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Musigny Grand Cru: Mugnier 2004 & 1996, Drouhin 2005, Jadot 2005, Vougeraie 1999, Comte G de Vogue 2001,1999,1995, 1990 & Jacques Prieur 1996.

October 15, 2018

Shortly after our highly successful Cros Parantoux dinner, the same group led by Dr Ngoi set the bar even higher: an entire line-up of Musigny Grand Cru specifically 2005 or older, no less, on the evening of 10 October 2018. While Chambertin Grand Cru is relatively abundant, Musigny Grand Cru, totaling only 10.3 hectares, is much harder to come by. However, with CHS offering to buy dinner and the staff of Otto Ristorante upping their ante with a superbly executed white truffle menu, we could not refuse. Tasting ten different vintages stretching from 1990 to 2005 from six different producers (there are altogether eleven owners of vines in Musigny Grand Cru), this line-up will certainly take some beating. Certainly, most of the terroir characteristics from this hallowed plot came through: these are deeply-coloured crimson reds that promise a generous expanse of ripe red fruits, cherries and raspberries with a most sensual silky mouthfeel on a bed of earthy tones, bringing back fond memories of our wonderful trip last November when we parked our van right at the spot dividing Les Petits Musigny from Les Musigny. Even though Comte Georges de Vogue occupies the lion’s share of Musigny (almost 7.2 ha), six of the ten vintages this evening came from other producers. My sincere thanks to everyone for their generosity and effort, especially to CHS and to LF for his insightful pre-dinner lecture on Musigny.

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Les Petits Musigny on the left, Les Musigny on the right.

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Les Petits Musigny (right), diagonally across from Chateau du Clos de Vougeot.

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV, from the restaurant list. Lightly toasted on the nose with some yeasty pungency while white fruits and  peaches dominate on the palate. Rounded with good definition, covered with a lovely expanse of very soft gentle bubbles. Would be better if it had more time. Very fine.

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2005 Maison Joseph Drouhin Musigny Grand Cru (0.672 ha), courtesy of LF. This wine exudes glorious rose petals and red cherries, nicely ripe and feminine. Medium-bodied and open, displaying plenty of grace, balance and proportion particularly in its seamless integration and subtle acidity. A showcase in peerless elegance with a suggestion of veiled power. As always with Drouhin, its wines are very correct in every way in terms of colour, expression and mouthfeel. Absolutely lovely. Tended to fade when compared with some of the heavier examples of Musigny later in the line-up but I felt the Drouhin is outstanding in its own right.

2005 Domaine Louis Jadot Musigny Grand Cru (0.1665 ha), courtesy of LF. Fascinating to compare Musigny from the same vintage with another negociant-producer. The Jadot is slightly darker and more lifted, highly expressive in dark roses and red cherries tinged with tangerines. Very ripe, imbued with plenty of vigour and freshness, just a tad more assertive in acidity though its silky intensity of red fruits is really quite beautiful. Still tight with plenty of upfront power. Unlike the Drouhin, this needs more time to settle down.

2004 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Musigny Grand Cru (1.1358 ha), courtesy of Dr Ngoi. This wine possesses an effusive bouquet of red fruits, dark cherries and ripe dark plums, absolutely stunning in tone, richness and depth. Surprisingly quiet though, rounded with fine presence and subtle intensity that drew fine tension across the palate, draped in soft velvety elegance, finishing with infinite feminine grace. Mugnier is totally in a class of its own, which explains the hefty prices its Musigny commands. Outstanding.

2001 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Grand Cru (7.1208 ha), courtesy of CJ. This wine exudes subtle earthy tones with some attractive pungency on the nose, a little reticent though the palate is imbued with abundant warm ripe fruits, dark currants and wild red berries within a slim profile, missing the opulence of the preceding wines which is likely a vintage-specific characteristic, rather minerally at the finish with a tinge of glare though it softened after some time. Just a tad stern and unsettled on the whole.

1999 Domaine de la Vougeraie Musigny Grand Cru (0.21 ha), courtesy of CJ. Dark in colour, promising dark fruits, black currants and dark plums. Rounded and fleshy, layered with lovely acidity and fine concentration. Distinctly feminine, becoming more reductive and focused over time as it tapered to a quiet distinguished finish.

1999 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Grand Cru, courtesy of KG. Still impenetrably dark, proffering a rich bouquet of delicious dark fruits and currants that delivered broad swathes of warm ripe fruit on the palate that contrasted beautifully with darker undertones. Fleshy and beautifully rounded, layered with sweet tannins. May not have peaked. Lovely.

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1996 Domaine Jacques Prieur Musigny Grand Cru (0.77 ha), courtesy of Vic. Seductive notes of camphor and red fruits hinted at great depth, matched by a forward balance of delicious red fruits superbly layered with complex minerality, bristling with subtle intensity as it tapered to a glowing finish. Highly successful and may not have peaked, the only gripe being that it may not quite demonstrate the Musigny terroir as well as Mugnier or Comte de Vogue.

1996 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Musigny Grand Cru, courtesy of HS. Dusky red, highly evolved on the nose where rose petals and camphor dominate with superb lift. Fleshy and highly supple on the palate, displaying wonderful depth against a gentle backdrop of cedary textures, distinctly feminine in structure, culminating in a long persistent finish. Glorious stuff.

1995 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Grand Cru, courtesy of Ric & MH. Poured from magnum. Still displaying great colour, this wine exudes an enticing bouquet of gun smoke and warm gravelly minerals imbued with great concentration and structure with superb definition of inner detail. Rather minerally on the whole and a tad stern but this wine is beautifully proportioned with great freshness and verve amidst a ripe red plummy tone. Can easily hold for many more years. Superb.

1990 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Bright crimson, this wine is better on the nose where there is an intoxicating richness of red fruits and red cherries with tertiary nuances of cedar and cinnamon. Fleshy and highly supple with deft acidity, though distinctly leaner in structure on the palate where it is layered with earthy undertones, just a tad short but holding up well. Some thought it was a little oxidized as the provenance of this bottle has not been quite ideal but I disagree. This is, perhaps, not the best example of a 1990 CdV Musigny but it hasn’t gone bad at all.

2009 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bourgogne Blanc, courtesy of LF. From a 0.66 ha plot exclusively planted by Comte de Vogue and re-labelled as Musigny Grand Cru Blanc from 2015 onwards, this wine has shut down in spite of having been aerated for three hours, offering only fleeting glimpses of a palate subtly layered with gentle chalky minerals, rather supple with good definition. Best to lay down.

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