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2011 Bonnes-Mares: Mugnier vs Roumier

October 22, 2018

If you have walked around the village of Chambolle, you couldn’t have failed to notice signs indicating a restaurant with the same name. Le Chambolle, like most restaurants in Burgundy, is a small cosy setting efficiently run by just one person on the floor, serving great food with a relatively small but distinguished wine list to match. Here, on the evening of 21 October 2018, we spotted the 2011 Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru of two great domaines that cost less than retail prices. We had them popped and poured and tasted side-by-side simultaneously in blinded fashion.

2011 Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, at €460. Correct pinot tint. Presented initially with just a hint of saline minerals on the nose along with raspberries and traces of dark cherries. Somewhat reserved. On the palate, the wine was tight and clean; displaying good focus and concentration with fine acidity and tension though there was a trace of minerally glare. It fleshed out better over time, closing the gap to the Roumier with more weight and intensity, exuding a lovely rosy fragrance but it still seemed a little distant.

2011 Domaine George Roumier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, €550. Considerably richer in color, which gave away its identity right from the outset, this wine was similarly reticent at first, hinting only at rich ripe dark cherries before taking its time to seduce with more sensual aromatics while the palate is awashed in lush opulence on a bed of plush velvety tones, drawing fine tension, very well layered with fine depth, detail and concentration. Not entirely seamless but everything really gels so well such that one isn’t drawn to its fruit intensity, structure, minerality or acidity. Everything is there in the subconscious, beautifully proportioned with palpable power and supreme elegance. That is the magical draw of Roumier.

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