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.”
Bordeaux is the world’s most famous fine-wine producing region. Even non-wine drinkers recognize the names of Bordeaux’s celebrated wines, such as Margaux and Lafite-Rothschild. Located near the Atlantic coast in southwest France, the region takes its name from the seaport city of Bordeaux, a wine trading center with an outstanding site on the Garonne River and easy access to the Atlantic. Like most French wine regions, Bordeaux’s first vineyards were planted by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago, then tended by medieval monks. Aristocrats and nobility later owned the region’s best estates and today estates are owned by everyone from non-French business conglomerates to families who have been proprietors for generations. Bordeaux has nearly 280,000 acres of vineyards, 57 appellations and 10,000 wine-producing châteaux. Bordeaux is bifurcated by the Gironde Estuary into so-called “right bank” and “left bank” appellations. Bordeaux’s red wines are blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. It also makes white wines of Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. There are several classification systems in Bordeaux. All are attempts to rank the estates based on the historic quality of the wines.
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.