Entries from 2024

More 2022 Beaujolais – 37 more domaines online

By billn on March 28, 2024 #beaujolais#reports

Col du Truges - February 2022...

I promised you that to avoid such a long wait I’d get more reports up weekly for the February Report – there’s always plenty of Beaujolais – and why not in such a splendid vintage!(?)

So here are another 37 domaines in Part 2: February Report

That’s 60 domaine visits in the February report so far – I think with about another 20 still to add – plus of course, my 2022 Beaujolais – Vintage summary – probably all online week of the 8th of April – as I’ll be tied up with visits for next week.

Enjoy Easter !!

Some weekend wine – week 12 2024

By billn on March 26, 2024 #degustation

wines - week 12 2024

A slightly green weekend !!

2021 Chateau Thivin, Côte de Brouilly La Chapelle
This La Chapelle was the least green of all Thivin’s 2021s as tasted at the domain. But on this day, the pyrazine was quite pronounced. It didn’t work for me…
Rebuy – No

2019 Armand Heitz, St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents du Chien – Rouge!
I think that this is the only red from this vineyard – which presumably is what prompted them to write monopole on the label. I would understand ‘monopole’ if this was a Clos within the vineyard – and so named – but only for a colour change I’m surprised it’s allowed. So, a monopoly for sure – but a monopole?
Sealed with an impressive DIAM10 which is probably the reason that it starts a little reduced – 5 minutes later and all is good though. Deeply coloured – and a nose with lots of dark cherry freshness and even a suggestion of rolling tobacco. In the mouth, we have concentration and fluidity – such that there is only a modest generosity – but what deliciousness, accented with a modest sucrosity! The fruit flavours mirror the nose with dark cherry. It gives me the feeling that I’m tasting a red from a white terroir – like a Pernand red too – but this is simply excellent. I didn’t buy enough!!
Rebuy – Yes

And the 2004 project? Some you win, some you lose!

Catching up #3 – A Chablis Encore & the Burgundy water-table…

By billn on March 22, 2024 #degustation#travel pics#travels in burgundy 2024#vintage 2024

In January, I really didn’t have enough time in 3 weeks to visit all the Chablis domaines – or at least all the ones in my current list as it now extends to over 100 domaines! So I was back in ‘the north’ in March – with another trip planned for May!

In May, I’ll be mixing it up with a few visits in Irancy too.

La Chapelle de Vaupelteigne - March 2024
The view to La Chapelle de Vaupelteigne

On the Sunday I was in the Côte d’Or and I have to say that the flatter vineyards in the Côte de Beaune looked ready for ducks – there were a lot of vine ‘feet’ under water. Whilst the water in Chablis’ river Serein looked high on Monday, I still wasn’t prepared for the road closures on Tuesday as the river burst its banks to fill many of the flood-plains in the area. The rain hadn’t been so heavy in Chablis, rather in the surrounding Morvan countryside – as much as 70-80 miles away – and it takes about 3 days for the floodwaters to rise in Chablis.

Chablis itself wasn’t too badly affected but the village of La Chapelle de Vaupelteigne (above) was under water – only partly accessible for me by taking a route descending the hillside from Beine.

The weather calmed – indeed this week we have sunshine in Beaune – it’s a nice change! For now, Burgundians can’t right now complain about a lack of water – it’s double what was seen at the same stage in 2022 and 2023 – but instead they can complain that it’s 22°C in the afternoon 🙂

February’s Burgundy Report – Part 1

By billn on March 20, 2024 #beaujolais#reports

Beaujolais - Feb 2022Here

As promised, the first part of my 2022 Beaujolais Report.

I visited about 80 domaines in February, all of which will be included in my final February report. To avoid long periods with no obvious new content, I’ll be updating this report weekly with another tranche of finished visit reports – so check back in another week when I’ll have over 50 reports completed.

Just to keep me busy, I’ve another 20+ Beaujolais visits to do in April! It’s a great vintage in Beaujolais – but only on the completion of the full February report, will I include my 2022 Beaujolais vintage summary.


Catching up #2 – Transport & some bottles…

By billn on March 18, 2024 #degustation

It had to happen; after 19 years and 603k kilometres – bye-bye Scooby 2.

But all hail Scooby 3!

Scooby 2 was as strong as an ox – drivetrain – but 19x European salt-infused winters had left its corrosive mark on the underbelly of the car. Couple that to an almost certain cylinder head-gasket and timing chain replacement interval this year – the cost would have a multiple of multiples more than the worth of the car. It was time. My local dealer, for a time, will even display Scooby 2 in his showroom with a big sign proclaiming the mileage!

So Scooby 3: adaptive cruise, lane assist and so many other things ‘alien’ to me make for an annoying cacophony of beeps whilst underway – but I’m sure they will make me drive better – eventually! Plus there’s 35% lower fuel costs too. I don’t yet love Scooby 3 – but I have some grudging respect 🙂

You’ll be relieved to hear that, yes, there has been some!

I’ve only just opened the first of over a dozen bottles but my 20 years-on 2004 project has now opened – I’ll only publish my notes when all have been broached – wish me luck!

There have been others too. Some I took notes, others I left it too long so I can only remember if it was good, great or simply meh – but not give you a note. Anyway, how about starting with a small 2019-a-thon?:

2019 Frédéric Berne, Régnié Aux Bruyères
Oooh… A cushioned dark red fruit aroma to sink into, subtly with some graphite accents. In the mouth we have impressive scale – detail too – this is supple but also finely shaped. Great 2019s are ultra-wines – and here is one – Yes!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Albert Grivault, Pommard 1er Clos Blanc
Dark, almost some old oak – a sweetness of red fruit too. Hmm, This melts over the palate, dark red fruit, sweetness. A full wine – deep and satisfying. Still plenty of barrel flavour and modest bitters too. Young oak but open and delicious.
Rebuy – Maybe

2019 Albert Morot, Beaune 1er Aigrots
A deep, dark dirty oak – it’s really attractive! – slowly with air, rounding and becoming more fruited. Hmm, this is direct and mouth-watering – super texture, Supple, concentrated – that’s got energy and flavour dimension. It’s a great Beaune!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny
Plenty of colour. Higher-toned aromatic – airy, with implied silk, some violet flowers. Large scale, structured but nothing hard – no less intensity than the 1ers – the finish here is the youngest of all with plenty of oak bitters but what a delicious wine – and probably longer lived, it’s certainly younger, than the two from the Côte de Beaune.
Rebuy – Yes

All the wines show a little of their elevage but that’s three delicious wines. And the others:

2020 Jean Dauvissat, Chablis 1er Côte de Lechet
What a delicious wine. Textural, generous too – possibly a bit too much of both for Chablis – but ultra-delicious wine!
Rebuy – Yes

2021 Gautheron, Chablis 1er Montmains Vieilles-Vignes
Oh god that’s so good, so fine, so precice – so ‘one less bottle that I have in the cellar!!’
Rebuy – Yes

1985 Guillermard-Dupont, Pommard
A very oxidative smelling cork disintegrates during the removal process. Of course the last third drops into the wine – but how is the wine? Actually, it starts balsamic, but just gets better – I drink a glass on each of three consecutive nights – the wine staying (glass) stoppered in the fridge – and it’s just so robust and tasty. I think I may have 2-3 more bottles of this. More care and planning required for the next cork!
Rebuy – No chance

Catching up #1 – Beaujolais Reporting

By billn on March 16, 2024 #beaujolais#reports#travel pics#travels in burgundy 2024

So a couple of days of typing this week, post week number 4 in Chablis – but for now, let’s just talk about up-and-coming Beaujolais reporting.

Like in Chablis, there will be another week of visits in Beaujolais, as three weeks just doesn’t cut it in either place anymore – I’ve over 100 domaines to visit in both regions. But more visits means less time to type – such is life.

So I don’t want subscribers to wait around too long for reports just because I’m doing more. So I plan to split February’s monthly (Beaujolais) report into about 3 weekly issues until all is complete – then there is less tumbleweed on the site. As soon as at least 20 of the 80 visits are publishable, I’ll do that and let everyone know on the WhatsApp group (top right of this page) – and of course, with a post here.

Only to say, that at this stage of the wines’ lives – I think the greatest quality/value to be found in 2022 comes in Beaujolais – only a teaser 🙂

Hospices de Nuits St.Georges – their 63rd wine auction – the 2023s

By billn on March 11, 2024 #events#in case you missed it#warning - opinion!

Images Sunday 10th March – in the Clos de Vougeot

Yesterday, Sunday 10th March, for the first time since the auction moved to the Clos de Vougeot, I went along to the wine auction of the Domaine of the Hospices de Nuits.

Sales prices were a little down – but that’s the global market. By the end of the sale, the organisers could make some nice quotes and all the wines were sold – it was a good total for the organisation and the local charities linked to the sale – so well done for them.

The first lots were three barrels of 1er Les Murgers – one of the smallest cuvées of the Hospices – €20,000, then €21,000, the €18,000 were the winning bids – the latter a possible bargain for Domaine Henri Gouges. The villages wine that followed started at €10k slowly dropping to 8.5k then further to 8k – but this buyer took 4 barrels! For the next barrels of villages there was some discussion as there were no takers at the starting price of 7k – eventually the bid was ‘won’ at 6k but they – it was Bichot – took 5 barrels. Another winning bid of 6k came – this time the buyer taking 4 barrels – Boisset in this case.

The following lots brought the return to 1er crus and the next lot of Porrets St.Georges made 16k. The buyers were present but, it seemed, reticent – and so it continued.

The final result registered a total of 2,281,500 Euros, this was the third highest in the history of the Hospices de Nuits St.Georges – though behind that total was quite the large number of barrels in this vintage which masked a little the effect of lower prices.

The Pièce de Charité, known as the “Cuvée des Bienfaiteurs”, did indeed achieve a new record bid of €68,330 for the benefit of the Clément-Drevon Foundation – a medical research organisation. Also setting a new record was (in only it’s second appearance!) the Cuvée Hugues Perdrizet Nuits St.Georges 1er Cru Les St.Georges Vieilles Vignes which attained a winning bid of €60,000.

I remain convinced that the way forward for maximum returns for the Domaine of the Hospices de Nuits wines will be best developed if brought together in same sale as that of the Domaine of the Hospices de Beaune – it would be a win-win, I’m sure. But today, this is what we have…

Chablis 2022 – the sunniest vintage

By billn on March 06, 2024 #reports

Chablis Grand Cru Grenouilles 2022It’s time for some Chablis 2022 !!

The sunniest vintage on record – maybe ‘on average’ the best vintage I ever tasted – but where are those elusive great wines?

63 domaines, with their 2022s and their thoughts on the 2022 and 2023 vintages. With another 30+ domaine visits to come in March and May

As a warm-up, how about 100 wines blind-tasted? The 2022s of Petit Chablis and just to turn the gums black – yes it’s one of those vintages – Irancy too?

My January 2024 report is here.

Enjoy !! Now I can concentrate on those 80 domaines already visited in Beaujolais 🙂

2022 Beaujolais are looking great…

By billn on February 14, 2024 #asides

2022 Burgundy Part 19 - domaines 207-215I’m only a dozen domaines into my 4 week tour of Beaujolais but things are looking excellent.

The average (high-)quality of the 2022s that can be seen, in general, across greater Burgundy – can be seen here too. But all the great wines that have gone AWOL in other areas seem to be waiting for me here. It’s not going to be a hard 4 weeks!

The 2022 Beaujolais Report – 3 of my 4 weeks – won’t be online until the end of March. First, dear subscribers, you will have digest the 2022 Chablis report that will be online by the end of this month 🙂

Burgundy Report

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