TNs: Mugnier Magic? Not so much.

My friend Charlie Fu, when pressed about which Burgundy producer is most overrated and/or overpriced, will say Freddy Mugnier. I’ve disagreed with him vociferously in the past. But last night … [swoon.gif]

Our group of five tasted wines blind last night at Kali restaurant in Los Angeles. I brought a '12 Mugnier Chambolle Musigny Fuees and unbeknownst to me another guest brought an '07 Mugnier village Chambolle. Now, the first rule of a Chambolle wine is to be Chambolle, e.g. lacy, strawberry-inflected, red-fruited etc. Neither of these bottles were Chambolle, which was especially surprising given Muginer’s rep for producing elegant, perfumed wines.

Nobody at the table – which included very knowledgeable tasters and two auction house professionals – came even close to guessing Chambolle when asked to name the village where these two wines came from.

The 12 showed very plummy and stern, with ferrous notes. The wine presented dark and moody – like a mutant offspring of a recalcitrant Barthod Cras and chunky Dugat Gevery Chambertin. The nose had floral appeal, but on the palate the wine seemed clenched and brooding. Some might argue the wine was opened too young, but that wasn’t the issue to my taste. At the price these 1er crus are trading at (near $1K!), it’s a sell for me.

The village 07 was even stranger. On paper, you’d think a Mugnier 07 CM would be good to go – batting its eyelashes and strutting its stuff. Again, the wine poured a mahogany purple color. Some bretty Band Aid reared its ugly head. We waited an hour or two for it to blow off, which it never did. The group knew it was Burgundy, but couldn’t come even close to the vintage or site. Reduction kept the wine under wraps. I’m very brett averse so only managed a few sips as a courtesy, but hazarded a guess at a Pommard from the 2010s, given the wine’s coarse, rustic nature. Upon reveal, I commented that if you had told me it was a 2012 Allemand Chaillot I wouldn’t have been shocked. That’s not Chambolle, folks! Sure, this may have been a faulty bottle. I normally think of Mugnier wines as being very consistent and clean. But this small sample size of two does give me reason to reconsider Mr. Fu’s assertion …


this is going to be an epic thread.

There’s been chatter about the wines being overrated for quite some time. I never quite got it but it’s clear that experiences are all over the map. I had the ‘07 chambolle last winter and thought it was really excellent and in a prime spot for drinking. The 05’s are surprisingly open and unsurprisingly magnificent right now. ‘10 chambolle is good - not great - as is the marechale. 09’s of both are better. ‘08 chambolle is really excellent. The recent musigny is hard to get a handle on given the late release and the newest vintage being ‘14 and I feel like it’s foolish to open one now, but those from my wine-buying life that are of an age worth opening right now - 2000-2002 - are everything they are cracked up to be. I don’t get allocated the Amoureuses.

There’s a reason they say drink Burgs early or lay them down for a while. 10 years is about the worst time to taste. The '12 sounds completely closed down.

Sounds like the '07 was corked or otherwise flawed.

Sorry for your luck, but I don’t think this sample of 1 provides any input into the wines themselves.

We had an epic bottle of '06 Fuees last fall. It was everything Chambolle.

Fair enough. I’m not dumb enough to write off a producer based on two bottles. I own plenty of Mugnier that has been drinking well — 05 Marechale, 08 village and the the 06 Fuees that I love too. But I have also had plenty of misfires.

My main point was that it was disappointing to see the two wines not show Chambolle like when I was jonesing for the magic. There are certain producers who are seemingly always on for me regardless of vintage … Mugneret Gibourg, Rousseau. Mugnier despite similar characteristics is not on that rarefied camp, at least to me.

And I disagree with your point about not drinking a 1er Cru Burgundy at 10 years. I’ve had plenty show well at that age and others not so much. Same as with 2 years or 30. It’s all a big crapshoot isn’t it? Cheers! [cheers.gif]


This reminds me of a Chico Marx anecdote. Dude was a chronic gambler, never solvent, always bouncing checks. One time a guy won a poker game and Chico swore up and down that the check he wrote would be good as long as the guy deposited it after noon the coming Wednesday. The winner took it to the bank at 1 pm that day and it bounced. He confronted Chico, who said, “One o’clock? That was too late!”


Funny but true. I had a bad check by a guy who bought my car. I contacted the bank manager who said he would watch the account and deposit the check when it was good. He ran it through the morning payroll landed. The guy actually called me the next day complaining because all of his other checks bounced.

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Well, the Marx Brothers are overrated too! neener

I think it was Joe Adamson, one of their biographers, who said the Marx Brothers were better than any of their movies, and I totally understood what he was saying.

Then again I like Burgundy, so I know what it means to make excuses.



My experience has always put Mugnier in the very Chambolle (bright, lacy fruit) style (except the Nuits which is just an oddball to me) but from the descriptions I would think both bottles were heat damaged or had storage issues.

when i tasted in Burgundy, many vintners said they like to start drinking their wines at 10 years old

With the caveat that I think Mugnier is, if not the best, one of the best winemakers in Burgundy:

  1. 12s are often shut down right now. At a big Fourrier dinner earlier this year the 12s were the least giving on the nose, even more so than the 05s (which were more dense but more open). All of mine are deep in storage next to my 15s, which is another odd current Mugnier Fuees, as it happens.
  2. The 07 Mugniers are……odd. The lower level wines consistently show funk (I’ve called that wine blind several times) while the 2007 Musigny ranges from life changing to something considerably less than that (I keep meaning to post my tasting note for the former). Incidentally, the 2007 Roumier Chambolle is also weird, in that the palate is actually ready. An unusual Chambolle vintage!
  3. I would be delighted if more people took up your views. I’d love for the wines to lose popularity, I’d get better allocations.
  4. Personally, I think Mugnier’s Fuees is consistently one of the best wines in burgundy, and one of the few 05s that’s drinking well. We had an 05 Fuees next to the 05 Truchot Sentiers recently and it was shocking how rustic and blocky the Truchot felt next to it. (To be fair, Truchots is very rustic.)
  5. You may want to reconsider that Dugat comment, unless you’re trying to pay the wine a compliment.
  6. As far as overrated - that’s a kettle of fish I’ve no real interest in opening. Suffice it to say there are far better candidates for that title.

I had the Ch-M Village 2007 a month ago … and it was very nice, mature and singing, no funk at all, sweet red berried fruit … not really “magical” but excellent and satisfying …

(I won´t open any 2012s now if I hadn´t to … either closed or certainly at least not close to maturity …)

My thoughts exactly.

The notes on the 2007 are overly concerning that the bottle was definitely poorly stored.

I would argue that’s the 2012 at this phase. It was a warm vintage of darker than normal character with firm tannins. Most of the 2012s that I have had at this point are juicier than I like, and definitely not showing resolved or refined tannins. There have been occasions showing otherwise, but not often.

We agree on how 2012s are showing these days, but though 2012 did enjoy a warm, rather windy end-of-season, I wouldn’t characterize it as a warm vintage per se, certainly not in the sense that 2009 or 2015 are warm vintages. It is very concentrated, and often a bit reductive (disease pressure was huge, so did some sulfur treatment residues remain on the grapes at harvest? it seems possible), which shuts down the wines and exaggerates the perception of tannin. There was also a lot of hail, especially in the Côte de Beaune, which coarsened the tannins in impacted sectors. But at their best, the 2012 reds for me are quite exceptional, and for estates such as Mugneret-Gibourg, I’d be inclined to say better than 2010. They are not wines I am pulling from the cellar right now, however, given their concentration and reductive tendencies.

Nice informative thread.

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I have had some good and some less than good Mugniers. As prices rose, it became a risk/ reward proposition, while at the same, I had discovered the wines of Cecile Tremblay. I actually preferred her wines, way more consistent, and at the time considerably less expensive. Sold Mugnier, bought Tremblay. Now Tremblay are getting a little too expensive, and I have not found a decent lower priced alternative.

Thanks all for input. With hindsight, I realize I conflated two separate threads — one about my disappointment about two less than the stellar bottles on a given night (and who here hasn’t been there?) and a general discussion about the relative reputation/pricing/“value” of Mugnier wines.

I fully agree that the 07 was probably mishandled before landing at our table. I said as much in my initial note. And the 12 might be better in 10 years. Or not.

But I’m most curious about whether the often variable Mugnier wines justify the stiff tariff vis a vis other A listers like those I mentioned earlier: MG, Rousseau, Dujac, et alia. [pillow-fight.gif]

Rousseau and M-G are the two I’d put in a similar category to Mugnier for consistency.

I’d have to agree. Sold all my Mugnier except Marechale years ago.