"The 2014 Musigny Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru had to be warmed up in my warm hands, since the wine had closed down a little in recent days. It has a very composed and quite dense bouquet with wild strawberry and blueberry scents, more opulence coming through with time, red rose. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a subtle marine influence flowing under the surface of red cherry and wild strawberry notes, an almost confit-like finish that feels dense and with plenty of substance. This is a sophisticated, almost saturnine Musigny -- a Pandora's Box of secrets that will only be revealed with age.
I arrived in Chambolle-Musigny and pulled into the large courtyard at de Vogüé in the middle of a torrential downpour, though that did not dampen my anticipation tasting their 2014s and 2013s with the ever-philosophical François Millet. "The winter was very mild, followed by an early bud burst and flowering. We thought we would pick very early. The summer was bad, mild and rainy, but the advantage was that it slowed down the advance [of the growing cycle] and preserved the freshness of the vintage. September was easier with some showers. We picked on September 13 with the young vines in Musigny."
"The vintage is quite welcoming," he continued. "I find a lot of compromises: medium freshness, not too much, just enough. The skin ripeness is medium, which gives you a possibility to play with red and black fruit that enlarge the aromatic spectrum. I would compare it to springtime, when air is beginning to warm up and the land is still cold, a subtle contrast between the reminiscence of the winter and the start of springtime. I find there is a subtlety with depth. There is a romantic side of the vintage connected with the warm spring. We had the same climatic conditions in 2007 and 2011. The heat of the vintage comes from the springtime. 2014 can be quite harsh if forced. The subtlety of the sensuous contrast between sweetness and freshness can be quickly damaged if it is forced or over-extracted. The vintage was unique in terms of weather conditions -- it was upside down in some ways. We had a hailstorm on June 28 and we lost 10% to 20%, more in Musigny than other vineyards."
This is always a fascinating tasting. For me, the Chambolle-Musigny Amoureuses was the star of the show, at least at this early juncture, actually more expressive than the linear and surprisingly tertiary Bonnes-Mares. The Musigny Vieilles Vignes was actually more difficult to read, but I think there is a great wine here, one intent on coveting its virtues for now, only revealing them for those with the wherewithal to wait a decade. As I have mentioned in previous reports, I used to find the winemaking too conspicuous at de Vogüé, but in recent vintages I have found the terroirs more articulated, thereby differentiating the cuvées to a greater degree." (WA)
"(from a barrel that had not yet been racked): Bright red-ruby color. Slightly reduced aromas of blackberry, cassis, violet, licorice and bitter chocolate, with leather and herb nuances. Rich, tactile and deep, offering outstanding concentration and chewiness to its dark fruit and saline flavors. This brooding wine is impressively dense but a bit musclebound today, still searching for its inner Pinot." (VM)
"While highly complex this is cool to the point of only grudgingly revealing a strikingly layered combination of violets, rose petals, sandalwood, anise, clove, plum and dark currant scents. This is a big and overtly muscular wine with broad-shouldered and admirably concentrated flavors yet for all of the impressive size, weight and volume, the massively long finish is serene, even Zen-like. 2014 is a relatively seductive and forward vintage for this storied wine that I appreciate that calling a wine "forward" when it will likely need 20 years to fully mature is a relative concept!" (BH)