JF Mugnier NSG 1er Clos de la Maréchale vertical, 2004-2019 and then some

I’ve had all these vintages of Mugnier* (the reds), so this made for interesting reading! Thank you all for the notes. I think you had a slightly off bottle of 2009 - that has always been one of my favorite vintages of this wine and I still have half a case of magnums left. I agree that the 2010 is great, the 2007 weirdly reductive/funky (as are almost all 2007 Mugniers) and I think many of you were too kind to the 2018 which was beset by both the vintage and vineyard specific issues. A little disappointed the 2014 didn’t show better for you, but I just think they’re all shut down pretty hard at the moment (Mugnier’s 2014s were absolutely glorious until about a year ago).

Looked like a really fun tasting!

*Well, not the 04, as I’m not a masochist.

Always good to read expert opinions of posters like Andrew who are deeply familiar with both Burgundian viticulture and winemaking.

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Great notes on a fun tasting.

I only wish you had added a Chambolle village or three to mess with folk’s preconceptions on comparative quality.

Well done!

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Naw. Unlike some individuals, I don’t pretend to know all there is to know about Burgundy. These were just some thoughts and musings of a bumbling idiot.

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All jokes aside, I’m curious, how did you reach the conclusion that Frederick Mugnier doesn’t pay enough attention to the winemaking or the farming of this plot? Compared to what, his Chambolle? Which is close to 50% 1er cru fruit. Or compared to other producers? Are you particularly familiar with his farming style, that of his neighbors? His winemaking? It’s a really specific comment that implies you know how it should be done and suspect Mugnier isn’t doing it. How can you tell it’s those things as opposed to other things?

Clos de la Marechale is the very southern end of NSG, which makes it some of the most rustic terroir in the Cote de Nuits, has poor vine genetics and is the largest monopole in Burgundy (you could probably chop it up into multiple terroirs). Various posters noted that the 85 Faiveley was much better, but a few things should be noted - if I recall correctly, much of Clos de la Marechale was replanted @1980, so the 85 Faiveley would have been from 75 year old vines (I assume 4 year old vines weren’t used). It’s also 20 years older than anything you tried from Mugnier and a good vintage - of course it will show differently. And I’ve tried the 02 Faiveley next to the 05 Mugnier (both good vintages) - it’s not a comparison that does Faiveley any favors.

I have some ideas why Clos de la Marechale isn’t remotely as good as Mugnier’s Chambolle (as per the previous paragraph). But I don’t remotely have the knowledge to attribute the reason to the specific farming/winemaking choices of Frederic Mugnier. Can you tell us where you learned so much that you do?

Just a feeling about the spirit of the bottles I tasted. As I said, it was just my impression. But maybe it’s just terrible terrior or terrible vine genetics and he’s doing the absolute best possible.

Double double toil and trouble
Mugnier should plow Marechale with a shovel!

Now that’s wine criticism.

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Let me put something out there for the group to respond to. I’ve never done a vertical this broad, so will focus on the observations across the vertical… would love others who were there to weigh in.

  1. There was a wide degree of variation by vintage, to the point that (as Mike E said above) it was a bit hard to get a read on the terroir itself, though generally felt directionally lighter and more rustic than NSG (as seems to be the consensus view due to both Mugnier’s style and the location of Marechale apart from other NSG)
  2. The variation by vintage GENERALLY followed expectations for NSG
  3. There were several clunkers, seemingly exhibiting characteristics one might call “flaws”? ('07 and '11 in particular, plus '15 white)
  4. As someone who has only had minimal exposure to Mugnier Marechale, I’ve seen a pretty big bottle variation (case in point, an '11 that showed exceptionally well about a year ago vs this one that was off)
  5. This is a wine that can show extremely well in the right vintage!
  6. Holy cow the 85 Leflaive showed that age can do beautiful things for Marechale, and the 76 as well (though it was clearly on the downhill)

Triple whammy really. Awful vintage, newly (re)acquired vineyard which supposedly required a lot of work to revive its potential, and a tripling or quadrupling of total domaine production, all at the same time.

I’ve had the '04 Fourches from declassified Marechale fruit, and it was delicious, I’m a little surprised the Marechale was so bad. But I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions about Mugnier’s wine making or especially their viticulture from this bottle.

The reason I say, especially the viticulture is because I don’t think Mugnier was particularly happy with the vineyard until 2009, when the vineyard had recovered sufficiently well to discontinue Fourches.

Finally, pre-Erwan Faiveley was made in a completely different style that needed and rewarded extensive cellar time. I’m not at all surprised your 85 excelled. The 90 was pretty excellent the last time I had it too.

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I think Andrew’s hypotheses about the winemaking and viticulture were based on his overall impressions from the sixteen vintages of red and two of white that we had on Sunday, not just from the poorly performing 2004.

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Yes, that’s clear. It’s not a hypothesis though, just a statement. In order to speak about Mugnier’s farming and winemaking you need to know a lot about his and his neighbors farming and a lot about his winemaking (especially vis a vis the winemaking of his other cuvees). That’s a really high bar.

Thanks to all for great notes and a really useful thread. That’s a great tasting. While I can’t comment on all the vintages, I’ve had quite a few. For me, Mugnier’s wines shut down harder than those of any other producer, and then open and shut again and so on. In particular, that ‘05 has come in and out of sentience over the last 15 years. I bet it will continue to age in a non-linear fashion.
Alex

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I enjoyed this thread, too. And not just because it features so many of Georgia Favorites :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Burgundy is a lot of about curiosity, not certainty. And I really enjoy how many questions Andrew asks of the wines he drinks. Questions are not the enemy, I don’t think. The more inquisitive, the better. You get more places with one’s palate by asking more questions about what you’re tasting.

If it makes anyone feel any better: Despite me being an absolutely stunning example of the '82 vintage, Andrew questions my personal viticulture all the time. :rofl:

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Appreciate the TNs. Can’t recall how a bottle each of the 2006 and 2002 made their way to my possession, but the notes were helpful.