On my September trip to Burgundy I had the priviledge to visit Domaine J.-F. Mugnier for the first time. I have always enjoyed and adored the Mugnier wines, as they represent what I like in Burgundy – refinement, terroir and pleasure – so I was very exited to get the opportunity to taste the wines at the domaine.
The visit was very interesting – as the 2012s are truly beautiful, and the comments and insights from Frederic Mugnier really made me think about what I’m doing on this blog – and the purpose of writing about wine.
Writing about good, great and gorgeous wines
The visit and the tasting was somewhat different than my usual visits in Bourgogne, as Frederic Mugnier … in a good way … turned the table on me, and asked me some very interesting and somewhat challenging questions about why I write about wines, and the purpose of the blog and reviewing wines in general.
To be honest the questions should be simple for me to answer, but in the reality I discovered that the mission of this project perhaps needed a bit of clarification.
One comment from Frederic Mugnier really made me think – A good wine is not necessarily a great wine, and a great wine is not necessarily good!
This point is very important for this blog – as I value pleasure higher than greatness and power. Power and weight is in my view not desirable – if it’s gained at the cost of pleasure, drinkability, terroir typicity and complexity.
I have tasted and bought the extracted Burgundy wines of the mid 1990s – been there, done that. Still have some of these wines in the celler – and they are big, powerful and some would say great – but they are in my view also quite monolithic, without nerve, energy and much pleasure. Too high exaction limits the complexity, the display of terroir and in the end drinkability.
When you rate wines there is a tendency to focus on the big wines from the great terroirs, and the focus on points and ratings is also putting the spotlight on these often very expensive wines.
My focus is not only to praise these wines – it’s to help the readers to find pleasure in Burgundy wines, and to help them understand the terroirs and wines of Burgundy – and through this knowledge be able to enjoy some beautiful Burgundy moments.
For me pleasure is the essence of Burgundy – a good Burgundy should be both refined and delightful – just as it should reflect and communicate the terroir, appelation and vintage.
With this mission in mind the cellar of J.-F. Mugnier is the place to be – as this domaine is one of the very few that combines a portfolio of great terroirs with refinement and true hedonistic pleasure.
2012 – A gorgeous vintage
The wines from Frederic Mugnier follow the overall style of the 2012 vintage – very high quality, pure and transparent wines with a lovely energy and good weight.
In my view the style of the vintage really suits both the Chambolle terroir, and the style of J.-F. Mugnier. The concentration of airy fruit, the energy and vibrancy ads new dimensions to the delicate style of this fine domaine.
Tasting notes for Domaine J.-F. Mugnier 2012
Here are the tasting notes for the Mugnier 2012 … a tremendous collection of pure pinot pleasure in the making.
Domaine J.-F. Mugnier, Chambolle Musigny 2012
The Chambolle village is a lovely filigree village in the making. A slight reduction in the nose – then expressive airy red fruit – with cherries, pomegranate and forest berries. On the palate pure and transparent fruit – very nice weight and length for a village – but first and foremost delicate with a lovely juicy energy and a nice expression of Chambolle terroir.
Domaine J.-F. Mugnier, Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees 2012
Les Fuees 2012 from Mugnier is a step up in complexity from the village Chambolle. In the nose a slight reduction but also a gorgeous red airy fruit and a delicate Chambolle minerality. On the palate a very delicate balance and tension between the energetic fruit and the quite filigree minerality. Really love the expression of this wine – the essence of a true Chambolle terroir.
Domaine J.-F. Mugnier, Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale 2012
The Clos de la Marechale is a step up in concentration from Les Fuees – and a darker styled wine. In the nose pure red and darker fruits and quite earthy minerality. On the palate quite weighty fruit, with a fine tension and energy – the fruit of the vintage really suits the terroir with it’s energy and tension between red and dark fruits. Bottom line – It’s a refined NSG – offering a lovely balance between weight and complexity.
Domaine J.-F. Mugnier, Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 2012
I love this terroir – so I might be a bit biased here. The 2012 Amoureuses offer a truly lovely floral and mineralic nose – with layers of crisp red fruit – and a delicate and complex expression of terroir. On the palate very filigree and refined, with a juicy fruit on the midpalate and a beautiful underlying minerality and fresh acidity. Adore the energy and vibrancy of this wine – eureka!
Domaine J.-F. Mugnier, Bonnes Mares 2012
The Bonnes Mares is quite a big step up in weight from the Amoureuses. In the nose layers of dark and red fruit with a deep partly earthy minerality – is a combination of terres blanc and terres rouges terroir. On the palate rich and quite weighty fruit – effortless power – with a magnificent balance and very fine length. A textbook Bonnes Mares … and then some!
Domaine J.-F. Mugnier, Musigny 2012
The Musigny is a big step up in all dimensions. The nose is bursting with layers of pure and vibrant fruit – pomegranate and forest berries – infused with a deep and intense minerality. It’s very pure, filigree and refined. On the palate layers of intense and energetic fruit – powerful but still very airy and refined – with a very strong mineralic backbone. The finish is very long and mineral driven. Love the tension and energy – a classic Musigny – a gorgeous wine.
Domaine J.-F. Mugnier, Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale Blanc 2012
The Clos de la Marechale 2012 is a interesting wine. Quite discrete nose, with fresh fruit, some citrus notes and a hint of oak. On the palate very well balanced, with a interesting tension between the quite ripe and rich fruit and the crisp acidity. A elegant wine with an interesting inner tension – looking forward to taste this from bottle.