Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg Les Chaignots Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru 2009

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com

2 June 2015

I have been to Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg on several occasions and the wines from this estate are terrific.

Sisters Marie Andrée and Marie-Christine run the estate, which was once run by their father the late Dr. Georges Mugneret. The style is suave yet with structure for aging. Friend and Burgundy lover Micheal Lux brought over not too long ago a magnificent Clos Vougeot 2002. I have purchased more recent vintages, mainly Vosne Romanée and Echezeaux but decided – somewhat foolishly – to crack open this my only bottle of their Les Chaignots Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru 2009… As Jasper Morris describes it in his excellent book Inside Burgundy, this wine “shows the elegance and harmony of Vosne Romanée on top of a solid base of Nuits-Saint-Georges.”

Like other premiers crus from this estate, there is about 40% new oak that is very well integrated, lending structure to the wine. The aromatics are ripe red cherry, with an endearing “earthiness” as well. The attack is somewhat firm – as this is far too young – yet turns suave and velvety on the mid-palate. It is quite full bodied, with ripe red fruit and contoured, layers of flavor that envelope the palate. There is much concentration, and it clocks in at 13.5% alcohol. But it never feels hard or extracted, bound by both energy and structure. Here is a very good example of a 2009 that has vivacity. I found myself feeling foolish for opening this bottle – my only one – but I felt like tasting a good bottle of Burgundy, because I had had a good day at work today. And this bottle is really very good, with a lingering tonic finish (long) that beckons more sipping. There is a slight reticence however, overall, just after popping and pouring – and that is a good sign for aging potential, and a potentially higher score. Ideal opening? 2019 or 2020 and can age at least 15 years.

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Gorgeous Burgundy – but too young to have opened now. I am an impulsive #winelover …

About the estate

The sisters own some 8 hectares of vines, with just over 3 in Vosne Romanée and almost 1.3 in Les Chaignots Nuits-Saint-Georges, which is on the northern side of Nuits and not far from Clos des Lambrays in Morey Saint Denis.

According to the website, “Marie-Christine and Marie-Andrée make their wine in a gentle and classical style, thus preserving all the delicacy, fruit, and freshness of the grape, and allowing the most complete expression of each terroir. The relationship between the grape and the earth – “Pinot Noir – Terroir” – is what makes for the richness and diversity of the Burgundy vineyards.”

After visiting the domain on several occasions and tasting the wines, I cannot agree more.

The video below is from a November 2012 tasting with Marie-Andrée, during which she explained the challenges – and promise – of the minuscule 2012 harvest. For the first time ever, the domain will sell only one Ruchottes-Chambertin starting with the 2012 vintage, combining what used to be a separate bottling of younger vines that was sold as “premier cru” with the older vines.

Making the wine

In terms of vineyard management, ploughing the soil allows the vines to root deeply and vigorously, drawing the best of the terroir into the grapes. They often do a green harvest during summer when bunches have just formed on the vine to reduce the quantity of grape bunches on the vines and allow greater control over the yields.

Generally, after cold maceration lasting from four to five days, the alcoholic fermentation continues for approximately 10 days at this estate. The total vatting time lasts from 15 to 20 days. After de-vatting and pneumatic pressing, each “cuvée” (vat content) is then poured into oak barrels, to age for the next 18 months. Again, for premiers crus like this one, about 40% new oak.

This period of aging is interspersed with racking (removing the young wine from one cask to another, leaving the lees and sediment behind). Each appellation is then blended. The wines are bottled at the domain, and are neither fined nor filtered.

I have several bottles of their aromatically perfumed Echezeaux Grand Cru and their fine Vosne Romanée in both 2009 and 2010 vintages. I will not open these any time too soon!

So thank me the allowance with this Les Chaignots Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru 2009 to have “taken one for the team.”

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