas though there is anamplesprinkling of the pungent Mercurey earth as well that can also be foundonthe rich, delicious and vibrant flavors that are less rustic but Istillwouldn't call this refined either. A quality effort that should alsobecapable of aging well. 2012+. 89pts"

Whatever it is - it's darn memorable, not only for the price butforresuscitating the soul of Pinot Noir, just like my first experience atthewine shop in Beaune.

ONE SHIPMENT ONLY at this price - about the same as in France (if you arewaitingfor the 2006s to show up in the discount bin, that's notgoing tohappen here - Raquillet sells everything he has in Europe and only asmallamount comes to the US as it is).

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

2006 Francois Raquillet Mercurey 1er "Les Vasees"-


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To order: niki@garagistewine.com

This wine arrives with impeccable provenance at some point this summer(late).It will ship during the first available shipping window(weatherpermitting).

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Thank you,

Jon Rimmerman
Garagiste
Seattle, WA

Burg7420
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Re: 2006 Raquillet LES VASEES

Postby egath » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:07 am

Took to a blind Burgundy tasting (1/2010) and it came out #2 on the night, despite some significantly more expensive bottles present. Chaotic sharp bright red fruits. Needs to settle in more, but a lot going on, with (thankfully) no funk of any kind. I think 2012-15 will be when I open my next (and last) bottle. Glad I bought these.
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