Mongeard-Mugneret Vosne-Romanee Les Orveaux Premier Cru 2006
The deepest color of the wines tasted so far. A little reduced on the nose. Exhibits the signature domaine coffee/mocha with a heavy dose of oak along with tobacco and juicy fruit. This has the most body of all the wines, plus flavor extension and good concentration. Not too powerful, but persistent.
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.
This is the village for the most die-hard Burgundy fanatics. Vosne-Romanée has for many hundreds of years been the source of the most sought-after Pinot Noir in Burgundy. The village claims six Grands Crus—and some of the most famous at that—but in other villages where owners manage tiny parcels or a few rows of any one vineyard, monopolies dominate the Grands Crus of Vosne-Romanee.
Of these monopolies, Domaine Romanee-Conti (DRC) reigns supreme, claiming not only more total vineyard area than any other producer, but outright owning the entirety of two of the Grands Crus and a majority of two others. In its full possession are naturally Romanée-Conti, as well as La Tâche. DRC also owns most of Richebourg and Romanée-St-Vivant. The final two, La Grande Rue and La Romanée are completely owned by other other produers: François Lamarche and Comte Liger Belair, respectively.
While one could spend a lifetime on the puzzles of land ownership in Burgundy, the point is that Vosne-Romanee contains the most valuable pieces of vineyard real estate in the world. Pinot Noir from any of its vineyards—especially from within its 27ha of Grand Cru or 58 ha of Premier Cru land—is going to rank among the best.
The most outstanding wines from this village have everything: finesse and elegance coupled with the body and sturdiness for incredibly long aging ability. They are intensely floral and exotically spiced. Beautifully ripe, complex and ephemeral throughout, they are robust, yet fine-grained in texture. These wines will stay gorgeous for the long haul.
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.”