MOREY SAINT DENIS

2017 'Petites Noix' 1er Cru Domaine Stéphane Magnien

Grapes Pinot Noir
Colour Red
Origin France, Burgundy
District Côte d'Or
Sub-district Côte de Nuits
Village Morey Saint Denis
Classification 1er Cru

Stéphane is a talented winemaker and this year he is really finding more confidence and his experimenting is clear here with his first time use of whole bunches. He includes 15% here to try and tame the richly weighted fruit core. I'm pleased he has. There is a lift you feel amongst the deliciously sleek and glycerol-coated, dark fleshed middle. There is some structure too. It's not simply a thick wall of fruit - there is a crunch here and a small edge of power. This builds to a lovely, intense broad feel. The vineyard is just below Clos des Lambrays - on clay soil which results in this deeper, weightier fruit. 25% New wood. Drinking range: 2021 - 2028 L&S (Nov 2018)

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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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