Entries from 2023

Jasper – the Hospices – Jeannie

By billn on November 18, 2023 #events

I heard a little news:

Jasper Morris MW to Step Down as Consultant for the Annual Hospices de Beaune Wine Sale and Jeannie Cho Lee MW to Pick Up the Mantle from 2024 Onwards…

I’m sure there will be more info ensuing… [Edit – the following:]

“Stepping into Jasper’s shoes is the award-winning author, television host, editor, wine critic, judge and educator, Jeannie Cho Lee MW. In her role, Jeannie will conduct tastings for the Hospices de Beaune wines, join Ludivine during the harvest, and participate in tastings and dinners around the world.

“Jeannie’s traditional Korean upbringing meant venturing into the wine industry was not an option she considered whilst a university student, but she found herself venturing into the wine industry, first as a writer, then an author and later as a wine critic, editor, publisher and finally in 2008, becoming the first Asian Master of Wine. She holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University in Public Policy as well as a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in marketing and branding from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she is currently a Professor of Wine at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, a position she has occupied for more than 10 years. Since 2009, Jeannie has been a wine consultant to Singapore Airlines.

“Jeannie started to give ratings to wine in 1992 when she began writing her wine diaries and she has since gone on to publish three award-winning books – Asian Palate, Mastering Wine, and The 100 Burgundy, which won the 2020 Gourmand Award for Best Wine Book in the World for French wines. Recognised for her contributions to the food and wine industry, she was honoured as a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (a Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour) by French President Emmanuel Macron in 2021.”
Sotheby’s

Tastevinage: The 2023 Majors !!

By billn on November 17, 2023 #annual laurels#degustation

For a few years now the Tastevinage have made a ‘selection’ of the best wines selected from the wines presented for tasting in the year – obviously here from the 2023 tasting season – and this selection, again chosen blind – is the result of 785 wines presented during the year.

At this presentation on Thursday evening I didn’t taste blind but I found a great selection – bar one – and I’ve no idea how that wine made it through!!

The wines for you, first reds:

2021 Bertagna, Vougeot 1er Clos de la Perriere
Smoky, silky, strawberry nose. Silky, sinuous delicious wine – yes! What great texture here. Bravo.

2021 Moillard, Marsannay
A stronger width of red fruit, this nose suggesting a little structure. Silky, beautiful texture again, darker fruited than the Vougeot. Ultra-classy wine.

2020 Patriarche, Auxey-Duresses 1er Les Grands Champs
Lots of colour. Dark and concentrated but sleek fruit. Again, so silky – the common theme in this selection is clear!

2021 Moillard, Mercurey
Powdery style to this dark red fruit. So silky, right at the end showing a hint more tannin – but zltra-sophisticated villages wine

2020 Simmonet-Febvre, Irancy Paradis
Versus all the previous wines, there’s energy in this aroma but quite some herbed, gentian complexity too – far from my favourite. Hmm here is pyrazine – beautiful texture again, and super balance – but for me, flawed…

2020 Patriarche, Monthelie 1er Les Barbières
Power, darker red fruit – a good nose. Mouth-filling, plenty of sweeping flavour – clean structure – no astringency to the structure though with some attractive bitters still present in the finish. That?s really top – bravo!

2020 Ponsard-Chevalier, Santenay Les Charmes
Almost a gooseberry accent to creamy red fruit – yes! Wide, ultra silky again the tannin slowly rising from to the surface – but still velvet. Hard to believe that this is just a villages Santenay – bravo!

2022 Albert Bichot Bourgogne Pinot Noir Origines
A pretty, airy nose of attractive, lite red fruit. Wow 60,000 bottles for this super-silky wine with, slowly, easily fading flavour – Very elegant wine and great for the label, no doubt.

2021 Manuel Olivier, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Cailles
Not a large nose but pure attractive red fruit – it’s an invitation. Mouth-filling, framed with micro-grain tannin. Delicious wine.

2019 Patriarche, Clos de Vougeot
It seems rarer and rarer to see grand crus in the Tastevinage tastings – maybe this didn’t have a lot of competition in its class?
Hmm – there’s a creamy oak in this fresh width – but only an appealing accent. Fluid, broad, the tannin rising making this a little more velour in texture but beautifully intense and only faintly drying. Just fluid, mouth-watering delicious wine but still with the required structure – maybe I expect a bit more depth for CV but this is clearly excellent.

And Les Whites:

2020 Château de Rully, Rully
Lots of concentrated, ripe citrus but still energetically inviting aromas. Silky, sweetness of ripe, almost exotic fruit. But what a broad and delicious flavour profile in the finish – worthy!

2020 Joseph Drouhin, St.Romain
Lots of extra freshness – airy and inviting. Hmm, just a mm of comfort to this delicious wine, slightly generous and finish fine and saline – properly wonderful with a little zesty finishing style.

Veuve Ambal, Cremant Brut
Small plum – mirabelle – nose but with direct and fresh backing. Ooh next level in the mouth – that’s completely delicious!!

Burgundy Wines – key figures 2023

By billn on November 13, 2023 #the market

2023 Burgundy Wine key figures

I’m not sure if I shared these with you (memory post-60 ;-)) anyway, I always find them fascinating – so just in case it slipped my mind:

HERE

2023 Volume!

By billn on November 11, 2023 #the market#vintage 2023

2023 Corton-Charlemagne
2023 Corton-Charlemagne

In Burgundy, 2023 production equalled the record reached in 2018, notably for white wine, while output was expected at a good level in Beaujolais despite some hail storms, it said.
Source: Reuters

There’s a new Burgundy Report…

By billn on November 10, 2023 #reports

Nascent Pommard 1er CruOnline now.

Yes, I’m catching up on my backlog of reports – something that’s really needed with about 75 visits now needing my attention – and then your reading 🙂

My focus on this one was still the 2021 vintage – but nearly half of the domaines wanted to show 2022s – as they had no more 2021s.

Shit happens when there’s been frost!

Enjoy!

Burgundy Report – WhatsApp Channel

By billn on November 08, 2023 #site updates

You may note that the ‘subscribe to mailshots’ link is now gone from this page – it became unworkable due to the number of spam emails added by bots – sigh! I’m still circulating (syndicating?) new posts in LinkedIn and, for now, Twitter.

No extra syndication route fits all user requirements but for ‘released right now’ this WhatsApp channel seems effective – assuming you are a WhatsApp user!

Just click on the WhatsApp image (right) on your phone* and you can sign up to see/get notification of all new posts on Burgundy Report. It’s been working now for a couple of days – and all seems well. Meta might get your data – but I don’t see it 🙂
*It’s not yet an option on the standalone desktop version of WhatsApp but it is working on the browser version!!

a small bottle download…

By billn on November 07, 2023 #degustation

Wine, that in some cases, I drunk over three weeks ago – so maybe just a few words about each.

2020 Gautherin, Chablis 1er Homme Mort
Hmm, I don’t know what to say – really delicious wine – but since a short bout of covid in September, I’m unsure if I can still spot pyrazines. This certainly had them before!
Rebuy – Maybe

22 Mystery Corton
From a Côte de Nuits producer and it’s not yet bottled – but it’s a beauty – I suppose you’ll have to wait for the reports 😉
Rebuy – Yes

2020 François de Nicolay, Beaujolais Villages
Wow – mega purple! The nose suggests a little volatility – but this is a really delicious drink. Large scale and just soooo good!
Rebuy – Yes

2014 Sylvain Dussort, Meursault Le Limozin
DIAM – so perfect wine. Just a faint suggestion of development and showing a hint more generosity than many from 2014. Complex, spiced – great villages!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Fleurot-Larose, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Roquemore (Blanc)
If I remember correctly this is a monopole within Morgeot – and a very rare one at that!
A nose that needs a little aeration due to some muscaté impression but it becomes clean and powerful. Concentrated, just modestly generous but then a grand finish, complex, wide – really a great finish
Rebuy – Yes

Gilles & Romaine Collet, Cremant de Bourgogne
An old faithful – just delicious!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Jean Jacquin, Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
Hmm – very tasty – but last time I tasted this there were some pyrazines (see my first note!)
Rebuy – Maybe

2017 Clotilde Davenne, Saint Bris Vieilles-Vignes
Silky, delicious, super wine – as always from here !!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 René Dufaitre, Brouilly Boldness
A magnum. Mainly drunk over 1 evening with friends (after the Collet crémant) – perfumed but with sweetness and richness but retaining a deliciously airy character. The last third of this on day two was already over the hill – so the moral of the story is….
Rebuy – Yes

2018 Clotilde Davenne, Chablis
I’m a little surprised by this – such a high volume vintage but here is rich delicious flavour – a wine that is drunk far too fast. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Daniel Rion, Vosne-Romanée 1er Beaux-Monts
A wine that has only just been subsumed into the domaine of Michèle & Patrice Rion
A shy nose at the start but one that opens with clean, far from mature, aromas. This sits beautifully in the mouth – if anything, still a young pup. The finish impresses but on this performance it is a wine that I will wait for.
Rebuy – Maybe

2020 Alexandre Parigot, Meursault Le Limozin
Hmm – that’s got a nice, proper, faintly spiced aromatic. In the mouth this is rather powerful – almost a little burly – a bit 2020 you could say. But there is mouth-watering balance to this power and a very tasty finish.
Rebuy – Maybe

2005 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Corton-Perrières
This was an impenetrable brute on release – but now things are falling into place. An open, complex nose. Layers of flavour – complex flavour – and a super finish. 2005 Corton – that’s ready? Try this one !!
Rebuy – Yes

1973 Maison Thomas-Bassot, Beaune 1er ‘Theurons’
Friends in town. I had very low expectations – but bottles like these are such fun with friends – however they end up! Most of my early work involved extracting the cork in once piece – in the end it was 2 pieces – but all good! The first sniff seemed impressively positive! What a beauty! Complex, leafy, no bret, tons of red fruit interest and then there was the bpalate; silky, wide, generous. Oh we are being treated tonight. Bravo – a great old bottle!
Rebuy – No chance

2021 Bruno Lorenzon, Mercurey Clos Alfred
A wine of easy aromatics and tasty flavour – that’s about all that I can remember – sorry to say!
Rebuy – Maybe

2009 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montract 1er Clos de la Boudriotte (Red)
This gave a super impression on release though the oak was too overt. 5 years later, the remaining oak was really quite bitter – not nice. Today it has finally turned the corner – the nose is both complex and inviting and the flavours likewise – a suggestion of the oak remains but nothing to deter this drinker. Completely delicious though it’s taken the best part of 15 years. I’m still not a big fan of this vintage but things are beginning to stir in these bottles !!
Rebuy – Yes

2021 Pierre Vincent Girardin, Bourgogne Côte d’Or Eclat de Calcaire
On the winelist in a Meursault restaurant – so why not?
Ooh! Now that’s a great, clean-cut nose – chiselled and chalky – so far, it’s living up to its name! IN the mouth too – direct, minerla and so fine-boned. I don’t care that the label ‘only’ says Bourgogne – this is a great Bourgogne – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2021 de Villaine, Bourgogne Rosé de Pinot Noir
Barbie-pink wax sealed. A wine that’s exclusively sold in the French market – I believe.
The aromas are clean-cut and perfumed – that’s a lovely invitation to drink. Juicy and tasty – 4 of us finished this far too quickly – vin dangereuse – ie you may drink it too fast because it’s so delicious!

ICYMI – Les Maladières…

By billn on November 06, 2023 #in case you missed it

In this case, Beaune – but what better representation of a Leproserie than the magnificent building on the outskirts of Meursault. Next time that you eat at Le Soufflot or Goutte d’Or – take 10 minutes to walk around this splendid relic of a building.

  • The Maladière de Beaune:In the shadow of the Grand Hostel Dieu, many other hospitals existed in Beaune. One of the most important was the Maladière, an institution in charge of one of the most feared diseases of ancient times: leprosy.

Featured Image courtesy the archives of Beaune

2023 Beaujolais Nouveau – steady as she goes!

By billn on November 01, 2023 #annual laurels#beaujolais

2023 Beaujolais Nouveau

So – how important is Beaujolais Nouveau today?

It may surprise you to learn that in 2022, nearly a quarter of all Beaujolais’ 13,500 hectares of production, ended up in bottles that were labelled Nouveau.

That was 16,500,000 bottles of Nouveau – and that’s a lot – it’s equivalent to 85% of all the production of the Burgundy region from Chablis to the ‘border’ with Beaujolais!

France takes 60% of the bottles but the classic markets of Japan, the US and the UK, together, still bought more than 4 million bottles last year.

That being the case, it’s still worth trying to find some good ones!

The 2023 vintage:

The vine-growth in 2023 started in the ‘new classic’ style – ie quite early and in good conditions due to a mild start to the year. This year, there was hardly any worry about frost and there followed practically ideal conditions for flowering. This early debut of growth, followed by the summer heat, ensured that it was another earlier harvesting year – from about the 1st September – so, versus 2021, we certainly had the potential for nearly an extra month of elevage before any Nouveau bottling got underway – but how, exactly, did the post-flowering year go?

In 2023, the Beaujolais vigneron(ne)s liked to talk about the weather; there’s nothing unusual about ‘farmers’ talking about the weather, right? Of course not! But, as we approached the harvest, there was a clear focus to most of these conversations – and that focus was the rain – or rather the lack of rain.

The crus in the north got a couple of decent rainfalls in July/August but to the south not – here it stayed dry from mid-June right up to the harvest – in fact the further south you went in Beaujolais, the drier it got, reducing the berry size and therefore the yields – unsurprisingly, it was the young vines that particularly suffered in these conditions. The producers point to the counter-balance of the daytime heat with cooler nights – ‘so the wines have a nice aromatic balance – not too warm!

Proportionately, Beaujolais Nouveau is made in higher quantities from vines in the appellations of Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages as these labels are a little less attractive to Beaujolais buyers than those wines labelled in the name of ‘the crus’ – such as Fleurie or Saint Amour. So it is the wines from the south, whose volumes were most severely limited by the summer drought, who provide the bulk of the juice for these Nouveaux – it was an important point for this tasting.

The best wines…

2023 Beaujolais NouveauIn the the heartland of Beaujolais Nouveau production – ie the south of Beaujolais – the, drought-related, brake on the potential harvest volume has clearly been of benefit for anyone with an interest in drinking this stuff. That’s because any excess volume usually translates into significant quality variation between those who cropped at the maximum and those who were more modest.

2023’s more modest harvest volumes have brought some consistency to the wines – a little like in 2022. The Beaujolais Nouveaux are less regular than the Beaujolais Villages Nouveaux but as in most years the latter category come with not just more depth of flavour – they come with more structure too – and in many cases I’d be looking to keep, and drink, the villages over a longer period than the campaign for Nouveau might suggest.

I have noted a few more great wines (below) than in 2022 but overall, it’s quite a similar number for 97 wines tasted this year.

97 wines tasted – is that a lot? There are probably more like 200-250 different bottlings and/or cuvée names in this category – and good luck to you if you can find some of them in your local markets. I really struggle in Switzerland – and the anonymous (single!) bottling of Switzerland’s Coop supermarket is, historically, an awful one – but I’ll try it again this year – hopefully without needing to pour (more than!) half of the bottle away!

Good hunting!
All the wines were tasted and selected blind. It was only after the tasting that I got a copy of the spreadsheet with the names to match to the numbered bottles:

5 Great wines for their labels
One more than last year:
Jean Loron, Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé
Agamy, Domaine de Solémy Beaujolais Nouveau
Manoir du Carra Famille Sambardier, Dame Nature Beaujolais Villages
Famille Descombe, Granite Beaujolais Villages
Richard Rottiers Beaujolais Villages

10 Excellent Wines – Beaujolais Nouveau
Two less than in 2022:
Jean Loron, Rift 69
Romy, Le Mouflet
Georges Duboeuf
Jean-Yves Sonnery Domaine de Baluce
Domaine des Prévelières
Domaine Pierre André Dumas
Aurélie et Fabien Romany
Domaine des Prévelières, Border’Wine
Baptiste Aufranc
Célia et David Large, Zombi

9 Excellent Wines – Beaujolais Villages Nouveau
Just one more than in 2022:
Domaine Gaget, Vinum Memoria
Georges Duboeuf
Domaine de la Madone Bérerd Père et Fils
Nicolas Boudeau
Domaine des Terres Vivantes, La Lutine
Cave Vignerons de Bel Air, Natural
Château de Corcelles
Domaine Desprès
Julien Aucagne

Click on ‘Read More…’ below to see the full notes for the (almost) 100 wines in the order that they were (blind) tasted on Halloween 2023:
Beaujolais
  Read more..

Burgundy Report

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