2019 Domaine Xavier Monnot, Maranges 1er Cru “Clos de la Fussière” Monopole, Red Burgundy, France.
The exceptional and clean focused 2019 Clos de la Fussière Monopole shows pure Pinot fruit and lovely silky texture with a flow of red fruits on the medium bodied palate, it impresses in all areas and makes for a very pleasing Burgundy to enjoy over the next 5 to 10 years. I have just discovered Xavier Monnot’s wines this year, first with his brilliant Monthelie Les Duresses Bourgogne Blanc and now with his exciting Premier Cru Maranges Clos de la Fussière that part of a blind tasting I attended recently, both of these quality efforts are wines to keep an eye out for, they are quite good values too, in a category that has seen skyrocketing prices in recent years. This ruby hued 2019 Maranges starts with a touch sweet toasty oak, rose petals and mineral red berries and rotates a seamless stream of cherry, plum and strawberry fruits along with a touch of spice, orange tea, chalky stones and smoky vanilla, without any overt oakiness to muddle the pretty fruit core. Best to enjoy this red Burgundy with a meal and watch it elevate with the food and air in the glass, it gains a subtle earthiness and complexity with time, but stays nicely balanced and holds your attention, again without being aggressive. Monnot’s wines are all small lot hand crafted efforts with the whites being reductive in style and the reds being made for more immediate gratification as this Maranges shows. This wine comes from the La Fussière site, which is just about three acres, that is set on clay and limestone soils with a slightly cooler exposure that allows for good natural acidity.

As a new producer to me, I was curious about Xavier Monnot’s lineup of wines and his collection of vineyard parcels, which I discovered was pretty impressive ranging from Beaune to Maranges in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune, including prime plots in Pommard, Volnay and Beaune for red and Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet for his whites. Monnot, who starting producing under his own label and domaine back in 2005, has 60% white and 40% red, and crafts his wines from his small facility in Meusault after taking over his grandfather’s property, which was called Domaine René Monnier. Xavier’s family, the Monniers, go back to 1723 in the region, with six generations of winegrowing. Xavier took over his family concern in 1994, says his importer, after completing his oenological studies and he slowly started rejuvenating the vineyards, planting a series of massale selections and new clones where best suited. In the cellar, things really changed when he introduced his own label, going to native yeast fermentation and using clean stainless steel for the red primary maceration and ferments with gentle punch downs and pump overs before pressing to barrel. Xavier employs only a small amount of whole bunches, and maybe none at all in cooler or small yielding years, like this one, which was mostly all de-stemmed. This one saw close to 14 months in about 30% new oak, which matches up well with the concentration and adds to the lush satiny mouth feel, again there’s a lot to admire here. I look forward to digging deeper into Monnot’s collection, especially Xavier’s Meursault offerings, like the Les Charmes and his Volnay reds, with the Clos des Chênes being high on the list of wants.
($55 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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