Domaine Henri Magnien Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Ruchottes is one of the smallest Grand Crus of Gevrey Chambertin with as little as 3.3 hectares divided between just eight producers. Domaine Henri Magnien holds two parcels of 50+year-old Pinot Magnien vines (one in the centre of the cru and the other on the easternmost edge) totalling 0.16 hectares.
The wine receives 100% lightly flamed but long toasted new oak (Fontainebleau)—the same regime as the 1er Cru Carac’Terres. While showing the masterfully integrated new oak and structure you’d expect from this Grand Cru, the Ruchottes is ponderously elegant. Or is that elegantly ponderous? This is a rare (only two barrels made), nuanced, stop-and-think Grand Cru, that has every trick up its sleeve to impress critics but it’s utterly pleasurable at the same time.
The 2018 Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru comes from 0.16 hectares equally dispersed over oolite blanche and Prémeaux limestone bedrock, with an average vine age of 50 years. It has a dense, powerful bouquet with pressed violets infusing intense black fruit; touches of blood orange develop with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a fine bead of acidity. Quite powerful and structured for this Grand Cru, with a precise, focused finish that will require 5–6 years in bottle. Great potential.
(92-94) points, Vinous (January 2020)
This is a tiny cuvée chez Magnien (just four ouvrées split between the upper and lower parts). Mid purple, the nose is not quite so fresh as the preceding wines. All is in new wood, and the fruit maybe over-ripened. Has just missed this year perhaps.
(91-94) points, Inside Burgundy (November 2019)
The 2018 Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru is very promising, unwinding in the glass with a delicate bouquet of cherries, red berries, rose petals, peonies and blood orange, framed by a discreet application of new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep and layered, its core of succulent fruit framed by elegantly powdery tannins.
(93-95) points, Wine Advocate (February 2020)
20% whole bunch. Bottled.
Peppery and fragrant, seductive in an elegant, shy way. Moreish and succulent on the palate, tannins as fine as layers of paper. Elegant and long.
17.5 points, JancisRobinson.com (January 2020)
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.