CLOS SAINT DENIS
2012 Grand Cru Domaine Stéphane Magnien
|Sub-district||Côte de Nuits|
|Village||Morey Saint Denis|
|Vineyard||Clos Saint Denis|
Rich spicy nose (there's new wood here). Very fresh and rich and pure and harmonious, coupled with finesse and elegance. 65-70 year old vines in the middle of what Stéphane is keen to point out is the old Clos Saint Denis - before the appellation covered a wider area. Chiselled definition. L&S (Jan 2014)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The quality of the wines from this Morey-St-Denis-based domaine have improved significantly since Stéphane Magnien took over the reins in 2008. This is a serious, but not brooding or overbearing Clos-St-Denis, combining flavours of black plums and blackberry, with plenty of perfume and sinewy tannins. 2020-32 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Jan 2014)
Domaine Stéphane Magnien
Stéphane's is a small domaine, a mere 4.5 hectares, with one full hectare of that in regional wine - Passetoutgrains and Bourgogne - but it is blessed with two Grands Crus and also a long history of not messing with nature. No pesticides have ever been used on this land, and the plants are nearly all the old 'Pinot tordu' - twisted Pinot with its gnarly stems which are less vigorous than the modern clones and said by many to make wines with more finesse.
Stéphane chaptalizes only to extend fermentations - these are wines which his father Jean-Paul used to describe as 'sage en alcool' - from 12 to 13% - the old vines do not make much alcohol. Wood use is also discreet, never exceeding 20% new wood on the Grands Crus, 15% on the Premiers Crus and on the village appellations, 10% new wood for one year only, then all into older barrels.
Stéphane says that he aims to make wines with more richness than his father's, 'but not black angular wines which have less relief. Wines which leave your mouth clean and clear, refreshed and revived and, above all, wanting another glass'. He destems 100%, gives the grapes a six-day maceration, then a classical fermentation with just two pigeages, and a little remontage (pumping over) at the end.
1996 Léoville Barton may be the first thing to catch your eye, but let it wander to a mature Grand Cru from up and coming superstar Stéphan Magnien, and a bottle of the Super Tuscan Merlot Messorio, from Macchiole. A wine which makes the likes of Masseto looks embarrassingly expensive.
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