Nine generations of Muzards precede Claude and Hervé, who today control Domaine Lucien Muzard across 16 ha of vineyards in Santenay, Chassagne-Montrachet and Pommard. The family can trace its roots back to 1645, but it was not until the two sons took over the domaine in 1995 that it began bottling at the estate rather than selling to négociants. Today 95% of the production is red wine but the white wines are gaining in stature with each passing vintage.
Reducing vine yields and adoption of some modern wine-making techniques has resulted in spotlessly pure, great value Burgundy. They started using small bins for harvesting, a vibrating sorting table and conveyor belts rather than pumps to keep crushing to an absolute minimum as well as acquiring a new temperature controlled fermentation facility with new wooden vats and a new precision controlled press. In 2005 they began managing the vineyard organically and ultimately gained certification for biodynamic farming in 2011. Following the incessant rains of spring 2012 however they relinquished this certification and today follow a lutte raisonée, or sustainable farming path.
They continue to plough their rows and shun any use of herbicides or pesticides, let alone chemical fertilizers. In the winery these days, more whole bunches are included, typically about a third, while there are no additions of yeast or enzymes. In tandem with the move to more whole-bunch, the extraction regime has moved away from punch-downs towards a gentler remontage (pump-over) approach, while elevage is moving towards both larger oak and a subtler new-oak influence. Indeed for the first time in vintage 2015, two large foudres were included in the elevage of the Maladière. The reds are bottled unfined and with only a coarse filtration as required.
WINE NOTES AND REVIEWS - CURRENT VINTAGES
2017 Lucien Muzard Chassagne-Montrachet
’Also young vines – about 10 years old – on clay soil near Abbaye de Morgeot – têtes de moines limestone here that deflect the blades of the plough. Also a small production, only a 350 l and one normal barrel. Another faint reduction. Slightly in the mouth too – more architectural volume – pure, open, slowly melting with fresh flavour. A little oak in the finish – wait for this, it’s very sophisticated compared to the others. Long, too.’ Bill Nanson, Burgundy Report, December 2018
2017 Lucien Muzard Puligny-Montrachet
’Open and with a certain freshness – less width vs the Meursault but no less interesting. A more reductive experience – layered, mobile – depth of flavour too. So much here. But carafe to remove the reductive elements – you will be rewarded. Great finishing. Excellent wine.’ Bill Nanson, Burgundy Report, December 2018
2017 Lucien Muzard Meursault Les Meix Chavaux
’Bought in 2011. One part on high from 1920, 1990 and 2001 the other parts. Vines sited in the direction of Auxey. 0.75 ha. All 350l barrels. Hmm – a fine and composed with of aroma – faintly spicy. More direction, beautiful freshness, lithe and complex. Layered flavour super-delicious – bravo. Very long!’ Bill Nanson, Burgundy Report, December 2018
2016 Lucien Muzard Chassagne-Montrachet
From a tiny 0.1 ha parcel, the fruit is hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed and wild-yeast fermented in one- and two-year old French oak barriques. The wine is then matured in barrel on fine lees without batonnage for one year, and bottled with a light fining and filtration as required.
2016 Lucien Muzard Puligny-Montrachet
From two parcels near Les Enceigneres, the fruit is hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed and wild-yeast fermented in 40% new French oak barriques. The wine is then matured in barrel on fine lees without batonnage for one year, then assembled in tank for a further 2 months. Bottled with a light fining and filtration as required.
2016 Lucien Muzard Meursault Les Meix Chavaux
From a 0.75 ha parcel bordering Auxey-Duresses, with one third each of the vines planted in 1935, 1988 and 2001. The fruit is hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed and wild-yeast fermented in 40% new French oak barriques. The wine is then matured in barrel on fine lees without batonnage for 10 months, then assembled in tank for a further 2 months. Bottled with a light fining and filtration as required.
2015 Lucien Muzard Bourgogne (Stelvin Lux)
This comes from parcels in Maranges and in Santenay, plus a one hectare parcel in the Hautes Côtes. Raised 30% in tank and 70% in barrel (15% new). Lovely volume of red fruit with a hint of slatey minerality. Always an exceptional value, in 2015 it is just off the charts.
2015 Lucien Muzard Santenay Vieilles Vignes
From 3ha of vines with an average age of 50+ years, spread over 3 parcels: one in the north near Chassagne, one in the centre near the village and one in the south near Maranges. Hand-picked and sorted, the fruit is 60% destemmed-but-not-crushed and 40% whole bunches, wild-yeast fermented. Gently plunged for 15-20 days, then pressed to 30% new French oak barriques for 12 months maturation.
2016 Lucien Muzard Santenay Vieilles Vignes - stelvin closure
Comes from several parcels including from Clos des Hates which is located beside one of Muzards best 1er cru sites, Clos Faubard. Total production of this cuvee averages 750 cases per year. In 2016 this has been bottled for us specially under stelvin to retain freshness and precision.
2017 Lucien Muzard Santenay Vieilles-Vignes
’Three parcels; one in the village, another towards Chassagne and the last in Charmes next to Clos Rousseau. 30% elevage in foudres for this cuvée – ‘keeping freshness and a little co2 without too much oak.’ A more vibrant and attractive nose. Supple, silky – lovely depth – just a little growth of structure in the middle – a fine finishing wave of faintly creamy old-vine flavour in the finish – yes the average over 70 year-old vines here…’ Bill Nanson, Burgundy Report, December 2018
2017 Lucien Muzard Santenay 1er Clos Faubard
Near Gravières – above; a ‘well sited nearly 2 hectares’ with just a little white too. Very red soil here, still with plenty of small stones.
’A concentration of pure red fruit again. Hmm, nice volume again, perhaps a hint more depth to the fruit but this clearly cut from the same stock as the Maladière – fine concentration. Delicious again – bravo – such a great finish!’ Bill Nanson, Burgundy Report, December 2018
2016 Lucien Muzard Santenay 1er Cru Clos Faubard - stelvin closure
North of the Village, Clos Faubard sits up high, where the slope climbs into scrubland. The soil here, has the same Bajocian marl limestone that is found in the Côte de Nuits and not found elsewhere in the Côte de Beaune, giving Faubard’s wine a distinct spicy minerality. The domaine, one of only three owners of this vineyard, has 1.47 hectares here and makes roughly 750 cases each year. 40% whole bunch followed by 12 months elevage in 30% new barriques. Vibrant red fruit leads to a densely packed, mineral inflected palate of great purity and terrific length.
2015 Lucien Muzard Santenay 1er Cru Maladiere
Maladière takes its name from malady, or illness. The hill of Maladière rises steeply up behind the lower village and gets bathed in sunshine, thus long ago this hillside was considered a healthy place to house the leper colony. Maladière has some of the same Côte de Nuits limestone as Faubard, contributing to the minerality that underpins the wine. This is from 4.35 hectares of 35+ year old vines here and the fruit is hand-picked, sorted, 100% destemmed but not crushed and then cold-soaked for a few days. Wild-yeast fermented and gently plunged for 12-15 days, then pressed to 33% new French oak barriques for 12 months maturation.
2014 Lucien Muzard Santenay 1er Cru Clos de Tavannes
One of the smaller 1er cru’s at 5.32 hectares which can also take the labels of Santenay Clos de-Gravières Tavannes or Les Gravières. There is the same limestone and clay of the other 1ers except that there is also a little sand in the soil. This is from 0.42 hectares of vines planted in the 1950s. The fruit is hand-picked, sorted, 100% destemmed but not crushed and then cold-soaked for a few days. Wild-yeast fermented and gently plunged for 18-20 days, then pressed to 50% new French oak barriques for 12 months maturation.
'My personal favourite remains the Santenay Premier Cru Clos de Tavannes; a supple wine of roundness and mouthwatering pinot flavours; it can be a precocious wine but one that, should you wish, will age very well indeed.' Bill Nanson, The Burgundy Report.
2016 Lucien Muzard Pommard Les Cras
Les Cras comes from the word ‘craie’ which translates as lime and is a relatively low-lying vineyard towards the border with Volnay. From a small 0.5 ha parcel of low-yielding vines planted in 1922, Les Cras produces wines with a densely concentrated palate, marked by sweet blueberry and plum fruit, fine yet powerful tannins and a long minerally finish.
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2017 Lucien Muzard Bourgogne Pinot Noir
’Not the new Côte d’Or label – ‘it’s already sufficiently complicated.’ Three different parcels. All the wines have 30-40% whole clusters, just a little less in the Bourgogne – a little pigeage when cold before fermentation and then remontage just to keep the cap moist.
Hmm – a nice big and open-armed invitation from darker red fruit – very nice. Hmm, wide, fine definition to this approachable fruit – a lift of freshness in the middle then mouth-watering at the end. Super juicy finishing. Simply a great Bourgogne!’ Bill Nanson, The Burgundy Report, November 2018