2020 Vieilles Vignes Domaine Stéphane Magnien

Grapes Pinot Noir
Colour Red
Origin France, Burgundy
District Côte d'Or
Sub-district Côte de Nuits
Village Morey Saint Denis
ABV 13%

All the vines are over 55 years old, from the bottom of the village in the middle, in Clos Solon and Cognées. It's mostly clay here and Stephane says it makes a classic Morey, spicy and quite broad-shouldered. But it's all quite relative because in Stephane's hands this is bright and delicate and precise more than broad and forceful. But it's also quite rich and very harmonious. Tannins and fine but firm, adding to the impression of freshness. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035 L&S (Dec 2021)

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(from Les Cognées and Clos Solon). A slightly riper mix is comprised by various dark berries, spice and newly turned earth. There is again a bit more volume and density to the delicious flavors that also display a hint of bitter pit fruit character on the sneaky long and nicely balanced finale. Drinking range: 2027 - Rating: 88-91 Allen Meadows, (Jan 2022)

From Les Cognées and Clos Solon, 55 years plus and more clay in the soil. A darker purple and the fruit, more massive but fresh. Much more structure compared to the Grains Fins bottling, more classic Morey for Stéphane. Needs a lot more time but will certainly get there. Tasted: December 2021 Rating: 90-92 Jasper Morris - Inside Burgundy  (Jan 2022)

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, even though Stéphane has increased the proportion, he does not exceed 50% new wood on the Grands Crus, 25% on the Premiers Crus and on the village appellations, 15% 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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