Entries from 2003

The Heat of 2003

By billn on September 10, 2003 #vintage 2003

La TacheLooking across La Tâche 25.07.2003

Already two months of close to 40°C and another month of the same still to endure – praying for a little rain?

Still it’s a little cooler as we start September, but most vineyards are already cleared.

It seems that some vineyards have problems; the increasing sugars and decreasing acidity are usually a sign to begin harvesting – but the phenolics were still unripe. Many still harvested as they believed that no acidity would be left.

It will be – for sure – a fascinating vintage and certainly one to remember, though, despite the skills to be found in many domaines (where doubtless some superb wines will appear) I expect this to be a very heterogenous millesime . . . . .

Terry Thiese

By billn on September 09, 2003 #other sites

I cannot lie, Terry Thiese was a new name to me when I came across his work this week. An ardent terroiriste he writes with wit verve and for me the occasional bolt of blinding clarity. Do yourself a favour and check out some of his work.

Oaky Wine & En Primeur

By billn on September 08, 2003 #degustation

lambraysJust in case you didn’t know, there’s a big problem with en-primeur tastings;

Back in January 2002 the 2000 Grand Cru of Clos des Lambrays really stood out for me at a tasting organised by the UK merchant Howard Ripley.

The problem is that the wines are sometimes not representitive of what eventually gets bottled. I drank a bottle of the retail ‘version’ this week and despite lovely fruit, the palate is like chewing wood – very disappointed – this will probably be affecting the wine in 10 years time – Given that there’s a 6-pack in storage, I hope this is just an isolated batch…

The New France

By billn on September 06, 2003 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!#other sites

jefford new france
Can one vineyard consistently produce wine of a different quality or expression despite being separated by no more than a small dirt road?

It is the basis of the French A.O.C system and the clarion call of the ‘terroiristes’.

There are those who find this (very) frankly an unsatisfactory and even worse a completely unscientific explanation of the phenomenon – if indeed there is such a phenomenon.

Although starting on the (almost) completely different subject of reviewing Andrew Jefford’s super new book ‘The New France’ here in this thread a wonderfull display of entrenched positions emerge.

New Website…

By billn on September 02, 2003 #other sites

Nicolas Potel’s first website had a touch of the ‘off the shelf’ about it, but this new one looks a lot smarter. Hopefully we will see plenty of updates!

free lunch?

By billn on August 30, 2003 #other sites

Can there ever be such a thing as a free lunch? Well Tom Stevenson’s superb and completely free 2003 Champagne & Sparkling Wine Guide at 228 pages seems hard to argue with.

fly and dine…

By billn on August 22, 2003 #degustation

Fight the flies and dine in a restaurant with a cellar to die for. It must be the Bison roaming the fields that attract the flies, but I know what attracted me to Farnsburg. Next time I’ll go in winter!

all kneel (neal)…

By billn on August 10, 2003 #other sites

Neal Martin don’t you hate him? Young enough to get away with liking trendy bands (that you’ve never heard of), gorgeous Japanese girlfriend, spends all his time drinking 1785 claret, writes with a rare witty style – and on top of all that – his new website is already (probably) the best repository of (up-to-date) info on the Bordeaux Châteaux – bugger!

tough day!

By billn on June 20, 2003 #degustation

On Wednesday this week I had the really tough job of visiting Joseph De Bucy – a nice man who makes very tasty Meursaults, and Nicolas Potel for a marathon tasting of 2002’s. In between I had to shoe-horn a 3 hour lunch and afterwards a pizza and lots of water to ensure full concentration for the 2 hour drive home. And the wines? – well you’ll have to look at issue two of the www.burgundy-report.com won’t you – only 2 weeks to go – but suffice to say I’m already making enquiries about some of Mr Potel’s wines 🙂

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