The 2020 vintage is special, as Frédéric Mugnier explained. It is a hot year, but with fine acidity, vivid freshness, and – in his case, at least – extremely fine phenolic ripeness.
The historical principles and understanding of making pinot noir in Burgundy have been challenged when a hot year like 2020 can produce such cool-character wines. There is hope, even in a world of global warming – apparently.
And a visit with Frédéric Mugnier always leaves one not only hopeful, but thoughtful.
The magical 2020s
Tasting Mugnier’s 2020 wines leaves one with a miraculous impression of classical balance and coolness. The fact remains that 2020 was hot, despite the wines insisting on being freshly constituted and, in the hands of Frédéric Mugnier, energetic and vivacious.
I do not fully understand the 2020 vintage, and will therefore not draw firm conclusions or look yet for further implications. I do hope, however, that eventually I will understand the underlying reasons for cool wines from such a hot year. I’ll get back to this, I’m sure.
The 2020 vintage from Frédéric Mugnier
The effects of global warming have been visible for many years, although the impact has increased over the past decade. We began to see its first effects much earlier, and by the mid to late 1990s, the cool years had started to disappear.
The 2020s from Domaine J.-F. Mugnier are, like many other wines of the vintage, intense yet cool, with very fine acidity. Add to this a unique energy and vivacity that transforms the otherwise robust 2020s into elegant, hedonistic beauties that are vins d’émotion in my book.
Mugnier makes his wines with a light hand, and this suits the vintage very well indeed, as muscular extraction in an intense year like this could lead to very and even unpleasantly dense wines.
The ’20s from Mugnier are highly transparent, and they offer all the qualities I look for in his wines: enjoyability, a refined expression of terroir, and delicate complexity.
The Chambolle-Musigny Village 2020 matches the quality of the 2019, but with a somewhat cooler, slightly more reserved stance. It is crystal clear and transparent, with intensity and stoic ease. It’s not as sensual as the exotic 2019, but has some fine fruity and floral notes – white flowers and red fruit. This has beautiful energy which unfolds discreetly but surely in the glass.
(Drink from 2033) – Fine – (91-92p) – Tasted from cask 28/01/2022 –
The Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées 2020 has a light-footed yet intense stance. It has a hedonistic feel of casual enjoyment, and is elegant, with fine balance. While not extremely complex, it nevertheless seems to push all the right hedonistic buttons. Hedonism such as during La Belle Époque, when enjoyment and careless indulgence were still allowed. The floral notes are jumping from the glass like spring flowers on a Paris morning.
(Drink from 2037) – Very Fine – (92-94p) – Tasted from cask 28/01/2022 –
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