Domaine Henri Magnien 1er cru Cazetiers, Gevrey-Chambertin
Situated to the east of the village of Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Cazetiers–an 8.43-hectare vineyard–is on the northern border of the much-coveted Clos Saint-Jacques. Viticulture in the Le Cazetiers takes lutte raisonnée approach while converting to organic.
Neighbouring Clos Saint-Jacques should increase the demand for the wines from this cru more than it does. Behind its famous neighbour, Les Cazetiers is widely regarded as the best crus in Gevrey-Chambertin (with Les Combottes a following). Les Cazetiers relative lack of acclaim makes this one of the go-to crus for smart buying in Burgundy.
The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er Cru comes from 1.47 hectares that cover the four soil types within the vineyard; Magnien informed me that he is the only grower who has all four. The vines are Pinot Magnien and some are up to 100 years old. A gorgeous bouquet of pure black cherries, blueberry and light violet aromas bursts from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a fine bead of acidity, and lightly spiced, leading into a harmonious, persistent, mineral-driven finish. This should evolve into a gorgeous Les Cazetiers.
(93-95) points, Vinous (January 2020)
Cazetiers is effectively Charles Magnien’s home vineyard and he knows it intimately. Since he has a whole hectare and a half, I am delighted that he makes great wine here from vines that average 65 years old. Beautifully ripe yet with a joyous balance, this absolutely fills the mouth while resolutely insisting on its mineral aftertaste.
(94-96) points, Inside Burgundy (November 2019)
The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Cazetiers has turned out very well. Unwinding in the glass with notes of rose petals, peonies, red berries, orange rind and spices, it's medium to full-bodied, velvety and layered, with fine concentration and lively acids. Magnien produced 25 barrels out of the maximum of 32 authorized from his 1.47-hectare parcel.
(92-94) points, Wine Advocate (February 2020)
Bottled. Smells a little sweeter-fruited than the Gevrey Estournelles St-Jacques. Even a hint of something floral/leafy though it is fully ripe. Firm but juicy without quite the intensity of the Estournelles St-Jacques. Smoother and softer overall.
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.