Mongeard-Mugneret Chambole Musigny 2013
The Mongeard family arrived in Vosne-Romanée in the eighteenth century, with records showing a Mongeard working as vigneron for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in 1786. In 1945, Jean Mongeard, whose mother was a Mugneret, found himself making wine at the age of 16 in the place of his father who had died years earlier. The entire 1945 crop was purchased by Baron le Roy, Marquis d’Angerville, and Henri Gouges. Gouges instructed the young Mongeard to personally bottle the wines, rather than sell in barrel. In 1975, Vincent Mongeard, Jean’s son, began working alongside his father and became responsible for viticulture and vinification of the domaine’s wines. He persuaded his father to return to the traditional method of bottling, without filtration, filtering only with certain vintages. Jean Mongeard retired in 1995, and Vincent assumed complete leadership of the domaine. Today, Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret covers a total area of more than 75 acres, split among 35 appellations. The varied range of climats in which the Mongeards own vineyards results, naturally, in wines of great diversity.
Chambolle-Musigny represents the charm of the Côte de Nuits district of Burgundy. But you’ll find that term mainly in reference to the vineyards in its southern stretches, which border Clos Vougeot: the Grand Cru of Le Musingy and in part, its neighboring and most exceptional Premier Cru, Les Amoureuses. Some producers argue for the primacy of Les Amoureuses and its eligibility for Grand Cru status given its wines can sometimes surpass other Grands Crus.
Le Musigny ranks on par with the most acclaimed Grands Crus for Pinot Noir: Romanée-Conti, La Tâche, Richebourg, Chambertin, and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. It is also the only Grand Cru in Côte de Nuits for Chardonnay. All of the others are in Côte de Beaune.
This village can in fact claim only two Grands Crus vineyards and—in the context of breaking down the minutiae—they are markedly different. Bonnes-Mares, the other one at the far northern end above the village, bordering Morey-St-Denis, offers power, strength and great aging potential. But Chambolle-Musigny includes a nice handful of exceptional Premiers Crus, as noted above with Les Amoureuses as the finest. Le Fuees and Les Cras are other noteworthy Premiers Crus.
Overall, a top Chambolle-Musigny offers pure aromas of violets, dark cherry and damp earth, coupled with a velvety elegance, supple mid-palate, an abundance of black and red berry, and finesse and power through a long and fine-grained finish.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”