Entries from 2020

Hoist with my own petard…

By billn on November 26, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

Clos des Lambrays
Exactly what it says!

Maybe you remember my recent image of a car that had been left two long under a Place Carnot tree full of roosting birds(?) Didn’t we laugh!

Well, given that said trees no-longer have any leaves, and are also full of Christmas lights, and that I’d successfully parked there a couple of times last week – you guessed it! This morning, Scooby was covered in shit! Oh well. To save considerable Subaru embarrassment, no pictures and a visit to the jet-wash!

Today another day of sun for visits in the Côte de Nuits. Given a covid-related cancellation for the first tasting after lunch, my extra long lunch-break (sandwiches in the car, as is the current necessity) allowed a decent lunchtime run. Starting in Chambolle, heading up a vertical track to a view above the vines, then onwards, on high, to Morey and then Gevrey before doing an about-turn and taking a vineyard route back – just over 10km – so I deserved my ham & cheese butties!

Mostly, these images were taken during the run:

the week so far, mainly in the côte de nuits…

By billn on November 25, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

Leroy's Romanée Saint Vivant...
Madame Leroy’s Romanée Saint Vivant…

The Scooby is limping this week – and that’s despite a service only two weeks ago. I spotted a small noise that’s now a big one – I think the servo on the power-steering – as turning a corner resembles a many-sided coin, rather than something round! Then there’s the suspension rattle that’s developed yesterday on the cobblestones of Beaune – at least it’s fine on the normal roads, for now…

Such is life with a 15+-year-old set of wheels – but it will be great again when those are fixed – hopefully for some days anyway 🙂

The light was super on Monday but yesterday delivered freezing fog for the whole day – so I chose not to freeze while getting changed to run at lunchtime. I think yesterday was fine for the whole day in the Hautes Côtes though. Today was sunny so I braved the jogging kit – but it’s been leggings since last week!

Then, of course, the lunchtime sandwiches in the car – like every day!

Some Côte de Nuits views from today:

today’s pics…

By billn on November 23, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

Nice light and pretty clouds in the Côte de Nuits today…

a few views from the last couple of days…

By billn on November 20, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

a voracious appetite…

By billn on November 18, 2020 #the market

Fourrier barrel...The hype of the sale-room? The pent-up demand due to the lack of a Hospices de Beaune auction?

Yes, I know this sale was the day before the cancelled event in Beaune! But you decide…

At the weekend, Zachys held their first-ever wine auction in London. The selection of Burgundy was a good one, but this sale was notable for the possibility to ‘buy‘ a whole barrel (image, right, from Zachy’s catalogue) – of-course, this barrel never leaving the cellar of the producer – and that producer happened to be one Jean-Marie Fourrier.

Nearly 50 lots of Jean-Marie Fourrier’s wines were on offer, all coming direct from the domaine. The barrel in question was Fourrier’s Chambolle 1er Les Sentiers which until 2007, Fourrier had blended into his Chambolle-Musigny Villages. Since 2007, it has been separately vinified – vinified but never sold commercially. Fourrier only ever bottled his Les Sentiers in magnums, which he used as giveaways for friends as gifts, or brought to dinners.

The elevage for this wine was/is in a one-year-old barrel, vinified with 20% stems, to be bottled in the buyers wish for formats, ready for shipment in April of 2021. And the price?

Final price including the buyers premium: £136,400 compared to the pre-sale estimate of GBP £90,000-140,000, I’ll let that sink in…

So assuming no other costs and all bottled in 75cl bottles (let’s assume 300 of them) that works out to just under £455 per bottle for a 1er cru Chambolle – honestly, I’d rather have de Vogüé’s Bonnes-Mares for this price, plus any number from a long list of other wines, though I’d take a couple of these, just for the interest 🙂

some weekend wines…

By billn on November 16, 2020 #asides

Just a few quick recollections of 4 complete winners:

2017 Antoine Olivier, Santenay Le Bievaux l’Air de Rien
DIAM sealed
What a punchy and energetic wine. A touch of apple and pineapple and who knows what else in this delicious and effusive wine. Real concentration but never over-generous. I sometimes think this cuvée tastes like Meursault – but not this vintage today. Delicious all the same.
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Berthaut, Fixin Les Clos
A sturdy, if bleached, cork.
Ooh – what a lovely nose – fading leaves, undergrowth – but violets too! Broad over the palate, another mouthful of generously flavoured wine. Robust too – it seemed just as good on the second evening. The tannin still present but becoming ever-more something of an anecdote. A lovely drop!
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Heritiers Louis Jadot, Beaune 1er Clos des Ursules
The cork comes out in one – but was starting to crack…
First sniff – I sit up and pay attention; gloriously wide, complex, dried leaves but flowers and fruit too – such an invitation. A wine of undoubted, but much softened, structure – just enough to let the flavour melt and then play over the palate. Just a great finish too – less robust than the Fixin as the wine’s definitely fading on day 2 – but day 1 it was simply great – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2015 Richard Rottiers, Moulin à Vent
DIAM sealed.
Definitely a funky, low-sulfur, start to this nose. Aeration clearly works some magic – though needs about 15 minutes – bringing the fruit and a measure of clarity to the fore. The palate starts a little grainy – though delicious – like the nose, softening with air. There’s never any question about how tasty the wine is – evidenced by 3 people emptying the bottle in under 30 minutes!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Hospices de Beaune – no-sale…

By billn on November 15, 2020 #events


I spotted the news late on Saturday – far too late for posting about here – a Sunday-morning tweet having to suffice. As you can see from the photo above, on a Sunday night that is usually packed with revellers, the only thing moving in Beaune tonight, was the Christmas lights.

I’ve seen in various local press-outlets that the organisers have been getting a lot of flack over their insistence that the Hospices de Beaune sale would go ahead – and then finally giving in to the inevitable and cancelling at the last moment. On the other hand, I admired their bloodymindedness – that they were trying to keep a charitable event going – and one that is extremely important to the businesses in, and around, Beaune too.

They are planning to find another date as soon as possible, is the current message, but for those buyers who normally (directly) decant the wine into older barrels, trying to lessen the impact of all the new oak – well, it won’t be the same this year – will it(?)!

Loathed as I am to criticise, in the end, like so much of the auction-business in 2020, they should have found a mechanism that preserved as much as possible of what makes this sale so special – but done online. Not just safety for all but a certain measure of security too – having not done so – now what?

Well, in the first instance, somebody’s going to have to pack-up the saleroom – for now, anyway!

the tastevinage majors of 2020…

By billn on November 13, 2020 #annual laurels#degustation

And for those of you with an interest, for the third year in a row, the tasting panels of the Tastevinage have chosen their ‘majors’ for the year – their best wines tasted. Like last year they have stuck with the reduced number of 12 wines to showcase. You can see them in the image below – courtesy the Tastevinage organisation. There are a couple of names that I don’t know and others that you will have seen showcased here in Burgundy Report.

Tastevinage Majors of 2020

Burgundy Report

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