Photo: Courtesy Linden Wilkie of the Fine Wine Experience
Domaine profile: Here.
Under the auspices of Linden Wilkie a number of us gathered in London to work our way through a vertical of the domaine’s Mazis-Chambertin. Sadly two bottles were clearly corked (one was a magnum!) and a third remained under suspicion – that could have been enough to undermine the event, but there was clearly enough personality in the remaining bottles to compensate:
Medium, medium-plus colour – some purple reflections. Despite the description of the oak regime here, this starts deep and toasty. A swirl releases dark-skinned fruit and over time it transforms to a more floral and spicy effect. The texture is rather good with some fat and plenty of well-covered and well-mannered tannin. There’s a burst of interest in the mid-palate helped by the acidity. Finally there’s the nice finish. Not a blockbuster, but nice fruit.
2001 Maume, Mazis-Chambertin
A shade lighter in colour and more of a ruby-colour. No toast aromas this time, but a wide profile of red and black fruits that are shaded more to the red versus the 2002. The fruit and tannins are a little less ripe than the 02, in particular the tannins – but they are far from green astringency! The fruit flavour is more obvious in the mid-palate and finish when contrasted to the 2002. Nice, but don’t pair it with a much riper wine.
1997 Maume, Mazis-Chambertin
Medium ruby-red colour with some amber at the rim. The nose is wide and a little spicy and gamey with an undertow of spiced plummy red fruit. The palate is quite silky with plenty of of width and still some relatively silky tannin. The acidity is not absolutely seamless, but the wine has a good character.
1996 Maume, Mazis-Chambertin – Magnum, corked
1995 Maume, Mazis-Chambertin
Medium-plus colour right to the rim. The nose is a really interesting and characterful mix of chalk and chocolate, wide dark fruit and fainter floral elements – super. Smooth and rather linear in the mouth, but you are borne the dark-fruit finish on fine acidity. It lingers very well but the interest is today only on the nose and finish – maybe a few years will pad-out the palate too.
Medium, medium-plus colour – amber at the rim. The nose is like a junior version of the 1995 with a little added earth. The flavours are at quite a good level and the length is also rather fine. Medium-bodied, quite silky and totally open for business.
1993 Maume, Mazis-Chambertin
Deeply coloured. Mineral, crystallised dark fruit on the nose. Very fine texture, minerality and lovely acidity – the length is a match too. It’s tight and muscled and I reckon needs 5-8 years more in the cellar. I was smitten for the first 30 minutes, afterwards the nose was occasionally a little pruney – I ended up undecided.
Medium-plus colour. The nose is wide, mineral and earth inflected with a fainter undertow of fruit. Flavour-packed and exciting, super Mazis character and energy – the most impressive wine in this respect – so it’s a shame it’s not a little longer, though the fine acidity leaves your mouth watering for more.
1989 Maume, Mazis-Chambertin
Medium, medium-plus colour. High tones over a creamy base – slowly evolves cream before finally a little ripe fruit peaks through. A quiet entry builds in the mouth. Round and with (for the first time) creamy fruit. This has super length and still some tannin to resolve – a little plump, but excellent.
On opening, the cork and head-space was a 10 out of 10 textbook example of ‘corked’, so much so that it wasn’t poured until later, when surprise, surprise: Medium ruby. The nose is a mineral but with a savoury depth. More mineral than any of the other wines with an interesting width and still plenty of tannin. The creamy finish lingers well, though stylistically very different to the other bottles. Vintage or cork makes the difference? – I detected no cork…
1985 Maume, Mazis-Chambertin
Medium, medium-plus colour with amber at the rim. A slightly smoky element to add to the earth but a dense core of beautiful fruit is ascendant – a treat. The palate is slightly ‘confiture’, plenty of apparent concentration widening on the palate before narrowing into the finish which has a lingering fruit note borne on the acidity. Fresh and very lovely.
Medium, medium-plus colour but more mahogany than ruby. Wide and deep aromatics that are initially fruitless, more earthy. This is more structured than the 85 but smooth acidity is the hallmark that rescues the wine. The tannins still have a light ‘grab’ in the finish. Clearly not the most sophisticated, but very enjoyable.
There are 4 responses to “Domaine Maume’s Mazis-Chambertin”
I’ll die wondering what happened with that ’88. I’ve never seen anything like it.
On the ’88, you make reference to the cork and head space and say it’s a 10 out of 10 example of corked. I hadn’t heard there was a visual clue to corkiness. What does that look like — can you enlighten?
No visual key Chris, the cork was very smelly (TCA) as was the headspace – ie the air in the top of the bottle
Although recent vintages of Maume have been quite good, Maume’s wines in the past sometimes suffered from more than just corked bottles. For many years the lesser village wines were inconsistent, and some bottlings were plagued with bizarre smells and unattractive and marring tastes. One case I ordered found all the bottles ruined – the wines smelled overwhelmingly like the ash receptacles at the Oakland bus station. Their importer on the West Coast either ignored these issues, or when confronted blasely put the problem down (disingenuously) to nothing more than a difference in personal taste, suggesting the wines were just young, and that we didn’t ‘appreciate’ such ghastly characteristics as perfectly normal in young Gevrey! None of us accepted the overpowering smell and taste of soggy discarded cigarette butts as anything remotely acceptable in any wine. The French may pass off such excuses, but most of us don’t accept such absurdities!
Let’s hope the changing of the old guard gives us the powerful rich wines of the past, but sans the occasional problems.
Cigarette ash is a common descriptor for me when confronted by wines that used heavy toasted barrels during elevage; not normally found in new wine, but prevalent once the wine gets about 2+ years old. It could indeed have been barrel treatment rather than storage/spoilage. All the bottles should have been consistent though and your words indicate otherwise(?) But at this distance impossible for me to say so too early to apportion blame…