Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, Clos de la Maréchale, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru, 2004

Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, Clos de la Maréchale, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru, 2004

For a mercifully long time, you have had no updates on this Wine Rambler's hare-brained and underfunded quest to find impressive and affordable Pinot Noir from Burgundy. I don't deceive myself that many of our readers more wise to the world of wine have secretly hoped that I would have given up, Burgundy being a region for deep-dyed aficionados only. Au contraire, my friends, and tonight, it is time for a new installment in this ongoing story of quixotic determination and befuddled ignorance.

It was up to Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier this time. Could this bottle of Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru finally be the one to open the floodgates to all that near-orgasmic Burgundy magic?

Erm, no: Deep cherry red, I could smell marinated sour cherries, some alcohol, a bit of animal wildness lurking in the background, but neither exciting nor very deep nose, I'm sorry to say. Suprisingly light on the palate, but with assertive tannin, robustly acidic, it refused to release much of the fruit, flavour or attractiveness I had hoped for.

An enjoyable wine, in the sense that I cannot imagine a Pinot Noir not being enjoyable with food. Solidly underwhelming, in other words. Is it me? Is it Burgundy? Was it way too young to drink? Well, no one said it would be easy. While I recover from this disappointment, watch this space until next time around.


Submitted by Vimpressionniste Wednesday, 02/03/2011

ahhh.. I remember my first red Burgundy epiphany. It was a Morey-St-Denis and I can still recall its wonderfully luscious fruit bringing a giant smile to my face!

'04 is a bit of an off vintage in Burgundy. Maybe that's the problem here, though I suspect this Mugnier wine wasn't cheap and should have performed better! I find the village level '07s are drinking quite nice right now, and for a good price. Don't give up!!

Submitted by Andrew Connor Thursday, 03/03/2011

In reply to by Vimpressionniste

Second that on the 04s

There's a kind of greeness about the 04 reds (something between gherkin and parsley), particularly in the Cote de Beaune but noticeable all the way through even at a pretty exalted level. Consequently they're relatively low priced on the secondary market, don't be fooled stay away

I read an article that pplaced the blame on pyrazines used as a sexual signalling chemical by ladybugs of which there was apparently a plague in Burguundy in 04. Stranger things have happened...

04 whites on the other hand are lovely

Submitted by Krista Thursday, 03/03/2011

In reply to by Andrew Connor

Agreed. I was just talked yesterday with some folks who were saying it's time to taste the 2005's again. You may want to try that vintage for extreme wow factor. I was also curious what you paired this wine with, or did you taste/experience it on it's own? and how long did you let the wine breathe/sit before you drank it. Might help the fruit come forward. Just curious.

Submitted by Julian Thursday, 03/03/2011

In reply to by Krista

Very pertinent questions, Krista, to which I state the following: Didn't decant, but drank from the emptying bottle over a long evening, without getting the feeling that the wine loosened up or fleshed out. Paired with duck breast and cherry reduction sauce. Will look out for 05s!

Submitted by Julian Thursday, 03/03/2011

In reply to by Andrew Connor

Now you tell me? Seriously, this only shows why sensible people leave Burgundy to those with long-time expertise. Love the ladybug theory, though, especially since a great Pinot is a kind of sexual signalling chemical itself.