Entries from 2022

offer of the day – henri boillot 2020

By billn on January 23, 2022 #the market


Domaine Henri Boillot 2020 – en primeur
As always, from my local Swiss merchant who makes this offer about the same time each year.
I leave you with the 2019, 2018 and the 2017, pricing in brackets. Well, you didn’t expect it to go down did you? – Just be happy that the Bourgogne didn’t increase 🙂
— = not offered

Bourgogne Chardonnay 2020 75cl 29.00* (29.00, 26.00, 23.00) Swiss Francs

St.Aubin 1er 2020 75cl 55.00 (—)

Meursault Les Gouttes d’Or 2020 75cl 105.00 (95.00, —)
Meursault Clos Richemont 2020 75cl 115.00 (105.00, —)
Meursault Les Genevrières 2020 75cl 129.00 (125.00, 115.00, 108.00)
Meursault Les Perrières 2020 75cl 138.99 (—, 125.00, 115.00)

Puligny-Montrachet 2020 75cl 58.99 (58.00, 55.00, 52.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Folatières 2020 75cl 135.00 (125.00, —)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 2020 75cl 135.00 (125.00, 115.00, 108.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Perrières 2020 75cl 129.00 (115.00, 115.00, 108.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Mouchère 2020 75cl 138.00 (128.00, 115.00, 108.00)

Corton Charlemagne 2020 75cl 205.00 (188.00, 175.00, 168.00)
Montrachet 2020 75cl 945.00 (895.00, 845.00, 795.00)

Volnay Les Chevrets 2020 75cl 89.00 (89.00, 89.00, 89.00)
Volnay Les Caillerets 2020 75cl 99.00 (99.00, 99.00, 99.00)

Clos de Vougeot 2020 75cl 185.00 (179.00, 169.00, 158.00)
Echézeaux 2020 75cl 239.00 (229.00, 229.00, —)
Bonnes-Mares 2020 75cl 350.00 (330.00, 319.00, 298.00)
Chambertin 2020 75cl 350.00 (—, 319.00, 298.00)

*The price you see is ‘delivered’ but ex 7.7% Swiss purchase tax.

2000 Burgundy – en primeur tasting

By billn on January 21, 2022 #degustation#the market

Yes, you read that right – 2000 – only my second diary ‘post’ on this website – 20 years ago today (near-enough) with cameos from Jancis and Joanna Simon.

I was happy with the wines that I decided to buy that year – if only three from this address and at this stage. I remember being able to buy all that I wanted in both 1999, and in 2000 too. Come to think about it, the first time where I got ‘blocked’ – despite having bought the same wines since 1999 – was the 2005 vintage. I cancelled the remainder of my order in a fit of pique!

lambraysIf I search hard, maybe a lone bottle of the 2000 Engel remains – but none of the Clavelier or the Lambrays – the Lambrays was disappointing when delivered as it was far oakier than the en-primeur sample. It was fine after 7-8 years though.

But what about those prices – eh? The Engel was the same price as I paid for my 1999s. The Clos de Tart was already quite expensive and starting something of an upward surge – £52 in 2000 but already £71 in the 2001 vintage where I (still) bought a measly 3! And 2000 Rousseau Bèze for £60 anybody? With 20:20 hindsight I’d be able to replace my Aston-Martin every couple of years by selling 3 or 4 cases. Oh, sorry. I meant my Subaru – though it has just completed its 500,000-kilometre service!

Results from the 36th Concours des Vins de Chablis

By billn on January 20, 2022 #annual laurels

Guillaume Baroin tasting Chablis 2020This annual event took place last weekend. They have stopped inviting me to be part of the jury as I always decline – with already 3 weeks of tasting in Chablis in January I’d never be home if I stopped to do this at the weekend too 🙂

The jury chief this year was Guillaume Baroin – with whom I make a number of tastings each year. Image right of Guillaume in action – from the BIVB.

As each year they largely taste the most recent commercial vintage – in this case, the 2020s – but they always wait an extra year for the grand crus. So it was the 2019s for the gcs.

The results have been published (in French) and I include a link to the pdf of the results, below.

Enjoy this link

offer of the day – thibault liger-belair’s 2020s

By billn on January 19, 2022 #the market

Thibault Liger-Belair 2021Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair
2020 EP/Pre-Arrivals

Prices from my Swiss merchant. When offered, the prices of the 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015s (from the same source in previous years) are in brackets for comparison. Not offered is indicated by —
And still no Beaujolais!

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 75 cl La Charmotte 75cl 59.00* (55.00, 55.00, 52.00, 55.00, 49.50) (Swiss Francs)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Belles Croix 75cl 59.00 (55.00)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 1er Les Saint-Georges 75cl 148.00 (135.00, 125.00, 119.00, 118.00, 109.00)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 1er Les Saint-Georges 150cl 318.00 (285.00, 260.00, 248.00, 256.00, – )
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Aux Beaux Bruns 75cl 84.00 (75.00)
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Fouchères 75cl 84.00 (75.00)
VOSNE-ROMANEE Aux Réas 75cl 79.00 (75.00, 75.00, 69.50, 76.00, 69.50)

CORTON CLOS DU ROI 75cl 174.00 (159.00, 159.00, 159.00, 159.00, — )
CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 174.00 (165.00, 165.00, 159.00, 169.50, 158.00)
CHARMES-CHAMBERTIN 75cl 205.00 (175.00, 175.00, 169.00, — , — )
RICHEBOURG 75cl 550.00 (445.00, 425.00, 398.00, — , 395.00)
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 75cl 245.00 (—, 189.00, 189.00, 198.00, — )

*As always, these wines are without the 7.7% Swiss purchase tax but include the cost of delivery…
So, rises, but really of a modest level versus a number of producers’ 2020s…

There was wine over the weekend!

By billn on January 18, 2022 #degustation

Gambal 2005 Chambolle 1er Charmes & Gautheron 2019 Chablis Emeraude

But only a modest couple of bottles!

2019 Gautheron, Chablis Emeraude
A house wine since last April that has slowly taken on more precision – I like it much more now than 6 months ago – it’s all that I could wish for – except that most of the bottles have been drunk. I suppose I’d best replenish with some 2020s before they are all sold out – many in Chablis already are – even the ones not yet bottled!!!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
This cork was robust but soaked/stained red – almost the full length to the capsule – it looks like my timing was right for this one – not that anything was amiss with the contents!
Hmm – now that’s a nose! Not yet a fully mature nose of sous bois – but more than hinting at it – with round, generous and still deeply fruited aromas – it was a great invitation. The palate doubled-down on the nose; rich, sensuous, layered and completely delicious. What a wine! I guess I’m getting closer to the time to open the first of his 05 Amoureuses! Chambolle was the very epicentre of greatness in 2005!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Red Burgundy – report now online…

By billn on January 17, 2022 #reports

2020 Beaune 1er BelissandNew online today for subscribers.

So that’s:
– My 2020 red vintage summary plus
– 67 new red domaines and their 2020s to add to
– 15 red domaines’ 2020s that were already online, plus
– 65 white domaines’ 2020s that were already online
There are a few 2020s from Beaujolais too – so that’s over 150 domaines and their 2020s now online.

In this 2020s tasting season, I may not match the 344 domaines’ 2019s that I’ve done over the last 12 months – there was one month less tasting time after the late harvest in 2021 – but I’m sure that I’ll still manage over 300 this year – open borders and good health permitting.

The new report is here – enjoy!

“Burgundy is always too hard or too soft – that there is no in between…”

By billn on January 12, 2022 #other sites

…this is the result of the flawed configuration of its unequal and disproportionate parts, which tear up the pores of the organ when they are not yet dulled; and which, becoming dulled afterwards, suddenly cease to make a sensory impression.

And of course, to counter:

The wine of Reims is thin, not quite wine-flavored, and acid, which, like most other white wines, has the strength to make urine, but very little to nourish and to warm.

Found today, and worth 15 minutes of your time…

Chablis week 2, trace-heating and other news:

By billn on January 11, 2022 #travels in burgundy 2022

Chablis - (near) Lignorelles
Chablis – (near) Lignorelles

It’s much colder in Chablis this week – and it’s supposed to be sunny too – but I’ve not seen much of that yet – maybe this afternoon! Anyway, this week I got here without recourse to any new car-parts – that will come next week when it’s service time!

And the 2020 vintage in Chablis after my first 30 domaine visits? Well, there are great wines – as I had expected – but there are also significant complications which I hadn’t anticipated. This will be an interesting report to write!

Water and cables…
What’s clear in Chablis is: the floodplains are doing their job! The river is high and the low-lying fields are underwater. The reservoirs are looking full and ready, should they be required to combat the frost in April/May. Some areas – particularly in Maligny – are starting to invest in trace-heating. These electric cables are quite expensive to install but the maintenance is low – certainly lower than the plumbing required for the aspiration. The environmental impact is lower than for aspiration too, and clearly, they can be used where there are no reservoirs. Maybe that’s also a way forward in the Côte d’Or; considering that Corton-Charlemagne in many places produced 1 barrel per hectare in 2021 and likewise, Bouchard’s Chevalier-Montrachet produced 2 barrels from 2.5 hectares of vines – that’s multiples of millions of euros lost in a single frost event…

Saint Vincent(s)
Last Monday, the Chablis Saint Vincent in Fleys was, once more, postponed due to covid. This event, originally planned for 2021, is now postponed for a second time but they don’t yet have a new date. This info automatically last week put the spotlight on Puligny, Blagny, Corpeau who were in exactly the same position, having also postponed from 2021. The team has put in a tremendous amount of work but admitted, last week, that the decision had been taken out of their hands as to whether the event transpired or not. Late on Friday, as anticipated by most of us, a postponement was announced. The new date is for the weekend at the end of the Grands Jours de Bourgogne – itself postponed from last year! Because of covid I haven’t registered for the Grands Jours so am also unlikely to be going to the Saint Vincent – and will either of them actually take place? I’m pessimistic. Just look at the rampant covid-positives from that famous super-spreader event in November – otherwise known as the Paulée de Meaursault. I will say no more on that subject!

I should also, probably, mention a wine or two:
There were a couple that I finished 2021 with:

1996 Darviot-Perrin, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Blanchots Dessus
A wine that Marko de Morey had kindly gifted me which I’d planned to open last Christmas – but last Christmas was a quarantine time (negative, but…) so I left it another year.
Like the earlier (1993) Fran̤ois Jobard, this was in great shape but it was a wine that needed aeration. It started very clean, direct, faintly of lanolin but was a bit austere and unforgiving. 4-5 hours in a decanter Рrequired because the cork crumbled into dozens of bits and 40% of it never made it out the bottle Рplop! Рbrought a broadening of the flavour and highlighted more the fruit. A sweeping, complex but still slightly austere thing which I liked a lot but had very little to do with young Blanchots!
Rebuy – Maybe

2001 Frederic Esmonin, Ruchottes-Chambertin
Easily the best red wine of Christmas – in the classic sense – ie everybody loved Stéphanie Colinot’s Irancy the most!
Deep and impressively aromatic – still clean but adding a depth of sous-bois notes – it’s maturing well. I was most impressed by the combination of concentration but also brilliant finishing energy – this was not just tasty wine, it was dynamic wine – bravo!
Rebuy – Absolutely!

And from last weekend, I won’t bore you with a note on the Thivin – my wife’s favourite label and a house wine of 2021 chez nous – this was just as good as all the other bottles – it’s also, I think, the penultimate of this case!

2010 Jean-Marc Bouley, Volnay 1er Caillerets
Am I allowed to be disappointed by one of Thomas’s wines? Well, what on earth could be amiss with the combination of 2010 and Caillerets in the hands of Thomas?
Well it’s obvious isn’t it – it just smells of vanilla – it tastes of vanilla too – and I really don’t like vanilla. I have nothing further to add…
Rebuy – No

A happy new year – from Chablis!

By billn on January 04, 2022 #travels in burgundy 2022

Peugeot - wonder wheels!
The short-term replacement steed of Burgundy Report – don’t ask me why Citroen provided a Peugeot 206 – but what a magnificent motor – just look at that paintwork! As a diesel, hardly run-in, with a mere 325,000km on the odometer…

My ‘working’ year – in terms of being out and about and as opposed to typing – started early on Monday. This was the small matter of 465km from Bern to Chablis via a quick stop in Beaune. 66 domaines are lined-up to visit in 3 weeks.

The first 445km of that seemed unremarkable; the usual lack of traffic on the Swiss A16, followed by the almost similarly quiet French A36 to Beaune. A parking space in Beaune’s Place Carnot was already waiting for me when I arrived – which tells you all you need to know about how busy Beaune was on the 3rd of January!

Having watered some plants and bought a sandwich in Beaune, it was time for the A6 to Chablis. There was more traffic on this road and closer to lunchtime the services were packed with people – perhaps this was a late wave of people heading back to Paris and their first working week of 2022…

The day got a bit more exciting when I exited the autoroute at Nitry. Whilst at the peage, I noted an unusual sound coming from her-Subaru-ness – and it seemed to be becoming more insistent! I parked, stopped the motor and quickly checked under the hood and under that car – all seemed secure. I restarted and the noise was still plain. It’s another 20km to Chablis – largely on easy straight roads – I decided to take a chance – cruise control set to 80km/h – which is modest by my standards – as there are a few garages in Chablis and clearly none in Nitry!

So then came the garage story – of course, you knew that all the garages would be closed on Monday – didn’t you(?) So given the resounding lack of help from both Renault and Peugeot, as luck would have it, Citroen were open – you just had to find them – because Google Maps has them at completely the wrong end of Rue d’Auxerre – and that road is quite long! Having finally found them, and limped into their parking, I only had to wait another 20 minutes for them to come back from lunch (it’s France, deal with it…) It was now time for the diagnosis: Ta-da! It was the alternator that was grinding away! Typical that this should happen 2 weeks before my next service – did I mention(?), the 500,000km service. On the other hand, this could have easily still happened the week after my 500,000km service – and that would doubtless have made me much more pissed!

But what nice people at Citroen, Chablis – not sponsored – as I actually had to pay nearly €500 for a replacement part to be fitted. Not only that, they lent me a trusty steed to get to all my appointments – and I was only 30 minutes late for the first one. This afternoon, I reluctantly returned their magnificent carriage as the Scooby-do was again raring to go.

So far, 7 of 8 scheduled appointments made and only 1 covid-cancellation… Hopefully, that cancellation percentage improves over the coming days. Onwards…

Burgundy Report

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