Philip Day discusses Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, a fine wine suitable for the most discerning palate.
The wines of Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg in the Burgundy village of Vosne-Romanée are frequently regarded as exceptional and, over the last decade or so, their fame has begun to catch up with the quality of their wines, which has been reflected by year-on-year increased demand, particularly in the North American market.
The domaine produces wine from high-quality Pinot Noir grapes and is located in the Côte de Nuits. Its vineyards, are some of the most famous and highly regarded in the Burgundy region, located in esteemed communes like Nuits-Saint-Georges, Gevery-Chambertin and Flagey-Echézeaux .
The domaine’s most sought after and expensive wines come from the the grand cru vineyards of Ruchottes Chambertin, Clos Vougeot and Echézeaux, and the premier cru vineyards: Les Chaignots, Les Vignes Rondes and Les Feusselottes.
In addition to their other premium wines, ‘The Mugneret Sisters’: Marie-Christine Teillaud and Marie-Andrée Nauleau, who for the last two decades have run the domaine in partnership with their mother have certainly set the standard for what is possible in Clos Vougeot. They have created wines with an effortless harmony of complex flavours featuring roses, plums, and spicy red berries.
Marie-Andrée and Marie-Christine
Until the summer of August 2009 there were two separate domaines: Mugneret-Gibourg and Dr Georges Mugneret. The former was created in 1933 following the marriage of André Mugneret (1905-1986), a descendant of an old Vosne Romanée family, and Jeanne Gibourg (1906-1997) in 1928. Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg made a name for itself producing: Bourgogne Rouge, Vosne- Romanée, Nuits-Saint-Georges and Echézeaux Grand Cru.
Dr Georges Mugneret (1929-1988), their only son, whose main profession was as an opthamologist in Dijon, decided to pursue the family profession in parallel with his own career in medicine. He enlarged and enhanced the Domaine’s vineyard holdings, using a label in his own name, with important acquisitions over the years, notably: Clos Vougeot Grand Cru in 1953, Nuits-Saint- Georges 1er cru in 1971, Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru in 1977, Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru
« Les Vignes Rondes » in 1982 and Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru «Les Feusselottes» in 1985.
Georges Mugneret met his future wife Jacqueline, a school teacher, in 1958, while undertaking his military service in Algeria. Upon their return to France they got married. They had two daughters, Marie-Christine and Marie-Andrée.
When Dr. Mugneret suddenly passed away in 1988, his wife Jacqueline, whose family had a history of wine-making in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and initially his daughter Marie-Christine, who had resigned her position as a chemist to specialize in oenology, assumed all operational responsibilities for the Domaine, including wine-making. After completing her studies in oenology from the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, in 1992, his other daughter Marie-Andrée also joined them.
In 2009 Domaines Mugneret-Gibourg and Georges Mugneret combined to create Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg. The same year, Jacqueline retired, and thus today the estate and its operations are headed by the two sisters, Marie-Christine and Marie-Andrée, often referred to as the ‘Mugneret Sisters’, who share the same passion for vine and wine as their parents and grandparents.
Clos de Vougeot
Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg
Total: 8 hectares (20 acres)
|Grape varieties||Pinot Noir|
Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. For other wines produced by the Domaine, see below.
The soil has a very low clay content with a pebbly and gravelly tilth which allows the vines to grow deep roots with ease.
Around 20,000 to 30,000 bottles annually.
|Top Vintages Produced||
1976, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989,1990, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.
The domaine’s website explains how the Mugneret sisters divide business responsibilities between themselves: “Marie-Christine [Teillaud] supervises the wine as it ages and develops, and takes particular personal care over the bottling at the domaine, while her younger sister, Marie-Andrée Nauleau, manages the vineyards and takes care of the business.”
Marie-Christine and Marie-Andrée’s primary ambition is to demonstrate the greatest respect for Pinot Noir, the grape variety from which they are fortunate enough to produce their wines. Consequently, Marie-Christine, Marie-Andrée and their team make their wine in a gentle and classical style, thereby preserving all the delicacy, fruitiness and freshness of the grape variety.
From vine to bottle, the domaine team unceasingly aspires for perfection.
The quality of all their wine is based on a profound respect for the terroir and the environment. Marie-Christine and Marie-Andrée established their viticulture on adopting sustainable methods, to enhance the unique expression of each plot.
Ploughing has been adopted to better cultivate the soils, so as to let the vine roots grow deeply and vigorously, drawing the best of the terroir into the grapes.
All pruning processes takes place in the winter season during the period of vine dormancy. Then starting from May onwards, the long and meticulous work of the vine begins to enable its growth and flowering as well as the setting and bringing on of the fruits which will ultimately be harvested in September.
Throughout the summer period, particular attention is paid to the vine, to ensure each plant attains its optimal growth by reducing the amount of vegetation around the root stock and by the use of timely pruning, thinning out of new growth. The aim is to promote quality and to prepare the crop of the year but also to preserve the growth for the following year.
At harvest time, the grapes are hand-picked. On arrival in the vat-house, they are rigorously selected for optimum quality on a sorting table, de-stemmed, then placed in vats.
After a period of cold maceration lasting from four to five days, alcoholic fermentation is allowed to continue for approximately 10 days. The total vatting time lasts from 15 to 20 days. The vats are then emptied and the grapes undergo pneumatic pressing.
In effect, the only significant innovations the sisters have made in the cellar, are the introduction of a sorting table and a pneumatic press.
Each ‘cuvée’ (contents of the vat) is then transferred into oak barrels in the cellars to age over the next 18 months.
This period of ageing is interspersed with racking (removing the young wine from one cask to another, leaving behind any lees and sediment).
Each appellation is then blended, before being bottled at the domaine, during which process, neither fining nor filtration is employed.
The domain cultivates over 8 hectares (nearly 20 acres) of vines incorporating nine different appellations, producing in the region of 20,000 to 30,000 bottles, dependant on the climatic conditions during the growing season.
In addition to the family members, other key workers have joined the domaine and share in the work to continue its success and its on-going development.
Florent Lompré is in charge of viticulture. He manages the meticulous year-round work on and care of the vines and assists Marie-Christine and Marie-Andrée during the vinification, maturation and bottling processes. His background and education is as an historian, who joined the domain in 1999, as a grape-picker. He has acquired the art of wine-making predominantly through hands-on experience.
Florence Pichon, a biochemist with a diploma in oenology and ampelology, similarly began working for the Domain in 1998 as a grape-picker. Subsequently, she undertook several courses based around the distribution and marketing of wines and spirits. Today, Florence is an operations assistant, helping Marie-Christine and Marie-Andrée through all the steps from the vine to the sale of the bottles.
In more recent years, the team at the Domaine has been further reinforced by
Alain Givrey, who also used to help out at grape-picking time, who joined in January 2016. By virtue of his expertise in various sectors, he assists Florent in the vineyard as well as helping Florence in order fulfilment.
When the share-cropping agreements of farming the Bourgogne Rouge, Nuits-St-Georges, Vosne-Romanée and Echézeaux vineyards ended in 2016, the farming of the vines was brought completely in-house and the company welcomed Victor Bréon to assist in the farming tasks across the whole area of the Domaine.
- Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Bourgogne Rouge
- Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanée
- Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Nuits-Saint-Georges
- Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Les Chaignots, Nuit Saint Georges Premier Cru
- Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Les Vignes Rondes, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru
- Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Les Feusselottes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru
- Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Echézeaux Grand Cru
- Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
- Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
Any of the above are worth trying if you have not come across the offerings of this domaine before. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Among the three Grand Crus, my favourite is the Clos Vougeot, which I tasted at a Burgundy tasting event recently. The Domaine’s web-site describes the wine as “having an outstanding balance as well as a remarkable after-taste. This wine is a compromise between the power and finesse of Ruchottes-Chambertin and the elegance of Echézeaux, but it has the greatest ageing potential.” It further adds that the clear, garnet-coloured wine possesses a complex nose that “offers notes of flowers and fruits combined with woody scents.” In terms of tasting, “the mouth is ample, rich and silky.”
The nose does indeed offer a lovely complexity. It offers the bouquet of red and black cherries, reminiscent of a good quality confiture with floral notes of rose petals mixed with hints of new oak wood and an earthy minerality. The wine is silky smooth on the palate with a rewarding intensity, emphasising its full body, fine structure and a balance that borders on perfection. Definitely one for laying down.
Address: Domaine Georges Mugneret Gibourg 5, rue des Communes
21700 Vosne-Romanée, France.
Telephone: +33 3 80 61 01 57
Fax: +33 3 80 61 33 08
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