I know you’ve all (all 3 of you!) been waiting with trepidation to see how ‘no-score Nanson’ was going to ruin his site. Well, that time is drawing near! I’d planned to make the change last weekend, but a few technical issues still needed to be resolved, but really, I think that in the next 7-10 days it might really happen!
So, what won’t change?
Actually the majority of the site will be exactly as before, and I’ll still do a Spring, Summer & Autumn report in the format that you’ve become used to. New domaines will still be profiled in Burgundy Report.
So, what will change?
The tasting notes that were a significant chunk of previous reports will move to the ‘extra content’ area but Burgundy Report will remain a descriptive ‘title’ i.e. taking a more journalistic approach to what is published, including reportage articles. For domaines that have previously been profiled in these pages, all the reportage from those new visits will be in the ‘extra content’ area, including the winemakers’ commentary.
And of-course you won’t find scores! Let me expand on that: I simply don’t believe in the 100 point scale today – and what’s the point of having other scoring systems? – I was dubious about 100pts 20 years ago, but now I’m completely against it. Why?
A cursary glance of any publication dealing with good producers will show scores mainly in the 91-94 range – so everything is potentially the same! When Burghound published his first newsletter (1998/1999 vintages!) a score of 94 was a very rare thing indeed, despite a great vintage. It seems to me that today, and not just from Burghound, 94 is the new 90. But where Burghound brings massive value to his subscribers is his ‘sweet spot’ and ‘don’t miss’ selections. I intend to follow this path to enlightenment in my notes from domaine visits.
Burgundy Report has never been the place to come to for wall-to-wall fawning over Roumier, Rousseau, DRC etcetera – though they will obviously play supporting roles – but, put simply, their prices have doubled so-often that they have limited relevence to the the vast majority of Burgundy drinkers (& buyers) today – and I know that those producers are just as sad about this as we are are…
From a journalistic point of view, I consider that Chablis and the Côtes Chalonnaise and Maçonnais are significantly underserved – I intend to make some inroads into those gaps in the coming months and years – whilst, at the same time extending my coverage of the Côte d’Or itself. We all need good wine to drink that costs less than €15 – right?!
Of-course, asking for money will cause some people to become incandescent with rage because they have always paid nothing – others may applaud if there is value to be had. I hope to underscore the latter, and will, as best as possible, ignore the former.
I, Bill Nanson, remain the sole author of Burgundy Report, but (as always) I don’t preclude contributions from others – the difference is that I might now have to pay them! Let’s see 😉
So, despite my site’s technical delay, the amount of new content is undiminished. From January and February I already have 26 domaines/maisons in the bag, nine of them new to Burgundy Report, and I head to Burgundy yet-again this week. For reference, I’ll be in Burgundy about 50% of the time, the most commitment of any English-language commentator that I know-of (yes, and before you say it, Clive is largely retired!) and I’m still the only one who triages the grapes, every year, at harvest-time.
To keep some ‘order’, I may arrange new content chronologically; January, February, March etcetera (I intend probably August and December to be content-free months ignoring ‘scoops’), but content will go online as it is completed, rather than waiting. I certainly won’t fill your inboxes with alerts, but new stuff will be announced via @billnanson on Twitter – follow if you wish. Failing that, you can just stop-by and see if there’s anything new 😉
So, the $64,000 question?
I was going to charge €69 per 12 months – it sounded kinda sexy – but then reality bit and I have to work on the principle that I live in Switzerland; so a nice round 85 Swiss Francs it is (that’s US$96 or £58 today).
Even my optimistic target for subscribers won’t come close to my previous salary (and there are obvious extra costs of being in France so much of the time) so I will be writing for other publications, working on my project ‘Book 2,’ and will also offer my services as a tour-guide in Burgundy. With good content, and a fair wind, I think that this portfolio has the potential to add up to a real job – i.e. one with a real salary!
Oh, and I remain ever the egalitarian; once the paid content is over 18 months old – it will automatically become free content!
Feel free to discuss 😉