Jacques Frédéric Mugnier is actually a qualified engineer who only started working as a vigneron in 1985. He comes from a family with a long history of winemaking and started by managing the family’s estate – just four hectares at first, but up to fourteen by 2004, when his wines started to receive acclaim around the world and he moved into the top echelon of Burgundy producers. People that know him often say that he is a thinker, someone who reflects carefully on the best option for his wines at all times. He starts with harvesting the perfect fruit and then uses low-intervention winemaking to let the terroir do the talking, with exceptional attention to detail at every stage.
We started the tasting with two white Nuits-St-Georges 1er Crus,”Clos de la Maréchale Blanc” 2007 and 2009. I was sitting next to Johnny, our new shop manager, and we were both stunned by the 2007. If I had to pay for a wine on the list, it would have been this one for sure. 2009 was more a creature of the vintage, with a certain weight, but still very good.
Continuing with the Nuits-St-Georges, red this time, we had a rustic but perfumed “Clos des Fourches” 2008, and two structured and beautiful “Clos de la Maréchales” – 2008 and 2007. Moving on to Chambolle- Musigny, we tried a 1998 1er Cru “Les Fuées” and a 1995 “Les Amoureuses” which come from two of the best vineyards in the commune. Unfortunately, even with a promising name that would be translated into “The Lovers”, the 1995 “Les Amoureuses” was a bit disappointing, with oxidation starting to kick in.
For the grand finale, we had two Grand Crus, a Bonnes-Mares 2006 and a Musigny 2007 which was voted “wine of the night” and in the words of our host, Mark Andrew, “a masterpiece of a wine”.
There was a high level of enthusiasm in the room for almost all of the wines – I know my tasting sheet was full of 8/10 or 9/10 scores alongside comments full of praise. Before the tasting, two of my colleagues had described Mugnier’s wines as their favourites from Burgundy. I must say I now agree with them – they are gorgeous wines, a reflection of the fact that they are made by a winemaker who is truly dedicated to his work.