Domaine du Meix Foulot

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The Domaine du Meix Foulot has been in the hands of the de Launay family for multiple generations. Paul de Launay took the reins during the 1960s and began to bottle an increasingly important percentage of the wine produced at the domaine. Now, in the mid-1990s, his daughter, Agnes, joined the domaine and is now solely responsible for this exceptionally beautiful and historic domaine. This is one of the most picturesque of Burgundian domaines: situated high on a hill overlooking the entirety of Mercurey and surrounded by the gently sloping vineyards of the estate. The Domaine du Meix Foulot is also one of the most important domaines in Mercurey, in terms both of size and excellence, with an imposing collection of vineyards that capture the full range of this underappreciated appellation.

This estate was one of the first to enter our portfolio (either in late 1981 or in early 1982). The first vintage we imported to the USA was 1979 and we have not missed a vintage since.

There are 20 hectares of vineyards, all sited within the confines of Mercurey. Ninety percent of the vines are planted to Pinot Noir; the remainder is planted to Chardonnay.

The vineyards are managed in as natural a manner as possible. Vines are pruned short, no herbicides are used, and fertilizer, natural compost, is rarely applied. Crop size is further reduced in July. The white wine undergoes a rapid pressing, with fermentation occurring partially in barrel and partially in cuve. About 20% new oak is used in the elevage of the white. The Mercurey Blanc is not racked until July and then is usually bottled in September, twelve months after harvest. The reds are entirely destemmed; natural yeast is used; and there is a cold maceration of 24 to 48 hours. During a cuvaison of two weeks or more, there is a pigeage, often twice daily but the intensity and duration are determined by the structure and character of the vintage. The elevage is divided between small barrel and cuve for an eight month period; then, the wines are assembled and racked into barrel for another 12 to 16 months before bottling. Most of the red wines destined for the United States are not filtered.

deLaunay-Mercurey-Meix-Foulot Mercurey Blanc: After experimenting with two cuvées of Mercurey Blanc, one being a 1er Cru from the “Les Veleys” site, Agnes de Launay has determined that her white wine is at its best when she can select the finest juice from the limited production of Chardonnay; so, now, there is a single cuvée of Mercurey Blanc, declared as a village wine, drawn both from plantings in Les Veleys and several other smaller parcels. Total annual production of white wine is approximately 500 cases.
Mercurey Rouge: This cuvee is made from 10 different plots scattered throughout the Mercurey appellation.The grapes are destemmed and extraction during fermentation is gentler than how she treats her premier cru wines in order to render a wine that is a bit softer and easier to drink.  After a two to three-week fermentation in concrete tanks, the wine is aged partially in stainless steel (60%) and older barrels (40%) for about 15 months before being assembled and bottled.  Gentle and fruity, this wine  leans more toward pure pinot noir fruit with only a touch of the dark and tannic undertones that commonly mark Mercurey.
DeLaunay-Mercurey-1er-Cru Mercurey 1er Cru: This cuvée is a blend of grapes harvested from the “Les Byots” vineyard and the “Les Montaigus” site. The age of the vines for this bottling are between 15 and 40+ years. The “Byots” portion brings strength and structure to the blend while the vines in the “Montaigu” site, at higher altitude, add elegance and lift to this wine.
DeLaunay-Mercurey-1er-Cru-Les-Saumonts Mercurey 1er Cru Les Saumonts: The 1er Cru “Saumonts” comes from a 1.1 hectare site. The juice from this vineyard was first bottled as a separate cuvée in the 2000 vintage. The vineyard is situated at the summit of a small amphitheatre with full southern exposure. The vines are, on average, 40 years old and the red-tinted soil (salmon-colored, thus the name “Saumonts”) is composed largely of clay and sand. This is a wine of great distinction and restraint with silky tannins and cherry-like fruit with an intriguing touch of rusticity.
DeLaunay-Mercurey-1er-Cru-Les-Veleys Mercurey 1er Cru Les Veleys: The “Veleys” is situated on a steeply sloping, southeast facing vineyard with extremely low yields (averaging 35 hectoliters per hectare). This parcel is divided into four pieces: one part planted in 1983; a second planted in 1964; a third planted in 1957; and the oldest section planted in 1947. In its entirety, “Les Veleys” encompasses 1.5 hectares with annual production of approximately 450 cases. For us, the “Veleys” is the most classic representation of the terroir of Mercurey with strength, persistence and a hint of the “animal”. It is certainly one of the longest-lived of the wines of this appellation. We consistently request that this cuvée be bottled in magnum.
deLaunay-Mercurey-Montaigu Mercurey 1er Cru Clos du Chateau de Montaigu: Always the most regal and elegant of the quartet of reds from the domaine, the “Clos du Chateau de Montaigu” is a monopole of the Domaine du Meix Foulot. The “Clos” is 1.90 hectares in size. Many different soil types are within this site and the age of the vines varies, with parts of the vineyard planted in 1989, 1986, 1980, 1964, and 1955. Production is in the neighborhood of 575 cases per annum. Curiously, this “Clos” faces north-northeast but this exposure works to produce a wine of great finesse with superb aging potential. Habitually, this wine is marked by exuberant notes of wild berries and a lively presence on the palate, the firm tannins giving excellent length and persistence. We consistently request that this cuvée be bottled in magnum.
Download Meix-Foulot tech sheet
Domaine NameEARL LE MEIX FOULOT
Family/Owners NameAgnès DEWE de LAUNAY
How many years has the family owned the domaine?More than 200 years
How many generations?8 generations
How many hectares of vines are leased?10.67 ha
How many hectares of vines are owned?9.32 ha
Are your vineyards or wines Organic or Biodynamic Certified? If yes, in the EU? In the US? If no, are you in the process of becoming certified? When?Lutte raisonnee : treatments only if necessary and the less toxic for the environment and humans
Describe your vineyard management practices (e.g. low-intervention, organic, biodynamic, standard, etc.).Manual work for : pruning, de-budding, training vines on wire, harvest. Plowing, phytosanitary treatments and clipping by tractor
Do you practice green harvest? Leaf thinning?Green harvest depending on years, if too much grapes.
How do you fertilize?No leaf-thinning. Mineral or organic fertilizers, according to the soil analyses.
Do you typically sell or buy any grapes? Please specify.We don’t buy grapes but we sell grapes to local negociants
Do you sell off any of your wine en vrac/allo sfuso?We sell bulk wine to local negociants
WINE 1
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationMERCUREY ROUGE
Cepage/UvaggioPINOT NOIR
%ABVAlc. 13% by vol
# of bottles produced28000
Grams of Residual Sugar0
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locations10 different plots
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone
Average vine ageFrom 6 to 60 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)9 800 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)15-Sept
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeConcrete tanks
Duration of cuvaison15 to 20 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationPunching-down twice a day until the juice is Alc 5-6% by vol, then pumping-over twice a day. When the fermentation is done, pumping-over once a day. Chaptalization if necessary. Pressing and settling. 40% of the wine is put in barrrels (2 to 5 wines) and 60% in stainless steel vat. Malolactic takes place in the winter or next spring with native bacteria of the winery.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)40% of the wine is put in barrrels (2 to 5 wines) and 60% in stainless steel vat
Duration of elevage15 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketNo storage wines these last years
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining if necessary, according to the wine. Soft filtration if necessary
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Addition of SO2 : on the harvest (depending on the sanitary state of the crop). After the malolactic fermentation for stabilizing. SO2 at the bottling : 70mg
WINE 2
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationMERCUREY blanc
Cepage/UvaggioCHARDONNAY
%ABVAlc 13% by vol
# of bottles produced5000
Grams of Residual Sugar0
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locations2 plots in Mercurey 1 er cru(50%) and Mercurey Village (50%)
Exposures and slope of vineyardsEast
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)From 20 to 40 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)9 800 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)15-Sept
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedWhole cluster
Fermentation: vessel type and size70% in stainless steel tank and 30% in barrels (new and one wine)
Duration of cuvaison20 to 30 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. Temperature controlled
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationChaptalization if necessary. Malolactic takes place in the winter or next spring with native bacteria of the winery.
Duration of elevage12 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketNo storage wines these last years
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining if necessary, according to the wine. Soft filtration if necessary
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Addition of SO2 : on the harvest (depending on the sanitary state of the crop). After the malolactic fermentation for stabilizing. SO2 at the bottling : 90mg
WINE 3
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationMERCUREY 1er cru ROUGE
Cepage/UvaggioPINOT NOIR
%ABVAlc 13% by vol
# of bottles produced6000
Grams of Residual Sugar0
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locations2 lieu dits 1 er cru : Les Byots, Les Montaigu
Exposures and slope of vineyardsLes Byots : south exposure in lower part of the hillside. Les Montaigu : East exposure on a steep slope
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)8 to 50 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)9 800 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)15-Sept
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeConcrete vats
Duration of cuvaison15 to 20 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. Punching-down twice a day until the juice is Alc 5-6% by vol, then pumping-over twice a day. When the fermentation is done, pumping-over once a day.
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationChaptalization if necessary. Pressing and settling. 40% of the wine is put in barrrels (2 to 5 wines) and 60% in stainless steel vat. Malolactic takes place in the winter or next spring with native bacteria of the winery.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)40% of the wine is put in barrrels (2 to 5 wines) and 60% in stainless steel vat
Duration of elevage17 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketNo storage wines these last years
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining if necessary, according to the wine. Soft filtration if necessary
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Addition of SO2 : on the harvest (depending on the sanitary state of the crop). After the malolactic fermentation for stabilizing. SO2 at the bottling : 70mg
WINE 4
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationMERCUREY 1er cru ROUGE Les saumonts
Cepage/UvaggioPINOT NOIR
%ABVAlc 13% by vol
# of bottles produced3000
Grams of Residual Sugar0
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsLes saumonts
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth
Soil Types(s)Sandy clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)From 6 to 50 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)9 800 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)15-Sept
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeConcrete vats
Duration of cuvaison15 to 20 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. Punching-down twice a day until the juice is Alc 5-6% by vol, then pumping-over twice a day. When the fermentation is done, pumping-over once a day.
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationChaptalization if necessary. Malolactic takes place in the winter or next spring with native bacteria of the winery. 40% of the wine is put in barrrels (2 to 5 wines) and 60% in stainless steel vat. Malolactic takes place in the winter or next spring with native bacteria of the winery.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)40% of the wine is put in barrrels (2 to 5 wines) and 60% in stainless steel vat
Duration of elevage17 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketNo storage wines theses last years
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining if necessary, according to the wine. Soft filtration if necessary
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Addition of SO2 : on the harvest (depending on the sanitary state of the crop). After the malolactic fermentation for stabilizing. SO2 at the bottling : 70mg
WINE 5
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationMERCUREY 1er cru ROUGE Les veleys
Cepage/UvaggioPINOT NOIR
%ABVAlc 13% by vol
# of bottles produced8000
Grams of Residual Sugar0
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsLes veleys
Exposures and slope of vineyardsEast
Soil Types(s)Very chalky white marl
Average vine age (per vineyard)From 12 to 60 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)9 800 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)15-Sept
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeConcrete vats
Duration of cuvaison15 to 20 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. Punching-down twice a day until the juice is Alc 5-6% by vol, then pumping-over twice a day. When the fermentation is done, pumping-over once a day.
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationChaptalization if necessary.Pressing and settling. 40% of the wine is put in barrrels (2 to 5 wines) and 60% in stainless steel vats. Malolactic takes place in the winter or next spring with native bacteria of the winery.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)40% of the wine is put in barrrels (2 to 5 wines) and 60% in stainless steel vats
Duration of elevage17 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketNo storage wines theses last years
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining if necessary, according to the wine. Soft filtration if necessary
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Addition of SO2 : on the harvest (depending on the sanitary state of the crop). After the malolactic fermentation for stabilizing. SO2 at the bottling : 70mg. After the malolactic fermentation for stabilizing. SO2 at the bottling : 70mg
WINE 6
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationMERCUREY 1er cru ROUGE clos du chateau de Montaigu
Cepage/UvaggioPINOT NOIR
%ABVAlc 13% by vol
# of bottles produced8000
Grams of Residual Sugar0
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsClos du château de Montaigu, monopole
Exposures and slope of vineyardsOn table-land
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)From 30 to 70 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)9 800 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)15-Sept
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeConcrete vats
Duration of cuvaison15 to 20 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:Punching-down twice a day until the juice is Alc 5-6% by vol, then pumping-over twice a day. When the fermentation is done, pumping-over once a day.
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationChaptalization if necessary. Pressing and settling. 40% of the wine is put in barrrels (2 to 5 wines) and 60% in stainless steel vats. Malolactic takes place in the winter or next spring with native bacteria of the winery.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)40% of the wine is put in barrrels (2 to 5 wines) and 60% in stainless steel vats
Duration of elevage17 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketNo storage wines these last years
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining if necessary, according to the wine. Soft filtration if necessary
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Addition of SO2 : on the harvest (depending on the sanitary state of the crop). After the malolactic fermentation for stabilizing. SO2 at the bottling : 70mg

2016 Vintage Report After A Vineyard Visit: Burgundy, The Jura, Alsace

Burgundy Alsace Jura switzerland

A winegrower’s job is never easy, and every vintage presents its own unique challenges. Be it excessive rain, some new pest, severe drought, heat, or mildew, environmental obstacles necessitate constant diligence and creativity on the part of the vigneron. Having heard reports of a widespread and devastating spring frost in France, we headed into our recent tour of Burgundy, Alsace, the Jura, and the Valais with heavy hearts, prepared to receive the worst imaginable news about the 2016 vintage.

Fortunately, as is always the case in wine, nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems on the surface. While the frost did indeed devastate certain zones of the Cote d’Or, many vineyards were left relatively unscathed. Furthermore, after an aberrantly cold, gloomy spring and early summer, July and August brought plenty of sunshine and heat, and most of our growers—on the brink of harvest during our tour—were optimistic about the quality of the surviving grapes. (more…)

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