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THE DOMAINE

Domaine Stephane Magnien is located in Morey-Saint-Denis. The range is very exciting, with not only Morey-Saint-Denis Villages and 1er Cru but also some Chambolle-Musigny Villages, 1er Cru, a Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru and a Clos St Denis Grand Cru.

Domaine Stéphane Magnien En Primeur 2020

There are also some regional appellations. A very complete range with 80% of the vineyards in the commune of Morey-Saint-Denis.

Founded in 1847 by Victor Magnien, the domaine’s holdings cover 4.5 hectares, with an average vine age of around 50 years. There is a high proportion of Pinot Tordu, a clone of Pinot Noir producing particularly small berries.


Stephane is the fourth generation to run the estate, the family having started to make wine at the beginning of the 1900s. The chai is in the family house, dating back from the 18th century. Jean-Paul Magnien, Stephane’s father, was the first to bottle the wines under the family name, rather than selling them to negociants. Stephane took over in 2008, which was his first solo vintage.

THE WINES

VITICULTURE AND WINEMAKING

The domaine’s vineyard work is carried out by hand. Strict green harvesting helps to control yields and maintain concentration. The grapes are sorted in the vineyard at harvest time. Pesticides and herbicides are avoided. Historically all the work of ploughing was done by horse although in the late ‘80s, small tractors were introduced. A living soil is very much a priority here, as is a deep root network.


Winemaking is traditional and minimal-intervention. All grapes are destemmed with the exception of the Aligoté. Fermentation lasts about two weeks using wild yeast, in stainless steel tanks. This is Stephane’s only nod to modernism: after taking over from his father, he replaced the 50 year-old oak tanks with stainless steel ones.


Stephane looks for elegance, a sense of fruit and terroir expression. He does not force extraction. The reds are aged in barrel for up to two years, in “new” barrels (by which Stephane actually means one-to-five year-old barrels!) for the first year and in “used” ones afterwards. It can be inferred that new oak use is minimal! The village wines see 10% of “new” oak, the premiers crus about 20-25% and the grands crus about 30-35%. The wines are bottled without filtration and fining.

COTEAUX BOURGUIGNONS ‘PUR PINOT NOIR’

This is a 0.5 hectare holding, producing a pleasantly juicy, herbaceous, early-drinking style. The plot is in the Morey-Saint-Denis village appellation and used to be blended into the Passetoutgrain. Half is in old oak, half in stainless steel. Brightly red-fruited, succulent Pinot fruit, with juicy acidity and fine tannins.

Corney & Barrow Score 17+
Recommended drinking from 2022 – 2026


£80/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

MOREY-SAINT-DENIS GRAINS FINS

This is made from two gravelly parcels in the lieu-dit Les Crais Gillon, both located towards the bottom of the slope near the road. According to Stephane, this is “very Chambolle and red-fruited in style” – he is right! Red cherry and liquorice too, with a gratifying fleshiness.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
Recommended drinking from 2023 – 2028


£185/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

MOREY-SAINT-DENIS VIEILLES VIGNES

The vines here are nearly 60 years old, growing on clay-heavy soils. This comes from two parcels, on either side of the Route Nationale. As always, this is a darker fruited style of Morey, with a firm tannic backbone and spicy, blueberry aromatics on the finish.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5+
Recommended drinking from 2023 – 2028+


£195/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY VIEILLES VIGNES

This 0.26 ha holding, in Les Athets, at the bottom of the village, was planted in 1902 and 1903, before the creation of the appellation system. Around 15% of the original plantings remain: these are ungrafted, on their own roots. Resoundingly ripe raspberry fruit and bright strawberry, with supple tannins and a brisk balancing freshness.

Corney & Barrow Score 17-17.5
Recommended drinking from 2023 – 2028


£235/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 1ER CRU LES SENTIERS

This 0.42 ha holding is just below Bonnes-Mares. The vines are 60 years old on average. An airborne, aromatic nose, of violets, peonies, roses. The palate is weightless and lifted, a wonderfully floral expression of Chambolle, with fine, fruit-coated tannins.

Corney & Barrow Score 17-17.5
Recommended drinking from 2023 – 2028


£350/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

MOREY-SAINT-DENIS 1ER CRU AUX PETITES NOIX

This is named after the walnut trees which must have grown nearby in the past. It is a blend of two premiers crus in the centre of the village, Les Gruenchers and Clos Baulet, both of which have a high clay content, making for a powerful style of wine, which is moderated by the 15-20% whole-bunch vinification, a deft move by Stephane and the only wine for which his does this.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
Recommended drinking from 2023 – 2029


£305/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

MOREY-SAINT-DENIS 1ER CRU LES FACONNIERES

This is a 0.6 hectare plot situated below Clos de la Roche. These are poor, dusty soils whose vines average 48 years of age. I enthusiastically scribbled “super-expressive” upon putting my nose into this glass – soaring raspberries and roses, which carry through to the palate and are framed by fine, perfume-laden tannins.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5-18
Recommended drinking from 2023 – 2029


£335/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

MOREY-SAINT-DENIS PREMIER CRU 'LES MONTS-LUISANTS'

Situated above Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, almost at the forest’s edge, with sandier soils resulting in small millerand berries and consequently more body and structure. Ripe and effusive, with a tangerine zest lift, a bright citric joyfulness. Lovely wine. Only 400 bottles were produced though...

Corney & Barrow Score 18
Recommended drinking from 2023 – 2028+


£325/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CLOS SAINT-DENIS GRAND CRU

The vineyard from which the village of Morey-Saint-Denis takes its name, Clos-Saint-Denis has a subsoil of friable limestone. The domaine has 0.3 hectares. Very small millerand berries here. Beautiful, pure dark berry fruit aromas. The palate is taut and muscular, with no excess, stony-mineral and powerful. This receives 36 months of oak ageing.

Corney & Barrow Score 18
Recommended drinking from 2026 – 2038+


£705/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CHARMES-CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU

A mere 0.19 hectares, located in Mazoyères-Chambertin, although this has always been labelled as a Charmes, as is permitted. The average vine age here is nearly 40 years. Planted on clay-limestone subsoil. So complete, this has it all – delectable red berry fruit, fine yet muscular tannins which are deftly fruit coated. 36 months of oak ageing.

Corney & Barrow Score 18.5
Recommended drinking from 2026 – 2038


£705/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

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