Entries from 2022

offer of the day – bruno clavelier’s 2020s

By billn on November 29, 2022 #the market

So many new offers in time for Christmas! This one hot off the presses…

Bruno Clavelier 2020:
With the previous year’s prices for the 2019s, 2018s, 2017s & 2016s (from the same merchant) in brackets. — indicates ‘not offered’:

Bourgogne Passetoutgrains 2020 75cl 24.50* (23.50, 22.50, 22.50, —) (Swiss francs)
Vosne-Romanée La Combe Brûlée 2020 75cl 105.00 (95.00, 90.00, 80.00, 84.00)
Vosne-Romanée Les Hautes Maizières 2020 75cl 105.00 (95.00, 90.00, 80.00, 84.00)
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Corbeaux 1er Cru 2020 75cl 160.00 (140.00, 135.00, 120.00, 123.00)
Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts 1er Cru 2020 75cl 180.00 (155.00, 150.00, 130.00, 137.00)
Vosne-Romanée Aux Brûlées 1er Cru 2020 75cl 180.00 (155.00, 150.00, 130.00, 137.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Combe d’Orveaux 1er Cru 2020 75cl 195.00 (170.00, 160.00, 140.00, 147.00)
Corton Le Rognet V.V. Grand Cru 2020 75cl 185.00 (165.00, 155.00, 135.00, 144.00)

*These prices are not delivered but do include the Swiss 7.7% purchase tax. Ever upwards!!!

Just a few wines from the last couple of weeks ;-)

By billn on November 28, 2022 #degustation

Wines worth a special search to acquire are highlighted – as in the reports:

First from Faiveley:

2014 Mercurey 1er Le Clos du Roy ‘La Favourite’
Just from the top part of the climat
I like the volume of aroma here – a base with some dried leaf maturity and quite a strong floral perfume – potpourri in style. Open, lovely waves of fine acidity that add a certain tension to the flavours. That’s even showing a subtle, grainless, finishing tannin – subtly accenting the texture. I might even wait another year or two to drink this but it’s a very tasty wine.

2019 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
More than 9 ha are owned in Gevrey – they only make two VV cuvées, this one and another from Mercurey.
Almost an extra silkiness and certainly a more direct aroma – growing with a little, fresher, floral note. Extra density but great mouth-feel too. This is so mouth-watering and completely delicious – I wouldn’t feel a bit embarrassed drinking this today – it’s delicious and the faint spice from the oak makes no extra demands. Bravo!

2016 Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Chaignots
Narrower but deeper aroma – dark and cushioned – a little fine cooking spice – there are some stems here but I didn’t note them. Incisive, cool, fresh in the mouth – I love it! The spice and salt are stronger in the finish. Simply excellent – that’s a delicious, still young wine.

2018 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
A fine, almost airy, width of aroma – less power but some fine perfume here again. Like the previous wine this is beautifully expansive – more oak visible in the flavours but, again, not too distracting. The structure is moderately visible in the middle and finishing flavours. A wine that’s more to wait for – but a super wine.

2018 Clos des Cortons Faiveley
A broad and finely spiced aroma – at the risk of being distracted by the label I would say muscular – but faint flashes of perfume can also be seen. Really impressive in the mouth – rich but still generous, modestly oaked – this oak is more visible in the finishing flavours. A great wine…

And some whites:

2020 Ladoix Les Marnes Blanches
A nice puff of freshness – round, lovely fruit – rich but with nice energy. Mouth-filling, even a hint of structure but still roundness – a halo of fine tannin and stony length. I would wait 2-3 years for the oak to fade and accentuate the freshness but this is a remarkably tasty wine.

2020 Meursault 1er Blagny
Here the nose has a little more gassy impression – perhaps some CO2 here – ripe lemon citrus in the aroma. Ooh – now that’s got a beautiful definition – direct, gorgeously shaped, mineral, slightly chalky finishing – a baby and possibly a great one…
2020 Corton-Charlemagne
Narrower, but with depth and freshness – tension! Broad, bubbling with fresh complexity, the oak is visible but a mere accent in the opening flavours – a broad wave of flavour to ride. Unquestionably great wine. Super long. Grand Vin.

Domaine Trapet

Domaine Trapet grand crus2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Ostrea
A faintly spiced, a nicely transparent width of aroma – the depth with a slightly darker-red fruit. Super in the mouth – mineral, modestly structured, lots of freshness. Drink with pleasure now, despite the structure – but wait 10+ years with ease!

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos Prieur
Less spice and maybe more clarity to this nose. Bigger, more energetic and mouth-watering – almost juicy. Right at the end a little chalky structure. A simply gorgeous wine…

2017 Chapelle-Chambertin
A lovely round cushioned fruit – not a full-power nose but a very attractive nose. Ooh – that has a super and quite intensely direct flavour. A baby but such an attractive one.

2017 Latricières-Chambertin
This nose has more width and a more rose-petal perfume. Those rose-petals visible in the flavours too – more delicate yet complex at the same time. Not more delicious than the Chapelle but more my personal style of wine – a beatiful 2017 in a delicate style.

2014 Chambertin
A tighter, less expressive nose. More mouth-filling, energetic and complete wine in flavour. Structural too – I’d drink this happily today but give it another 10 years for the ultimate joy.

The 162nd Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction

By billn on November 23, 2022 #annual laurels#events

Last Sunday, the sale of the 162nd edition of the Hospices de Beaune wine auction – the oldest charity wine auction – delivered a total of €31 million including all the auction fees.

The last two years’ sales, which were affected by covid-restrictions and covid-postponements, were but a memory on Sunday as 700 people packed into the sales room in Beaune. Not only was the room full but the telephones were buzzing too – Sotheby’s indicating interest from 30 different countries – interest that endured for the whole 7 hours of the sale.

I could tell you that it was only a modest 8% increase* in the price of a barrel versus last year – but in Hospices de Beaune-land that’s nearly another €3k per barrel – and 20 years ago €3k was the average cost of a barrel at the sale! Of course, this is a charity sale that benefits all the healthcare users in, and around, Beaune and Nuits St.Georges – and so it was a great result for the local hospitals and care homes. The headline amount of the sale was simply a massive record a) because it was a very healthy volume – almost as high as the 2018 ‘record’ volume – but with prices that have doubled since that particular sale.
*But more like 12% if we were to include the ‘star lot’ – the President’s barrel…

This sale included two new cuvées: Corton Grand Cru cuvée Les Renardes, with 13 barrels sold for a combined total of €700,756, and Beaune Blanc 1er cru Clos des Mouches Cuvée Hugues et Louis Bétault with 5 barrels sold for a combined total of €235,440.

If the general market was looking for some softening of burgundy wine pricing – here was not the place to look. The wine merchants of Beaune were caught between a rock and a hard place – of course, happy for the hospital but also asking themselves how they will sell-on the wine from barrels they bought for themselves. Five barrels of Bâtard-Montrachet Cuvée Dames des Flandres sold for €324,000 each, not only more than double the pre-sale high estimate but also a price level usually reserved for the special charity barrel of the auction. In a show of solidarity the wine merchants of Beaune came together to purchase this special barrel – the Pièce des Présidents:

Louis-Fabrice - President's Barrel 2022
Image courtesy of Maison Louis Latour

2022 Pièce des Présidents
The special charity barrel of the 2022 Hospices de Beaune wine sale was sold for €810,000.

This barrel was bought by Maison Louis Latour and Maison Joseph Drouhin, with the support of the FNEB – the Fédération des Négociants-Éleveurs de Grande Bourgogne. The Latour and Drouhin families came together to dedicate this barrel to the memory of Louis-Fabrice Latour who passed away in September. The two families agreed in advance that they would pay €700k for the barrel with the members of the FNEB electing to top up that amount to cover the higher hammer price. The sale proceeds for this barrel always go to charities independent of the local healthcare system, charities which change each year – in 2022 the proceeds will go to the Princesse Margot Charity and the Vision du Monde Charity.

Almost secondary to the spirit of this purchase is the barrel itself: a blend of three of the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune’s terroirs on Corton, including Renardes, Bressandes and Chaumes. The cooperage of Maison Louis Latour produced the barrel.

A few stats

The hammer total for the 162nd Hospices de Beaune wine sale was €29,788,500 including the Pièce des Présidents; €28,978,500 excluding the Pièce des Présidents. Vintage 21 and 22 totals (Sotheby’s) include the President’s barrel – the earlier years’ values (Christie’s) are stated without including the President’s barrel. All the figures are ‘net,’ so without the respective auctioneers’ commissions.

VintageSale Total € millionsPrice per barrelNumber of barrels
2005€3.79 million€4,803789
2009€4.99 million€6,250799
2015€11.3 million€18,880575
2016€8.4 million€13,833596
2017€13.5 million€16,657787
2018€13.95 million€16,850828
2019€12.28 million€21,823589
2020€12.76 million€21,677630
2021€11.68 million€33,223352
2022€29.79 million€35,974802

the wines of weekend 46 – 2022

By billn on November 22, 2022 #degustation

weekend 46 2022

2017 Verret, Bourgogne Côte d’Auxerre Les Gaudiers
Now that’s a really good one – fresh, mineral, and with plenty of pure citrus complexity – yes! In the mouth this has a little generosity but a lot of energy too – I like the direct line of this wine despite there still being plenty of creamy oak in the middle and finishing flavours – for my own taste a bit too much – but your mileage will vary. It’s still a very impressive wine!
Rebuy – Maybe

2011 Camille Giroud, Beaune 1er Aux Cras
Wow – what a cork! I could hardly extract it – it was like concrete – but (unsurprisingly!) less than 1mm of wine travelled up its length!
Here’s a nose that starts solid, a bit monolithic, and not much fun – air works wonders. If opening a second bottle (with a similar cork!) I’d definitely carafe. The wine is a fine middle-weight with super clarity of mainly red fruit and a little sizzle of minerality. After half an hour the nose has opened up well with a good blend of red fruit and flowers. It’s a very nice wine and there are still no overt signs of impending maturity – you can keep this, no problem. I never saw any pyrazines here when young, and still don’t. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

a few views from the last days…

By billn on November 21, 2022 #travels in burgundy 2022

weekend 45 2022…

By billn on November 16, 2022 #degustation

I missed telling you about a couple of nice ones at the weekend:

2017 Roland Lavantureux, Chablis Vauprin
Plenty of colour here but there’s not even a hint of anything oxidative. Broad and fresh with a little caramel padding – the oak is still visible in this one. In the mouth – who switched all the lights on?! – such energy and fine architectural shape – then there’s the delicious flavour. As a purist, I should discount this wine because, like the nose, it still has some barrel caramel in the flavours – but it’s just so damn delicious. And hey presto – the bottle was empty – how did that happen?
Rebuy – Yes

2008 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Corton Clos du Roi
I think this is the last bottle from a mixed case of 2008s that I bought at the domaine about 10-12 years ago.
Medium colour. What an elegant, nay, beautiful nose! So perfumed. In the mouth there’s some fat – I’d go as far as to say generosity – and beautifully perfumed flavour. Blind, I don’t think that I’d ever guess this the be a 2008 – bravo – finesse personified!
Rebuy – Yes

some midweekers – including just your average 1984!

By billn on November 10, 2022 #degustation

week 45 wines - 2022!

Leftover boiled ham joint, diced and added to a fresh risotto – yes!

2018 François Gaunoux, Meursault Le Clos de Tavaux
Cork-sealed. A young colour with plenty of aromatic freshness. In the mouth, this is young – slightly structural – a good sign in this high volume vintage. Tatsy wine with fresh structure and just enough intensity. I think it will only get better if the cork plays along…
Rebuy – Yes

1984 Pierre Guillemot, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Serpentières
I tasted at the domaine on Tuesday, and when we had finished the range of 2021s, Vincent Guillemot pulled out a blind wine: Forward, in fact amazingly forward underbrush / sous-bois aromas, almost a cep-mushroom complexity to this but ultra-clean too – wow! If I’d been poured this wine blind in a restaurant and was told it was a 1970s La Tâche I’d have simply said thankyou! Vincent was making a point that the early commentary on 2021 was not that favourable – but only from people who had not tasted any wines! He didn’t tell me the vintage – I guessed that it was a wine from the mid-80s but not 85 as that vintage has a more obvious ripeness and ‘fat’ texture. I’d hardly ever tasted any decent 1984s so I guessed 1986! Not bad but still wrong. 1984 was a vintage with a lot of rot – but Vincent explained that his father had triaged this fruit to death – the result is in the bottle – bravo! When we parted he gave me the bottle to drink at home – he’d used a Coravin at the domaine. Back in Bern:
Very clean colour though obviously with a little browning at the rim. A nose that was exactly as on Tuesday – you could smell this before the nose was in the glass – so clean, so complex – so large-scaled! In the mouth it’s broad and obviously fresh but not in a sharp way – just a way that brings mouth-watering energy. Deeply flavoured wine – that even the domestic management enjoyed – and she doesn’t like ‘old wine!’
Timeless, brilliant wine from a long forgotten ‘poor’ vintage!

1997 Bouchard Père, La Romanée

By billn on November 09, 2022 #degustation

1997 La Romanée

1997 Bouchard Père, La Romanée
My last bottle, but what a way to go out!
Ooh – that’s a beautiful nose – reeling me in with complexity. Mouth-filling – an extravaganza of flavour that’s even more punchy than the nose. A bottle about 5 years ago was still showing some youth – this much less so – but the bones of fine structure remain as does its freshness and seemingly endless, ravishing, finish. Captivating is a word that could have been coined to describe this wine – its actual age and vintage seem immaterial – it is (was!) simply a great wine. Bravo!
Rebuy – No Chance

2022 Beaujolais Nouveau – as good as it gets!

By billn on November 08, 2022 #annual laurels#beaujolais#degustation

The 2022 vintage:

2022 Beaujolais NouveauThe 2021-2022 winter was long and, compared to most of the recent years, relatively cold. Frosts were commonplace until the beginning of April so probably because of that, budburst – in the second half of April – was relatively late. At this time, the domaines were already noting a lack of rain in the vineyards.

May was a warm and dry one: 50% less rainfall than normal plus more sunshine than usual – it was the warmest May on record since 1959.

The vines grew quickly and flowering took place in ideal, if early, conditions. Despite the dryness of May, there was sufficient rain in June to avoid issues with the vines even if the quantity of rainfall remained much below the average. It was in July that (not just!) the Beaujolais saw successive waves of hot weather – again lacking rain – it was the driest July for 33 years with 8mm of rain instead of an average of 68mm! This meant that the sanitary conditions of the vines couldn’t have been better.

The harvest was very early – from the middle of August! The hot weather had reduced the amount of malic acid in the grapes but concentrated the amount of tartaric acid. Despite a little more rain in the area of Beaujolais Villages, the wines were concentrated and volumes were modest, so unlike in 2020, it was rarely possible for domaines to ‘take advantage’ of the volumes on offer – so there is a consistency in the concentration and ripeness in these 2022s.
Many thanks to the team at Château du Moulin à Vent for some of their vintage insight.

The best wines:

I just hope that you have some chance to find such domaine wines. Last year my local (Swiss) coop had only one, which was bottled just for them – no producer info – and that was probably just as well because it was rubbish!

Whilst there were few ‘great wines’ in the equivalent tasting of 2021s, last year, those that were, clearly stood out from the crowd. In 2022 it was more difficult because the average quality was very consistent and as high as I have seen it – in this respect it reminds me very much of the 2019 vintage. From 100 wines there was one that was corked – the second bottle was fine – and only one wine where I directly said ‘NO!’ – I wouldn’t put this one in my mouth a second time!

Any complaints?
Actually, yes! Why so many heavy, statement, bottles? – ‘Prestigious cuvées?’ This is Beaujolais Nouveau for God’s sake. WTF!?

4 Great wines:
Dominique Piron: Beaujolais AND Beaujolais Villages
Domaine de Colette, Natur’Elle de Colette, Villages
Domaine des Nugues Villages

12 Excellent Wines – Beaujolais:
Jean Yves Sonnery
Anthony Charvet, Beaujo Beau
JM Aujoux, La vie est belle
Frédéric Berne
Domaine Perthuizet, Gégé
Château de L’Eclair
Domaine des Prévellières
Julien Bertrand
Brossette Paul André et Fils
Agamy, Domaine du Solémy

8 Excellent Wines – Beaujolais Villages:
Château de Vaux De Vermont Yannick
Vignobles Jambon, Pure
Domaine Péchard Tano
David Berougon
Jean-Paul Dubost, Beaujolais Lantignié
Domaine du Clos du Fief
Château de Pougelon
Jean Yves Sonnery, Cuvée Elégance

Click on ‘Read More…’ below to see the full notes for 100 wines in the order that they were (blind) tasted:
  Read more..

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