Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier produces wines that, personally, can be best described as desert island Pinot Noir. We're talking the short list. One cannot overstate just how beloved the red Burgundies from this address really are. There are few producers in the world who summon the interest of collectors and the respect of their neighbors quite like Mugnier. In 2015 the demand is expectedly high, and the quantities painfully small.
The domaine lies in the heart of the village of Chambolle-Musigny, home to the most ethereal wines of Burgundy. Mugnier's gentle approach to winemaking is more synonymous with the village dubbed the Queen of Burgundy than any other producer. In fact, Mugnier only produces one Pinot Noir from outside, the Premier Cru Monopole Clos de la Maréchale in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
The easy way to tell the story is to say Mugnier applies that lifted style of his Chambolle wines to his Maréchale, hailing from a village better known for dark earth and muscular structure. Though this characterization has plenty of validity, it tends to sell short just how profound in its own right this monopole vineyard (one owner) from Nuits-Saints-Georges really is.
Maréchale lies at the southernmost end of N-S-G, coming from the Premeaux commune. For centuries the wines of Premeaux have been described as the most elegant of the larger N-S-G appellation. Within Maréchale there are portions of oolitic limestone and sandy soils that are wildly different from what's found throughout the village. This terroir plays as much a role in the elegance of the wine here as Mugnier's soft touch in the cellar.
* From the 1820's the walled in Clos de la Marechale vineyard appeared on maps, and in 1855 Jules Lavalle's publication classifying vineyards ranked Maréchale as "1ère Cuvée" - Lavalle said at this time the top wines of Premeaux were selling for the same price as Grand Cru Clos Vougeot bottlings.
Clos de la Maréchale always shows a stunning array of red fruits like pomegranate and wild strawberry, a tell-tale mocha note, and always finishes with a sappy, black cherry core. Mugnier de-stems 100%, during fermentation punching down of the cap is very gentle and done relatively infrequently, and new oak usage is minimal. The goal is to never over-extract too much tannin or color. These wines are always on the more pale end of the spectrum, dominated as much by their notes of roses and violets as they are by fruit profile. This is the essence of perfumed Burgundy. When Pinot Noir was christened the heartbreak grape chances are strong it was Mugnier in the glass.
You can listen here to Levi Dalton's great interview with Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier from I'll Drink to That! Wine Podcast.
2015 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Maréchale
$143 per bottle.
2015 Mugnier Chambolle Musigny
$179 per bottle.
2015 Mugnier Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuées
$359 per bottle.
2014 Mugnier Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Maréchale
$119 per bottle.
2014 Mugnier Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses
$939 per bottle.
2013 Mugnier Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Maréchale
$119 per bottle.
2013 Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny
$159 per bottle.
2010 Mugnier Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuées
$524 per bottle.
2002 Mugnier Chambolle Musigny
$239 per bottle.
1996 Mugnier Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses
$1,099 per bottle.