2008 Chambolle Musigny Les Amoureuses Jacques Frederic Mugnier



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£736.00

Average critic rating : 95.0 points

95

95

The 2008 Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses is endowed with an explosive bouquet and a multi-dimensional, textured core of dark fruit. The inner palate sweetness, richness and nuance here are all breathtaking. The finish seems to last into the next day. This is another spellbinding effort from Mugnier. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038. ||With each passing year Frederic Mugnier has let up on the reigns of winemaking and allowed the vintage to take center stage. His wines now reflect the unique qualities of each harvest to an exacting degree. Mugnier describes the 2009s as rich, powerful and exceptionally dense wines that will be at their most exciting in several decades’ time, or – as Mugnier says with his typically dry sense of humor – when he’s no longer around. The vintage was marked by one week of very hot weather towards the end of the growing season, although on average 2009 was not a hot year. The harvest began on September 10. For the 2009s Mugnier destemmed 100% of the fruit as he didn’t feel he had the phenolic ripeness in the stems to use whole clusters. Fermentations lasted about three weeks, an approach which is now pretty much consistent from year to year. ‘Long, slow and gentle,’ Mugnier says. The wines were racked once and were scheduled to be bottled between April and May 2011. The percentage of new oak barrels continues to drop and is now between 15-20% across the entire range. I also tasted all of the 2008s, a vintage in which Mugnier’s wines are stratospheric for their sheer beauty, elegance and pedigree. In 2008 the harvest began on September 26, two full weeks after 2009, which is pretty consistent across domaines in these two years. Today the 2008s appear to have more finesse and silkiness. This will be a fascinating vintage to follow here.||A Becky Wasserman Selection, Le Serbet, various American importers, including: Martin Scott Wines, Little Neck, NY; tel. (516) 327-0808; Veritas Imports, Beverly Hills, CA; tel. (310) 205-3803; Toepfer Imports LLC, CO; tel. (303) 818-7640 Wine Advocate.May, 2011

Jacques-Frederic Mugnier: The Importance

Jancis Robinson refers to Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier as “maker of some of the purest Chambolle-Musignys,” referring to the extensive and well-established estate based one of the Côte de Nuits’ most elegant villages. John Gilman believes “the wines are amongst the very greatest treasures to be found in all of Burgundy,” and Robert Parker attests that “Mugnier has made some of the most delicious, intriguing Pinot Noirs in Burgundy since the mid 1980s,” when Jacques-Frédéric oversaw the first wine bottled at the estate, then still known as Château de Chambolle-Musigny.

 

Jacques-Frederic Mugnier: The Insight

Every commentator singles out Mugnier’s prohibitively rare bottling of what Parker calls “a silken-textured, explosively aromatic, impulsively intense, seemingly weightless” Musigny. Mugnier is the second largest holder in this Grand Cru vineyard after Comte de Vogüé, with arguably better-located plots dead in the centre of the classic hillside part of the vineyard, (de Vogüé’s southerly parcel, known as Les Petits Musigny, is historically a separate Grand Cru in its own right). Many vintages of Mugnier Musigny have either completely vanished from the market or have seen prices rise fifty percent in recent years, as already shallow availability dwindles into virtual non-existence for what is regarded as one of the greatest wines in the appellation. In September 2016 this was further exacerbated when J.F. Mugnier announced he would no longer be releasing his Musigny en primeur, choosing instead to put small bottlings on the market only as they reach appropriate maturity. The news arrived in a letter signed by Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, with a personal message to his oldest and dearest customers: “Too many of these great bottles are opened as early as a few months or a couple of years after they were filled, at a time when they can only offer a few hints of their future greatness. Something like watching an opera on a cell phone screen… Musigny is among our wines the one that, more than any other, not only deserves but demands patience.”

 

Those who have less patience are still lucky that Mugnier’s Bonnes-Mares, the Grand Cru at the northern end of Chambolle-Musigny does not lag far behind in quality, while perhaps even more remarkable are the domaine’s Premier Crus Les-Amoureuses and Les-Fuées, both of which are cult wines in their own right.

 

However, the most famous Premier Cru is undisputedly the Clos-de-la-Maréchale, Burgundy’s largest Monopole. This impressive holding is a “true” clos, with stone walls encircling its enormous 14 hectare area at the southernmost end of Nuits-Saint-Georges. In 2005 Frédéric Mugnier re-grafted some Pinot Noir to Chardonnay here with outstanding results, but both white and red are extremely hard to find.  For Galloni, the 2009 Clos-de-la-Maréchale Blanc “possesses gorgeous energy and depth”, while Steve Öhman believes that the 2010 red Clos-de-la-Maréchale “represents all the best in Burgundy … juicy, vibrant, complex, enjoyable … a magnificent wine.”

 

Jacques-Frederic Mugnier: The Background

From the mid-19th Century until 1984, the Mugnier wine estate was entirely leased out, and since 1945 this was done by contract with the outstanding quality négociant Domaine Faiveley, who oversaw every aspect of viticulture and winemaking. Nevertheless, J.F. Mugnier has stated by way of example that when the sharecropping contract for Clos-de-la-Maréchale finally expired in time for the 2004 vintage, the number of man-hours spent on each vine here tripled. Similarly, across the holdings, pruning systems have been optimised to regulate vigour and re-planting minimised to promote vine age. New oak has been gradually reduced in the cellar. These are just some details of Jacques-Frédéric’s increasingly elegance-focussed style, praised by the Revue des Vins de France for “opening up a new avenue in the expression of great Burgundy.”



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