Visit to Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

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Visit to Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

Postby AlexR » Wed May 16, 2012 5:29 am

Freddy Mugnier sometimes seemed lost in his thoughts as he explained his views on the Chinese wine market (not for him), when to drink his wines (whenever, and he knows full well that most people don't age them for decades), oak (he has steadily reduced the use of new barrels over the years, and this now stands at 20%), etc.
He has been making wine at the family domaine for 20 years and the operation is very tightly run. His wines are highly considered and the best have become very expensive.

He described 2010 as a "perfectly ripe grapes in a warm and rainy vintage". My friends and I tasted through his wines. Here are my notes, however omitting color (unless noteworthy) because I often find that the wines look very similar at such a young age.

N = nose
P = palate

2010 Chambolle Musigny (village)
n: unrevealing at this stage
p: soft, sleek, penetrating in its own way

2010 Chambolle Musigny Premier Cru Les Fuées
n: very closed
p: sweet fruit, structure, and grip, touch of menthol coolness

2010 Clos de la Maréchale, Nuits St. Georges Premier cru
n: not very forthcoming, to say the least
p: much better on the palate: round, soft, and sophisticated, but short

(Mugnier did not make any of this vineyard's second wine "Clos des Fourches" in 2009 and 2010 because the young vines have now come into their own. He is unsure as to whether he will produce another wine under this label.
Furthermore, Monsieur Mugnier confirmed that plantings of Chardonnay had increased at Clos de la Maréchale).

2010 Bonnes Mares
n: beguiling, subtle bouquet presently playing coy
p: bursting with sweet fruit, but somehow under control. Long, smooth aftertaste. Altogether very fine. Clearly a cut above the previous wines.
Unassertive finish, which fades seamlessly.

2010 Les Amoureuses
n: not much there at this time
p: Sweet, bright, and fresh, Persistent aftertaste, with more authority here. Vibrant and somewhat tart. Slender structure and a pure varietal quality that should not be mistaken for greenness. Deep candied black cherry flavors. A little dry on the aftertaste.

2010 Musigny
n: Impression of more oak, but obviously needs time to open up
p: chewy almost chunky, with a long linear aftertaste.
Plush, velvety, and tight with a little hotness and tannic bite. Give it 35 years says Freddy. No compromises here.

We then tasted 3 other wines:

2009 Chambolle Musigny
n: haunting, with deep berry aromas and a touch of weediness
p: heavy mouth feel. Big, with roasted and cranberry flavors and a sprity side.

2009 Clos de la Maréchale
n: deep, definitively something special.
p: strong and rich with high density. Tannin there, but this is soft and round. Natural alcohol just above 14°. Big, brawny wine that impressed us all, but this is not to imply clumsiness or top-heaviness.

2008 Musigny
n: sweet, ethereal, holding back
p: Starts off quite delicate and then goes on to show its strength, Textured tannin. Great acidity. Not a tannic monster by any means.
Incredible balance between power and elegance. Soft, almost mentholated quality on the aftertaste with the odd impression of skins of just-picked grapes. Gently clenching grip. No doubt this is for the long run.

I also visited a number of other estates, but am not sure if these are household names and so will not post notes unless asked: Jean-Marc Pillot in Chassagne-Montrachet, Drouhin-Laroze in Gevrey-Chambertin, Buisson-Charles in Meursault, Hubert Lignier in Morey-Saint-Denis, Bruno Clair in Marsannay, Olivier Bernstein in Beaune, Camille Giroud in Beaune, Maison Ilan in Beaune, and Gérard Raphet in Morey-Saint-Denis

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Re: Visit to Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed May 16, 2012 8:09 am

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the notes. I am especially thankful for the note on the 2009 Clos de la Merchale, as I bought that wine in magnum, so I really don't want to open it yet.

Lots of your other producers visited are pretty well known, e.g. Bruno Clair, Hubert Lignier, Maison Ilan, Olivier Berenstein, etc. Notes would be more than welcome!
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Re: Visit to Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

Postby Rahsaan » Wed May 16, 2012 11:13 am

AlexR wrote:the Chinese wine market (not for him)


Is that because it is somehow fundamentally different (from his perspective) from the markets in which he is currently involved?

Or, just because he clearly has no problem selling everything with his current arrangement?
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Re: Visit to Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

Postby AlexR » Wed May 16, 2012 12:56 pm

Mugunier has regular customers in Europe, America, and elsewhere. He asks himself why he hould take away from their allocations to supply China when the quantity of wine he produces is absolutely miniscule compared to such a market.
He figures it does not make sense, even if the Chinese come at him with an open checkbook.

He said he smarted when a Chinaman asked him if he "wasn't turning his back on a quarter of humanity".
Its not like that at all!
You have to see the quantities to believe them!
Even if Mugnier or other domaines sold ALL their production, it would only be a drop in the bucket.
Burgundy is tiny.

Best regards,
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Re: Visit to Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed May 16, 2012 1:29 pm

Alex - you might want to change the way you refer to someone from China...the term you chose has a very negative connotation in some places.

But as for the point about Burgundy and the Chinese market, I think it makes a lot of sense. Let's also consider the likely possibility that buyers for hte CHinese market might only want Musigny and Bonnes mares as the "best" bottlings. I am not sure it would be so easy to sell the basic Chambolle in China.
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Re: Visit to Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

Postby Rahsaan » Wed May 16, 2012 1:49 pm

AlexR wrote:Mugunier has regular customers in Europe, America, and elsewhere. He asks himself why he hould take away from their allocations to supply China when the quantity of wine he produces is absolutely miniscule compared to such a market.
He figures it does not make sense, even if the Chinese come at him with an open checkbook.


As an American this is nice to hear (even if I don't buy much Mugnier myself). But I fear such an attitude will not last forever. Nor should it.
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Re: Visit to Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

Postby ChaimShraga » Wed May 16, 2012 3:57 pm

Mugnier is even sold in Israel! And I think the Close de la Marechale is a very good buy.
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Re: Visit to Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

Postby JC (NC) » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:45 pm

I would be interested in your notes on the Buisson-Charles Meursault wines.
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Re: Visit to Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier

Postby Joshua Kates » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:56 pm

Thanks for the notes, Alex,

Fascinating. I have the '06 Marechale; from what I hear probably best to give it another 2-4 years?

As to notes, I've seen some good pricing on the Drouhin-Laroze GC's (Bonnes Mares and Chapelle Chambertin in particular), so I'd be especially interested in those. But Burgundy notes are almost always of interest, and the other makers mentioned already mentioned are often tempting.

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