Tasted in Aloxe-Corton with Fiona and Michael Ragg, 30 September 2020.
Domaine Mischief & Mayhem
10 Impasse du Puits,
Tel: +33 380 26 46 35
More reports for Domaine Mischief & Mayhem
Fiona and Michael Ragg began their Burgundy adventure in 2003, very much in the merchant vernacular of patiently tasting lines of barrels to choose the ones that they wanted to buy for their own label. This was a steady, successful, indeed growing, approach for about 10 years. They began, predominantly, as sellers of whites with smart 1er cru labels. Slowly but surely they have been modifying their approach such that, today, there are more reds and more than two-thirds of their production comes from the primary starting material – the grapes. Included are domaine plots today, and all are managed organically. “We have grown the number of contracts – but that’s because we have to save up so much to buy plots these days. Our domaine vines are not big plots but all are organic now, some of the wines already labelled AB – including from certified suppliers.”
Fiona on 2020:
“We started our harvest the 22nd of August. Actually, the whites were picked with very similar timing to in 2018. The volumes were about average versus our last 5 years – but the average has been quite low here. We did calculate 360 kg for a barrel this year vs a more normal 330 – as there was more limited juice. In 2020 we did no pigeage versus the light pigeage I thought was needed for the 2019s.”
Fiona on 2019:
“A more complex year than either 2018 or 2020 – there was more work in the cuverie trying to follow fermentations and malos, though perhaps more vineyard work in 2020 as the growth was so vigorous. The 2019 season was a bit of a rollercoaster in terms of heat spikes etcetera.”
What a fine and consistent range of wines that Fiona Ragg is producing here. There are two red contracts which are a little more ‘obvious’ than their more thoughtful Côte de Beaune reds, but a super range, worthy of your time.
There’s a Pernand that has just been sulfured so not tasted, the same for Folatières. They plan to use DIAM for everything – it’s been 3 vintages with this approach and the team appreciate the results very much.
2019 Bourgogne Aligoté
From Corcelles-les-Arts. A mix of stainless and some older barrels for fermentation and elevage.
Clean, airy, a little salinity too. Punchy flavour, great concentration – layered even. Vibrant, steely and complex – a fine mineral finish here. It needs to relax – give it 12-24 months – but this is super…
Two parcels; 80% Les Chevaliers and 20% Grands Charrons.
Aromatically it’s just a little tight, but this has a fine width and just a slight impression of texture too – so still a very inviting nose. A little texturally richer, layered again, lovely flavour here, vibrantly finishing – this is absolutely classic and delicious. Excellent!
Picked 14 September, same as their Puligny 1er Referts. A blend of Enceignères and Grand Champs – should be about 50-50, but there’s a little more Enceignères this vintage.
Aromatically this is the most open and shows some florality – very attractive! Wider, more sinew, just a little more visible structure. The flavours bubble over the tongue. Very complex, absolutely deliciously flavoured. Just a hint less energy in the finish but overall I do slightly prefer the lime-style flavour complexity here. Excellent wine again.
2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Referts
The 5th vintage with this domaine parcel – acquired at the end of 2014.
The most open and floral of the noses, just a hint of fermentary aroma but this needs very little cleaning up. Faint gas – clearly the most backward of these but structurally this is great juice – citric and structured – excellent 1er Cru.
2019 Côte de Nuits Villages
AB. From Aux Montagnes. Old barrel and stainless-steel with some (30%) whole bunch.
Medium colour. Open, practically a powder-sugared red fruit – with very good clarity. Open, fine purity. A nice lip-smacking finish here, faint but attractive bitters. Open, delicate and delicious!
Again a modest colour – like some 17s – 100% whole bunch.
A nose of more depth and height – vertical – with cushioned fruit at the base and rather rose-petal floral aroma above. The tannin is more present, also freshness and a saline-edged fruit flavour. A nice punch of finishing flavour almost a little black-currant (leaf?) in here. Showing its whole-cluster roots but in elegantly packaged and delicious fashion.
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune Bailliards
AB. 30% whole bunch, like the last no new wood this year as the volume was low.
Just a little more colour. Less wc but aromatically this is shows a little more – but in a good way. Lovely acidity here – growing in intensity – more a wine of direction than width – but so mouth-watering, practically juicy – leaching through some modest structure. Delicious, fine, complex…
Medium colour. Freshness, high tones, less obvious wc impression. Fresh like the last but showing much more width in terms of the shape in the mouth. A little more layered complexity in the middle to the finish – this and the last are proper complex, fresh-styled Burgundy – something of a rarity at any address in recent years – bravo!
The last, are two wines from contracts – they are good wines, I might say commercially attractive wines, indeed ‘obvious’ wines – so stylistically different are they – no surprise given that they were picked about 10 days later than for the previous red:
2019 Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles-Vignes
Harvested 10 days later – and that’s clear from the depth of colour. Older vines too – about 60 years. Most wines here will be bottled by the end of the year, but this and the following wine not before February.
Aromatically textural, of crushed, darker, riper, fruit – but none of the Chambolle excess of many addresses that I saw in the previous vintage (not here). Saline, fresh, a presence that’s growing in width and is nicely complex too – a very fine growth of intensity. The finish is long but of more modest intensity. This is very good wine.
2019 Vosne-Romanée Vieilles-Vignes
Darker colour again. Such an obvious, cliché-Vosne nose – spiced, modestly oaked, faintly creamy – obvious but completely addictive! Mouth-filling, slowly mouth-watering. Good structure and more obvious finishing weight here. Again, very tasty, very commercial wine.