Mugnier JF Nuits St. Georges Clos des Fourches 2004
Clos des Fourches was the original name of the Clos de la Maréchale; from young vines. A completely different nose with fresh dark berry fruit aromas with undertones of earth and herbs that complement the round, intense and pure flavors that display almost no rusticity and a finely grained minerality, culminating in a nicely powerful and persistent finish. As Nuits villages examples go, this is really quite an elegant wine. Jan 01, 2006 Score: 86-89 Drink: 2010+ Issue 21; Allen Meadows; Burghound
Frédéric Mugnier, who now has his new cuvérie up and running, told me that he was "extremely happy with the efficiency of it and his new team. We're doing much improved vineyard work because before taking back the Clos de la Maréchale, I had 1 vineyard worker for 4 ha and now I have 9 for 14 ha, 6 of which are permanent. Thus, when something has to be done immediately, I have people available to address the problem whereas before, there were sometimes scheduling issue delays. For example, because 2004 was such a challenge, particularly treating regularly and controlling yields, I'm not sure exactly how I would have managed without the team that I have in place now. We have stopped using herbicides in the Clos, which is consistent with how we treat our other vineyards but it also requires more work, which is again another reason why I am happy to have a quality, and permanent, team in place. We also changed the system of pruning in the Clos, another project which was exceptionally labor intensive. As to 2004, we began picking on September 23rd and there weren't really any serious sorting problems save for some from the hail, particularly in Bonnes Mares. We also didn't really have much trouble with oidium except again in Bonnes Mares. Overall, it's amazing giving the growing season but 2004 produced the highest sugars that I have ever seen, and that includes 1990, 1997, 2000 and 2003. Indeed, we obtained over 14% in one section of the Clos. In terms of vinification, I changed almost nothing and as an aside, I find myself changing it less and less no matter the vintage. The vintage is the vintage and as we have discussed before, it has an important role in determining the character of the wines. I don't want to diminish that character just so that I am happier. For example, even though 2003 is a style of vintage that I don't like very much, I would rather have it express itself and retain its individuality than try and standardize everything to a vision of what I like. Overall, 2004 is a lovely vintage that I like very much. It's floral and very fresh with round and complete flavors that will permit the wines to be drunk young but they will last for at least 20 years, perhaps longer because there are solid tannins beneath the fruit. In fact, I find the '04s to be more tannic than '02s." Fans of the domaine have been waiting breathlessly for word on the quality of the "new" Clos de la Maréchale and my initial impression is that the sophistication and elegance that Mugnier brings to all of his wines has worked brilliantly here. I am extremely impressed by the quality he has obtained for a first vintage, especially when you consider that Mugnier does not know the terroir well yet and it will be sometime before he fully understands its nuances and particularities, what sections give the best fruit and the kinds of wine that result from each sector. But I have every confidence that he will learn the inherent subtleties and be making even finer wine from the Clos going forward Note that there is also a Nuits villages made from young vines Clos de la Maréchale.
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