Côte de Nuits PART 2

While it all ended well enough, it was not all plain sailing in the Côte de Nuits. The wet winter followed by a mild damp spring did give problems with mildew, especially to growers working organically – as Yves Confuron said, losses of crop at this stage, and again from the heat at the end, means that yields can be quite low – and the concentration in Yves' own wines is all part of this. Like in the Côte de Beaune, trying to decide when to pick to have optimum phenolic ripeness meant having to accept high potential alcohols, but the inclusion of ripe, properly lignified stems has given back an elegance that might having otherwise been missing on some terroirs.

There are great long-lived wines, and there are wines that will be forward and flattering if drunk quite young, but most do have substantial concentration and tannins which, while very ripe and emollient, will help the wines to age.


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Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

Sisters Marie-Christine and Marie Andrée have been firmly in control of this exceptional domaine since their mother Jacqueline retired in 2009. With one a pharmacist and the other an oenologist, the domaine was always going to be in safe hands as far as the wine-making was concerned. In 2017 Marie-Christine 's daughter Lucie joined the domaine, and in 2019 the sisters celebrated their 30th vintage - and Marion and Fanny, daughters of Marie-Andrée also joined the team.

These are top-flight Burgundies with that elusive balance of enough concentration allied with delicacy of expression and the capability of ageing well.

At our tasting this year Marie-Andrée said that they were beginning to become resigned to yields never getting over 30hl.ha again if the summers are to remain so hot. As it is they are allowing the fermentations to reach 38C rather than a limit around 36C, so that the wines finish their sugars. Since 2016 they have put a small amount of whole bunches in some of the cuvées, more as a way to have sufficient volume in the vats than because they like the effect.

Domaine-Georges-Mugneret-Gibourg
2019 BOURGOGNE ROUGE Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

2019 BOURGOGNE ROUGE Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

Very old vines here, producing the same volumes as their Grands Crus. Blue-red brightness, perfect balance all on a razor's edge of precision, softly pure.Very old vines here, producing the same volumes as their Grands Crus. Blue-red brightness, perfect balance all on a razor's edge of precision, softly pure. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030L&S(Oct 2020)

75cl bottles, case of 6

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2019 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY 1er Cru Feusselottes Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

2019 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY 1er Cru Feusselottes Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

A ripe rich Chambolle nose which is still quite primary, and that amazing Chambolle touch on the palate which shows all its elegance. Sleek and fine and long - a real joy.A ripe rich Chambolle nose which is still quite primary, and that amazing Chambolle touch on the palate which shows all its elegance. Sleek and fine and long - a real joy. Drinking range: 2030 - 2045L&S(Oct 2020)

75cl bottles, case of 6

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2019 CLOS VOUGEOT Grand Cru Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

2019 CLOS VOUGEOT Grand Cru Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

Really quite a big wine, showing taut and quite closed, as usual some quite hairy tannins, but there's so much going on, lots of depth, lots of complexity, its very muscular and powerful.Really quite a big wine, showing taut and quite closed, as usual some quite hairy tannins, but there's so much going on, lots of depth, lots of complexity, its very muscular and powerful. Drinking range: 2035 - 2050L&S(Oct 2020)

75cl bottles, case of 3

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2019 NUITS SAINT GEORGES 1er Cru Chaignots Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

2019 NUITS SAINT GEORGES 1er Cru Chaignots Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

Round rich nose and palate. Significantly weightier than the village wines. Terrific intensity of fruit and cool fresh depth. They lost a lot of production here, making just 25hl/ha in Nuits, whichRound rich nose and palate. Significantly weightier than the village wines. Terrific intensity of fruit and cool fresh depth. They lost a lot of production here, making just 25hl/ha in Nuits, which might account for some of the concentration. Drinking range: 2030 - 2045L&S(Oct 2020)

75cl bottles, case of 6

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2019 RUCHOTTES CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

2019 RUCHOTTES CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

15% whole bunch. As usual there's a vibrant tautness to this wine - energy and spice. Needs time! Lots of volume, salinity running through. Fruit flavour slow to develop in the mouth, but by the15% whole bunch. As usual there's a vibrant tautness to this wine - energy and spice. Needs time! Lots of volume, salinity running through. Fruit flavour slow to develop in the mouth, but by the finish it is roaring its concentrated character. A very gourmand, rounded, slightly spicy fruit with very ripe redcurrant - 'the kind of fruit we can find in the Chambolle' remarks Marie-Andree. Drinking range: 2035 - 2050L&S(Oct 2020)

75cl bottles, case of 3

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2019 VOSNE ROMANÉE Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

2019 VOSNE ROMANÉE Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

80% is from just in front of their cellars. Champ Goudins, Croix Blanche, Chalandins and Pré de le Folie. Rich weave of fruit flavours, textural tannins and acidity, Amazing precision, a crunchy cut80% is from just in front of their cellars. Champ Goudins, Croix Blanche, Chalandins and Pré de le Folie. Rich weave of fruit flavours, textural tannins and acidity, Amazing precision, a crunchy cut to the fruit, it is delicate and yet not at all under-powered. Very scented - just lovely. Drinking range: 2028 - 2038L&S(Oct 2020)

75cl bottles, case of 6

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2019 VOSNE ROMANÉE La Colombière Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

2019 VOSNE ROMANÉE La Colombière Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

Colour still blue-edged. Richer nose than the Vosne, this really is at another level. Silky fresh fruit, red and black interwoven, pure Pinot from Vosne, with just a touch of sweetness, so delicateColour still blue-edged. Richer nose than the Vosne, this really is at another level. Silky fresh fruit, red and black interwoven, pure Pinot from Vosne, with just a touch of sweetness, so delicate it's hardly there. Really rather beautiful. Old vines, so 'plus tendre' says Marie-Andrée. Drinking range: 2028 - 2038L&S(Oct 2020)

75cl bottles, case of 6

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2019 ÉCHEZEAUX Grand Cru Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

2019 ÉCHEZEAUX Grand Cru Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

15% whole bunch here. A fleeting impression of plumpness in the touch but then it gathers force and there's tension, with acidity just firming the tannins slightly. All quite closed, but there's a15% whole bunch here. A fleeting impression of plumpness in the touch but then it gathers force and there's tension, with acidity just firming the tannins slightly. All quite closed, but there's a lovely saline finish. Complex. lots of energy here despite the obvious concentration. Drinking range: 2035 - 2050L&S(Oct 2020)

75cl bottles, case of 3

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Domaine des Lambrays

The 'Clos' consists of 8.66 hectares of land enclosed by a wall in which there is the original milestone marking its founding in 1365, confirmed in the records of the Abbaye de Citeaux (those monks knew where to place a vineyard). The Clos owes much of its current fame to the nineteenth and twentieth century proprietors who reconstituted it after the fragmentation of ownership which followed the French revolution. Despite always having been considered a Grand Cru site, the Clos was in fact classified Premier Cru in the original 1936 appellations contrôlées. The Rodier family which owned it from the 1930s fought to regain its Grand cru status, with eventual success only in 1981, when it became the last of the thirty-three Grands Crus of Burgundy, although by then it had passed to the Saier family. Recently under the benign ownership of the Günther Freund and his family, who gave a very free hand to régisseur Thierry Brouin, who had been employed by their predecessor Rolland Pelletier de Chambure, the quality of the wines here has pushed up again. In 2014 it was bought by the LVMH group.

It has been all rather quick change here as Jacques Devauge has taken over here after a short interregnum under Boris Champy. The legacy of Thierry Brouin can still be felt, Jacques describing him as having been 'clairvoyant' in his approach to the domaine, which has set it up well to deal with challenges of warmer vintages. Jacques seems set to take this estate onward - 'every domaine has to challenge itself to do better', he says. 2018 marks the first year being fully organic - if all goes well they will be certified after three.

Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

Christophe is now the fourth generation of his family producing wine on the estate after his great grandfather Amédée Merme devoted himself to the management and production of wine over 130 years ago. The estate has gone from strength to strength – always keeping the highest standards. Integrated viticulture has been practiced for many years now which has been adapted especially for the terroir. No herbicide or chemical fertilizer is used, instead, Christophe prefers to “stand back and listen to this terroir, only intervening when necessary or when the weather requires it, never systematically.” This is one of the star domaines of the whole of Burgundy.

In 2018 he picked 'not early, not late - the 5th September to the 14th was the right time for us'. He wanted to keep as much freshness as possible so painstakingly cut out all overripe bunches - and berries from bunches. There were a lot of parcels which suffered from hydric stress, so he kept the best bits and delassified the rest. About half of his Beaux Monts is in the village Vosne (so we are sorry if you don't get any this year), and the top part of Combe d'Orveau also suffered from lack of water and did not make the cut - so the village Chambolle is 40% Combe d'Orveau. He used 50% to 60% whole bunches throughout - almost no pigeage, just remontage, and only 20% new wood, or, on some of the smaller cuvées, no new wood at all (as it's not possible to put only 20% new wood in a two or three-barrel quantity). The alcohol levels are 13.2% to 13.5% across the range, but the bits he left out made ten barrels of Bourgogne rouge that is at 15.4%, so leaving that in would have raised the average.

Domaine-Christophe-Perrot-Minot

Domaine Dugat-Py

Domaine Dugat-Py's wines are far from shy and retiring, but they do require patience to show their best. Old vines, tiny yields, viticulture with minute and constant attention, all lead to a magnificent concentration and purity in the raw material. Without extracting harsh tannins, Loïc (who despite his youthful good-looks, has overseen the wine-making since 2012) gets an astonishing density into the wines, and they take on the high percentage of new oak quite casually. Nevertheless, Loïc has reduced the amount of new wood (The village wines get 50% max., while the Premiers Crus and Grands Crus get up to 75%.) and the more recent vintages have shown great elegance and sophistication as well as the concentrated depth of their old vines.

Exciting news here, in that the domaine has taken over part of what used to be Domaine Newman. Sadly someone else got the Grands Crus, but Loïc is delighted with what they have - all old vines, giving them a barrel of village Beaune, 6 barrels of Clos des Avaux, 2.5 of Beaune Grèves, 9 of Monthélie and 6 in Pommard Vaumuriens (above Rugiens). They increased the size of their picking team to sixty in 2019, in order to get the harvest in more quickly. In these recent hot vintages sugars go up and acids down so quick they need to be picking 2-3 hectares a day. They started amongst the first on the 9th September, picking Charmes and Mazoyères ('lovely maturity at 13% and ph 3.1 - 3.2' Loïc tells us), and finishing with the Corton Charlemagne on the 17th.

Domaine-Bernard-Dugat-Py

Domaine Christian Clerget

A domaine of 6 hectares, with 8 appellations, run by Christian and Isabelle Clerget from their house in the northern end of the little village of Vougeot, which is really in the commune of Chambolle. They have been organic (certified) since 2017, their daughter Justine having insisted on it when she joined them, but it sounds as though she was pushing at an open door, because Christian is entirely committed to this approach and clearly believes that good wine starts with the vines.

At harvest the grapes are picked into small cases for the short trip to the winery which really is right in the middle of their holdings. They adapt to the vintage conditions, so that they did 2 pigeages in total in 2019, whereas in 2017, they did one a day throughout the fermentation. In 2018 they did some whole bunch fermentation, but reverted to their normal complete destemming in 2019. At the end of the alcoholic fermentation Christian decants into tank, allows the wine to settle for ten days, then puts the wines into barrel where they stay without racking until bottling. They are using about 30% new wood on the villages and 40% on the Chambolle Charmes and the Échezeaux, and the wines say in barrel for a long élevage of 18-20 months.