Domaine Henri Magnien Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
The Vieilles Vignes, or old vines, are from those mich sought-after 70 to 100-year-old vines from which the Massal Selection cuttings, named Pinot Magnien, are taken.
Expect a juicy, generous Gevrey-Chambertin Villages rogue showing ripe red fruit, great balance, a medium-body and a lengthy finish. All much like the younger Villages equivalent bottling. However, you’ll find more depth, complexity and concentration here as expected from an old vines selection.
The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes comes from seven parcels of vines between 40 and 100 years old. There are blackberry, boysenberry and briar scents on the nose, which is quite dense and more backward than the regular Gevrey. The palate is medium-bodied with a saline, licorice-tinged entry and very fine weight in the mouth. There is some new oak on the finish that will need to be subsumed. Give this three or four years once in bottle.
(89-91) points, Vinous (January 2020)
8 plots from well-known vineyards from 40 to 100 years old. Brilliant purple colour. Still ripe of course but it is much more the depth and concentration of the wine which is obvious even on the nose. Fills the mouth with more in reserve than the regular Gevrey, fine tannins in evidence, just enough acidity and very persistent. Lovely finish, with raspberry and strawberry notes together.
(91-93) points, Inside Burgundy (November 2019)
The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes is showing well, revealing aromas of cherries, raspberries and rose petals that emphasize pure fruit over savory nuance. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and fleshy, with more depth, concentration and powdery tannin than its junior sibling.
(88-90) points, Wine Advocate (February 2020)
Bottled. Darker-fruited and a little less open than the Bourgogne. More peppery and spicy, very Gevrey. Fine, dry, structuring tannins. A baby in balance.
16.5+ points, JancisRobinson.com (January 2020)
“For fifteen years the Emperor [Napoleon] constantly drank the same wine [Gevrey-Chambertin] , which he liked and which we believed was good for him."
Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène by The Count of Las Cases
Gevrey-Chambertin is the largest wine-producing village in the entire Côte d’Or with the wines typically deeper in colour, with more tannin structure and firmer in body than most red Burgundy. Thanks to the iron-rich clay soils the very best can develop into the richest, biggest and long-lived Pinot Noir - this of course depends on whether the vineyard is located on the steeper slopes or the flatter, richer soils.
Gevrey boasts an impressive nine Grands Crus, with the name of Chambertin retaining a regal omnipresence throughout its finest vineyard names. Chambertin-Clos de Bèze which has the right to sell its wines simply as ‘Chambertin’, and is also the only wine allowed to put the ‘Chambertin’ before (rather than after its own), is considered one of the greats. Quality-wise the next best is generally acknowledged to be Mazis-Chambertin with incredibly concentrated and fine wines, but a little less firm than Le Chambertin. The tiny Griottes-Chambertin, which owes its name to the grill-pan shape of the vineyard rather than the wine’s griotte (sour) cherry aroma, is lower down the slope and boasts a velvety texture and rich fruit reminiscent of Chambertin itself. Gevrey’s largest Grand Cru, Charmes-Chambertin is pure and seductive.
The wines of Gevrey-Chambertin are deeply colored. They have intense aromas of currants and other small red and black fruits, animal notes of musk and fur, and often a touch of licorice after some bottle aging. They are powerful, with balanced tannins, a soft mouthfeel and good acidity. These are generally robust wines.
While the Magnien family has been operating in Burgundy since the mid-1600s, Domaine Henri Magnien et Fils was established in 1987 by Henri for himself, his son François and his grandson Charles. After working side-by-side with his father, Charles took the reins in 2009 and is now considered to be in the vanguard of the young, energetic winemakers in the Gevrey-Chambertin and the Côte de Nuits.
Domaine Henri Magnien is a small family-owned and run estate of a mere six hectares of vineyard holdings. What they lack in hectarage they make up for in undoubted Gevrey-Chambertin quality. The Magnien family’s inexorable march to organic viticulture has been going for years with around 80% already complete. Charles, considered to be one of Burgundy’s rising stars, employs Selection Massale, or Massal Selection, to plant his more recent vineyards with cutting selections made from 70 to 100-year-old vines. These clonal selections are known as Pinot Magnien (the family has been around for a while) and are widely considered to be the best in the appellation. They are much sought-after and used by the likes of Jérôme Galeyrand.
The Domaine also has many of the very best vineyards, including Lavaux Saint-Jacques, Les Cazetiers and Ruchottes-Chambertin.