Mazis-Chambertin is one of Chambertin's satellite Grands Crus, lying slightly north of the Chambertin-Clos de Bèze vineyard. This vineyard is also the source of "Mazy-Chambertin" wine, which is an allowed albeit unpopular variant of the Mazis name. Although not one of the best Chambertins, the vineyard makes wine of excellent quality, and there are several world-class wines from here.
The vineyards' 21.7 acres of growing space make it rather large for a Grand Cru, although smaller than the qualitatively challenged vineyard Chambertin. About 3,000 cases each year are produced--it should be noted, this is as much as Chambertin although the Mazis vineyard is much smaller.
In 1937, this vineyard was granted Grand Cru AOC recognition, and white wine was outlawed.
Climate and Viticulture
Flat like Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, the Mazis vineyard would not appear to have anything different about it, at least not at first glance. However, the soil deposits are entirely different in Mazis, with much less concentration to the layered marl, clay, and limestone. That said, the soil is still completely Grand Cru-level, with the thickness and depth to make top-quality Burgundy wine. But Chambertin's multiple layers outdo the vineyard entirely, and as a satellite the wines it produces are perhaps unfairly overshadowed.
- Pinot Noir: Mazis-Chambertin's Pinots vary in style, due to the relatively large size of the vineyard. Only Pinot Noir is legally produced, but for the small amount of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris that can be legally blended in (although most producers don't). The style is generally an earthy one, with wild flavors of smoked, roasted game and underbrush framed by a lively core of minerals. Most wines have this style, but they vary between being vibrantly ripe and light, in an elegant fashion, and outrageously powerful and tannic, needing age to show their best character. Either way, these wines will benefit from a decade of cellaring.
There are seven top producers here.
- Maison Olivier Bernstein: Reminiscent of a good Chambertin or Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, this wine presents flavors of dark fruits, minerals, and an earthy undercurrent, accentuated by a classically Gevrey smoked meat component. This essentially gets the power-finesse combo right, as it is able to keep the vibrancy of the flavors intact while saturating the palate and building to a long finish. For all the fruit to emerge, 10-15 years might be the right amount of time. Prices now exceed $250.
- Domaine Dugat Py: The young-vine cuvée here is a wine that can rival Chambertins and Chambertin-Clos de Bèzes easily. This underrated gem is outrageously priced at $350-$550, but less so than many Chambertins. Wild and earthy, this sums up Mazis-Chambertin in its flavors of dark berries, flowers, chocolate, and a freshening element of spicy oak and herbs. These are the fundamentals, but all kinds of exciting aromas come into the wine, ranging from game to currant. A couple of decades in the cellar wouldn't hurt, but the wine is drinkable early.
- Faiveley: A great wine, especially for a négociant-bottled style, with typical Mazis-Chambertin flavors. The earthy perfume essentially overpowers fruit here in a way that is typical of the appellation, although in few wines is it as distinguishable as this. Sweet, silky-velvety and seamless, this is a feminine style backed up by a long tannic finish. There could be nothing wrong with drinking this early, but 5-8 years in might be a better time. At $100-$175 in most vintages, this wine is often the best value of the appellation.
- Jadot: This ripe, wild cuvée displays strong earth and mineral notes; once again, the fruits are practically overpowered here. For those who prefer more elegance, perhaps 5-10 years will allow it to harmonize. As a négociant-bottled wine, this will often cost $200 or less.
- Dominique Laurent: There are actually several cuvées here. The base wine is good, with some 1990s vintages rating as classic, but they are overshadowed by two other cuvées. The "Vieilles Vignes" and the "Cuvée B Vieilles Vignes" are the two top wines here. Wild and powerful but weightless, the Vieilles Vignes is given intensity by mineral flavors and derives its initial complexity from smoky earth flavors, with the fruit overpowered. The Cuvée B has a bit more fruit to it, but very much needs time to develop.
- Lucien Le Moine: These wild wines would seem almost Chambertin-like with their flavors of dark fruit, flowers, and smoked game, but in most vintages there's that distinctively wild, earthy contingent that makes them clearly Mazis. By way of minerality, it is both powerful and vibrant, although initially the dark fruit is overpowered by the minerals. After 10-20 years these styles should be much more elegant. Prices are a bit high.
- Domaine Joseph Roty: A great style, even if it doesn't really compare to Roty's outstanding Charmes-Chambertin. This one isn't produced from ancient vines, giving it a simpler texture. Powerful flavors of black fruit, flowers, and that traditional smoked game and leather flavor make it similar to Chambertin. A fabulous wine, with great accessibility in its early years, but this could approach classic with 10-20 years. Price range is $200-$300.
As far as labeling practices, some of these wines may appear as Mazy-Chambertin. This strange variant in the Mazis name means exactly the same thing, and there should be no qualitative difference in the wine. Other than that, these wines should be labeled as Mazis-Chambertin only, and the vineyard has no lieux-dits or other subregions of note.