Entries from 2020

The reimagining of Beaujolais

By billn on September 22, 2020 #books, maps, magazines & films

Beaujolais - esprit de partage
Beaujolais – l’esprit de partage

For quite some time now, the marketing of the Chablis region had its own visual identity; this/these in informative ‘little black books‘ the style and content of which I particularly enjoy.

Now is the time of Beaujolais.

Whilst some of the data-based presentation – 2 départements, 2 grape varieties, etcetera – smacks of the approach of Chablis, the actual presentation / visual identity couldn’t be more different or more lively. Whilst it’s always nicer to have the real book(let) in your hands, I offer you the chance of not having to live too vicariously – below you can see the pdfs:

In French*
In English*

*NB: These are not small downloads – there’s over 100 pages per – but they are well worth your time!

pierre labet’s 2005 beaune 1er coucherias

By billn on September 22, 2020 #degustation

2005 Pierre Labet, Beaune 1er Choucherias
I remember, 2-3 years ago, this wine being so impressive. Like this wine, my memory has faded, it has actually been 7 years – and for this particular bottle, despite a robust and okay looking cork, time has not helped…
The nose from the very start shouts old and bretty – you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s at least 30 years old, not 15. I find none of the aromatic interest of before. The palate has fared a little better – layered, concentrated and complex – but never losing the bretty undertones. Such a shame. Aeration lessens the brett a little, but overnighting in the fridge exacerbates the problem – spiced brown sauce the resulting aroma – HP or Hammonds – if that means anything to you. Not what I want in my glass.
Rebuy – No – not this particular bottle, anyway…

offer of the day – thibault liger-belair’s 2018s

By billn on September 21, 2020 #the market

Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair 2018 EP/Pre-Arrivals

Prices arrived today from my Swiss merchant. The 2017, 2016 & 2015 prices (from the same time, previous years) are in brackets for comparison. Still no Beaujolais:

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES La Charmotte 75cl 55.00* (52.00, 55.00, 49.50) (Swiss Francs)
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 75 cl 69.00 (69.00, 69.00, – )
VOSNE-ROMANEE Aux Réas 75cl 75.00 (69.50, 76.00, 69.50)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Saint-Georges 75cl 125.00 (119.00, 118.00, 109.00)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Saint-Georges 150cl 260.00 (248.00, 256.00, – )
CORTON CLOS DU ROI 75cl 159.00 (159.00, 159.00, – )
CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 165.00 (159.00, 169.50, 158.00)
Charmes-Chambertin 75cl 175.00 (169.00, – , – )
RICHEBOURG 75cl 425.00 (398.00, – , 395.00)
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 75cl 189.00 (189.00, 198.00, – )

Relatively steady pricing at this time from Thibault.

*As always, these wines are without the 8% Swiss purchase tax, but include the cost of delivery…

A white Fixin, a red St.Aubin – and (call me stubborn!) another attempt at 1985….

By billn on September 20, 2020 #degustation

2017 Armelle et Jean-Michel Molin, Fixin Blanc VV Les Ormeaux
A wine raised in a jar (amphora) with plenty of skin-contact it seems. The label proudly announcing Vin Biologique! A robust cork.
Plenty of colour; a little golden and not with 100% clarity. The nose is heavy with the aromas of grape and is a little bready – not elegant but definitely not a turn-off either. Mouthfilling, and with a nice fresh wave of flavour that holds quite well in the finish. There’s plenty of concentration here. You may be forgiven for not being sure whether this is chardonnay or not – so forget ‘Fixin!’ – but this remains a more than tasty glass for all that, one that I’ll happily take a refill of!
Rebuy – Maybe

1985 Guillemard-Dupont, Pommard
A domaine in Meloisey at this time. The cork breaks in more than one place, but I just about kept all of the parts on the corkscrew…
This is a big and open nose – the age is showing with its ‘forest floor’ of wet leaves plus a certain sweetness from the fruit – if you like the smell of older wines, you’ll love this! Mouth-filling, complex, still some layers of oak too. There’s a sweetness to the flavour and generally speaking, this seems a robust specimen of an ’85 – perfectly clichéd Pommard, if you like. The weight and length of finishing flavour is on another level to the Fixin. For what it is – bravo – drinking well over three days (kept in the fridge after opening) and not a hint of brett developed!
Rebuy – Yes (Luckily, I think I’ve more!)

2009 Gilles Bouton, St.Aubin 1er En Créot
I still have a few of these handily-sized 50cl bottles – in this case still drunk over two nights. A robust cork.
On first opening, this is a strange blend of sweet fruit and more herbed notes that might imply under-ripeness – both in the flavours and aromas. Yet this is a wine that pulls together very well with aeration – I’m sure it’s still going to improve in the cellar – assuming it takes on the aerated character rather than exacerbating the first impressions! Slowly coming together with some moderate sweetness of red fruit and a less forward herbacity; here is a wine that seamlessly transitions from ‘something to drink’ to a wine where I’m looking forward to a top-up.
Rebuy – Yes

another from 1985

By billn on September 17, 2020 #degustation

1985 Pontbriand

After the abortive – actually horribly corked – 1985 Bertagna I tried my luck with another 1985.

This, a no-name (at least today) négoce. The cork broke in the middle but fortunately in this case I managed to keep it on the worm of the corkscrew. A previous bottle of this had been ‘okay‘ but this was metallic tasting and seemed rather structural – not a particularly attractive glass. This did make it into last weekend’s beef bourguignon! 🙂

1985 cork

offer of the day – 2018 Billaud-Simon

By billn on September 16, 2020 #the market

Olivier Bailly, 2020From my normal Swiss source. I don’t remember seeing previous offers from this currently excellent producer:

2018 Chablis
Chablis Montée-de-Tonnerre 1er Cru 2018 75cl 41.00 (*Swiss Francs)
Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru 2018 75cl 72.00
Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru 2018 75cl 74.00
Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2018 75cl 79.00
Chablis Les Blanchots VV Grand Cru 2018 75cl 85.00

*As usually noted, these are delivered prices (for 6 bottles and over) but will additionally incur the Swiss sales tax of 7.7%!

I’ve a few more offers in my inbox but I’ll drip-feed you them over the coming 10 days or-so – so that the Diary is not too boring or mouth/eye-watering 🙂

1997 – at the double – the le-la’s :)

By billn on September 15, 2020 #degustation

La Romanée Le Corton Bouchard Père

Two grand crus from 1997 – both from Bouchard Père – the Le-La‘s…

1997 Bouchard Père et Fils, Le Corton
A wine that went through a strange phase about 5 years ago – the wines all (3 consecutive) seemed corked so I gave up trying them – or maybe they were corked! All my recent bottles, like this one, have been super.
Hmm, a much more forward nose from opening versus the next wine; a little whole-cluster-style complexity and with much to find – this is a great nose! Expressive, open-flavoured – I’m not sure that I would guess Corton, or even Côte de Beaune – this is absolutely delicious though, with beautifully balanced concentration and a sneakily mouth-watering long finish. Ooh – this is really in a great place at the moment. More than excellent.
Rebuy – Yes

1997 Bouchard Père et Fils, La Romanée
My previous bottle of this – 3 years ago – was fabulous. This was also not too shabby!!!
A nose that takes its time to grow in the glass – always fresh but taking its time to captivate – but in time it does with a growing floral accent to the spice – it makes for a very fine invitation. Pow! The nose was certainly understated in comparison to the impact in the mouth – full and wonderfully complex. After 23 years this is still youthful and even a little saline but absolutely a wine that holds my attention – it develops, seemingly without end, in the glass for over 2 hours. Bravo, no question!
Rebuy – Yes

a little beaujolais at the weekend…

By billn on September 14, 2020 #degustation

Inserting a little extra juiciness into my weekend drinking…

2017 Château Ravatys, Côte de Brouilly Mathilde Courbe
Deeply, deeply coloured. The nose has a darkness of fruit to match the colour – slightly alcoholic and a little liqueur but not quite enough to be a turn-off. In the mouth, the black fruit is just so juicy and shows great energy. This is frankly delicious with a finely persistent finish. In the end, I just wish that the nose was a little fresher. An excellent wine that’s great in parts.
Rebuy – Maybe

2018 Manoir du Carra, Fleurie Clos de la Deduits
Compared to the Ravatys, this has a much more modest depüth of colour. The nose is easy-going and quite a good invitation with classical Fleurie red fruit and flowers. The palate, likewise, is easy-going and tasty – a wine that asks nothing of you – though I’d like to be challenged a bit more. Very good and faultless in this modest style…
Rebuy – Maybe

2015 Daniel Bouland, Côte de Brouilly Mélanie
Deeply coloured. The nose is a little alcoholic but majors on a sweet, dark cherry – time (and air) fills the glass, first, with an additional floral lift and, second, modifies the cherry as much more acid-cherry in style – that’s really super. A young flavour profile, of course, but here is concentration and a classy balance. Muscular but with fine intensity and freshness. Super – and easily my favourite of this trio…
Rebuy – Yes

offer of the day – domaine leflaive 2018 plus a new boy!

By billn on September 13, 2020 #the market

DOMAINE LEFLAIVE 2017 & 2018 – Puligny-Montrachet
Mâcon-Verzé 2017 & 2018 75cl 33.00 (Swiss francs*)
Mâcon-Verzé Les Chênes 2017 & 2018 75cl 38.00
Mâcon-Verzé Le Monté 2017 & 2018 75cl 38.00
Pouilly-Fuissé 2018 75cl 49.00
Rully 1er Cru Leflaive & Associés 2017 & 2018 75cl 49.00
Bourgogne 2018 75cl 49.00
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Clavoillon 2018 75cl 139.00
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Maltroie 2018 75cl 145.00
Image, right, ex-Domaine Leflaive

Many of the usual suspects are missing from this offer but it’s also the first time I’ve seen an offer for this Chassagne – it wasn’t in the slection of wines tasted at the domaine in October.

Burgundy Report

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