Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wine of the Week - Mugneret-Gibourg Bourgogne

2006 Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg Bourgogne, $32, Michael Skurnik Imports. Every year I try to buy a couple of high end bottles to put away in the cellar, but also a few "lesser" wines by great producers, wines to enjoy when young. File this in the lesser wines from great producers department. Not to say that is a lesser wine - it is a fantastic Bourgogne. But within the Mugneret-Gibourg portfolio it is low end, and therefore accessibly priced.

I think of Mugneret-Gibourg the way I think of Fourrier or Ghislaine Barthod - each well known among Burgundy lovers as rising stars, each making wines of stunning purity and grace that provide a clear window to terroir. In a region of expensive wine, Mugneret-Gibourg wines are not cheap - they command between $50-80 just for villages-level wines, 1er Crus now cost upwards of $85 per bottle. There are three Grand-Cru classified wines: Clos Vougeot, Échezeaux, and Ruchottes-Chambertin, and these wines cost what Grand Cru Burgundy costs, although some would argue that they offer great value even at the $165 plus per bottle, as they represent some of the finest examples of wine from those places.

What about the humble Bourgogne? At $32, does it offer good value? I can emphatically say yes. First of all, it is delicious wine, offering everything one could want in a young Bourgogne. And relative to other regional wines, I think this this is among the better ones. It shows a lovely perfume of pure ripe dark fruit, and with a little air there are interesting spice, smoke and herbal notes. Even with a few hours of air, though, the nose is not entirely open. This wine, even though it is a humble Bourgogne, has the structure to improve in the cellar for a few more years.

This wine comes from vines that were once classified as villages-level Vosne-Romanée, in a plot called Les Lutinières, just north of Nuits St Georges. The wine reflects some of the character of both of those places, with sweet spicy dark fruit and a gamy undertone on the palate. It is impeccably pure and fresh and just a pleasure to drink, and it is balanced and transparent as seems to be the character of the 2006 vintage, a vintage that I imagine will never be given the credit it should in the shadow of the massive 2005.

Excellent from the moment I pulled the cork, what put this wine into "wow" territory for me was how incredibly detailed the palate became after about 90 minutes open. It was as if I could taste the jet-black skins, and their spicy juice, the seeds and stems, the soil, and the tiny bit of wood. Detail like that requires remarkably pure fruit and clean wine making. Maybe it was the beautiful sunlight seeping through the trees on our deck, my sleeping kids, and dinner with my lovely wife, but I think the wine was amazing too.

I'm excited to re-visit this wine in about three years. And even more excited to one day open the fancier Mugneret-Gibourg wines that are just beginning their long sleep in my cellar.


Vinotas said...

Oooh, love those Mugneret-Gibourgs, and many of the 2006 reds from around Burgundy that I've tasted have a real nice precision to them that I am loving.

God, I'd kill for some Burgundy right now...

David McDuff said...

Are you sure it wasn't just the deck and the company, BG??? Seriously though, great notes on what sounds like a very fine Burg. And I couldn't agree more about the '06 vintage -- very fine, transparent wines relative to '05.