Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tasty 2012 Burgundies from Domaine Michel Magnien

Me, left, and Frederic Magnien at the 2014 Millesime Bio Fair.
Last week, I spent two days tasting through organic wines at Millésime Bio, a trade show held in Montpellier, France. SudVinBio, an association of organic Languedoc-Roussillon winemakers, who sponsored the fair and my trip, gathered more than 700 organic winemakers from 12 countries for this event. I mingled through the booths, stopping to taste and talk with winemakers. I spent most of my time focused on Burgundy, the Loire Valley and Southern Rhone winemakers, and I found more than a few new (to me) producers that I enjoyed. In the coming days and weeks, I’ll have a series of posts about some of these winemakers.

During the fair, I spent some time talking with winemaker Frédéric Magnien, who makes wine under his father’s label Domaine Michel Magnien. Michel owns 19 hectares of vineyards, including parts of the Grand Crus Clos de la Roche and Clos St. Denis, and vineyards in the villages of Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St.-Denis and Chambolle-Musigny. Michel used to sell off his entire crop to the Morey-St.-Denis cooperative, but his son convinced him to start the domaine and bottle the wine themselves. A wise choice, indeed.

Like most Burgundian winemakers, Frédéric’s a genuine guy who loves what he does. He was pouring some barrel samples of his 2012s, a vintage he’s excited about. He said he plans to rack and bottle the wines in the coming months but, being a biodynamic producer, he works with the cycles of the moon. Frédéric uses about 15% whole cluster fermentation in his wines and about 10% new oak. I found the wines to be rich and plush, packed with berry and earth flavors. The acid in the 2012s is consistently refreshing, providing a lip-smacking quality to the wines, even in the face of some solid tannins. Open and forward, with rich red fruit and cola, but the oak is subtle and never overpowers the purity of the fruit flavors.

My notes on Frédéric’s wines…

2012 Michel Magnien Marsannay Blanc
Very floral on the nose, almost pungent, white flowers and honeysuckle and grapefruit. Crisp on the palate with some nice creaminess. Green apple, white flowers and a sage note. Interesting stuff. (87 points)

2012 Michel Magnien Bourgogne

Sweet cherries and spice on the nose, very open and fresh. Juicy red fruit on the palate, with fine tannins and medium+ acid. Fleshy, pure, easy-drinking and fun. (86 points)

2012 Michel Magnien Morey St. Denis
On the nose: berries, spice, flowers. So juicy on the palate, with ripe tannins and crisp acid. Flavors of berry puree, lavender and baking spices. Long, ripe finish. A pure and slightly flamboyant wine, but so well made. (88 points)

2012 Michel Magnien Gevrey-Chambertin Les Seuvrées Vieilles Vignes
Aromas of sweet cherries, baking spices, red flowers and earth. Rich and bold on the palate, but great grip. Sweet berries mix with cola, earth and a spiced root beer note. Earthy and herbal on the finish. Very pretty stuff. I’d like to try it again after it’s been bottled and had a year to relax. (89 points)

2012 Michel Magnien Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Cazetiers
Aromas of sweet cherry and raspberry, along with roses, cola and pepper. Rich on the palate, with pure berries, earth, cola and baking spices. A bit “new world” perhaps? But tangy as well and full of life. (89 points)

2012 Michel Magnien Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Les Chaffots  
More spice on the nose, with earth, roses and berries. Crisp, clean and fresh. But grippy too, with iron and plum skin and roses. A delicious and lively wine that I’d love to try once it’s been properly bottled. (90 points)

2012 Michel Magnien Clos de la Roche
Sexy and pure on the nose, with berries, violets, deep earth and lavender. Open and inviting on the palate, although the structure is serious. Deep red fruit, earth, intriguing pepper and spice. Silky, great acid. A beauty of a wine that I’d love to revisit once it's finally bottled and has had a year or so to come together. (92 points)

2009 Michel Magnien Nuits St. Georges Petite Charmotte
Raspberries, cola, sweet flowers on the nose. Fresh and driven by sweet cherries, cola, plums and pepper. Rich but fresh with a long finish. Bigger than the 2012s, but still very nice. (88 points)

No comments:

Post a Comment