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.
There are just three barrels, each of them new using 4 year air-dried wood from the Chatillon forest. Leaving aside the evident wood on the nose, there is a glowing quality to the colour, albeit not especially deep, and a very beautiful sensual note to the fruit - future ethereal - top and bottom of the vineyard in the same glass. Little red fruits tiptoeing daintily. Very lovely.
96 points, Jasper Morris MW.
The 2017 Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru offers up attractive but reticent aromas of small red berries, peonies and spices, framed by a generous application of new oak, followed by a medium to full-bodied, firm and chewy palate with good concentration but a bit too much oak tannin and extract for its own good. This is being matured in entirely new barrels and my sense is that the wine is somewhat overwhelmed by that.
88-90 points, William Kelley, Wine Advocate, February 2019.
Very rich and seductive on the nose. Not the absolute top drawer but it certainly delivers grand cru quality. Sweetness, full ripeness, spice, and a certain crackling texture and energy.
17.5 points, Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com, January 2019.
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.