Frédéric Magnien, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru “Les Ruchots”
Frédéric Magnien, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru “Les Ruchots”

Frédéric Magnien, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru “Les Ruchots”

Burgundy / Côte de Nuits, France 2017 (750mL)
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Frédéric Magnien, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru “Les Ruchots”

Having grown up riding his bike through the vineyards of Morey-Saint-Denis, and having learned his craft from his father, Michel (Domaine Michel Magnien), “Fred” has assembled an enviable roster of grower-partners, all of them either Certified Organic or in the process of conversion. He works closely with these growers, many of whom he’s known since childhood, to produce exceptionally pure expressions of some of Burgundy’s greatest vineyards. 

In recent years, as he has embraced organic and biodynamic practices, his work in the cellar has evolved: Wines have long been naturally fermented with a percentage of whole clusters intact, but starting with the 2015 vintage, Magnien began aging some of his wines—including this effort—in a mixture of old French oak and terra cotta amphorae. 

This 2017 comes entirely from Premier Cru “Les Ruchots” in the village Morey-Saint-Denis (located between Gevrey and Chambolle). This severely underrated, 2.5-hectare site sits in a shallow clay-limestone basin that borders the Grand Crus of Bonnes-Mares and Clos de Tart. With natural and man-made protection on three sides, this jewel-box vineyard is also well protected from any harsh elements. The handpicked, Certified Organic fruit in 2017 was partially de-stemmed and a natural fermentation occurred in stainless steel. The resulting wine was then transferred into a combination of clay amphorae (56%) and neutral French barrels (44%) for aging. Both vessels were blended together and bottled without fining or filtration. This specific parcel then proceeded to mature in Magnien’s cellar until 2022. 

Poured into Burgundy stems, Magnien’s 2017 “Ruchots” reveals a dusty ruby with dark magenta hues. It’s a savory dynamo full of earthy aromas, deeply woven spices, and suave berry fruits that slowly evolve and lengthen over the course of an evening. Now at five years of age, a touch of button mushroom, smoky violet, and other forest flora are beginning to infuse into the wine’s deep clay minerality, lending more complexity to the finish. It’s a meditative Burgundy constructed for those eager to taste a pure, soulful, evolving Premier Cru with a gorgeously savory edge. Enjoy now and through the decade. 

Frédéric Magnien, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru “Les Ruchots”




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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