Entries from 2017

offer of the day – Leflaive 2016…

By billn on November 03, 2017 #the market

DOMAINE LEFLAIVE 2016 – Puligny-Montrachet (En Primeur)
Just for reflection, you will see the same offer prices of their (2015s, 2013s, 2012s) in the brackets for an idea of ‘progression’.

Pouilly-Fuissé 75cl Not offered (37.00 Swiss francs in 2015)
Bourgogne 75cl 42.00 Swiss Francs (38.00, 35.00, 35.00)
Puligny-Montrachet 75cl 82.00 (69.00, 65.00, 65.00)

Puligny-Montrachet Les Clavoillons 75cl 118.00 (89.00, 88.00, 85.00)
Meursault Sous Le Dos d’Âne 75cl 118.00 (99.00, 99.00, 96.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 75cl 185.00 (145.00, 148.00, 139.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 75cl 185.00 (155.00, 159.00, 149.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 75cl 245.00 (195.00, 175.00, 175.00)

Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet 75cl 459.00 (325.00, 319.00. 289.00)
Bâtard-Montrachet 75cl 498.00 (348.00, 355.00, 310.00)
Chevalier-Montrachet 75cl 685.00 (445.00, 450.00, 395.00)

I realise that the production of grand crus was -80% at this domaine in 2016, but wow! Best of luck to them…

weekend wines – week 43 2017

By billn on October 31, 2017 #degustation

1996 Pierre Damoy, Chapelle-Chambertin
Hmm – completely gorgeous – the nose is no-longer overtly of stems, now it’s become a blend of fruit and flowers. Still, there’s a 1996 freshness of acidity but neither sharp nor painful. In the finish there is still a little herb complexity but this is nearly as good as the nose now. Quite close to ready and absolutely enjoyed.
Rebuy – Yes

1985 Bertagna, Vougeot 1er Clos de la Perrière
In the last 3 years, bottle #1 was ethereal brilliance, bottle #2 was bacterially infected. This, #3, is closer to the former than that latter bottle – without ever touching on brilliance. The nose is deep, faintly spiced and with dry loamy soil. In the mouth there is a nice shape – plenty of volume here – and freshness too. The fruit is ripe and a little plummy – super finishing width that has fine definition. This is the most delicious part of this wine. There is only one thing wrong with this otherwise excellent wine – and that is that I remember how much better the first bottle was!
Rebuy – Maybe (for the variability)

2008 Pascal Marchand, Corton
Hardly more than medium colour. The nose is of modest intensity but at the same time fabulously complex – though there’s still a trace of barrel coconut.This wine is almost too easy for a Corton, particularly a 2008 Corton, but it has an engrossing ethereal quality to it. I’d still prefer the coconut to fade more, but this wine has always been class in glass…
Rebuy – Yes

offer of the day – clos de tart

By billn on October 28, 2017 #the market

And as if by magic, in my inbox this morning:

La Forge de Tart 1er Cru 2007 75cl 148.00* Swiss francs
La Forge de Tart 1er Cru 2008 75cl 119.00
La Forge de Tart 1er Cru 2011 75cl 135.00
La Forge de Tart 1er Cru 2014 75cl 169.00

Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2006 75cl 299.50
Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2011 75cl 279.00
Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2013 75cl 324.00
Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2013 150cl 678.00
Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2014 75cl 324.00
Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2014 150cl 678.00
*Prices are ‘delivered’ but subject to 8% Swiss purchase tax.

One has to assume that the distribution of these wines will be subject to change in the future…

beyond avarice…

By billn on October 28, 2017 #the market

I suppose that I’m mandated to make a comment on the aftermath of this – ie the sale of the Clos de Tart by the Mommessin family shareholders for an undisclosed sum – but let’s say €250 million – some important personas in Burgundy say ‘no, over 300!

I was travelling (mainly taking pictures of cows!) in Switzerland when this was ‘confirmed’ yesterday morning, but I’ve been tweeting about this subject (and retweeting) since the sale of the Clos de Tart was first mooted, which was about 3 weeks ago.

The Clos de Tart has a magnificent location and is the perfect ‘compact item’ despite it’s 7.5 hectares – by that I mean that all the buildings of the domaine also sit within the walls of the Clos – compared, for example, to its neighbour the Clos des Lambrays, where the wine-making and offices are separated from the vines, albeit by only a few hundred metres. There are other grand cru monopoles, but none that can compare in this respect. The Clos de Tart is emblematic, it is the perfect representation of all the history and mythology of Burgundy, gift-wrapped into a 7.5 hectare parcel.

Under the tenure of Sylvain Pitiot, I felt that in terms of attention to detail, the Clos de Tart was the most fanatical domaine in the whole of Burgundy – even more-so than Leroy and DRC – imagine walking around the wall of the clos and seeing that the gap between the vines and the wall was a perfect ‘Japanese garden’ of raked small stones. Every detail of the operation of the domaine, right down to paint on the doors was perfect…

Of-course the wine needs to be good too!

Under Pitiot, given enough time to mature, the wine was magnificent – but I was never a fan of the oak treatment, which usually deprived drinkers of extracting the joy of youth, something that one should associate with the wine’s high price-tag. I simply loved the 1985, but the 2001 and a magnum of 2005, remain my reference points – reference points that can easily trade glasses with the grand crus of Vosne or the Clos de Vougeot. I was frankly pinning my hopes on Jacques Devauges to do something about the oak – though (so far) I have no view on whether that’s already the case, or not.

So, from certain viewpoints, the clos is indeed an unrivalled jewel and worth a King’s ransom. If it was the case that this would not inject further heat into the market for vineyard land – something of a storm that the new owner can easily ride out, but less-so the small family domaines of Burgundy – then I would simply stand and applaud François Pinault for winning this game and move on. I fear, however, that this is unlikely to be the case. The extra money that Pinault can bring will not improve the attention to detail at this domaine – though there is always something that can be improved – but this is clearly not a ‘project’ of restoration, it is the purchase of a chattel.

Drinkers, buyers and even owners of smaller domaines are simply bystanders in games such as this, and I cannot blame the various shareholders of the Mommessin family for taking this pay-day – though I know that some didn’t want to sell.

The Clos de Tart, courtesy the domaine:

a quick three…

By billn on October 24, 2017 #degustation

2012 Le Grappin, Beaune 1er Boucherottes
Drunk directly following the weekend’s Chambertin. The nose here really cannot compete, it has some high-toned complexity but it is both young and a bit herby for now. The palate, on the other hand, is full of overt, mouth-filling, energy and bright crunchy red fruit. It’s super and much more interesting to drink (if not smell) than the much tighter Chambertin – for that, really bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

1985 Joseph Drouhin, Gevrey-Chambertin
Well, 90% of the cork comes out in one piece!
A sweet demerara depth of medium-red fruit, a suggestion of leaves too – a fine clean nose for such an oldie – just a hint of volatility creeping in on thescond night. Still good acidity and a nicely melting flavour that’s faintly spiced and envelops the tongue beautfully. I had about three of these, and over the last five years they have been very stable – unlike some other villages wines that were definitely fading. Tasty, rewarding wine, but still to drink up…
Rebuy – No Chance…

Next up, villages Savigny from 2014 – because life’s not just about impossible to find villages wines from 1985 🙂

2014 Françoise Andre, Savigny-lès-Beaune Ez Connardises
Good depth of colour. Really a large volume of aroma, ripeness of macerating dark cherry and an accent of oak – très inviting. Fresh attack, good width, and yes quite a lot of oak – but tasty too! Savigny did soooo well in 2014 – what there was of it!
Rebuy – Maybe

weekend wines – week 42 2017

By billn on October 23, 2017 #degustation

A few of the wines collected for last weekend saw the light this weekend – actually, they mainly saw the corkscrew – let’s call it recycling! Friends helped consume everything, that’s the best way – no?

2011 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Ruchottes
Fresher and more complex and mineral than I remember when young. There is now a little caramel-style oak on both the nose and the end of the palate. I loved the complexity of this wine though might have preferred a hint more energy – but it’s still a delicious wine.
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Henri et Gilles Remoriquet, Vosne-Romanée 1er Au-dessus des Malconsorts
This wine was in a perfect place – a nose that opens with sweetly spiced welcoming arms. The palate round, complex, a certain sucrosity with cleanliness of delivery. Simply a perfect showing.
Rebuy – Yes

2002 Nicolas Potel, Chambertin
Ooh – what a great nose of both volume and complexity – dried leaves, dried and fresh fruits – such an invitation – which was half a shame because the palate of this wine remains pretty tight – great finishing complexity – almost in the same league as the nose – but the the first and mid-palate both need a few more years to open and relax – half a great wine.
Rebuy – Maybe

today in the abbaye de st.vivant…

By billn on October 21, 2017 #travels in burgundy 2017

Despite (many times) previously having bored you with photos of the place, until today, I’ve never actually been inside of the abbaye before. Today was a final get-together of the Central-Otago/Burgundy Exchange crew – together with a few glasses of the abbaye’s Hautes Côtes Blanc made by the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and with its figurehead, Aubert de Villaine too. Aubert indicated that work would be completed in about another 2 years, to a stage where visitors will finally have the chance to walk a route around and in the abbaye – I’ll be early in the queue!

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