According to Biodynamic Calendar, 27 and 28Nov2011 are not only fruit days but are “specially good” days for enjoying wine.    These “specially good” days didn’t come very often in a year.  Usually, there are just at most 5 in a year as far as I can recall.  To celebrate these “specially good” days, I certainly have to open a relatively more expensive wine.  The one I picked was 1996 J. F. Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny, Les Fuees, Premier Cru.

Mugnier’s wines are known for its superb elegant and stylist character.  They are never deep in colour and never dense or mouth-coating.  I always think this kind of wine will never shine in blind tasting competition when it competes against bold, dense and forward wine.  Its subtle character will easily be overwhelmed by denser and richer wine.  These stylist wines are art to be appreciated individually at ease.  They are not not for sip, spit and compete!

Mugnier wine’s superb elegance certainly linked with Mugnier’s winemaking method.  While most wine producers will crush their grapes into juice before fermentation, Mugnier will just lightly press grapes to break their skin.  The grapes will then be allowed to start their fermentation naturally using their natural yeast.  Grape juice will be released slowly during the fermentation process.  The whole fermentation process will not be allowed to exceed 34C and it takes about 3 weeks which is a very long maceration period.  The whole processs is slow and there is no hard pressing to avoid hard tannins going into the wine.  What Mugnier wants to achieve is pure and elegance.  Given the lightness of the wine, it is not suitable to be aged in new small oak barrel as the oak flavour can easily dominate.  Therefore, the use of new oak is kept at low level of just around 20% recently.

This 1996 J. F Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees certainly reflects all the characters I expect from Mugnier.  Even though the style of Les Fuees resembles more with Bonnes Mares than Musigny and is usually more muscular, I can still easily sense and appreciate the superb elegance of Mugnier’s wine.

Following is the comment from Allen Meadow’s Burghound on this wine.

Drop dead gorgeous fruit expressed in classic Chambolle character with pretty red fruit, medium weight flavors of real elegance and superb detail all supported by solid but not hard tannins and very nice length. In short, this is a very stylish wine that will clearly require some time to come around. The mid-palate isn’t quite as dense as it could be but the transparency of the flavors is most impressive.

By reading the comment, what is the score you are expecting with descriptors such as “drop dead gorgeous”, “real elegance”, “superb detail”, “very stylist wine”, “very nice length” and “impressive transparency”?  The score is just 88?!  Frankly, I can’t understand how this score was given with such a good comment.  And when I drink this wine, I felt like a score of 92-93 seems more appropriate.  Although I didn’t agree with the score, I’m really impressed with the tasting skill of Allen Meadow.  I cannot agree more with his comment.  Although it is written in 1998 and I drink this wine in 2011, the comment still hold and valid!

Aqua Wine (HK$1,488)

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