Entries from 2020

in the vines it’s not all blue-sky, sunshine and distancing…

By billn on April 09, 2020 #vintage 2020

There are also lots of bugs to be squished – you’re not eating them, so I’m sure it’s both biodynamic and vegan!


By billn on April 07, 2020 #degustation

Having already done a 2002 and a 2003 before the 2005 last week, but not quite being able to force myself to open a 2004, from the image above, I suspect you may still be able to spot my coming (cunning) plan.

This was squarely interrupted by the 2006 from Mugnier being totally corrupted by cork taint – the cork was smelly on its own, but the wine – pooeee! – but yes, there will have to be more beef bourguignone! I didn’t have another 06 ready – in the fridge, it’s already 20°C here – so jumped straight into the 2007. The 2008 will get its cork popped tonight – so notes on the next 4 later in the week…

something(s) from the côte st.jacques…

By billn on April 04, 2020 #degustation

2018 William Fèvre, Chablis
Secured with diam 5
To open with: A nose that’s just a little tight to start, but obviously saline and lime-style fruited – there’s the suggestion of structure. An hour from opening and the citrus is friendlier and brighter and wider. In the mouth a lovely acidity for the vintage, proper Chablis structure and finishing minerality. A wine that gets better and better with air – even better on day 2! Bravo, but what a baby! if you are lucky enough to have some 2017 it’s more drinkable than this today.
Rebuy – Yes

And what about 3 wines from the Côte St.Jacques?

2002 Varoilles, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos des Varoilles
A nose of smoky width – I have the impression that there was a bit of toasty oak here when younger. Time gives this a bit more fresh energy and depth of aroma – a fine invitation. A direct wine in the mouth – lovely energy and vibration of flavour, but hardly medium intensity. Very tasty and seemingly still quite young. Modest intensity for a 1er cru but tasty wine all the same.
Rebuy – Maybe

2003 des Chézeaux/Berthaut, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
In lower volume vintages their Lavaux St.Jacques is blended with their Cazetiers – as here.
The nose is a little fuller and more complex, lots of depth and no smoke – this is a lovely invitation and one that becomes ever-more floral. A surprisingly nice drive and energy here for the vintage, not far behind that of the 2002 from Varoilles, there’s the sweetness of fruit of 2003 but also with width and depth of flavour. Slowly and deliciously mouth-watering – I was right to order a case of this after tasting the wine young – 5-6 more of these beauties still await…
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Pierre Bourée, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
A rare wine, but one with a nightmare cork; first welded into place, then two-thirds breaks off. The remaining third eventually comes out though not before I’ve completely drilled through the middle of it with the corkscrew…
The most colour of these three wines. The nose starts a little lactic and with a suggestion vanilla too – obviously there had been plenty of aromatic oak to start with this one. 20 minutes after opening this has a width of very impressive aroma – cushioned, complex, and oh-so inviting – that’s excellent! Fresh, wide, mouth-filling and mouth-watering too – finishing with a mix of sweetness, salinity and mineral salivation – oh yes! Less lush than the 2003 but perfect for the cep risotto! Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

frostwatch 2020

By billn on April 02, 2020 #vintage 2020

I note that there are vigneron(ne)s in the Rhône that have serious frost problems this week. The temperatures have just been dipping below the ‘fire the candles up‘ and ‘start-up the wind machines‘ point in a few parts of the Côte d’Or today – more-so, seemingly than either Chablis or Beaujolais. Of course, it’s a little more pressing this week than last, as more leaves are starting to unfurl – the afternoon temperatures that are 20°C or more in the full sun are hardly helping. It’s largely the same scenario as the last few years – early bud-break, perfectly timed for the Spring frosts…

The third and fourth images in the instagram post of Véronique Drouhin are very impressive…

offer of the day – 2017 de montille…

By billn on April 01, 2020 #the market

The inbox is quite active with new offers – gotta do something while self-isolating, eh?

I like the fact that there’s a pause before the ‘new’ de Montille vintage is released, it was the same timing last year. The price in brackets is the same wine in 2016, where offered…

Monthelie Vin Nature 2017 75cl 35.55 (Swiss Francs)
Beaune 1er Les Sizies 2017 75cl 50.40 (53.55)
Beaune 1er Les Grèves 2017 75cl 72.00 (71.55)
Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Thorey 2017 75cl 79.20
Volnay 1er En Champans 2017 75cl 108.00 (107.10)
Volnay 1er Taillepieds 2017 75cl 112.50 (112.50)
Corton Clos du Roi 2017 75cl 139.50 (139.50)
Vosne-Romanée 1er Malconsorts 2017 75cl 300.00
Vosne-Romanée 1er Malconsorts Cuvée Christiane 2017 75cl 460.00

Montagny Les Coères 2017 75cl 32.40
St.Romain 2017 75cl 32.85 (32.85)
St.Aubin 1er En Remilly 2017 75cl 43.65
Chassagne-Montrachet 2017 75cl 55.80
Puligny-Montrachet 2017 75cl 62.10
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières 2017 75cl 109.80
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Caillerets 2017 75cl 130.50
Corton-Charlemagne 2017 75cl 135.00 (134.10)
Chevalier-Montrachet 2017 75cl 378.00

Note that these prices include Swiss purchase tax.

‘getting through’ the weekend with…

By billn on March 30, 2020 #degustation

2009 Ardhuy, Corton Clos du Roi
Less colour than the Renardes. Here there’s a little obvious whole-cluster in the aromatics and presumably, that’s the reason for the lighter colour. The nose, actually, is a little diffuse and in all the time it’s open, never really has any kind of focus or compelling aspects – good but not great. In the mouth, it reflects a little the nose – there’s a good balance and none of the harsh finishing oak of the Renardes from a few days ago, but in terms of interest, whilst this is easier to drink, the Renardes is easily the most compelling of this duo. Given the initial tasting, much more of a disappointment than the Renardes was.
Rebuy – No

2018 Chevallier, Chablis Cuvée Prestige
Unlike the base ‘Chablis’ from this domaine, this wine is cork-sealed, rather than Nomacorc. Ooh – a proper Chablis nose of freshness and a little seashore. The aromas are reflected in the flavours – good mineral freshness – that’s a proper Chablis, even in 2018 – well done!
Rebuy – Yes

2010 François Mikulski, Meursault 1er Les Charmes 1913
The cuvée of old, 1913, vines.
Anecdotally this had a high chance of being poxed, but no, it was fine. Deep, intense yellow colour, not really gold. The nose was pungent with saline citrus – almost an oily weight to the fruit. In the mouth, it was similarly intense with really great acidity – impressive stuff. Complex, with ginger and perhaps a faint oxidative ‘something’ in the flavours, but this is great wine, the intense citrus flavour is seemingly quite peppery – no question, and one of the best whites of the year.
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Murgurs des Dents du Chien
I found this wine a little heavy, almost ponderous when young – what a change!
The nose is wide, fresh, floral, multi-dimensional stuff – eventually with a little salted-caramel in the mix too. Structural, open, no fat, but still a layered depth to the delivery of vibrant flavour. Sweetly wide but always with a mix of delicacy and intensity – never a suggestion of heavy. What do we have here? It’s even better than the Mikulski – that’s two nights in a row with the bottle emptied! Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

Netflix’s ‘Uncorked’ made me do it – cellar finds:

1996 Penfolds, Bin 389
I watched Netflix’s Uncorked this weekend, and there was a reference to the Bin 389, ‘the baby Grange’ and with this weekend’s cellar tidying – guess what I found? I’m still not ready to open the 1996 Bin 707s, but why not one of these?
Not the density of colour that I remember from 15 years ago – the (14%) nose a little spirity and with plenty of prune and plume – fresh and interesting prunes all the same, and the depth growing and widening with aeration. A little fat and a lot of silk to the texture – there’s still a small grain of tannin that slowly comes to the surface. A hint spirity in the middle again, but here’s an impressively mouthwatering flavour and one that finishes with such a force of spice; cinnamon, musk, who needs La Tâche? Impressed, though it would be even better without that spirity character…

more on the frost…

By billn on March 26, 2020 #vintage 2020

There have been a couple of nights of frost in Chablis, with the deployment of water-sprays. Generally, all is well for the vines encased in the ice – but it’s less fun for the vines close to the sprays where the humidity is higher but it’s not wet enough to freeze around the buds – here there could be some losses.

Still far too early to say more than ‘there could be some losses.’

recalcitrant renardes…

By billn on March 26, 2020 #degustation

Ardhuy Corton Renardes

Blind-tasted, this was a very highly-rated wine back in 2013 – another from Ardhuy actually won the tasting – I’ll open that one on Friday.

2009 Ardhuy, Corton Renardes
This has a great nose; starting faintly creamy (lactic), with deliciously inviting dark cherry plus a note of violets that slowly evolves, becoming ever-more intense. Wow, that’s silky, at the same time it’s intense, with layered, beautiful, fruit. There’s structure too, but for all that is disappointing me today – it seems like there’s a bit of bitterness from the oak that’s still hanging on in there. Aromatically fabulous, but the palate is far from accomodating today. Maybe it will be ready at 15? Or 20? Today, half a great wine. If I look back at my note from 2013, this wine has hardly changed…
Rebuy – Maybe

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