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an eery hop to Beaune…


I truly hope that in 4 or 5 years time, the 2020 vintage will be remembered for its wines, rather than Covid-19.

Sunday-Monday I made a short excursion to Beaune – 16.5 hours in total.

It wasn’t entirely clear whether the Swiss would let me leave Switzerland, but they quizzed my reasons and then waved me on; having been away from my apartment for 12 weeks, I really wanted to check that all was well – and fortunately, it was. So I came back home to Bern as no-one is open for visits. The border officially opens 16 June – let’s see if any domaines will be open to visits then!

It was sobering to take a short walk around Beaune – Monday lunchtime but with practically nowhere to lunch – apart from a couple of sandwicheries all was closed. Not a single cafe in Place Carnot was open – but then there were also no people to be seen. Actually, far fewer people and less places open than in mid-January.

Before returning, I took a jog around some Meursault vineyards – an easy 7km photo tour – I knew you wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t get the obligatory ‘vines in flower’ image! According to the Chambre d’Agriculture, the Côte de Beaune & and Côte de Nuits chardonnay has finished its flowering, and the pinot noir is at the mid-flowering stage. The Hautes Côtes have only their first flowers. Despite some cool weather, the strong sun has pushed the growth forward – roughly equal to, or up to two days behind, the same stage of growth as in 2007 and 2011 – so still one of the earliest vintages on record – more than a week ahead of 2015, 2017 & 2018 and an almost unbelievable 24 days ahead of 2019 – though the heat of June and July accelerated 2019 in the mid-season.

There was plenty of wind, despite the sunshine, above the level of wind allowed for treating (with sprays) so some domaines were already giving their vines a haircut. Certainly, I saw more people in the vines than in Beaune!

the recent corkscrew action…

Well, it was Chardonnay Day – that was my excuse. A great series of wines…

2018 Séguinot-Bordet, Chablis 1er Fourchaume
A big, chunky Trescases cork.
There’s freshness but also a ripeness of fruit – at this stage I wouldn’t guess ‘Chablis’ from the nose. The palate is another matter; correct, nicely driving and with a lovely citrus energy. Mineral, faintly sweetly finishing. This is a delicious glass from a bottle that empties rather more quickly than bargained for!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Yvon et Laurent Vorcoret, Chablis 1er Homme Mort
This neighbour, also with a Trescases cork.
Also fresh, more weight and minerality to the aroma too – here is Chablis. A wine of more weight and impact – it’s the vintage – pure, saline and completely delicious. The more classic of these two wines today. And drinking beautifully already!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Jacques Prieur, Montrachet
As I said – Chardonnay day! Here with a robust DIAM Origine.
A nose of depth and complexity – wow! Direct, immensely flavoured compared to the Chablis. Still, the wine opens further, almost tannic in texture, then wider too – wow – again! The oak is visible but not distracting. With this seal a wine for the ages – so hauntingly long. No ifs or buts, Grand Vin.
Rebuy – Yes

1999 François Gay, Ladoix
This, most likely, my last one of these – not tasted for a few years – but all that went before were fabulous. The cork is wine-soaked through 80% of its length but has the integrity to easily extract in one piece.
Still deeply coloured. The nose starts with a little funk – it needs 5 minutes in the glass to clear – and then we have it – beautifully pure, precise, red berry fruit of no particular age – just invitation! The palate reflects the nose – a purity of red fruity and here it is borne on beautiful acidity. There’s a little frisson of energy here that just multiplies the deliciousness of this wine. Not old, not young but à point. Fabulous…
Rebuy – Yes

2000 Thomas-Moillard, Romanée St.Vivant
I think for a moment that the cork has cracked, but no, it extracts in one piece.
Plenty of colour – those boys knew how to extract! Hmm – now that’s an impressive nose – the first time I’ve noted any semblance of maturity from this wine – there is still hope for my 1999s – but still not for 10 years! The first impression in the mouth is the weight of concentration, depth and width of flavour – this is properly grand cru – complex too. It is also a wine that tightens after 20 minutes-or-so. It remains eminently drinkable and without the coarser, harder, edges of the 1999 (for example) but it remains an adolescent wine of very good parts though lacking coherence for now. In those days cheaper than many villages wines today – in that context, a worthy buy and with more potential down the road.
Rebuy – Probably Yes

Latest Burgundy Reports



Burgundy Report - 2018 Beaujolais

The Febuary 2020 issue of Burgundy-Report
2018 Beaujolais
2018 Beaujolais: 'This time the weather was with us!'

The Producers
62 domaines, 8 completely new to this site, and their 2018s – over 420 wines. That's over 3,000 wines in the 2018 vintage reports to-date. Plus from each producer a few words on their 2018 and 2019 campaigns. As always, those extra-special wines are highlighted for you:
Anne-Sophie Dubois – 2018
Bernard Jomain – 2018
Céline et Nicolas Hirsch – 2018
Château Bellevue – 2018
Château Bonnet – 2018
Château de La Chaize – 2018
Château de La Terrière – 2018
Château des Bachelards – 2017
Château des Jacques – 2018
Château des Ravatys – 2018
Château du Basty – 2018
Château Moulin à Vent – 2017
Château Pierreux + Mommessin – 2018
Château Poncié – 2018
Château Thivin – 2018
Claire & Fabien Chasselay – 2018
Clos de la Roilette – 2018
Daniel Bouland – 2018
David Large – 2018
David-Beaupère – 2018
de Bel Air – 2018
de La Grand’Cour – 2018
des Nugues – 2018
des Ronzes, Sornin – 2018
des Terres Dorées – 2018
du Breuil – 2019
du Paradis – 2018
Fabien Collonge – 2018
Georges Duboeuf – 2018
Gilles Copéret – 2018
Gilles Paris – 2018
Girin – 2018
Grégoire Hoppenot – 2018
Jean Foillard – 2018
Jean-Marc Burgaud – 2018
Julien Sunier – 2018
La Pirolette – 2018
Labruyère – 2018
Laurent Martray – 2018
Le Nid – 2018
Les Bois du Chat – 2018
Longère – 2018
Louis-Claude Desvignes – 2018
Manoir du Carra Sambardier – 2018
Mathieu et Camille Lapierre – 2018
Mee Godard – 2018
Monternot – Les Jumeaux – 2018
Paul Janin – 2018
Philippe Deschamps – 2018
Profile: Antoine Sunier
Profile: Domaine de Boischampt
Profile: Domaine L’Épicurieux
Profile: Dupeuble Père et Fils
Profile: Jean-Claude Lapalu
Profile: Julie Balagny
Profile: Pauline Passot
Profile: Stéphane Aviron
Raphaël Chopin – 2018
Richard Rottiers – 2018
Thillardon – 2018
Trenel – 2018
Vincent Audras – 2018

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

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