some christmas bottles…


1997 Bouchard Père et Fils Le Corton
My last bottle of this – during The September Report’s look at 1997s, 20 years on – was completely corked. This cork, looks fine but was as hard as concrete – still, had it protected not corrupted the wine this time? My first sniff I thought yes, but this was one of those borderline cases – swirl and it seems okay, let glass rest and the aroma of cork builds in the glass – curses – two in a row from this case – I’ve 5 more to be annoyed by…

1999 Denis Bachelet, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
Denis to save the day? The nose shows a hint of brett at first, but quickly fades to (almost) nothing – growing in the glass with a very fine and pure fresh red fruit. Lots of volume in the mouth – energy, sweetened Kirsch, a vibration of flavour. This is so delicious that I can forgive the slight transgression on the nose – mega-delicious wine.
Rebuy – Yes

1992 Francois er Antoine Jobard, Meursault Genevrieres
Magnum. Deep golden, practically orange. No oxidation, rather a subtle reductive note – fireworks. Very ripe pineapple aroma to start, slowly more like a blend of ripe lemon and quince but always broad, always deep. In the mouth, like the nose, it’s big, concentrated but silky – with a penetrating slightly reductive intensity, finishing mature and creamy – almost Creme brûlée. So stable – drunk over three days – the last glass at least as good as the first. Such a shame that it’s my last. It was a great wine!
Rebuy – Yes

1997 Lamarche, La Grande Rue
Quite deep colour. What a simply magical nose of floral freshness and exquisite line – simply captivating – you would never guess it’s from 1997. great mouth-fulling volume of more bloody red fruit, but layers and depth of flavour. This could be my best wine of the year – and what timing! So broad in the finish. Also finished on day three, where the nose and finish were good but less good – the mid-palate retaining its fresh delicious and layered personality. I’m unlikely to be able to top this Christmas brace next year, at least in magnum format anyway!
Bought for a relative song in an auction over 10 years ago – Lamarche not yet fully accepted as good winemakers. This wine reminded me of a discussion I had a couple of years ago with Pascal Marchand where he explained something about his small parcel of Musigny ‘It’s from the bottom; Porcheret bought the land from Christian Confuron and it was planted in 1990 with something like pinot droit but it’s great to see how terroir can be so strong as the wine is real Musigny‘ And like that Musigny, the force is strong with this wine!
Rebuy – Yes

I opened another 1997 BP&F Corton – it’s just like the last – I’m confused – I’ll have to discuss it with them…

1993 Frederic Esmonin, Mazy-Chambertin
Medium, mature colour. There’s a nice open, airy quality to the nose – complex, sous bois and a hint of clean white mushroom. A little more direct after the Lamarche, less concentration but still with depth to the slightly cushioned texture and a fine grand cru depth of mid and finishing flavour – my first instinct is a little mint, then coffee, there’s a lot here. There is no rush for the Lamarche, but this is à point! Super wine…
Rebuy – Yes

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There is one response to “some christmas bottles…”

  1. Fred E28th December 2017 at 2:03 pmPermalinkReply

    Wish I could have spent Christmas with you. Do you typically decant your older bottles or open them early to breathe?

    • billn29th December 2017 at 8:19 amPermalinkReply

      Hi Fred,
      I’m often tempted to decant young wines – ie less than 2 years old – as many have a little too much dissolved carbon dioxide and really benefit from the extra aeration, but older wines no to decanting.
      What does work well with old bottles – ie more than 25 years – is to pull the cork a few hours before drinking, and replace with a glass stopper – then keep in the cellar or a cool place. You have the chance to see if there is a cork problem and get rid of the musty/oxidised smell below the cork – a hat tip to François Audouze for that method – it works well.

Burgundy Report

Translate »

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