Friday Feature 12/13/13: 2011 Mugneret-Gibourg & Pre-Arrivals from Dominio do Bibei & Viña Sastre

Hello and Happy Friday!


We are happy to say that we lived through and enjoyed our annual Champagne tastings last week!  We tasted over 40 Champagnes in three nights, and we believe we are better people for doing so.


I mention this to reiterate that we have a great selection of Champagne for all your bubbles needs!




Every year at this time, we see a treasure trove of offerings on some of the most allocated and best wines of the world.


Today’s Friday Feature extends to you a chance to purchase some of these gems.


Please read closely as some of these are in stock and some are Pre-Arrival offerings which will arrive in a month or so.




There is something for every kind of palate on this newsletter, but as always don’t hesitate to reach out with questions and ask if these are the right fit for you.


Have a great weekend,


Craig & Sheb




Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

In 2009 the family holdings for Domaine Georges-Mugneret & Mugneret-Gibourg merged and now have about 8ha of holdings spread throughout the Côtes du Nuits. The Bourgogne Rouge & Vosne-Romanée are still under share-cropping agreements, but farmed to a high standard by Mugneret family members. The year of the merger also came with investments in a sorting table and a new press, all of which came in handy in 2011 (especially the sorting table).


New oak is about 30% in village wines, a bit more for Premier Crus and 70% for Grand Cru bottlings.


Visits to the winery reveal a passionate and earnest regard for their wines, and a fastidious commitment to cleanliness and quality control.


Our 2011 allocation was sparse, at best.


About the 2011 Vintage


It is always a bit risky to make broad generalizations regarding vintages, especially in a region like Burgundy that is so producer-driven. Critically, 2011 is a more controversial vintage than 2009 & 2010. Some have compared it to 2003 (for its warmth) and others to 2004 due to rot. However, neither of these comparisons are truly apt. 2004’s rot problem was much more serious than 2011’s,  and the winemakers in 2011 were adamant about discarding any and all rot; so much so that production was down about 30% for the entire year. I had the opportunity to do a fair amount of barrel tasting of 2003s (in February of 2004) and 2011 (in April of 2012) and can assure with great confidence that 2011 is a much more concentrated, fresh and long-lived vintage.


That being said, it will open earlier than 2009 & 2010, so that gives you Burgundy to drink while you wait

for other vintages to develop.




2011 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Bourgogne Rouge


Always a pleasurable and open wine to have while waiting for the others to develop. Beautiful mineral, and ripe and dried cherries. This always sells out first.






2011 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Nuits-Saint-Georges “Aux Chaignots”


Barrels samples in April of 2012 revealed a tight-knit, expressive, mineral driven NSG with lovely aromatics. The wine had just gone through malolactic fermentation.


“Aux Chaignots” is in the northern end of NSG (500m from Vosne-Romanée), and has soils heavy in iron and sand. The Meuzin river divides this sections of NSG from the two lower halves, and the wines from this part seem to have a less heavy hand, and fresh “Vosne-like” aromatics.






2011 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanée


A beautiful expression of this most famous village, perfumed and fragrant cherries coupled with fresh earth, mineral and a vein of conifer. The lieux-dit from which Mugneret-Gibourg make their Vosne-Romanée are called  “Les Quartiers du Nuits”, which actually runs right into the Grand Cru of Échezeaux, & “Les Rouge du Bas”, which again butts up against Échezeaux Grand Cru and whose soils contain a fair amount of chalk. These 2 vineyards contribute to an above average “village” wine.






2011 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Chambolle-Musigny “Les Feusselottes Premier Cru” 


“Les Feusselottes” distinguishes itself in its rich and deep soils, and produces a Chambolle with depth and a generous structure. The average vine age here is about 70 years old, all being propagated by a massale selection and very little, if no  outside clones being grafted here.






2011 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Gevrey-Chambertin “Premier Cru”


While this is labeled as “Premier Cru” the vines are actually younger plantings in the family’s parcel of Ruchottes Grand Cru. Their standards are exacting enough that even though the vines are now old enough to qualify as Grand Cru, the Domaine chooses to “declassify” the labeling.






2011 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Clos Vougeot, Grand Cru 


This was another wine we sampled out of barrel in April of 2012, it just having finished malolactic fermentation. A regal, clean and gorgeous nose was noted as well as an intense structure and pleasing earthiness.


Mugneret-Gibourg’s parcel is in the northeastern part of the Clos, right next to the ancient castle, in between the parcels of Méo-Camuzet and the late François LeMarche.





Dominio do Bibei


If you follow Spanish wine closely, the region of Ribeira Sacra has exploded on to the wine scene.


Mencía in the main grape of Ribeira Sacra, an indigenous red varietal that brings great aromatic complexity and at time an almost Burgundian mouth feel.  Not only has Mencía come on strong, there are now several white wines that have emerged from the region announcing its arrival as another great region within Galicia.


Dominio do Bibei is hands down the top producer of the Ribeira Sacra region.  They are located in the Quiroga-Bibei sub zone.  I had a chance to visit the impressive winery two years ago, a place that was not the least bit fancy, yet spared no expense in producing the best possible wine.  It is a gravity fed winery, with no stainless steel tanks, rather wood and cement is where fermentation and aging takes place.


Below are two very rare wines from Bibei, their top white and red wines.  With only bottles to sell, they are worth fighting for.




2011 Dominio do Bibei “Lapena” Ribeira Sacra


The top white wine of the estate.  Made entirely from the grape varietal Godello.  Godello has a unique sensibility to it, a wine that does show fruit in its youth, but with minerality and earth notes that come from the vineyard in which it is grown.


The “Lapena” highlights 20-30 year-old vines grown on the classic slate and schist soil of the region.  It is fermented in 2-year-old, 600 liter French oak barrels and kept on its lees for 8 months, before being transferred to concrete tanks for an additional year.


This really is one of the most complex white wines I’ve had from Spain in many years.  It offers a suggestion of apricot, along with citrus fruits, mineral and flowers.  This has weight, like a great Grand Cru Burgundy, and finishes with such length.


Don’t miss this great Spanish white wine!






2010 Dominio do Bibei “Lacima” Ribeira Sacra


The wineries top expression of the Mencía.  From 50-100 year-old vines on slate with sand and gravel.  As a big fan of the varietal, I can say that without a doubt this is always the top wine of the appellation.


Bibei ferments this in 500 liter open-top French oak barrels, and then 300 liter barrels for the malolactic fermentation.  It is aged in old, used French oak barrels for 19 months.


Such a beautifully aromatic wine, with bright red berry notes of raspberry and strawberry, along with a spice and mineral element.  The texture is soft and silky, yet with an underlying richness.


Those that love great Red Burgundy and Northern Rhône Syrah, will find a kinship with this wine.  It is spectacular.





Pre-Arrival offerings from Viña Sastre


Viña Sastre located in the Ribera del Duero region of Spain, is one of the elite producers of not just the region but the country as a whole.


I’ve met very few growers as dedicated to the vineyards as Jesus Sastre. He comes from a long lime of dedicated growers in the area of La Horra.  This part of Ribera del Duero is well noted for having lots of old vineyards – which you will hear more about in the descriptions of the wines.


Why buy any of the offerings from Viña Sastre?


  1. Craig will argue long and hard that this is the best estate in Ribera del Duero.  Yes – better than Pingus, better than Vega Sicilia, and he could go on and on.
  2.  While these certainly aren’t inexpensive bottles, when comparing them to the afforementioned they are great values.
  3. These appeal to a wide range of drinkers.  Fans ofwine that are Euro-centric will love them.  We also converted many Cult Cali Cab drinkers to these wines.  When you have wines of this magnitude we think that any wine lover would appreciate them.
  4. Because on anyone’s bucket list should be enjoying a roasted baby lamb alongside a glass from one of these three wines from Viña Sastre!


2010 Viña Sastre “Pago de Santa Cruz” Ribera del Duero


The heart of Viña Sastre is their Pago de Santa Cruz vineyard.  This is their best vineyard site located at 900 meters of elevation.  All Sastre reds are made from 100% Tempranillo, and this wine comes from 65+ year-old vines.  It is aged in new oak for 18 months.


You can enjoy this in its youth for its fruit, but look for a 15+ year evolution in bottle.  And of course, enjoy it with baby lamb!






2010 Viña Sastre”Regina Vides” Ribera del Duero


Every Spanish wine lover must buy some of the 2010 “Regina Vides!”


This is a truly mind blowing wine.


“Regina Vides” comes from 100+ year-old Tempranillo vines in the heart of the Pago de Santa Cruz vineyard.


2010 was a great vintage, and the yields were absolutely, insanely low.  Only 2 bunches per vine formed in 2010!


The result is an incredibly rich, yet well balanced red with intense dark cherry and strawberry aromas, spice, and an very long finish.


Decant a bottle now to try, but ultimately this is a wine for the ages, drinking best from 2018-2030+.






2010 Viña Sastre “Pesus” Ribera del Duero


Spain’s greatest red wine?  It certainly has been argued by many.


The name “Pesus” is a combination of Jesus Sastre and Pedro Sastre, his late brother.  The grapes come from a tiny parcel of 82 year-old Tempranillo vines, that are blended with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.  The yields in this vineyard are typically 7 to 9 hectoliters per hectare, about as low as I’ve ever heard for any wine.  The grapes are picked by family members only, as this wine is about family, and about making the best wine they possibly can.


This is certainly one of Spain’s most expensive wines, but given that many of the world’s greatest red wines (i.e. Lafite, La Tâche, etc.) are priced even above this, I believe it to be well within its place and price point.


I’ve been fortunate to drink this wine, and it truly is an experience I won’t forget!




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