Domaine Louis Magnin

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While prospecting in the Savoie, the search for the best Mondeuse has to be conducted in the village of Arbin, the home of this fascinating grape. In Arbin, the Domaine Louis Magnin surfaces to the top as does the richest cream. This domaine devotes 55% of its eight hectares to Mondeuse, all planted within the confines of Arbin in the sector known as the “Combe de Savoie”. Another 30% of the vineyards are devoted to the Roussanne grape, known locally as “Bergeron”, all of which are situated in the neighboring village of Montmélian, equally renowned for its affinity to the Bergeron. The remaining 15% of the holdings are planted to Altesse and Gamay.

Louis and his wife, Béatrice, are dedicated to organic viticulture. Further, certain parcels are treated according to biodynamic principles. The vineyards, in general, face south-southeast and are planted on steeply-sloping hillside sites the soil of which is a clay and limestone mix with an overlay of scree. Almost all vineyard work must be done by hand.

Vinification of the whites is done primarily in stainless steel with malolactic fermentation following the primary alcoholic fermentation. However, the Roussette de Savoie is fermented in barrels of 500 liter size; this then being followed by a period of batonnage and elevage on the fine lies. Depending on the cuvée, the Mondeuse may see an elevage exclusively in stainless steel or there will be an elevage in barrel of different ages and sizes. More specific information can be found in the individual descriptions of the wines.

louis_magnin_chignin-bergeron Chignin Bergeron: The Roussanne vines used to produce the Chignin Bergeron are planted in a series of sites comprising about 2.75 hectares on steep slopes within the confines of Montmélian, part of the “Combe de Savoie”. The harvest is entirely manual; the grapes are pressed whole and racked off the heavy lies for the alcoholic fermentation; the malolactic follows and the wine is left on the fine lies in stainless steel until bottling; no sulfur is added during this process except for a small dosage at the moment of bottling. The Chignin-Bergeron from Magnin is lively, slightly saline, very fine and persistent on the palate. It benefits from several years of aging which allows time for the wine to become less austere and more generous. Certified Organic.
louis_magnin_grand-orgue Chignin-Bergeron “Grande Orgue: The “Grande Orgue” (or “organ” as in the musical instrument) is the prestige cuvée in white of the domaine. The grapes for this selection come from two parcels of the oldest vines of the estate. Vinified in a manner similar to its companion Chignin-Bergeron, the “Grande Orgue” is more ripe, round and fat without giving up the discipline that makes these wines of the Savoie so compelling. Frequently reaching 13% alcohol without the addition of sugar, this elite wine is marked by notes of anise preceding a penetrating finish of bristling minerality. Certified Organic.
louis_magnin_rousette Roussette de Savoie: The second white of the domaine, the Roussette is produced from the Altesse grape. Unlike its companion white, the Chignin-Bergeron, twenty percent of the Roussette is raised in small to medium-sized barrels. The vines are in two separate sites, the principal one of which is known as “Les Rochettes”. The total acreage devoted to the Roussette is seven- tenths of an hectare. Annual production levels can vary dramatically, yielding anywhere from 25 hectoliters per hectare to 40 hl/ha. The resulting wine is marked by honey, beeswax and a persistent minerality; there is firm acidity that is balanced by several grams of residual sugar (in the neighborhood of 5 grams, for example, in the 2010 version. Certified Organic.
louis_magnin_arbin-mondeuse Mondeuse Vin de Savoie: The classic cuvée from the domaine is produced from several parcels scattered about Arbin. The grapes, harvest manually, are destemmed before crushing. The period of maceration can last for as long as 12 days with daily pigeage in the first days. The elevage is principally in stainless steel but a small percentage is left to age in older barrels. The Mondeuse “Classique” is a rustic wine with a slight smokiness to the nose, herbaceous and spicy on the palate and marked by gentle tannins in the finish. Certified Organic.

Mondeuse Tout un Monde: This cuvee is produced from very old vines (between 70 and 100 years of age). In this instance, the “Tout un Monde” is aged in older barrels of “demi-muid” size. The old vines give a formidable density to the wine with wild berry fruit, raspberry-like, married to notes of game and underbrush. The structure of this cuvée promises a long and rich life in the cellar and at the table. Certified Organic.

Download Magnin tech sheet
Family/Owners NameBéatrice et Louis MAGNIN
How many years has the family owned the domaine?The end of 1800s
How many generations?3 generations
How many hectares of vines are owned?6 ha 50 a
Are your vineyards or wines Organic or Biodynamic Certified? If yes, in the EU? In the US? If no, are you in the process of becoming certified? When? Certified organic by ECOCERT since the vintage 2012. We practice Biodynamie for all the vineyard since 2010, without certification
Describe your vineyard management practices (e.g. low-intervention, organic, biodynamic, standard, etc.).Manual work in our very slopping hillsides, the rest is worked with straddler-tractor
PLEASE ALSO ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING IN YOUR REPLY: Do you do field work and harvest manually? By machine? By horse? Do you practice green harvest? Leaf thinning? How do you fertilize?We don’t practice green-harvest and leaf-thinning. We don’t use fertilizer
Do you typically sell or buy any grapes? Please specify.No
Do you sell off any of your wine en vrac/allo sfuso?No everything is bottled
%ABVBetween 12% and 14% according to vintage
# of bottles produced8000 bottles
Grams of Residual SugarBetween 2g and 6g
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locations5 plots
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth/ south-east. Slope between 30% and 60%
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)30 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)8500 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)Mid-September
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGECatastrophic weather conditions in 2016 : with a loss of important harvest due to Mildew and hail. Yield 10hl/ha
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?2013 and 2014 : small harvest. 2015 : good yield
% whole cluster, % destemmedWhole grapes. Pressing with pneumatic press
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank
Duration of cuvaisonAlcoholic fermentation for 1 to 3 months
Duration of contact with leesAgeing on lees for 2 years
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. No chaptalization
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationMalolactic fermentation
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining with bentonite. Tangential filtration
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?We add sulfur only for the bottling

New Releases from the Mountains: Joseph Dorbon, Domaine Overnoy Crinquand and Domaine Louis Magnin

Just in time to mark the beginning of July, we are all set to receive an impressive group of wines from the cool mountains of France. Specifically, we expect new arrivals from Joseph Dorbon and Mickael Crinquand in the Jura and Louis and Béatrice Magnin in the Savoie. It is no secret that we at […]

Arbin Mondeuse (Magnin) 2011

Drinking with exquisite pleasure this classic Mondeuse from Louis Magnin. When we first brought this wine into the States last spring, it was tight as a drum with its high acid tension. To my surprise,  this wine has turned the corner much more quickly than I had thought it would. It is wonderfully aromatic with […]

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