Entries from 2020

‘getting through’ the weekend with…

By billn on March 30, 2020 #degustation

2009 Ardhuy, Corton Clos du Roi
Less colour than the Renardes. Here there’s a little obvious whole-cluster in the aromatics and presumably, that’s the reason for the lighter colour. The nose, actually, is a little diffuse and in all the time it’s open, never really has any kind of focus or compelling aspects – good but not great. In the mouth, it reflects a little the nose – there’s a good balance and none of the harsh finishing oak of the Renardes from a few days ago, but in terms of interest, whilst this is easier to drink, the Renardes is easily the most compelling of this duo. Given the initial tasting, much more of a disappointment than the Renardes was.
Rebuy – No

2018 Chevallier, Chablis Cuvée Prestige
Unlike the base ‘Chablis’ from this domaine, this wine is cork-sealed, rather than Nomacorc. Ooh – a proper Chablis nose of freshness and a little seashore. The aromas are reflected in the flavours – good mineral freshness – that’s a proper Chablis, even in 2018 – well done!
Rebuy – Yes

2010 François Mikulski, Meursault 1er Les Charmes 1913
The cuvée of old, 1913, vines.
Anecdotally this had a high chance of being poxed, but no, it was fine. Deep, intense yellow colour, not really gold. The nose was pungent with saline citrus – almost an oily weight to the fruit. In the mouth, it was similarly intense with really great acidity – impressive stuff. Complex, with ginger and perhaps a faint oxidative ‘something’ in the flavours, but this is great wine, the intense citrus flavour is seemingly quite peppery – no question, and one of the best whites of the year.
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Murgurs des Dents du Chien
I found this wine a little heavy, almost ponderous when young – what a change!
The nose is wide, fresh, floral, multi-dimensional stuff – eventually with a little salted-caramel in the mix too. Structural, open, no fat, but still a layered depth to the delivery of vibrant flavour. Sweetly wide but always with a mix of delicacy and intensity – never a suggestion of heavy. What do we have here? It’s even better than the Mikulski – that’s two nights in a row with the bottle emptied! Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

Netflix’s ‘Uncorked’ made me do it – cellar finds:

1996 Penfolds, Bin 389
I watched Netflix’s Uncorked this weekend, and there was a reference to the Bin 389, ‘the baby Grange’ and with this weekend’s cellar tidying – guess what I found? I’m still not ready to open the 1996 Bin 707s, but why not one of these?
Not the density of colour that I remember from 15 years ago – the (14%) nose a little spirity and with plenty of prune and plume – fresh and interesting prunes all the same, and the depth growing and widening with aeration. A little fat and a lot of silk to the texture – there’s still a small grain of tannin that slowly comes to the surface. A hint spirity in the middle again, but here’s an impressively mouthwatering flavour and one that finishes with such a force of spice; cinnamon, musk, who needs La Tâche? Impressed, though it would be even better without that spirity character…

more on the frost…

By billn on March 26, 2020 #vintage 2020

There have been a couple of nights of frost in Chablis, with the deployment of water-sprays. Generally, all is well for the vines encased in the ice – but it’s less fun for the vines close to the sprays where the humidity is higher but it’s not wet enough to freeze around the buds – here there could be some losses.

Still far too early to say more than ‘there could be some losses.’

recalcitrant renardes…

By billn on March 26, 2020 #degustation

Ardhuy Corton Renardes

Blind-tasted, this was a very highly-rated wine back in 2013 – another from Ardhuy actually won the tasting – I’ll open that one on Friday.

2009 Ardhuy, Corton Renardes
This has a great nose; starting faintly creamy (lactic), with deliciously inviting dark cherry plus a note of violets that slowly evolves, becoming ever-more intense. Wow, that’s silky, at the same time it’s intense, with layered, beautiful, fruit. There’s structure too, but for all that is disappointing me today – it seems like there’s a bit of bitterness from the oak that’s still hanging on in there. Aromatically fabulous, but the palate is far from accomodating today. Maybe it will be ready at 15? Or 20? Today, half a great wine. If I look back at my note from 2013, this wine has hardly changed…
Rebuy – Maybe

weekend wines – week 12 2020

By billn on March 24, 2020 #degustation

The variety of Burgundy in 3 bottles:

2013 Comte Liger-Belair, Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Cras
Like Louis-Michel’s 2013 villages Vosnes, there’s a little reduction here – but here it’s on a much lower level than those wines. The wine starts round – both the aromas and the flavours – I find a surprising amount of fat and depth here. This wine needs about an hour of aeration to deliver the more classical aspects of this vineyard – more flowers, less fat and an excellently developing line of flavour – here is the structure that I’ve been waiting for but not at the expense of texture – and it’s why I buy this wine. If you are tempted to try one of these, decant. Really super…
Rebuy – Yes

2010 Clotilde Davenne, Saint-Bris Vieilles-Vignes
Now here’s a little more colour than recent wines. The aroma is of more impact but also invitation than the young Saint-Bris of Gueguen, last week. In the mouth too – broad, well concentrated, deliciously flavoured with good intensity to boot. Here is a delicious wine that’s far too easy to drink – at its apogee? Maybe – the bottle drains far too quickly!
Rebuy – Yes

2018 Thillardon, Chénas Coup Double
The name is a nod to the young twins of Paul-Henri Thillardon.
Modest colour. A nose of easy invitation – red-fruited with a suggestion of flowers too. Ooh – that’s a palate to sink into – easy, open but still with depth of flavour. It’s a sweet wine like many from the vintage, but it’s never intense, always cushioning. Love…
Rebuy – Yes

it’s that frosty time again…

By billn on March 24, 2020 #vintage 2020

Images abound of fat vine buds, even some first unfurling of leaves, plus – of course – like other recent vintages, the threat of frost.

Chablis seems to have avoided the low temperatures this week, Beaune (and environs) had some minus temperatures overnight with occasional plots (owners) lighting candles. So far nothing in Beaujolais, but there’s concern there for tomorrow. At least the weather has been dry, which means – probably – no damage until you reach -3°C.

The world outside of sports-stadia and hospitals continues…

offer of the day – 2018 l’Arlot

By billn on March 23, 2020 #the market

In my inbox – I offer the comparison with the previous prices (in brackets) of the 2017s, 2016s, and 2015…

Domaine de l’Arlot

Nuits-Saint-Georges Mont des Oiseaux 1er Cru 2018 75cl 69.50 (59.00, — 59.00)* Swiss Francs
Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru ‘Hors Ligne’ 2018 75cl — (79.00, —, —)
Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de l’Arlot 1er Cru 2018 75cl 88.00 (85.00 85.00, 79.00)
Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos Forêts St-Georges 1er Cru 2018 75cl 88.00 (85.00 85.00, 79.00)
Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos Forêts St-Georges 1er Cru 2018 150cl 181.00, (175.00, 175.00, —)
Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er Cru 2018 75cl 129.00 (119.00, 119.00, 109.00)
Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er Cru 2018 150cl 263.00 (—)
Romanée Saint Vivant Grand Cru 2018 75cl — (—, 486.00, 445.00)

*Note that 8% sales tax is also due, but the delivery cost is included…

2018 Beaujolais – it’s where the value lies

By billn on March 23, 2020 #beaujolais#reports

Burgundy Report - 2018 BeaujolaisMost wine merchants are still making deliveries to self-isolators – so what are you going to drink at home?

If you’re looking at 2018s, then the value – and often the consistency of quality – is more often with Beaujolais than the Côte d’Or. So with that in mind:

Newly online is my February Report – 2018 Beaujolais.

62 domains, well over 400 new wines from an, often, great vintage. That’s now over 3,000 wines tasted from 260 domaines for the 2018 vintage reports of October 2019 to February 2020, and in each case with vintage commentary from their winemakers.

Now, who’s going to be the first to buy my mixed case recommendation? – That’ll keep you perky at home!

Burgundy Report

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