2013 1er Cru Sentiers Domaine Stéphane Magnien
|Sub-district||Côte de Nuits|
Great delicacy of raspberry and cherry-stone fruit, but the overwhelming impression is a wine of place, of a firm chalky soil which gives it a character all of its own, more about mineral and light and airy scent than fruit. The finish is remarkable for chalky, talc-fine tannins which really lift it. This is just under Bonnes Mares and Stéphane says it always has this chalky character. Very fine. Drinking range: 2019 - L&S (Nov 20120)
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Tasted blind at the Burgfest tasting in Beaune, the 2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers has some reduction on the nose, a fish oil/marine scent tincturing the fruit, though this ebbs away with aeration (therefore, decanting is strongly advised). The palate is medium-bodied with slightly coarse tannin, good backbone and, like the Sentiers from Groffier, there is something almost Morey-like here due to its foursquare and masculine finish. Perhaps this has closed down a little? Worth seeking out in 2-3 years time. Drinking range: 2019 - 2032 Rating: 91 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Sep 2016)
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.
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