Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier
Grand Cru Red 750 ml
Tasted: Jan 10, 2020
Note: 50% of the vines in this .35 ha parcel were planted in 1980 and 1988, with the remainder planted in the ’50s; the vines are planted in both terres rouges and terres blanches but there is a slight majority in the latter
Producer note: Frédéric Mugnier concisely described 2018 as one where “we were hit hard by hail in the Clos de la Maréchale on the 3rd and 15th of July. Each storm lasted about 30 minutes and had small hailstones but lots of them so the accumulated damage was substantial as it amounted to around 50%. This complicated the harvest considerably as we picked the Bonnes Mares on the 28th of August and then attacked the other vineyards in Chambolle from the 1st to the 13th of September. In the middle of this we began picking the Clos on the 8th. The Chambolle fruit was very clean and we could pick quickly but the Clos was slower as it was necessary to carefully eliminate the dried hail-damaged berries. The yields in Chambolle were quite good as they ranged from 32 to 40 hl/ha. Potential alcohols averaged around 13.5% in Chambolle though they were higher in the Clos due to the reduced yields. As to the wines, it remains to be seen how they will turn out as they have been constantly changing during the élevage. I am reasonably optimistic that they will turn out to be very good because even though they are definitely on the riper side, they have good freshness and concentration.” The 2017s reviewed below were bottled in June 2019. As readers may be aware, Mugnier stopped releasing the Musigny until it had at least 5 years of bottle age as he strongly believes that too many of them were being drunk as soon as they were released. He understands that a 7 year old Musigny is hardly at its peak but at least some of the benefits of aging will have been realized. To this end, the 2013 is the first vintage to be released under this policy and it is reviewed below as well. (Becky Wasserman & Co., www.beckywasserman.com, Beaune, France; Martin Scott Wines, www.martinscottwines.com, NY, Terroir Imports, www.terroirimports.net, CO, Fine Vines, www.finevines.com, IL, Veritas Imports, www.veritaswine.com, CA/NV/AZ/NM, Classified Wine & Spirits, LLC, www.classifiedwine.net, TX, C’est Vin, LLC, 703.243.3559, VA, Augustan Wine, www.augustanwine.com, FL, Atlanta Wholesale Wines, www.ndcweb.com, GA, Wines Unlimited, www.winesunlimited.com, LA, Vineyard Road, www.vineyardroad.net, MA, Little Guy Wine, www.littleguywine.com, MI, Small Potatoes Wine, www.smallpotatoeswine.com, ID, all USA; Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Fields, Morris & Verdin, www.fmvwines.com, Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, Haynes, Hanson & Clark, www.hhandc.co.uk, O.W. Loeb, www.owloeb.com and Justerini & Brooks, www.justerinis.com, all UK; Altaya Wines, www.altayawines.com, Hong Kong).
Tasting note: A relatively high-toned nose speaks of various red and blue berries, violet and a whiff of earth. There is a really lovely texture to the impressively dense flavors that brim with sappy dry extract before culminating in a powerful, balanced and sneaky long finish. This is a big wine in the context of the 2017 vintage though it’s not particularly austere.