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A new Burgundy Report

A new Burgundy Report with an additional 20 domaines from in and around Chablis to add to the 64 tasted in January – that’s 84 domaines’ 2020s – and there’s more too!
Nobody gives you more…




The mid-summer vintage update – 2022 steady as she goes – but fast!

There’s been no attenuation to the advancement of the vine growth in the last week. There have been a few (helpful!) bursts of rain in the last 2 weeks since I updated you – nicely regular on the 02, 09 and 15 June – but also with high temperatures too – in the last week, 36-38°C have been measured in the vines.

Not since the 2005 vintage have temperatures been so high in June – and in 2022 those temperatures have comfortably exceeded what was seen in 2005. The combination of occasional rain plus high temperatures is the engine of vine growth this year. Despite the episode of frost in early April, we are holding a similar course of precocious maturity to the 2003, 2011 and 2020 vintages when measured at the same time – i.e. 3-4 days ahead of 2007, 2015, 2017 and 2018 – ie, other vintages with August harvesting.

Current estimates are for veraison (the grapes starting to change colour) suggest the 10-15 July. Given that dry days that have followed each delivery of rain, it’s no surprise that mildew is quite rare. On the other hand, as it is the morning dew that helps oïdium, this is where the growers’ concerns are currently most focused – but for now, the treatments have the upper hand. Black rot is a rarer problem – but was found in the Côte d’Or – and more-so in Beaujolais – in 2021 but seems largely absent at this stage of vine growth.

More in a couple of weeks!

To end, some views from Volnay – starting with Clos de la Chapelle but mainly from Caillerets – images from the end of last week:

week 24 2022 - weekend wines

weekend wines – weekend 24 2022

week 24 2022 - weekend wines

For everyone in Europe, it’s unnecessary to mention the heatwave of the moment but, for readers further afield, it’s worth mentioning the temperatures of 35-38°C. We see these temperatures for a day or two in most years (not 2021) but typically they come in the high summer of July-August – but these are record temperatures for June.

After a couple of covid years where the magnums were left untouched, we have guests again – and on a hot weekend, it was time to delve into the pile of magnums for something refreshing.

2018 Alain Geoffroy, Chablis 1er Vau-Ligneau
2018, despite its other-worldly yields, continues to offer positive surprises from Chablis – though I’m finding most Côte de Beaune whites a little bland at this stage. Here is a nose of obvious ‘northern freshness’ and a certain citrus twang – it’s a fine invitation. In the mouth, the surprises continue with fine intensity and a grapefruit and tannin style to the flavours and texture. Both delicious and interesting! Excellent wine.
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Chevrot, Bourgogne Aligoté Tilleul Mag
I loved this before bottling but the oak treatment was more generous than I like – so I ordered 6 mags but planned not to open one before it was 5 years old – here’s the first. Cork sealed. A lovely freshness of aroma – very appealing. On the palate there is direction and delicious mouth-watering flavour – still a hint of its creamy oak beginnings – but the oak is now almost in the background. Absolutely delicious young wine – a treat!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Domaine Champy, Pernand-Vergelesses Mag
Also sealed with cork and herein came a problem. This was just fabulous at the domaine when a baby – today not. Darker colour than the Tilleul and a much more developed nose that suggested a slight oxidation. Over about 1 hour the oxidative note largely faded but the accent remained in the flavours. I’m hoping for better corks in the remaining 2 magnums – I’ve never previously noted any premature ageing with magnums but I won’t be holding onto these with the same confidence as the Chevrot…
Rebuy – No

2020 Gautheron, Chablis VV
One of my ‘house-wine’ purchases and only to note that with these warmer temperatures, the pyrazine was the most visible as for any of these 12 bottles. A shame, as the base wine is great.
Rebuy – No


offer of the day – domaine ferret pouilly-fuissé 2020

Whilst these wines were once quite expensive not much cheaper more than 10 years ago, their prices have remained impressively stable – though possibly not next year after the decimation of their 2021 yields. Below are the prices of their 2020s – which are unchanged since their 2017s. Still, only two cuvées are offered but my Swiss merchant expanded the offer to include larger formats in this vintage. I bought some 2020 (neither of these cuvées) direct from the domaine and the prices are comparable.

POUILLY-FUISSE Tête de Cru Les Perrières 2020 75cl 42.00 (*Swiss francs)
POUILLY-FUISSE Hors Classe Les Ménétrières 2020 75cl 52.00

*Delivered price, but Swiss purchase tax is still to be added – 7.7%.


weekend pics…

Romanée St.VivantThe jungle of Romanée St.Vivant, today…

Warmer and drier than last weekend – a lot – in fact, 32.5°C today with 36°C on the horizon for later this week!

In Pommard May-2022

The 2022 update

This week in the Côtes

The sun gave way to plenty of stormy weather over the last weekend – though fortunately none of the hail-induced devastation seen in vineyards in more southerly parts of France near Armagnac. There have been a few spots of hail mixed in with the storms but not enough to cause particular damage. As such – though stressed – the Burgundian locals are reasonably happy that up to 45mm of rain fell – since last Friday – on their very dry vineyards; May had delivered less than half the normal amount of rain.

Even in the Hautes Côtes, the flowering was largely over when the rain, sometimes heavy, fell – so will not have significantly affected the setting of the fruit. The chardonnay in Meursault and other places is showing a little coulure but yields still look good – though nobody knows how much juice there will really be until the grapes are pressed!

Post-rain, the weather is much cooler for now but from the weekend onwards will return to the high 20s°C. The recent cooler weather and darker skies have put the projected position in the vines about 3-4 days behind where it was in 2020 but still ahead of 2015 and 2018 – which still comfortably indicates an August harvest. The changeable weather increases the domaines’ vigilance to mildew, where incubation time is 5-6 days, so post-rain, the domaines will have a better idea by the end of this week on how it’s developing. Oïdium is also on the move in certain parcels. Fortunately, entry into the vines is not so difficult at the moment so there has been no brake on the required treatments.

The growth remains rigorous for now in the vines – so tasting appointments are at a premium – this may start to calm in the second half of July…

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