Big Red Diary

From microclimate to Geschmacksexplosion.
Everything that's happening...

Burgundy Reports

Legendary stories. Stunning experiences. Then there's the wine - the intersection between the people and this place.

Tours With Bill

Come along with me and experience Burgundy as I do.

Big Red Diary


A 2023 vintage update from the côtes – and my garden…

Let’s start with the important stuff – my garden!

The irises are later this year – no surprise – sunny weather in the last weeks but still rather cold in the nights – only in the last week have the overnight temperatures risen to something of a seasonal norm. A few flowers are still missing but it looks like a similar timing to 2019 (iris vintage) in my Swiss garden…

Now to Burgundy:

Like at home, the nights (until quite recently) have been cool here too, but the sunshine has been pushing the growth. We have recovered a few days – despite zero rain in the last 10 days or-so – so it’s a vintage whose stage of growth is now 4 or 5 days ahead of 2019 and just a little behind the vintages of 2014, 2015 and 2017. The vignerons are speculating of a harvest commencing around the weekend of 09-10 September.

And there have been the first flowers in the last few days too – so we can expect mid-flowering in the chardonnay next week and maybe a few days later for the pinot noir.

2023 Irisis


the weekend’s duo… (week 21 2023)

week 21 2023 - some wines...It’s been a while since I introduced some real bottles to you – there have been many others of-course (below) – and, unfortunately, it will be short while before there will be more!

I now face two weeks of antibiotics due to tick-borne borreliosis – or Lyme disease. Fortunately, I don’t feel like I have any disease!

Amusingly, given that I spend so much time in the woods and hills on trails (jogging!) here was, it seems, a cat-borne tick to which I was introduced whilst sitting in the garden!

2016 Chablisienne / Château Grenouilles, Chablis-Grenouilles
A nose of waxy citrus – edged towards lemon – with an obvious mineral component too. In the mouth, we have a large-scale wine – generous to the point of rich – but silkily textured and sustaining a very long finish. I’d prefer less richness but it’s a very tasty wine all the same – as we could see by the lack of longevity for this (overly heavy!) bottle.
Rebuy – Maybe

2002 Nicolas Potel, Chambertin
Ah – remember the days? I tasted here pre-bottling and immediately placed an order: 6 Chambertin, 6 Malconsorts, 6 Petits Ponts, 6 Gaudichots and 12 Aloxe Boutières. Quite expensive I thought – at ~€1,500 – of course, that’s probably the price of just 3 Chambertin today! This, I think, the last of those 6. There may be a Gaudichots and a Malconsorts who survive – but probably not more…
Hmm – a nose to sink into – this Chambertin is ready! A round impression on the palate – depth and richness – quite a match with the Grenouilles! Tons of sweetness to this fruit and still framed with a tiny tannin – though most of the latter has clearly been transformed to sediment – or earth – as it’s quite granular. Such a delicious, wonderful smelling thing. A glass escaped outright (day 1) consumption to make it into day 2, where the aromas were less involving and more beefy – but the flavour retained its vigour and length. A super wine.
Rebuy – Yes

Some bottles of the last weeks where words escaped me 🙂


Cité des Climats & Vin Bourgogne – Chablis

In the presence of three presidents (no-less!) two from Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne – the BIVB’s François Labet and Laurent Delaunay – plus the president of the Association Cité des Climats et Vins de Bourgogne, Benoît de Charette – last week, I had a tour of the soon to open facility in Chablis – one of three such places opening to the public in the next month.

Whilst I’ll reserve judgement on the soon-to-open equivalent building in Mâcon – I’ve yet to see it with my own eyes – this place in the heart of old Chablis seems to be on a very personal scale, fitting well in its surroundings. I’m not the biggest fan of the architecture and scale of what has been built in Beaune but I will reserve my full judgement on that until I’ve seen what’s on the inside – like a bottle of wine – the truth will be on the inside!

This venue in Chablis is (by comparison) compact but full of an almost open-ended opportunity to tour the history – geological and social – of this centre of winemaking – burgundy winemaking. With a small wearable you can choose your language and subject matter as you head down the rabbit-holes of information from the next earpiece – though if your a covid (or germ) -phobic, you may want to take some sanitiser for the earphones that may have cupped a hundred other ears! Released yesterday, there will be ‘programme of cultural events‘ (in all locations) too – so enjoy!

The work on the building’s façade was not quite complete when I visited Chablis but it will be finished before the mid-June official opening!

A few images:


Update on Gevrey’s prime Vin de France…

Hmm - what are those new vines?

It’s a few months ago that the work establishing some new vines became evident – it’s not a big plot, not 500 vines – but the placement is very interesting!

What was once nothing more than parking has now been planted to vine – but it was previously grand cru parking!

From all the vineyard maps that I’ve checked, the plot seems to be within the AOC for Mazoyères-Chambertin and sits just across the road from Latricières-Chambertin. When I last checked and despite a nice new wall, the identity of the proprietor was not obvious but in the last couple of weeks a stone sign has been placed and proclaims the ownership of Domaine JM Guillon.

The problem for this domaine seems to be achieving the necessary authorisation to make burgundy wine – we (they) can forget grand cru for a while – the locals tell me that it’s currently classed as Vin de France – but there won’t be any grapes to harvest until 2026 – so there’s time for it to, maybe, become a Bourgogne – maybe even Bourgogne Côte d’Or!

I assume it’s not just the issue that the land – even if part of the AOC – was never planted, it’s possibly the issue that the land was used, not just, as parking but also as a bit of a(n agricultural) tip…


Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year 2023

Nothing here from our usual friend, Jon Wyand, but congratulations to Thierry Gaudillère for his ‘girl in a vat’ and Oscar Oliveras for his ‘pruning in Pommard’

Link to /finalists-gallery-2023/

Latest Burgundy Reports



2021 Beaujolais

The February 2023 issue of Burgundy-Report
Beaujolais 2021

2021 Beaujolais: You can have it all – there's great, good and there's ugly too…

The Producers
85 Beaujolais domaines – including a few words from the producers on their 2022 and 2021 campaigns. As always, those wines worth a special search are highlighted for you in blue:

New Here:
Anthony Charvet – 2021
Anthony Perol – 2021
Bertrand – 2021
Château de Javernand – 2021
Château de l’Eclair – 2021
de Baluce – 2021
de la Milleranche – 2021
J.M Aujoux – 2021
Michel Guignier – Améthystes – 2021
Nadège et Emmanuel Fellot – 2021
Olivier Merlin – 2021
Paul-André Brossette & Fils – 2022
Striffling – 2021
Tano Péchard – 2021
Thomas Rivier – 2021

Not the first time:
Anne-Sophie Dubois – 2021
Antoine Sunier – 2021
Aurélie & Fabien Romany – 2021
Celia & David Large – 2021
Chardigny – 2021
Château Bonnet – 2021
Château de La Chaize – 2021
Château de La Terrière – 2021 & 2020
Château de Pougelon – 2021
Château des Bachelards – 2020
Château des Jacques – 2021
Château des Vergers – 2021
Château du Basty – 2021
Château Moulin à Vent – 2021
Château Poncié – 2021
Château Thivin – 2021
Chignard – 2021
Claire & Fabien Chasselay – 2021
Clos de la Roilette – 2021
Daniel Bouland – 2021
David Béroujon – 2021
David-Beaupère – 2021
de Boischampt – 2021
de Colette – 2021
de La Grand’Cour – 2021
de la Madone – Frères Bérerd – 2021
des Marrans – 2021
des Nugues – 2021
des Prévelières – 2021
des Terres Dorées – 2021
Dupré Goujon – 2021
Fabien Collonge – 2021
Frédéric Berne – 2021
Georges Duboeuf – 2021
Gilles Paris – 2021
Girin – 2021
Grégoire Hoppenot – 2021
Jean Foillard – 2021
Jean-Claude Lapalu – 2022 & 2021
Jean-Marc Burgaud – 2021
Julie Balagny – 2021
Julien Sunier – 2021
La Pirolette – 2021
La Soufrandière – 2021
Labruyère – 2021
Laurence & Rémi Dufaitre – 2021 & 2022
Laurent Martray – 2021
Le Nid – 2021
Les Bois du Chat – 2021
Les Capreoles – 2021
Longère – 2021
Louis-Claude Desvignes – 2021
Manoir du Carra Sambardier – 2021
Mathieu et Camille Lapierre – 2021
Mee Godard – 2021
Michel & Sylvain Tête – 2021
Olivier Pezenneau – 2021
Pascal Aufranc – 2021
Paul Janin – 2021
Pauline Passot – 2021
Pertuizet – 2021
Prunelle de Navacelle – 2021
Raphaël Chopin – 2021
Richard Rottiers – 2021
Robert Perroud – 2021
Romanesca – 2021
Saint-Cyr – 2022
Thillardon – 2021
Vincent Audras – 2021
Yohan Lardy – 2021

Back to 02-2023 index

You still like to have something touchy?

The Finest Wines of Burgundy

A portable, hard-wearing guide to the Côte d’Or plus 90 producers of note and their best wines. Truth be told, there should have been 150 great producers – but not in the 320 pages that were prescribed.
It’s probably time to start working on a new one – eh?

Burgundy Report

Translate »
Thank you!Your subscription has been confirmed.You'll hear from us soon.
Join the Burgundy Report mailing list:

You are using an outdated browser. Please update your browser to view this website correctly:;