Help me understand Richebourg

So I was very fortunate a few months ago to get offered 3x 2006 Mongeard-Mugneret Richebourg for a song. With that said…I’ve never tasted anything from the vineyard…and have only had a few lower level wines from this producer. I’m hoping to hear from people that have tasted multiple vintages from this vineyard and know Burgs well enough to help me understand when I might want to “check-in” on the first bottle. I don’t want to open one too soon and waste the experience. My best guess is that I might want to wait 15-20 years from vintage before I crack the first one. However, I’m hearing that many 2006’s are drinking well early. So I’m wondering should it be more like 12-15 years?

Thanks in advance to anyone that can offer a helping thought or two.

Wine datasheet
Total area under this appellation: 8 ha 03 a 45 ca
Area under production at the domaine: 31 a 12 ca
Soil: Fairly clayey resting on limestone
Grape varieties: 100 % Pinot Noir
Average age of vines: 40 to 60 years
Harvesting by hand exclusively: Hand-sorted in the winery
Destalking: According to the quality of the vintage
Maturing: 100 % new oak barrels

The only real thing I really know about Richebourg is I’m nowhere near in a financial position to afford it!

Kirk, you have 3 bottles – why not open one now and use your own palate to assess where you wanna go with it? I think we too often get hung up in what we’re “supposed to do” with wine; imo, overcoming that obstacle is a big step towards true palate-empowerment.

Richebourg is a stern wine, sometimes rigid, blue-fruited with iron and spices, a wine I can confuse with Bonnes Mares except there is more spice in the Richebourg. Most of the producers are pretty good. Too damned expensive now. Personally, I’d wait, but I don’t like young Burgs as much as aged, especially grand crus that need time–as discussed in another thread.

AlexS, I do have three bottles…and you’re right it is expensive. Hence my desire to not open even one of them before their time…nor wait too long. I trust my palate…I’ve been very fortunate to taste a wide range of wines with some great people ITB that have been drinking/tasting for decades. However, I have zero experiences with some of the more expensive Grand Crus in Burgundy.


20, 25, 30 years for the three bottles? Would that be your recommendation? Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. It was helpful to liken it to Bonnes Mares.

Given the price, I cannot even begin to contemplate, let alone understand.

Ask again in 2021. They probably would have been delicious in 2009, but right now are smack dab in the middle of their window of disappointment.

This also gives you time to try other top burgs (very young or over fifteen) which should increase your appreciation of these fine bottles.

I’ve been very fortunate to taste some great wines from the generosity of others. However, when it comes to the GC vineyards of Vosne Romanee…I simply don’t have the experiences yet to make the call. Given the cost it has to be on a basis of “this is a deal I can’t pass up” for me to get those experiences. However, in time I’m hoping I’ll get more.

I am sure it was very expensive, but Mongeard-Mugneret tends to provide better value on their grand crus than do most Burgundy producers. Compared with 1st growth Bordeaux and cult California Cabernet, my guess is that this was not that badly priced.

And, a 1971 Richebourg from Gros that I had a couple of years ago was about as good as any wine I have ever had.

I paid so little that people would flinch if I posted the actual price here. It’s one of the perks working for a small wine shop. The owner allows me to buy wines at $1-$10 above Distributor prices when I find stuff I want based on a sliding scale. He’s always been more then generous with the store discount. If there had been more than three bottles I would have bought as many as I could get. I don’t anticipate being able to get wines like this at this price for long…but if I could help put this into context. My price on the 2006 Mongeard-Mugneret Grands Echezeaux would have been $60 if the distributor had any of them left.

I have quite a comprehensive experience with Rb, with almost all producers and many vintages back to the 1920s. In June I did a Rb-tasting with 28 examples from 1959 to 2006.

For me Rb is one of the best vineyards in Burgundy, with RC, LT, La Romanee and 2-3 Musignys and Chambertins slightly superior, but equal with all others and superior to many of them (talking in red).
IMHO Rb is equal to Romanee-St-Vivant (so it´s a matter of preference which one you prefer, or a question of producer), but it needs more time and will also last slightly longer.
In general it´s more robust, powerful and solid than RSV, Musigny (and climats like Echezeaux, Clos St.Denis, La Grande Rue …), in the youth with less frangrance and less exotic hints, but more foreward fruitiness and (the best examples) with great depth and underlying structure.
When fully mature it´s a mouthfilling velvet experience, with outstanding complexity (but less so than a great LT, RSV or Musigny), but really long persistent finish …

Mongeard-Mugneret is a very good producer - which is slightly inconsistent … (quite a big domaine, but they own only 0.31 ha of Rb) - some good vintages a bit disapointing (e.g. 1990, 1995), some minor vintages really fine (1991, 1997 …)
Interestingly their Grands-Echezeaux is often as good as the Richebourg (at least in the youth) although I suppose with time the Rb will prove to be more complex (never had mature M-M examples side by side) …
Some 1er crus however are not top notch.

Rb will be in full maturity usually not before 15-20 years, in top-years even only after 20-25 y, but that doesn´t mean one cannot taste a bottle earlier. The 2006 should certainly be on the young side, that means it still will be more primary than developed, but with enough air (slow-ox + decanting) it can be kind of accessable.

I would drink now vintages like 2000, 1997, (1994), 1992, 1991 … but wait for the youngers some more years, exept for tasting and gaining experience …

In my recent tasting the 1998 MM Rb was outstanding with still a slightly tannic dry edge, and the 1994 was fully mature and a real pleasure to drink (and yes, slightly lacking power, but very satisfying nevertheless).

Really spot on observations from Gerhard and Alan, particularly regarding Gerhard’s thought about Richb vis-a-vis RSV. I generally prefer Richb and really love what Grivot and Meo do there. But there are two exceptions to the rule for me. I far prefer Leroy’s RSV to her Richb and I slightly prefer DRC’s RSV to its Richb (post 2008 after they culled out some poor performing vines and better clonal selections matured and came on line).

Several months ago a person in our tasting group opened a 2007 M-M Richebourg after one of our regular tastings. It was excellent, drinking beautifully and a real treat to taste. I’m not sure how the 2006 would compare but if I had those bottles I would be tempted to try one.

Craig, the temptation is definitely there…that’s half of why I posted this. However…the drive to age them and drink them with some time sideways in the bottle is also there. Maybe I can see myself opening a bottle for my 40th. However, I’d rather not open one too soon and waste what could be there in another 10+ years. I will likely open one sooner than I’d really like to given that I do have three. However, I’m doing everything in my power to wait and give them the time they deserve.

If I had 3 bottles and paid what you did there’s no way I wouldn’t open one up now or within the next few years; like you, I have little experience with the more prestigious Grand Crus, however I’m just of the opinion you gotta start somewhere and having 3 bottles would really make this a perfect opportunity to do so.

Of course, we all do this our own way.


richebourg is richebourg man. Always tasty (almost always). To me, out of the non monopole vineyards, it’s the most consistently excellent.

Everyone’s answers has been really helpful. I can’t say enough about how exciting it is to have the insight from others that have shared their experiences and thoughts with me on this. Whenever I do open the first bottle…it will likely be in a small group and there will definitely be some fellow WB there. I appreciate all the insight and I’ll post my tasting note here whenever I do pull the cork (certainly no sooner than next year…and if I can maintain the plan is for 2021).