The experience of a fully evolved Musigny can be truly breath-taking – the epitome of elegant, alluring beauty, of perfume and silky seduction in wine. There is always depth, but it is wrapped in velvet or silk, and while the pool of fruit below can seem unfathomable, there is – paradoxically – an airiness to Musigny.
Here we focus on five estates –
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé
Musigny is divided into three lieux-dits – Les Musigny, Les Petits Musigny and La Combe d’Orveau. All discussions of Musigny begin with this domaine as they are monopole owners of Les Petits Musigny and major owners of Les Musigny. In all they have 7.12ha (70%) of Musigny Grand Cru, and the other ten owners share the rest. The domaine also dates back to the 15th century, so the story of Musigny and this family is intimately intertwined.
Some of the finest wines I have ever tasted have been Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. The 1972 – my birth year vintage – is a favourite of mine. I’ve also included some magnums of the 1992 – not a poor vintage, but a minor one. I’ve had this wine a few times in the past few years, and I have included it here because it demonstrates the strength of the terroir. As a ‘smaller’ Musigny vintage, it is now fully open and ready to drink – a smart choice.
Domaine Georges Roumier
From the largest producer, we move to the second smallest one at just 0.0996ha (it seemed appropriate to include that 4th decimal place here!). So small in fact that less than a full barrel is produced from it. Yet, when you speak to dedicated Burgundy enthusiasts, all go misty eyed whenever it is mentioned. Has any tiny production wine ever had more impact?
I have tasted Roumier’s Musigny only a few times, but they have all been memorable experiences. The 1990 we opened at The Fine Wine Experience Musigny dinner in 2015 was so extraordinary that a photo of that bottle (below) has been my screen-saver at work ever since.
Domaine J. Faiveley
Another enigmatic wine, for this is indeed the smallest* holding of Musigny – 0.0338ha (or just 338m2) from vines planted in the 1940s. At the Domaine, a specially-made, small barrel is used, and the bung is locked to the barrel with a key! There are, give or take, about 150 bottles produced each year. That’s it.
I have had it just a few times. At the aforementioned Musigny dinner, we served the 2001 and 1973 – both delicious.
For my fellow enthusiasts born in 1972 – why not buy this bottle of ‘72, and the ’72 de Vogüé to serve alongside it? That flight would be hard to beat.
(*Faiveley have since acquired a further 0.098ha – on stream since the 2016 vintage).
Domaine J.-F. Mugnier
The second largest holding after Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé, with 1.14ha, this wine is so closely tied to the artist behind it – Freddy Mugnier, who took up the reins at his family domaine in the mid-1980s.
Mugnier’s Musigny can be a real treat. I would especially recommend the 1993 – one of the best wines of that slow-to-age vintage.
Though today Mme Bize-Leroy makes Musigny at Domaine Leroy, some of the greatest historic bottles come from her family’s negociant firm of the same name. At our Musigny dinner, we served the 1966 – and it was the acclaimed wine of the night by those assembled. I have since had the oppoturnity to taste the 1962 – arguably the greatest Burgundy vintage of the 2nd half of the 20th century. It was astonishingly good! Leroy releases these historic wines usually on their 40th or 50th birthday - a wise move!