Posts with the label "jacques frederic mugnier"


Vintage Report: Burgundy 2017 - Beguiling Burgundian Elegance

Vintage Report: Burgundy 2017 - Beguiling Burgundian Elegance

Thursday 3rd January 2019
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

The 2017 vintage is already being lauded as a great year for whites, but make no mistake this is a superb red vintage, too. When producers like Freddy Mugnier say “I think these were the best, most healthy, grapes I have ever picked” you sit up and take notice. For the Pinots display a beguiling mix of ripe, sensual fruit, delicacy, elegance and freshness. What’s more they offer vivid terroir characteristics - this is a red burgundy lover’s vintage par excellence.

The season started early and resulted in a precocious harvest (taking place between 3rd and 13th September for Pinot Noir). Based on readings taken throughout the calendar year, 2017 was the warmest on record. However the summer was remarkably well-balanced without any extremes in temperature. After a successful flowering, drought was the only potential danger, but rainfall at the end of August put paid to that. Conditions for harvest were perfect with sunny, warm days and cooler nights. There was one notable day of rain within the first two weeks of September otherwise growers could pick when they liked. All of this sounds rather easy, and largely it was, but there were two key factors for making really great, rather than merely “good” Pinots in 2017: Yields and élévage. In the words of Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, who has made a stunning range of 2017s “there was time to pick and to get ripe fruit, even with high yields, but if you did not control yields the wines will be a little diluted.” The second factor was to make sure the beautifully ripe, seductive fruit of the vintage was captured and not allowed to dry out, many of the growers we visited in November had already begun racking their wines in preparation for a slightly earlier bottling than usual. Early in the season green harvests were seen by many as crucial elements in controlling yields. By harvest time, grapes were uniformly ripe and very healthy, almost all producers we spoke to made it clear that tables de tries were largely redundant. Despite this fruit ripeness, sugars were in perfect balance, alcohols ranging between a balanced 13 to 13.5%. Such was the maturity of the stalks and grapes that those who practice whole bunch fermentations often included a greater percentage than usual in their fermenters, which seems to have been a successful approach, adding nerve and complexity to the wines. Whether whole-bunch or de-stalked though, the wines commonly display ripe, pliable fruit textures and, despite it not being a particularly high acid vintage, a distinct energy and freshness.

Burgundy 2009 - First impressions of the Cote de Nuits

Burgundy 2009 - First impressions of the Cote de Nuits

Friday 5th November 2010
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

There aren't many vintages that would have me leaping out of bed for a tasting in Pernand Vergelesses at 8.15 at the end of a hard week's tasting, but 2009 is proving to be one of them. 

The last two days have been a tour around 11 Domaines, 2 in the Cote de Beaune and 9 in the Cote de Nuits, among them Chevillon, Leroy, Rousseau, Roumier and Mugnier to drop just a few names. Again, as in the Cotes de Beaune, the key seems to have been picking early in 2009, most Domaines finishing by mid September. Also the cooler terroirs seem to have done particularly well, Latricieres, the high Chambolle and Gevrey vineyards, the cooler parts of Chambertin.
The grape escape: 2008 Burgundy Revisited and a peek at 2009

The grape escape: 2008 Burgundy Revisited and a peek at 2009

Wednesday 19th May 2010
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Narrowly avoiding the ash clouds that nearly prevented my annual escape from the London Wine Trade fair, I head to Burgundy for a chance to re-taste 2008 and take an early peek at the already well-reputed 2009s.

Most Red 2008s are now ready to be bottled and though, admittedly, its a perfect time to taste, they look fabulous, even lovelier than from barrel in November. It may not be a totally homogenous vintage but there are so many great examples of red 08s from the top producers. Every grower I have spoken to this week considers it a genuinely top vintage for Pinot Noir and I have to admit I am totally seduced, too. Such a balance of Pinot purity, freshness, ripe fruit and roundness, with a nice little tannic kick. Freddy Mugnier himself describes it as "a vintage I adore, like 2001 but better, more refined." Anyone who has been lucky enough to drink any of the quite glorious Cote de Nuits 2001s recently will know this is praise indeed.