2020 J F Mugnier Nuits St Georges 1er Cr Clos de la Marechale Blanc

Regular price $175.00
Unit price
8 Bottles in Stock

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Style: White

Grape Variety: Chardonnay

Country: France

Region: Burgundy

Subregion: Nuits-St-Georges

Bin Location: DNT-C

91-93pts Jasper Morris, Inside Burgundy

Just three barrels. Lemon yellow with a lime tint. Ripe apples and a suggestion of liquorice. Lifted on the one hand, with a little waxy coating on the other, and an electric lime stone current running through the middle. Drink from 2024-2029.

89pts Neal Martin, Vinous

The 2020 Nuits Saint-Georges Clos de la Maréchale 1er Cru has a lovely dark plummy bouquet, kirsch and a touch of liquorice, perhaps a little sur-maturité. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, black cherries, hints of peppermint with a cassis finish. Maybe this just doesn't quite deliver the persistency that I anticipated when I tasted this from barrel.

Estate Summary

“I like it when it’s difficult. It’s like the good old days,” quips Frédéric Mugnier, and to be honest, if those words had been uttered from anyone else’s mouths, then I would have laughed…but he means it. My visits to Mugnier are one of my most cherished, not only because of the wines but because our conversation habitually meanders into related topics upon which he does not pull his punches. Today, we speak about the current frenzied demand for Burgundy and how it has changed the region’s spirit, the spectre of global warming that clearly plays on his mind and the essence of what a Burgundy wine ought to be.

“The year was relatively cold and rainy, which made the work in the vineyard more difficult,” he continues. “We had to make sure we sprayed at the right time against mildew, which was not easy. We only sprayed copper and sulphur, though I’m not organic, and that included weekends. It’s good to have a tractor that is not too heavy but remains light enough with good spraying capability. For that, you need a turbine, and turbines are heavy. We didn’t have too much damage from mildew. It was not easy to reach full maturity, and in the end, it became a competition between ripeness and rot. There are many vintages like that, and the wines turn out to be delicious, delicate and seductive. I think 2021 is that kind of vintage. They say: vines must suffer to make great wine. But I think it’s the winemaker that must suffer. People evaluate wines after a year. Look at all the restaurants in Beaune with 2020 Grand Crus and all their lists [Mugnier rolls his eyes and sighs]. I judge my wines on how they taste after ten years.”

“We started the picking on 16 September, and the sanitary conditions for the bunches were fine. My crop is comparable in volume to recent vintages. We cropped at 25hl/ha, whereas average is 35hl/ha, and alcohol levels reached around 12.5%, just the Chambolle Village was chaptalized a little. Early samples that we take for analysis are often lower [in potential alcohol], but the final degree is often one degree higher than expected, so I end up wondering why I chaptalized in the first place.”

In many ways, 2021 is the kind of growing season that might throw obstacles in the way of Mugnier, but the style sutures neatly with his style of wine. Standouts include a spellbinding Les Amoureuses and, predictably, the Musigny Vieilles Vignes, both shade the Bonnes-Mares that I find relatively skinny and missing a bit of meat on its bones; nothing unexpected given the growing season, plus the fact that this has rarely been Mugnier’s strongest card to play.

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