Entries from 2020


By billn on April 22, 2020 #a bit of science#warning - opinion!

This is an excellent read – thanks – a ‘hat-tip’ – to @bkpinot

I would only quibble with this:

“The only mention in English that I am aware of through the 70’s was Michael Broadbent’s mistaken use of it as a term for dirty or unpleasantly earthy wine.”

I would say not mistaken. Many old winemakers (ie older than 70) in Burgundy reference the term (terroir), in their youth, as implying rusticity — a ‘peasant’ wine, ‘unruly’ wine — ‘earthy’ indeed, more so than referencing site specifics. As much as anything, with the rise of marketing, you will find the rise of the current usage of that word. The meaning/context of words often changes over generations — just look at ‘gay…’

offer of the day – clos des lambrays, d’angerville – 2018s

By billn on April 21, 2020 #the market

Domaine Clos des Lambrays
Previous offer:
Clos des Lambrays 2011 150cl 278.00* (Swiss Francs)
Clos des Lambrays 2013 75cl 159.00
Clos des Lambrays 2014 75cl 159.00
Clos des Lambrays 2014 150cl 323.00
Clos des Lambrays 2016 75cl 225.00
Clos des Lambrays 2016 300cl 960.00
New offer:
Clos des Lambrays 2017 75cl 238.00
Clos des Lambrays 2017 150cl 481.00
Clos des Lambrays 2017 300cl 1,012.00
Clos des Lambrays 2018 75cl 258.00
Clos des Lambrays 2018 150cl 536.00

Domaine Marquis d’Angerville (in brackets the 2016s – I never saw 2017s…)
Volnay 1er Cru 2018 75cl 75.00 (—)
Volnay Fremiet 1er Cru 2018 75cl 105.00 (105.00)
Volnay Champans 1er Cru 2018 75cl 129.00 (129.00)
Volnay Clos des Ducs 1er Cru 2018 75cl 198.00 (—)

The price you see is ‘delivered’ but ex 8% Swiss purchase tax. Where you see (—) this means was not offered in the previous period. Of course, the new(ish) owners of the Clos des Lambrays are slowly increasing prices – as you would expect – despite very comfortable yields for the Morey domaine in 2017 and 2018. That said, compared to the pricing of d’Angerville, I would say that they are still ‘competitive!’

week 16 2020 – some weekend wines…

By billn on April 20, 2020 #degustation

1985 Cave du Dauphin, Beaune 1er Grèves
More than 10 years ago, and still to my eternal shame, I bought a bunch of these at auction. Half have been ‘sort-of’ okay, from an ‘old-wine’ perspective – the others have been irredeemably oxidised. Chalk another one up to oxidation here….

2017 William Fèvre, Chablis
Again the domaine version. As my 2018s how been tasty but young and structural, I tracked down some 2017s of the same:
Hmm – a flighty and attractive nose – citrus and salinity in tandem – that will work! In the mouth more supple, melting with flavour, less structured but also less overtly concentrated than the 2018 – go figure given the yields! But what a deliciously easy wine to drink. Not quite the same impact as the Julien Brocard that has been my house wine for the last 18 months, but not far behind. For now, this is still a worthy replacement while the 2018s mature a little more.
Rebuy – Yes

1990 Michel Juillot, Corton-Perrières
A wine that on opening has both a good strength and apparent youth to its colour. Easy and fruity on the nose – and likewise it’s the same for the flavours – not very Corton-Perrières-esque! Easy and tasty wine – not really a grand cru performance. It’s just as well that it’s an easy drink, because any that’s left-over in the fridge for day 2 has lost both its clarity and its interest – not so robust!
Rebuy – No

one year ago…

By billn on April 20, 2020 #vintage 2020

They say that a week is a long time in politics, but the weeks keep racking-up in Burgundy – the warm weeks that is!

I was struck by the photo (right) that cropped up on my phone over the weekend which highlights the similarities and differences between 2019 and 2020. Both of the vintages had a relatively mild winter and an early start to the vine growth – occasionally with 20°C in the vines in February. The vines are perhaps a little more advanced this year than in 2019. Where 2019 and 2020 currently diverge, is that April and most of May 2019 were much colder, significantly retarding the earlier gains in vine growth – there was even a sprinkling of snow in May. So far, that’s not been the case in 2020.

In 2020 we began the year with plenty of rain in the soil – but the year has been rather dry since then – rainfall has been rare in March and April 2020. The vineyards seem as dry as they might in July or August. Yes, the summer was hot in 2019 (the second hottest year on record), and for that reason, the harvest still almost touched on August despite the ‘lost’ weeks during April and May – but for now, there seems no relenting of the warm (for April) weather. If this continues we could be seeing new records again for harvesting dates – mid-August anyone?

the hot and cold of it…

By billn on April 17, 2020 #annual laurels#warning - opinion!

A new page of data for you to pour over…

“It’s a shame that we lack data for 1945, and even more so, 1947, but what’s striking is that the majority of the hottest days on record are still from 2003 – 1947 would likely have offered competition! All of the top 10 hottest vintages are post-2000 with six of the seven hottest vintages all post-2011 – 2003 being the seventh! Even 2014, which I consider to be the last of the classic red vintages – ie not super-sweet – is the 5th hottest year in our list!”

week 16, 2020 – a couple of mid-weekers…

By billn on April 16, 2020 #degustation

2017 Francois Carillon, Bourgogne Aligoté
Here’s a nice weight of fresh aroma, that’s very modestly citrus too. Hmm, I like this on the palate too; mineral, yes citrus again, but melting over the tongue too. That’s excellent aligoté!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Chanzy, Santenay 1er Beaurepaire
Here the nose is airy, open, and brimming with an almost macerating strawberry fruit. Modest tannin supports open, delicious, easy flavours – but there’s complexity too, it grows out from the mid-palate – so this 2017 isn’t too simple. Early drinking for sure, but delicious drinking too!
Rebuy – Yes

are malos bad?

By billn on April 16, 2020 #a bit of science#warning - opinion!

Like this, another interesting ‘malo’ article this week – similarly themed too, casting malolactic fermentation as a bad-guy. But Burgundy won’t take it to heart!

Tollot-Beaut’s 1976 Aloxe-Corton

By billn on April 15, 2020 #degustation

Just by way of a change. This case was buried in the cellar, so following a little Spring cleaning…

1976 Tollot-Beaut, Aloxe-Corton
The cork needs plenty of work to remove, and even with the Ah-So ‘corkscrew’ it broke, leaving the last cm or-so in-place. Luckily at the second attempt that came out whole. 1976 wasn’t a particularly hot vintage for Burgundy, but it was one of the driest – this taking the blame for the commonly elevated tannins when the wines were young.
What a great colour – none of the browning of age – the first couple of pours were beautifully clean and bright, though after, the gradual movement of the wine brought a little more mixing of the sediment. The nose – iron-filings – practically bloody to start. The first sips – not long from the coolness of the fridge – were impressively direct, narrow, fine-textured and seemingly mineral with good acidity. A wine that drives you towards a very decent finish. Whilst there’s not much in the way of fruit left in here, there’s also very little of the disadvantages that age can bring too and nothing spiky about the delivery either. Like the nose, I’m reminded of iron, practically a steeliness, but also an engaging freshness. I’ve 5 or 6 more and there is, seemingly, no rush…
Rebuy – No Chance

so, what’s happening in Burgundy in this ‘lock-down’ world?

By billn on April 14, 2020 #the market

Wine is still a business – it’s simply an agriculture business – the work in the vines waits for neither man nor woman, so to that extent, it’s essential and ongoing.

Last week from the Beaujolais, you can read the thoughts of a number of local wine-business luminaries – in French, here.

Image from a reader…

In the Côte de Nuits, I see that brothers, Didier and Jean-Louis Amiot of Domaine Amiot in Morey St.Denis are embarking on a transition to two different domaines. The full details are yet to be communicated – for instance who will be exploiting exactly which vineyards – but the basic position is that the 2 new domaines are already physically separated. Domaine Didier Amiot is situated at 27 Grande Rue in Morey St.Denis, and Domaine Amiot et Fils (Jean-Louis and his son Léon) is at 33 Grande Rue.

Lastly, the team behind Domaine de la Commaraine in Pommard and Domaine Belleville in Rully have acquired 2.3 hectares of vines in the Côte de Nuits. 1.12 ha of which will be attended by a local vigneron(ne?) – Nuits St.Georges villages, Nuits St.Georges 1er Cru & Chambolle-Musigny villages – the remaining vines, managed by the team of Commaraine, include:
Nuits Saint Georges Premier Cru ‘Aux Bousselots’: 0.28 ha
Nuits Saint Georges Premier Cru ‘Roncières’: 0.50 ha
Nuits Saint Georges Village: 0.3 ha
Chambolle Musigny Village: 0.15 ha
It’s planned that the 2020 wines from these new plots will be made in the new cuverie of the Château de Commaraine.

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