this week’s icymi…

4.7.2018billn

I’ve been saving a few up for you – here’s about 2 week’s worth:

  • Jefford on Monday: The Chablis difference
    Short but punchy. An unusual presentational approach to Chablis – I would say reasonably successful too – well-done Andrew. There’s been a sad (relative) absence of Burgundy content in Decanter since Tim Atkin was made ‘Burgundy critic’ and contributing editor – for instance their very late copy on the Jayer auction (not from Tim) that sounded just like a re-hash of the PR that was mailed afterwards by the auction house. Tim is filling the hole left after William Kelly’s short tenure – though William was still there for longer than me 🙂 – hopefully we will see more from this platform soon.
  • One in ten vines are diseased:’
    (In French) A short piece that emphasises the issues affecting the cultivation of vines – globally too. 2016 was particularly bad in Burgundy due to the incredibly difficult first half of the growing season – much higher mortality was seen – particularly from ESCA – some areas peaking at 10% losses. The calmer growing season of 2017 and 2018 (so far) has seen lower mortality – at least from casual observation…
  • Double Robots – you were warned!
    (In French) Two reports looking at the future of vineyard management. One with a general purpose rechargeable robot – the Bakus – and another design for doing the weeding. I think a machine with more relevance to Burgundy’s small plots would probably have to be smaller, and it will be a while before there are Tesla-style charging points at the entrance to vineyards – they are the future – but then so, maybe, will be tractor hacking!
  • Beaujolais to be part of a united ‘Great Burgundy?’
    An interesting piece from Harpers. I have no doubt that, within a certain time horizon, this will happen – but today is too early. I discussed with an insider and they had an interesting observation; “Our experience concerning marriages between different regions is that tie-ups between two partners don’t work if one partner is dominant.” Let me put more meat on that bone for you; a marriage of equals works best. Burgundy is at a peak in their commercial cycle – prices at never seen before levels, mainly driven by demand-supply imbalances despite great quality. It’s also true that Beaujolais is the most dynamic of regions right now, but coming from a deep low in their economic cycle – and they have much more work to do. Effectively, a ‘marriage’ such of this is going to need a little more time for equality – a success-factor that’s been noted by both parties.
  • Alternatives to Burgundy, from Burgundy:
    The Los Angeles Times with that perennial opportunity to talk about relative values in Burgundy. There’s much (deserved) emphasis on the aligotĂ© grape and (less deserved) on Passetoutgrains – there are super examples of the latter, but usually in very small quantities – at least from great producers like d’Angerville – and yes, that was a tip 🙂
  • Burgundian Graphic Novels?
    I include this one, purely for the nice portrait of Emmanuel Guillot – I still regret not having my camera to hand when we were discussing in his kitchen, and he was drinking tea from his Star Wars mug!

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