Domaine Michael Magnien Charmes-Chambertin Pinot Noir Burgundy Cote de Nuits 2020
Regular price Sale price $259.99
Domaine Michel Magnien
Grand Cru Red barrel
Score: 91-94 Burghound
Tasted: Jan 10, 2022
Note: from Mazoyères
Producer note: Frédéric Magnien described 2020 as one that "was relatively easy to manage as there was relatively little disease pressure though the extreme dryness of the season did cause some hydric stress, particularly for younger vines higher on the slope where there isn't much soil depth. I started the harvest with a few pickers on the 27th of August for those parcels that were suffering from the heat and then attacked seriously on the 30th with my full team of harvesters. The fruit was exceptionally clean so, remarkably enough, we were able to finish by the 5th of September. The trick was to harvest parcel by parcel just when they were ripe as it was easy to be a day early or a day late. Yields though were low as the fruit lost a lot of water just due to evaporation. For example, the pinot bunches had a normal number of berries but there was not much juice in them so in total, the pinot harvest was down fully 50% and, unfortunately, even more in 2021. The skins were thick for the pinot but normal for the chardonnay. Potential alcohols were good but not overly so as nothing came in over 14%. While it varied considerably, on average I used 50% whole clusters and I even had my sorting teams destem some of the fruit by hand. I vinified softly because with the thick skins and high ripeness levels, the extractability was easy and happened almost by itself. As to the wines, they are very fresh, and I particularly like their transparency." I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating that Magnien has become arguably the leading specialist in Burgundy in the use of amphorae and jarres (the difference is essentially one of size) during the élevage. Others, such as Dujac, Pousse d'Or and Jean-Marie Fourrier, are experimenting with them as well though Magnien has made them an essential part of his approach. For example, many of these offerings were raised with significant proportions of amphorae that averaged around 50% with the rest in traditional casks. Magnien believes the amphorae better preserve the freshness and they obviously do not mark the wines with toast or vanilla characteristics. Note: there is often confusion relating to the difference between the wines of Domaine Michel Magnien and those of Frédéric Magnien. All the wines are made by Frédéric and thus the difference between the two names is only one of grape sources. The Domaine Michel Magnien wines are from vines owned directly by Michel (Frédéric's father). All of the wines labeled as Frédéric Magnien (see directly above) are from purchased grapes (not from purchased must or wine, an important distinction). (Winebow, Inc., www.winebow.com, NJ, USA; Charles Taylor Wines, www.charlestaylorwines.com, UK; Altaya Wines, www.altayawines.com, Hong Kong).
Tasting note: Once again there is a plethora of floral influences that include violet, lavender and rose petal on the aromas of poached plum, spice and warm earth. The sleeker and finer but not denser medium-bodied flavors conclude in a moderately austere finish that is both slightly more complex and persistent as well as more structured.