Lucien Le Moine Mazis Chambertin 2003
Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
The Mazis-Chambertin parcel used by Lucien Le Moine lies in poor clay soils, from the highest part of the vineyard where there is only 4 inches of soil. Mounir likes to say that the sun almost touches the roots. As a result, this wine has powerful, jammy, almost barbecue flavor and a lot of smokiness (some will attribute this to oak, but it is the natural character of the site). Their is an animal side to the wine that at Lucien Le Moine is tempered by an extended aging which brings out notably a red currant character. In addition, with bottle age the fruit becomes more apparent.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2003 Mazis-Chambertin is a brooding, palate-staining behemoth. Its potent aromas explode from the glass unleashing scents of massively ripe dark berries and a myriad of spices. Medium to full-bodied, rich, and deep, it is a concentrated black fruit, asphalt, spice, and licorice-flavored wine of immense power. Projected maturity: 2008-2019."
International Wine Cellar - "Wonderfully complex, perfumed nose combines raspberry, flowers, minerals, brown spices and leather. Sweet and pure but quite closed in the mouth, with reticent but precise flavors of spicy red berries and minerals. Very long and perfumed on the back end, with tannins buried in fruit and spice. This is the highest of these 2003s in volatile acidity, at 0.72%. From fruit harvested on September 2, according to Saouma.
Range: 91-94 Points"
Lucien Le Moine Winery
Lucien Le Moine is a small House of Grands Crus in the Beaune region of France. The winery is a two person operation established in1999. Mounir learned and worked in a Trappist Monastery where he discovered Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. He studied Viticulture and Oenology at the ENSAM Montpellier, then had 6 years experience in different wineries in Burgundy, other areas of France and California where he became fascinated by the "old way" of growing, vinificating and aging wines. One day he decided to push to the extreme everything he saw and experienced and created, with Rotem, a small cellar dedicated to the ideas of purity and typicity.
Rotem comes from a cheese making family. She learned Agriculture both at the Technion and the ENESAD in Dijon and oriented her studies toward wine. She won a national prize from the French Academy of Agriculture for a study on the Côte d'Or than she participated in many Harvests in Burgundy and California. She joined Mounir in 1999 and started Lucien Le Moine together.
Having studied, lived and worked in Burgundy for several years the duo got to know many good growers in the region. They decided to merge these relations and devotion to quality in a small selected production of Crus.
Lucien Le Moine produces only Grands and Premiers Crus from Côte d'Or. View all Lucien Le Moine Wines
Burgundy is a small region, only about a fourth the size of Bordeaux. The narrow thread of vineyard land stretches from the city of Dijon to Lyon. The five main districts of Burgundy are – from North to South - Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais. Chablis is far removed geographically (above Dijon) and adheres to its own classifications. Beaujolais is its own region due to grape variety, vinification methods and regulations. Leaving us with the Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais as the heart of Burgundy.
Grapes of the region are easy to remember - Pinot Noir for reds, Chardonnay for whites. Burgundy can be called home for both varietals, despite their increasing presence in every winemaking country. In this area red wines out number whites, although the quality for both is unparalleled.
A bit of History...Once owned and run by the church and nobility, the vineyards of Burgundy were seized during French Revolution and sold off piece by piece. Further separation occurred with Napoleonic Law, which ordered that inherited land be divided among children equally. These two factors put Burgundy where it is today – a myriad of vineyards and villages, each with a number of growers and producers.
NégociantsBurgundy is organized by plots of land and labeled as such. About half of Burgundy works on a négociant system. Growers of small plots sell grapes, or more often, barrels of already made wine, to négociant houses who then blend it with other wines from that region and put it under their label. While the négociant system may sound like a way to produce mass amounts of anonymous wines, that is, luckily, not the case. Wines are labeled with a sense of place, so you know what land you are getting. There are some négociant houses that are much more renowned and consistent than others, and for the most part, the system works. But times are changing. Some growers are purchasing more land and making the wine on their property, under their label, for more consistency. On the other side, négociant houses are buying up their own vineyards so they will have more control over winemaking.
Classification SystemThe classification system is similar to a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is the most basic of the classifications, the Burgundy AC, meaning grapes can come from anywhere in the Burgundy region. Next up is a village wine, such as Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits, or the villages within these regions, like Givery-Chambertin or Puligny-Montrachet. The label will say Appellation Puligny-Montrachet Controlée. At the next level is the premier cru. A wine that says Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru will still be Appellation Puligny-Montrachet [premier cru] Controllée, but may include the premier cru vineyard name, such as Les Pucelles. At the tip of the pyramid are the grand cru vineyards. There are only 30 in the Côte d'Or and the name of the vineyard is the appellation name.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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