Sunday, January 26, 2014

2011 Mongeard-Mugneret Red Burgundies

Mongeard-Mugneret is a solid "value" producer of red burgundy, with wide range of impressive vineyard holdings, particularly at the 1er and Grand Cru level in the Vosne Romanee commune, as well as Flagey-Echezeaux and Vougeot, all the way up to Richebourg Grand Cru in Vosne. Mongeard-Mugneret is well regarded for their old-vines plot in Echezeaux, bottled separately as "vieille vigne" from their regular Echezeaux. I "heard" that 2011 is the last vintage of these venerable 60-year-old vines, as supposedly they got ripped out afterwards due to disease. (Note: I do not have the official confirmation on this yet...)

Our local wine shop conducted two tastings of Mongeard-Mugeneret 2011 broad line-up. While I did not taste everything, I did focus on a few key bottlings to get the idea of the producer's style and quality in the 2011 vintage.

Here are the tasting notes:

2011 Mongeard-Mugeneret "Les Orveaux" 1er Cru - pine, red plum, spice, tight, masculine, austere cool stern fruit, slight chocolate / vanilla, somewhat bitter aftertaste. Similar to Grands-Echezeaux, but softer and lighter with a touch more vanilla. Should be good with time.

2011 Mongeard-Mugeneret "Les Suchots" 1er Cru - palate: pretty, flower garden, raspberry, gentle touch of vanilla. More open than Les Orveaux, soft smokiness (not toast or char), feminine and inviting. Very nice already.

2011 Mongeard-Mugneret Echezeaux Grand Cru - attractive red berries, flowers, vanilla on the nose. Palate: soft plush raspberries and red berries, vanilla, flowers, thick and weighty luxurious mouth-feel, spices. Not particularly tannic. Clean, balanced, and tasty. Very good, perhaps a little generic in character but certainly of high quality. Seems like this should be really good in 5-10 years, i.e. medium term.

2011 Mongeard-Mugneret Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru - nose: very tight, masculine, flower pollen. Palate: similar profile to Les Orveaux, just more serious. Much more firm than Les Suchots. More like blueberries and chocolate, stronger spice, darker fruit, austere and hard right now, quite tannic. A lot of depth and extract here, without weight (i.e. mid-weight). Substantial wine that seems to have good potential but hard to see any of the "velvety texture" right now that Burghound mentioned. Pretty good, not great.

2006 Mongeard-Mugeneret Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru - compared to the hard and tannic 2011, the 2006 was all honeyed pretty red berries, and a hint of barn, very tasty already and so different in profile than the 2011. Yum.

Overall, the tasting confirmed that Mongeard-Mugneret makes solid, high-quality wines at very good price. For me, they seem to lack some excitement and personality, but given the cost, they are worth considering and cherry-picking relative to many other higher-priced red burgundies. Of the four 2011's I tasted, two (Suchots and Echezeaux) were pretty and aimed at mid-term drinking, while Orveaux and especially Grands-Echezeaux would need longer.

Thanks to Vin Vino Wine wine shop for serving the local wine community with almost daily fine wine tastings in Palo Alto.

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