I have read reviews of the Magnien wines many times over the years, but have had only a couple of chances to taste them. Last week I met with the importer of Magnien and learned more about Frederic Magnien and his two wineries.
I’ll mention the first, though we don’t have anything to offer right now, Frederic Magnien is a negociant business, wines are produced from farmers that Frederic works closely with, helping to get the grapes grown and harvested just the way he wants.
For our purposes we are focused on the Domaine Michel Magnien, vineyards owned by Frederic, indeed all estate grown and bottled. Michel Magnien is Frederic’s father and the fourth generation to farm the family vines, only in 1993 did Frederic start to come on board and convinced his father to begin bottling their own wines, rather than selling the grapes off to others. All vineyards are farmed biodynamically and the estate is certified by Demeter. Many of the wines are aged in Terra Cotta pots, which allow breathing the same way oak does, but with no flavor influence. – Michael Quinlan
Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru “Chaffots” 2014– $59.99 I was thrilled to taste this, a bit of quick research shows Chaffots sits just above Clos-Saint-Denis indeed bordering on the Grand Cru on a very steep part of the slope in a soil rich with fossil stones. Just a 6.5 acre (2.62 hectare) vineyard Magnien owns enough to make about 6000 bottles of this wine each year. The other part of the vineyard is owned by Hubert Lignier (which incidentally sells for well over $100 per bottle!). I really enjoyed my taste of this wine, in large part to finding a Premier Cru Burgundy from a great appellation for such a fabulous price. Spectacular red a black fruit dominate the aroma, totally slick wine, round and elegant, with no sharpness at all. Excellent balance and structure, this is a wine that can be enjoyed now, please decant for an hour, with typical red Burgundy fare, duck breast, roasted salmon, you know the drill. This wine also has very good aging potential, save for 3 years and enjoy anytime in the coming decade or more. This is an amazing value in Burgundy!
“Medium red. Redcurrant, raspberry and spices on the nose. At once pliant and sappy, with a touch of austerity to the flavors of red fruits, brown spices and earth. Much more about soil than simply sweet fruits. The slightly edgy tannins and firm acids leave the salivary glands quivering. This may be for drinking after the 2015, notes Frédéric Magnien. Drinking window- 2021-2029. 91 points.” Stephen Tanzer, vinous.com
“This is also quite aromatically pretty with its expressive nose of pomegranate, red and black raspberry, earth and a hint of anise. The sleek, intense and focused medium weight flavors are firm but not rigid thanks to the ripe tannins that shape the dusty and mildly rustic finale. Drink 2022+ 89-92 points.” Allen Meadows, burghound.com
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