Clos de la Marechale – one of the greatest value Premier Crus
They need rain in Burgundy, a look at the parched lawns, (not yet vines) tells a tale of nearly two months without a drop. Winter water reserves are keeping vines going, just, but the normal-sized crop will not result in an abundance of wine if the drought continues. We were in the Cote d’Or to take an early look at some rather ravishing 2014s and re-taste 2013 from bottle. The latter vintage is fulfilling its early promise; this really is an excellent vintage for Burgundy lovers. The wines offer refined fruit, tension, delicacy and drinkability. The outstanding bottle of the last few days, one that deserves a very special mention, is the 2013 Nuits St Georges Clos de la Marechale 1er from Jacques-Frederic Mugnier.
2013 was the tenth vintage Freddy Mugnier has made since taking the Marechale vineyard back into the family's control. Ten vintages' worth of experience of a particular terroir counts for a lot. The progress of the wine has been immense, transcending vintage variation and performing better than ever. The value aspect here is particularly interesting, being a fraction of the price of the most renowned 1ers Crus of the Cote de Nuits but increasingly difficult to differentiate in quality terms.
Bottled barely a few weeks ago, the 2013 is striking. Tasted from barrel in November it was complex, mineral, powerful but distinguished. From bottle three days ago, it was equally vital and profound but had clearly gained even more refinement during its winter and spring in barrel. We found it intense and vibrant, with an extra charm and allure it has never quite offered before. It could easily be mistaken for the estate’s Chambolle Musigny Les Fuees, which, at half the price, makes Marechale a complete bargain. For those of you who missed out first time round, snap the last remaining cases up now at the opening price, before the wine is shipped at the end of the summer.