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Ric arrives at Domaine J-F Mugnier

October 30, 2018

Wine lovers who have wandered around the village of Chambolle surely would not have failed to notice a great mansion beautifully shrouded in autumn leaves (at this time of year) just a stone’s throw from restaurant Le Millesime that says Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier. When we knocked on its doors on the wet Monday morning of 29 October 2018, we were greeted by none other than the man himself, M. Frederic Mugnier. Distinguished-looking but reserved in demeanour, M. Mugnier is clearly a serious person who takes time to warm up to visitors. It is little wonder, therefore, that his wines also behave in the same manner: reserved and seriously Burgundian to the core at the first whiff whenever one pops a fresh bottle of Mugnier, taking its time to reward the drinker with its wonders.  Making one of the most sought-after wines of Burgundy often mentioned in the same breath as those of his illustrious neighbour and friend Christophe Roumier, M, Mugnier is not the sort who will give you an oration about how he does things. However, you can tease certain bits and pieces from him once he senses that you are appreciative of his wines bona fide. Speaking in elegant English but in measured tones, M. Mugnier declares: “I like that I don’t understand everything. I just take care of the garden. I don’t shape the flowers”. Wow…. that just about sums up this famous domaine. M. Mugnier prefers to make reds rather than whites, and his grapes are 100% de-stemmed. We tasted through the 2017s from barrel and the 2016s that are about to be bottled. They all show great purity of fruit and expression with superb integration and concealed power. M. Mugnier places great importance in achieving great harmony in his wines, a trait that was highly evident throughout our sampling. The very essence has been grasped. Thank you so much, M. Mugnier, for your time and generosity and for the privilege of this wonderful visit.

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Frederic Mugnier

2017 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny. Lovely fragrance of delightful bright cherries and dark plums. Soft and fleshy, underscored with gentle minerals, finishing with smooth tannins.

2017 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees 1er. Lovely bouquet of bright red fruits, cherries and darker currants. Fleshy and gentle. More pronounced in minerality, displaying very fine acidity and integration with highly refined silky tannins. Delicate and expressive, finishing with good linearity. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale 1er Rouge. Glorious deep ruby. Has more presence and minerality. Amply layered with fruit of excellent purity, fine intensity and tension across the palate, structured with understated tannins. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Lovely deep understated bouquet of dark rose petals and ripe raspberries. Highly integral, seamlessly structured with subtly nuanced tannins, sublime acidity, gentle elegant fruit and understated minerals. A wine of immense elegance and refinement without the extroverted flamboyance of most Bonnes-Mares. Superb.

2017 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er. Effusive in its rosy floral fragrance. Gently layered with soft ripe fruit and currants. Highly expressive and feminine, poised with regal elegance and superb refinement, utterly seamless and supple, finishing with understated intensity. Very lovely.

2017 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Musigny Grand Cru. Great color, exuding a softly seductive bouquet of beguiling red fruits and nuanced minerals with a serious side. Medium-full, superbly proportioned with sublime acidity, singing with expressive gentle intensity, very open and highly harmonious, finishing with an unique complex of nutmeg, herbs, complex minerals and earth. A wine of great harmony, elegance and understated power. Wonderful! What a privilege to have tasted this.

2017 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale Blanc 1er. A complex of warm crystalline tones, wet morning dew and understated grassy elements on the nose. Medium-full, yielding delicate power of yellow fruits with pronounced crystalline minerals amidst overtones of nutmeg that tapered to a glowing finish. Lovely.

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Photo: Roger Lum

2016 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale Blanc 1er. Quite different nose from the 2017. More of white floral tones with white pepper, less crystalline though slightly more grassy. Gentle tones of mint and paraffin on the detailed palate, finishing with a slight superb accentuation of sublime acidity. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny. This village is the 32nd vintage of Frederic Mugnier, done very specially as a blend of 75% Les Plaintes 1er with 25% Musigny Grand Cru!! Displaying a glorious deep ruby with a nose of bright red fruits dark roses and cherries, this wine carries more density structure and power than the 2017, cloaked with great understated refinement amidst cedary tones and lovely acidity, finishing with some superb early complexity. Outstanding. Only 8 barrels.

2016 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees 1er. Lovely intensity of deep red fruits, dark currants and dark roses. Highly elegant and lifted. Richly textured with smooth satiny tannins, finishing with great persistence amidst herbal overtones. A wine of superb refinement.

2016 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de La Marechale 1er Rouge. Beautiful color. Lovely layering of complex red fruits, red roses and cherries. Rounded and fleshy. Highly understated in minerality, intensity and structure. Superbly integral. Possesses more power and density than the 2017. Delicious but needs time.

2016 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er. Deeply coloured with a deep glorious highly aromatic bouquet. Possesses more power, inner detail and depth of dark fruits compared with the 2017, displaying great freshness and some early complexity. Highly integral with great structural definition and focus, layered with sophisticated tannins that impart velvety textures. Outstanding.

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