In the words of renowned critic Robert Parker, the wines of Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret possess “… expansive, rich mid-palates and that enticing, seductive, sweet burgundy perfume that has not been obliterated by excessive fining or filtration.”
The vinous history of the Mongeard family reaches back to the 1600s, however the modern version of this producer begins in the early twentieth-century with the marriage of Eugène Mongeard and Edmée Mugneret. In 1945 their son Jean took over the family estate at only sixteen years of age, following the premature death of his father some years prior. Jean managed the estate for decades and his son Vincent joined him in 1976. By the mid 1990s Jean had retired and Vincent took over running the estate.
Mongeard-Mugneret has access to an enviable selection of vineyards spanning more than thirty appellations, including holdings in Vosne Romanée where the estate is based, Richebourg and Grands Echézeaux. The approach to winemaking is traditional and the wines are made to not only reflect the site in which the fruit was grown, but to stand the test of time. Allen Meadows of Burghound noted this, when he wrote of a barrel sample from the 2013 Richebourg, “An overtly floral nose combines notes of Asian tea, black cherry, plum and sandalwood. There is good volume and plenty of muscle to the large-scaled flavors that possess good minerality and vibrancy, all wrapped in an impressively long and well-balanced finale. This is not especially complex at present though the underlying material is certainly present to allow it to develop more over the course of the next decade plus.”
Working together, father and son implemented a number of practises considered unusual at the time, such as green harvesting to ensure successful ripening of the fruit. Vincent, in fact, tells the story of Henri Jayer in 1982 commenting on their decision - “you are crazy to be cutting off bunches from the vines – what are you thinking?” But when the fruit was harvested that year, the domaine was one of very few picking fully ripened fruit. Later, in the 1990s, Vincent introduced sustainable agricultural practises to the vineyard and in the winery he began bottling the wine unfiltered. More recently, Vincent has extended his involvement with the oak regime for the portfolio, selecting and ageing the oak for the domaine’s barrels onsite before sending it to their cooper, Rousseau, to craft into barrels.
The wines of Mongeard-Mugneret display a distinctly powerful structure with a particular brazen quality in youth that requires patience. It is not in barrel samples or early tastings that the wines reveal their true selves. Over time the oak harmonises and the wines begin to shine. In his review of the 2014 Grands Echézeaux Grand Cru, Neal Martin of Wine Advocate offers a tantalising justification for allowing these wines to develop when he says, “It has a clean, pure and quite intense bouquet with dark plum, raspberry and rose petals scents that are beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, good depth, a slight earthiness underneath the dark berry fruit mixed with black pepper and sage, fanning out gently towards the sturdy, truffle-tinged finish. Give this several years in the cellar, because it is a very well crafted and sophisticated Grands-Echézeaux.”