The 2009 Nuits St. Georges Clos de la Marechale is a seriously dark, rich and concentrated wine that stands apart from most of the production here. The intense core of fruit powers through to the intense, imposing finish where sweet spices and licorice add the final layers of complexity. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029.
With each passing year Frederic Mugnier has let up on the reigns of winemaking and allowed the vintage to take center stage. His wines now reflect the unique qualities of each harvest to an exacting degree. Mugnier describes the 2009s as rich, powerful and exceptionally dense wines that will be at their most exciting in several decades’ time, or – as Mugnier says with his typically dry sense of humor – when he’s no longer around. The vintage was marked by one week of very hot weather towards the end of the growing season, although on average 2009 was not a hot year. The harvest began on September 10. For the 2009s Mugnier destemmed 100% of the fruit as he didn’t feel he had the phenolic ripeness in the stems to use whole clusters. Fermentations lasted about three weeks, an approach which is now pretty much consistent from year to year. ‘Long, slow and gentle,’ Mugnier says. The wines were racked once and were scheduled to be bottled between April and May 2011. The percentage of new oak barrels continues to drop and is now between 15-20% across the entire range.
I also tasted all of the 2008s, a vintage in which Mugnier’s wines are stratospheric for their sheer beauty, elegance and pedigree. In 2008 the harvest began on September 26, two full weeks after 2009, which is pretty consistent across domaines in these two years. Today the 2008s appear to have more finesse and silkiness. This will be a fascinating vintage to follow here.