Entries from 2020

weekend wines – week 9 2020

By billn on March 04, 2020 #degustation

I like to keep things varied – in terms of the label – plenty of great acidity in this selection of wines. It’s also nice not to experience corked bottles for the first weekend in a while:

2017 Chanzy Rully Les Cailloux
A very faint toast, but a certain concentration is evident below. Yes, there’s a suggestion of toast in the flavours too, but this wine’s a beauty – mineral, great intensity. Super Rully – a presence that belies the label – bravo! Subscribers will remember how much I loved the 2017 Côte Chalonnais wines!
Rebuy – Yes

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Perrières
Deeply coloured – the nose is wild, wide and darkly fruited – but what’s that? Vanilla? I don’t remember that! In the mouth, this reflects the nose with a width of seamless, wonderfully textured flavour. The vanilla is less bothersome in the flavours – and of course, the acidity is super. Beautiful balance, intense, but far from mouth-puckering – a great 2008 – despite the vanilla!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Philippe Pacalet, Moulin à Vent
Hmm, thats a lovely nose – partly floral, fresh red berry fruit. Fine concentration and super energy – complexity too. It’s a high-toned, energetic flavour that I might describe as airy if it wasn’t so insistent – sustains a great length too. This wine’s a honey – so yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2014 Céline and Frédéric Gueguen, Côteaux Bourguignone – Sacy ‘Cépage Confidentiel’
Oh – this sings and zings – the acidity of 2014 but nothing sharp – more overt freshness than the 2008 Nuits. So mineral and also so saline. Blind it would leave me confused – I think of Chablis – but not quite Chablis – often one of Burgundy’s great bargains!
Rebuy – Yes

2013 des Chézeaux/Berthaut, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos des Chézeaux
Amélie Berthaut’s first vintage in charge of vinification at the family domaine.
Good depth of colour. The nose is sweeping and interesting – it’s an invitation. Sleek and driving flavour – not quite together at the outset but it comes together well with some air – the structure has just a suggestion of rusticity. 2013 remains a vintage that needs to find its place – the wines can be ordinary or great – this one starts a little ordinary but gets better and better – it’s tasty but it’s not yet great though!
Rebuy – Maybe

2016 Domaine de la Pirolette, St.Amour La Poulette
Wow – from start to finish, this is a great wine; so sleek, so silky-textured, so mineral too. This is a wine that vibrates with energy – red berry fruit – it’s also very well matched in style to the acidity of many of the wines here. Pure, intense and very classy – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

offer of the day – Jacques Prieur 2017 & 2018

By billn on March 03, 2020 #the market

I think the last offer that I saw from this local merchant was for the 2010s – so bit of a pause!
So the first price is for 2017, the second for 2018 and one in brackets, for comparison, is from 2010. — means ‘not offered…’

Vins blancs
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Les Combettes 75cl 89.00*, 89.00 (66.00) *Swiss Francs
MEURSAULT Perrières 75cl 149.00, —, (99.00)
CORTON CHARLEMAGNE 75cl —, — (129.00)
CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET 75cl —, — (209.00)
MONTRACHET 75cl —, — (399.00)

Vins rouges
BEAUNE Champs-Pimonts 75cl 48.00, — (29.80)
VOLNAY Santenots 75cl —, 79.00 (56.00)
VOLNAY Clos des Santenots 75cl 109.00, 118.00 (69.50)
CORTON Bressandes 75cl 125.00, 129.00 (109.00)
CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 129.00, 135.00 (118.00)
CHAMBERTIN 75cl 389.00, 389.00 (179.00)
ECHEZEAUX 75cl 399.00, 399.00 (179.00)
MUSIGNY 75cl 598.00, 598.00 (249.00)

As always, these are delivered prices, but excluding the Swiss purchase tax of almost 8%. The Corton and Clos de Vougeot seem like relative bargains when you consider how little their prices have appreciated!

the inevitability: grands jours de bourgogne cancelled

By billn on March 02, 2020 #the market#warning - opinion!

Grands Jours de Bourgogne 2020

Given the backdrop of coronavirus infections, I think that for almost 2 weeks now, there has been a creeping inevitability that the Grands Jours de Bourgogne would have to be cancelled or postponed. The once every two years gathering in Burgundy for tasters and wine ‘professionals’ would have to fall into line with not just the politics of the moment, but also reality; what could be worse than 1,000 people meeting together in one large space – how about only 100, but all spitting into ‘communal’ spittoons? – The red trousers won’t save you there!

Large sporting events, the Geneva Motorshow and local festivals have all been cancelled in the last 10 days. Then, at the end of last week ProWein was cancelled (postponed?) and VinItaly in April must be a large doubt. In the end, it really seemed inevitable!

Of course, it’s a shame for anyone who may lose money over this – if you have flights or hotels that seem reluctant to reimburse – but I think that’s a better outcome than reacting insufficiently well to treatment in a hospital!

I’m personally down by 14 different tastings – so I’ll have less for my March Report – but I am still planning to make the trip for my appointments at the end of March – private appointments are no different to visiting your local supermarket – today, anyway. Still, I’m yet to see a successful ‘spitter’ wearing a mask!

Dear customers, dear partners,
As you know, the Covid-19 epidemic currently affecting our planet has taken on a new dimension in Europe and more locally in France.
The last known elements as well as our exchanges with local authorities enabled us to make an informed and responsible decision.

We are no longer able to offer the expected health and safety conditions to our visitors and exhibitors. It is therefore with a heavy heart that we inform you that the Grands Jours de Bourgogne 2020 event, initially scheduled for March 9 to 13 will not take place.

We are aware of the impact of this decision on the agendas and activities of each of you but our priority is and will always remain the health of every one.

We thank you for your confidence and hope to see you soon on other events honoring Bourgogne wines.
Sincerely Yours,
The executive board of the Grands Jours de Bourgogne


By billn on February 26, 2020 #the market

This email just landed in my inbox. It seems we are getting ever-closer to the £100 villages wine – from a vintage of modest repute too – so is that over £350 in a restaurant? When, then, am I supposed to drink all of my Clos St.Jacques and Griotte from this domaine?* I remember when the Clos St.Jacques was £300 for 12 and from this same merchant too!

*You know that’s a rhetorical question – I’ll surely be opening them for my next Boeuf Bourguignon!

Fourrier 2013 villages Gevrey

[Edit] As semi-balance, I note another UK merchant offering 2018s at practically a reasonable price “Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Rossignol-Trapet 2018 – £315 per 12 bottles and £350 per 6 magnums” Despite the UK tax that you will need to add, that’s a bargain – I thought it a ‘great wine‘ for its label when tasting back in July…

all change, domaine chanzy…

By billn on February 25, 2020 #producer update

It’s already 5 years since I profiled the last version of Domaine Chanzy in Bouzeron and time has flown by for this, seemingly, restless domaine of over 30 hectares!

As you may remember, in 2012-2013 Jean Baptiste Jessiaume and his father became responsible for this domaine – just across the road from Domaine de Villaine in Bouzeron. What I hadn’t appreciated at the time was that they had been ‘hired by the owners’ to take responsibility for the winemaking, they were not the actual owners. Jean Baptiste said at the time was that they had bought the domaine as part of a consortium – seemingly then, they must have been minor partners. Subsequently, father and son Jessiaume left Chanzy after the 2019 harvest ‘to concentrate on setting up their own trading company‘ according to the current Chanzy team.

Since January, Max Blondelle is the new cellar-master and winemaker at Domain Chanzy, joining after working for nearly 15 years with Jean Pierre Confuron at Domaine Chanson. It will be too early to taste any major change of approach, but I anyway plan to visit Max in November when looking at 2019s. This has been a great source of well-made wine from the Côte Chalonnais, though also rather expensive for their appellations. The labels have had a workover – amongst other things, not surprisingly, removing the name of JB Jessiaume, above…

boeuf bourguignone and lots of corky bottles…

By billn on February 24, 2020 #degustation#seals (not the furry kind)

At the beginning of February, I had a corked bottle of Castagier’s 1997 Clos de la Roche. The middle of February I had corked bottles of Vincent Dauvissat’s 1997 Chablis 1er Les Forêts and it’s not just old bottles because I also had a corked 2018 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Cuvée Lapierre MMXVIII.

This weekend I managed the double; A corked 1999 Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny and a corked 2002 Cheseaux/Ponsot Griotte-Chambertin. Anyone want to estimate the worth of all those useless bottles?

Actually, not completely worthless, the Chambolle was more ‘liegeux‘ – as the french would say for ‘lightly’ corked – I could drink a glass and a half and it was clearly the best showing for the cuvée since this wine was very young. As for the Griotte, it made a lovely sauce for our boeuf bourguignone – washed down with a delicious glass (or two) of 2019 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau – who would have thought that this would be the best way to employ these last two bottles before opening!

beaujolais visits week 08 of 2020

By billn on February 22, 2020 #beaujolais#travels in burgundy 2020

Beaujolais 2020 visits 3

My third of three weeks of visits – so over 60 domaines’ wines tasted from (predominantly) the 2018 vintage. Next week starts all the typing – online in a little over a month!

Thanks to all the domaines!

2018 Chablis – January’s 2020 Burgundy Report

By billn on February 17, 2020 #reports

Valmur 06 September 2018
Chablis GC Valmur, 06 September 2018

2018 Chablis
Online now – I doubt that there’s a more authoritative report to find. Over 650 wines tasted for subscribers.
Enjoy: Here

beaujolais visits week 07 of 2020

By billn on February 14, 2020 #reports#travels in burgundy 2020

Beaujolais visits, 2020

Lucky with the weather this week. While home in Switzerland was buffeted by the wind and rain – occasionally the thunder, lightning and hail too – the Beaujolais Alps were a much nicer place to be; sometimes sunny, hardly rainy or windy – I was lucky with the weather. My thanks, of-course, to the winemakers that hosted me. That’s two weeks down, one more to go – so you can guess where I’ll be next week again 😉

Plus a few pics from out-and-about during the week:

Burgundy Report

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