Entries from 2022

frost watch and electric cables…

By billn on March 30, 2022 #travels in burgundy 2022#vintage 2022

I shared a photo with you from Monday afternoon as the team of Eric Germain at Vincent Girardin were placing candles in their vines – these buds not just in the ‘cotton‘ stage but also starting to open. That said, these are the buds of the more precocious young vines – the more mature vines being less obviously advanced.

This is an important point for now – the timing of this week’s warmth and next week’s (forecast) snow and negative temperatures being exactly as per last year, but:

  • The high temperatures have been less high than in 2021.
  • The forecast low temperatures for the coming days will be less low than in 2021
  • Given that the last few weeks of fine weather have usually started their days with morning frosts, the vines are less advanced in their growth-cycle than last year.

So – it’s still an issue for the young vines in the next days – and the Saint-Glace – the day after which the growers can forget about frosts – is still more than 6 weeks away. So what more can the growers do?

I noted on Monday that the upper part (of the lower part!) of Meursault-Genevrières was being prepared for trace electrical heating cables. This generally requires a lot of infrastructure work to bring the electricity supply into the vines – though is otherwise much more environmentally conscious than the use of candles – including the more expensive ‘organic’ candles option. Or you bring a generator into the vineyards to power the cables for the time that you’re going to need them – this was the approach of Bonneau du Martry in their vines yesterday – see the images below.

Of-course, the windmills are still an option this year as it doesn’t look like the deep Winter frost that came in 2021 is expected this year – ‘just‘ the Spring variant. These windmills are starting to crop up in the vines, in waiting. Of course, they also use their own generators to function.

Finally, just a few other photos from yesterday – including a reprehensible 12-rows, or-so, of Grands-Echézeaux vines that have been laced with herbicide. I bet the owners of the nicely ploughed rows on both sides of this dirty dozen are ecstatic!

hot, a couple of rocks and the return of the…

By billn on March 28, 2022 #travels in burgundy 2022#vintage 2022

Almost 23°C in the Côte de Beaune this afternoon.

This same week, last year, I saw 27°C in Chablis and we all know what happened the week after. Some people are already preparing for the next days – the forecasts are suggesting that heading into the weekend it could snow…

Monternot’s 2016 Fruit & Terroir…

By billn on March 25, 2022 #degustation

Monternot's 2016 Fruit & Terroir

The twins weren’t available for a visit to taste 2020s earlier this year. It’s close to retirement time for them – hopefully, they have a good succession plan underway as they always produce highly interesting and well-priced wines:

2016 Monternot Les Jumeaux, Beaujolais Villages Fruit & Terroir
More terroir than fruit today. To be honest, I was expecting this 2016 to be a bit more accessible – but it’s concentrated and young – even a little herbed. Of-course, we still managed to knock off the majority of the bottle!
Dark coloured. A nose of weight, impact and still plenty of freshness – yet far from cliché Beaujolais fruit – concentrated and with some herby flashes. In the mouth, this is broad and has super balance, yet the structure – without harshness – retards the drinking pleasure a little – certainly the drinking speed! Good, if not great – but obviously still a baby – I wonder how long it will take for my VV cuvée from 2019 to start to show itself! I might try one soon anyway 🙂
Rebuy – No

Two 1996 Cortons – well, that was a waste of time!

By billn on March 24, 2022 #degustation

1996 Cortons

The 1996 Castagnier of the weekend was just so damn good – so why not a couple more from 1996?

I’d been doing a little cellar-sorting and had happened upon (as you do…) some older Cortons – that would work!

1996 Thomas-Moillard, Corton Clos du Roi
A cuvée that Clive Coates used to love from this producer that, like most Corton of the era, was something of a masochistic pleasure when younger. The cork had no more than a mm of wine that had had tried to travel up its length and was very impressively robust – a great cork! Or not. The wine was actually corked!!!
Rebuy – No

1996 Hospices de Beaune, Corton Cuvée Charlotte Dumay
Way back when, I scored a whole case of this – do you remember 12-bottle cases of grand crus? Just two remained from this case – a wine equivalently masochistic as the TM when young but, historically, a bit less energy and flavour precision than the TM. Also a decent cork but a wine that smelled much sweeter – though with a tell-tale accent of brett. Just for information, I like Marmite (Vegemite) on my toast but within short order, this wine absolutely stank of the stuff. Pinch your nose and you could lose some of it – but NO! I could no-longer put it in my mouth. Reject!
Rebuy – No

Some weeks, the cellar depletes faster than other weeks!

offer of the day – Christophe Perrot-Minot 2019…

By billn on March 23, 2022 #the market

2019 Perrot-MinotOnce more, just to give you that fuzzy and warm feeling that you could buy these – if you really wanted!

As usual, the prices are delivered in Switzerland – but here, include purchase tax. Note that these are special introductory prices – the price goes up at the end of the offer 🙂 In the brackets – 2018, then 2017 & 2016 prices and — indicates not offered:

Bourgogne Gravières des Chaponnières 2019 75cl 52.65* (—) (*Swiss Francs)

Gevrey-Chambertin Justice des Seuvrées 2019 75cl 171.00 (117.00, 120.60, 94.50)
Morey Saint-Denis En la Rue de Vergy 2019 75 cl 171.00 (—)
Nuits St-Georges 1er ‘Les Murgers des Cras’ 2019 75cl 171.00 (117.00, 120.60, 100.80)
Vosne-Romanée Ormes des Chalendins 2019 75cl 189.00 (135.00, 138.60, —)
Chambolle-Musigny Orveaux des Bussières 2019 75cl 220.50 (135.00, 138.60, —)

Vosne-Romanée Les Champs Perdrix Vieilles Vignes 2019 75cl 240.00 (170.00, 156.60, 128.70)
Morey Saint-Denis 1er Cru La Riotte Vieilles Vignes 2019 75cl 265.00 (171,00, 174.60, 163.80)
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts Vieilles Vignes 2019 75cl 395.00 (240.00, 249.00, 193.50)
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuées 660.00 (—) 2019 75cl
Chambolle-Musigny Combe d’Orveau 1er Cru “Ultra” Vieilles-Vignes 2019 75cl 660.00 (375.00, 389.00, —)
Nuits Saint-Georges 1er Cru La Richemone “Ultra” Vieilles Vignes 2019 75cl 594.00 (337.50, 389.00, 385.00)

Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2019 75cl 679.50 (425.00, 444.00, 420.00)
Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2019 75cl 679.50 (382.50, 444.00, 420.00)
Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2019 75cl 679.50 (382.50, 444.00, 420.00)

There are 3 more grand crus; Griotte, Bèze & Chambertin but all are ‘price on application.’ These increases are anyway as ‘punchy’ as I have seen from anyone and given that Christophe puts his wines on the market later than most others, then he’s benefitting from the price increases of the 2020s (and then some!) already with his 2019s!

*As noted, these are delivered prices, but this email offer is discounted – whatever is sold from their normal catalogue is at a higher price – typically about 10% more…

Sylvain Martel’s 2020 Juliénas ‘Bessay’

By billn on March 22, 2022 #degustation

2020 Sylvain Martel, Juliénas Bessay
Vines that are all on high, on blue-stone. Certainly more rain here than in Fleurie in 2020 – though these old vines, worked organically, delivered 30 hl/ha from 0.8 ha
An aromatic of energy – mineral, almost steely red fruit – freshness too. Good depth and supple concentration but with a lovely finishing freshness – long, haunting flavours in the finish but subtle – this is no broad or powerful finish – just a very elegant wine.
Rebuy – Yes

some weekend wines – week 11 2022

By billn on March 22, 2022 #degustation

weekend wines 11 2022

We were really treated by three out of the four wines this weekend!

2020 Jacques Picq et ses Enfants, Chablis
We needed a little white wine for the risotto – but why not some glasses to drink too? It turned out that this wine emphasised my worries about the green-meanies in 2020 Chablis: More than 10% of all the wines that I tasted in January were green or showing direct pyrazine – but this was lovely – in January. Well, not today – it’s good but there are clear notes of pyrazine where I didn’t see them before. I’m back in Chablis the first week of April – and you can be sure that I’ll be extra attentive!
Rebuy – No

2019 Verret, Saint-Bris Veaupiary
Great nose, delicious flavour – what a super wine – Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Ponsot, Bourgogne Cuvée du Pinson
The corked stained 90% of the way through – looks like good timing to drink this one! The last pour was full of muddy rubble and less bright
Lots of colour – and not a markedly mature colour either. A super nose – really inviting and open – hard to believe (blind) that it’s a more than 15-year-old Bourgogne. The first few sips show a lot of acidity – almost a sour style to the wine – but with food all was fine. Layers of flavour and tons of complexity. A simply great Bourgogne! Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Guy Castagnier, Clos de La Roche
I was down to my last couple of 1996s from here – there remains only some Bonnes-Mares, I think…
A modest medium colour – but not much browning. Yes! What a great nose! Complex, still with fruit and a large wave of pure floral perfume – great! In the mouth, melting, perfumed flavour – oh-so complex and beautifully balanced. People talk of the 1996 acidity – but here the acidity is much less obvious than for the 2005 Ponsot. Long – with such an airy, delicate and complex persona – Jérôme’s father also made great wine! This was probably the best wine I’ve had at home this year, so far…
Rebuy – Yes

Well-done to the Saint Vincent…

By billn on March 21, 2022 #events#the market

After 4 years of preparation, multiple adaptations for health requirements, and despite the economic and geopolitical context, the collective effort of organisers from Blagny, Corpeau & Puligny-Montrachet delivered a great 78th Saint-Vincent Tournante. Given the later than intended start, it also seems that these guests enjoyed better weather than anyone can remember. The organisers have announced that they had welcomed around 50,000 visitors, including 17,000 tasters. Bravo!

As announced by the Grand Master of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin: ‘See you for the 79th Saint-Vincent Tournate in 2023 in Couchey!

61st Hospices de Nuits Auction

By billn on March 20, 2022 #events

Hospices de NuitsMarch 20, 2022 in the Château de Clos de Vougeot – the 61st wine auction of the Hospices de Nuits

The wine auction of Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges can be considered the little sister of the famous Hospices de Beaune auction but that still didn’t stop the auction buyers on Sunday from following recent events in Beaune by setting their own new records for the wines of the 2021 vintage. Just like its equivalent in Beaune, this 12-hectare Nuits domaine auctions wine for the benefit of their local hospital and retirement homes.

For this 61st edition of the wine auction, and for the very first time, total bids exceeded 2 million euros. At €2,486 million (excluding auction costs) this total was up by almost 30% compared to last year’s auction of wines from the 2020 vintage – which had totalled €1.9 million euros. We shouldn’t overlook the fact that last year there were 114 barrels for sale – this year there was a further, modest, reduction to 109 barrels: The 2020 crop had been reduced in volume by the semi-drought conditions of the summer, whereas the 2021 vintage by the April frosts and then having to contain mildew in the early summer – both vintages were described as roughly ‘half-harvests.’

Like the Pièce des Presidents barrel in the Hospices de Beaune wine auction, the Hospices de Nuits also offer a special barrel for the benefit of a chosen charity. This barrel was sold for 41,460 euros – a little down on the 49,380 euros paid for the equivalent lot last year – this year to benefit APF France Handicap, ‘an organisation both for supporting and defending the rights of people with disabilities.

This year’s average price per barrel reached a new record of 22,481 euros for the reds – which was a year-on-year increase of almost 35% – and 58,000 euros for the only barrel of white, which more than double the price in 2021.

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