1996 Burgundy Mugnier Musigny: Timeless Elegance & Terroir Revelation


A row of wine bottles


1996 was a fascinating vintage in Burgundy – the success of the year revolved heavily around what would happen to the elevated levels of acidity in the grapes at harvest. Luckily, a large portion of the acid was malic not tartaric, meaning it softened to lactic acid during the fermentation process. And Voila! Juice that was unbearably tart turned into wine with no more than a refreshing touch of acidity.

As we all know, acidity is a necessary component in wine for extended aging…which is what makes the 1996 vintage one that we consider to be ‘built for the long haul’ and a favorite amongst our Burgundy collectors. These wines have a long life ahead of them but are already able to deliver an immense amount of pleasure.

This morning our focus is on the 1996 Mugnier Musigny – A wine that is just now starting to show us its colors, yet still easily has another 20+ years ahead of it. Mugnier’s wines are some of our personal favorites, as they have always offered some of the most thought-provoking experiences with Burgundy that we've ever encountered. There is a fabulous article from Becky Wasserman on the wines of Frédéric Mugnier and one comment in particular really resonated with us –

“In winemaking, Fred is seeking the absence of Fred. There is no greater respect for terroir than to seek its purest revelation by erasing not so much the self, but traces of the self, the noticeable self. Winemaking without a footprint.”

She goes on to say “There are many paths, many beliefs, many choices that bring people to produce extraordinary wine. But I won’t beat around the bush. I find Frédéric’s approach profound.”

Mugnier’s Musigny is the crown jewel for the Domaine, and with only 500 cases of this wine produced annually, demand is high. We are offering these for the lowest price not just in the US, but in the WORLD!

Pristine bottles, ready to go to their new home.





Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier’s 1996 Musigny was also showing beautifully at our tasting. The bouquet is excellent, offering up a vibrant blend of red and black cherries, woodsmoke, dark soil tones, mustard seed, gamebird and a nice touch of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and plenty deep at the core, with superb soil inflection, lovely focus and grip, fine-grained, moderate tannins and a long, tangy and complex finish. This is really starting to show well today, but I would be inclined to let it rest just a bit longer in the cellar and let more layers of complexity emerge and a bit more of the tannin fall away. It is going to be a long-lived and beautiful wine, so why rush? -JG95 (tasted in 2018)

The nose is elegance personified with beautifully transparent and mature aromatics of cool and high-toned notes of cherries, black berries and spice. The middleweight flavors lack a bit of mid-palate density even though they dance across the palate, offering wonderful complexity while the backend does not lean out excessively in the fashion of many '96s. Overall, this is a wine of finesse, silk and lace with a sweet and long finish that allows this to be drinking perfectly well now. Consistent notes as I have never had a poor bottle. I would note that this should continue to hold for at least another decade. -BH92 (tasted in 2021)

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