2005 Nuits St Georges Clos de la Marechale Jacques Frederic Mugnier

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Average critic rating : 90.0 points



The Mugnier family’s sprawling, gently-sloping 24-acre monopole just south of Premeaux-Prissey (managed and vinified by Faiveley until 2004) presents Frederic Mugnier with significant challenges. A small but symptomatic question is where to put it in the tasting line-up. Mugnier has decided to let it stand on its own at the end, a gutsy decision, but in the case of the 2005 Nuits-St.-Georges Clos de la Marechale justified in the glass. The sheer volume of wine from these vines of forty years’ average age requires not just the new larger cellar, but its own strategy of assemblage (from 2004 Mugnier bottled a second wine; in 2005 there were eight initial lots), as well as marketing. But at least here’s one worthy 2005 Burgundy lovers stand a good chance of locating! What was virtually certain at the time of my visit to be the final assemblage of 2005 Clos de la Marechale offered aromas of red raspberry and smoked meats. In the mouth, effusively sweet, ripe, but very primary fruit flavors struggle to override the abundant, firm tannins and mingle with a tactile chalk dust minerality as though the nearby quarries were directly responsible. This is another Mugnier 2005 of palpably high extract, but this time with a sense of weight that does not accrue to the Chambolles. A salty, meaty side to this emerges most prominently in the long finish. Better post-assemblage integration may come soon, and more personality after a few years in bottle – certainly the invigoratingly fresh-fruited 2004 is a complete, distinct and satisfying wine today – but any prognostication would be premature since there is as yet no track record for this site in its owner’s hands.||Frederic Mugnier works from a just-expanded and superbly appointed cellar, and a tasting of his 2004s confirms that he is scoring hits even when Nature does not make it easy as she did the following year. Mugnier advocates unusually late but limited pigeage. “After all,” he opines, “we take great care not to crush the berries, so it doesn’t make sense to do an early pigeage and break them,” and late punch-down further extends the fermentation.||Various Importers. A Becky Wasserman Selection, Le Serbet; fax 011- 333-80-24-29-70. Wine Advocate.April, 2007

In the heart of Chambolle, at the Château de Chambolle-Musigny, is Domaine Mugnier. The domaine has been in the Mugnier family since the late 1800s, and has grand cru holdings in Le Musigny and Bonnes Mares, premier cru holdings in Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses and Les Fuées, the monopole of Nuits-St Georges Clos de la Marechale and parcels of village Chambolle-Musigny. Much of the vineyard was leased out throughout the 20th century to Faiveley. The story of the the domaine in its current form begins with Frédéric Mugnier, who took over in 1985.

Frédéric Mugnier is one of Burgundy’s great winemakers. An engineer by training, and a philosopher by nature, he achieves a purity in his Pinot Noir that is peerless. 2005 & 2009 Le Musigny from Mugnier are arguably amongst the finest wines ever made, and his monopole of Clos de la Marechale in Nuits St Georges is one of the most elegant wines of the appellation. The wines are not as fleshy as those of his neighbour, Christophe Roumier, though there is an elegance and harmony to Mugnier’s wines that makes them one of the most complete expressions of Pinot Noir.

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