Maison Frederic Magnien is a negociant in Morey-St.-Denis, in Burgundy. Frederic Magnien grew up in the wine business working beside his father, Michel, of Michel Magnien. But in 1995 Frederic started making wines under his own name with fruit purchased from nearby vineyards. His large portfolio of wines includes many Grand Crus such as Charmes-Chambertin, Chambertin Close de Beze, Mazoyeres Chambertin, Latricieres-Chambertin, Echezeaux, Bonnes Mares, Grand Echezeaux and Richebourg. Magnien also produces premier crus and white wines, including the Grand Cru Montrachet. Robert M. Parker Jr. has noted that “Frederic Magnien typifies the new style negociant ferreting out fruit from exceptional parcels…(he) insists on an active role in the vineyards and control of the harvest.” The result, Parker concludes, is that “literally dozens of outstanding red Burgundies that until a few years ago did not exist now enter the market through this address.”
Côte de Nuits is the northern part of the Côte d’Or and it includes the most famous vineyards and wine communes in the world. There are more Grand Cru appellations in the Côte de Nuits than anywhere else in Burgundy. Of the fourteen communes, or villages in the Côte de Nuits, six produce Grand Cru wines. They are Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St.-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Flagey-Échezeaux and Vosne-Romanee. Some of the vineyards within the Côte de Nuits are tiny, which adds to their prestige. The fabled Grand Cru vineyard La Romanee is barely two square acres. Altogether there are twenty-four Grand Cru vineyards. The region takes its name from the village of Nuits-Saint-Georges. Côtes de Nuits produces mostly reds from Pinot Noir, and the wines have been in demand for centuries. During the 18th century King Louis XIV’s physician recommended that for his health the king only drink wines from Nuits-Saint-Georges. Like most of Burgundy, the soils of the Côte de Nuit can vary greatly from one vineyard to another, though most are a base soil of limestone mixed with clay, gravel and sand.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.