Annual Laurels

The Presidents’ Barrel for this years 160th Hospices de Beaune Auction

By billn on September 09, 2020 #annual laurels#diary dates

159th Hospices auctionWe may not know a lot about the covid-compatible arrangements for November’s 160th auction of the Hospices de Beaune wines, but we do now know that the Hospices de Beaune and the Château de Chambord are coming together to deliver the Pièce de Charité or Presidents’ Barrel for the auction on Sunday November 15, 2020.

We also know who the end recipients are for money for this special barrel: The profits from the sale of the Presidents’ Barrel will benefit the hospital workers of France via the Fédération Hospitalière de France (FHF) and the Management Committee of Social Works of Public Hospitals (CGOS) who will oversee the distribution of the donations to hospital staff and their families who have been affected by the covid epidemic.

The wine itself will come from the Côte de Nuits – Clos de la Roche from vines planted between 1968 and 1972 – and the barrel will be made from oak from the Chambord forest of the Domaine de Chambord.

the hot and cold of it…

By billn on April 17, 2020 #annual laurels#warning - opinion!

A new page of data for you to pour over…

“It’s a shame that we lack data for 1945, and even more so, 1947, but what’s striking is that the majority of the hottest days on record are still from 2003 – 1947 would likely have offered competition! All of the top 10 hottest vintages are post-2000 with six of the seven hottest vintages all post-2011 – 2003 being the seventh! Even 2014, which I consider to be the last of the classic red vintages – ie not super-sweet – is the 5th hottest year in our list!”

and the winners are…

By billn on November 21, 2019 #annual laurels#degustation

I previously mentioned the first-round tasting for Burgundy’s young winemaking talents 2019, well for the weekend of the Vend du Vin, the final blind taste-off was done and the winners chosen.

And the results?

On Friday 15 November evening, at the Palais des Congrès in Beaune, the GJPV organization awarded their seven regional trophies to the following young winemakers:

  • Damien MARTIN – Domaine de LA DENANTE – Mâconnais
  • Arnaud et Xavier DESFONTAINE – Château de CHAMILLY – Côte Chalonnaise
  • Laurent GAY – Domaine Michel GAY & Fils – Côte de Beaune
  • Prune AMIOT – Domaine AMIOT-SERVELLE – Côte de Nuits
  • Charly NICOLLE – Domaine CHARLY NICOLLE – Chablis
  • Bastien MATHIAS – Domaine Alain MATHIAS – Grand Auxerrois
  • Cyril CHIROUZE – Château des JACQUES – Beaujolais

the tastevinage majors of 2019…

By billn on November 19, 2019 #annual laurels#degustation

For the second vintage, the tasting panels of the Tastevinage have chosen their ‘majors’ for the year – their best wines tasted. This year they have reduced their list from the 20 that were chosen last year, to just 12 for this. There are some unexpected names in the list too!

For this ‘award,’ the twelve were chosen from the 1,215 wines that were submitted to blind taste in 2019:

2019 Tastevinage Majors

2019 Beaujolais Nouveau

By billn on November 13, 2019 #annual laurels#beaujolais

160 wines blind-tasted in Beaujolais, 05 November 2019.

Of course, 2019 was another in the series, the trilogy, of warm years – but one with instances of frost. More drastic than the frost was a late-arriving hailstorm that on the 20th of August swept through the south of Beaujolais, cutting yields – in some cases drastically. The average losses were minus 30% – but it was Beaujolais-Villages where the most was lost, hence, the volume of ‘Nouveau de Garde’ has been significantly reduced this year.

I’ve previously laughed out load about the concept of Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau – Nouveau that you can cellar – so I will not bore you about that, not this time!

This year I embarked on a 160 wine gamayathon; I was certainly tired at the end, fortunately not emotional though! This year we even had 8 Nouveau of a different colour – rosé… That’s up from the 3 from last year that I didn’t taste(!) At this rate of growth we will have 20 in 2020!

What to expect and what’s really worth buying

So three quite hot years, generally that’s beneficial to the quality, but with three different results:
2017 – low yielding and probably because of that a really high quality in both the Nouveau and the Villages Nouveau
2018 – less low yielding, and that was the crux. Basic Nouveau was much more variable but the Villages Nouveau was more consistent
2019 – because of frost and hail, yields were cut, and for the consumer that has once more brought consistency and quality to the basic Nouveau category due to lower yields. I think only twice did I instantly say ‘No!’ and run from a particular wine. As for the Villages Nouveau – here was overwhelmingly more concentration and particularly intensity – the intensity of acidity – probably okay if you wish to cellar your Nouveau for 6-12 months, but I was looking for the balance for drinking now, and from this tasting that was relatively rare. As for the rosé wines – super, all of them – really a great source of easy, delicious drinking for the next weeks – or even longer – why not? Read more..

burgundy’s young winemaking talents 2019

By billn on October 30, 2019 #annual laurels#degustation

Last week I was involved in the tastings that will determine the 2019 Young Talents from all regions of Burgundy. This (document below) is the result of the first tasting which delivers the 3 top producers in each territory. There will be further taste-off to decide which of the 3 nominees in each geographical area gets the final prize.

Burgundy’s Cave Prestige 2019

By billn on June 21, 2019 #annual laurels

BIVB Cave Prestige 2019

Yesterday (Thursday) evening was the annual announcement of Burgundy’s Cave de Prestige 2019 – the 48th presentation of these awards, and from the photo, it looks like everyone was a winner, but actually, that wasn’t the case this year!

The BIVB had a much harder time with growers this year – last year almost 20% of the samples entered for blind tasting were selected for the cave prestige, this year they decided that that was too much – as a consequence, only 12.5% were retained from this year’s tastings. That lower number had nothing to do with the vintage, rather that they set the bar higher, preferring not to have too many examples of the sam AOP. Consequently, a lot of time was spent on the phones with vignerons, explaining why their wine wasn’t selected this year!

Despite that higher bar to winning, 137 domaines had wines chosen – versus 218 last year – and the selected wines represent virtually all of Burgundy’s 84 AOPs. Many samples were on display, but I must say that I felt a little fatigued and after 33 whites, I decided it was better to have a sit down before heading home! I’ll publish my notes in the June report…

The BIVB hasn’t yet publicly released the official list of the winning wines, but I’ll publish it here when it’s available.

[EDIT] Here you go (right):

more awards for jon wyand…

By billn on May 02, 2019 #annual laurels

I’m so pleased to see that my old colleague/collaborator/friend (delete as you feel applicable) has more awards to his name.

Jon’s images scooped both first and second prizes in the 2019 Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year competition – and, of-course, both his pictures were taken in Burgundy!

Courtesy of Jon you can see here his overall winning image of the Faiveley cuverie in action, in Mercurey – plus the second-prize winning still-life of a cuverie that Jon describes as ‘from an ex-domaine in Russilly‘ – Jon also won this same competition in 2014.

The Errazuriz sponsored categories were titled ‘People’, ‘Places’ and ‘Produce’ and both of Jon’s images were from the ‘Places’ category. Both of these images will also feature in his new book, due out in September-October, in French, but with an English edition also due. ‘A Year in the Côte Chalonnaise.‘ He tells me the book will be the “Same specification as ‘Corton‘ but with a much lighter approach – not so “Grand Cru” this time.

My appetite is whetted.

You can see all the ‘finalists gallery’ here, but note that the page takes an age to show all these images!

30th edition of burgundy’s young talents…

By billn on November 22, 2018 #annual laurels

I finally got to see the result of this years competition – decided at the end of last week.

Here are the domaines, winemaker who got the trophy and the wines that they presented. Enjoy:

Catégorie Mâconnais – Charles Edouard DROUIN of Domaine Thierry DROUIN
Mâcon Vergisson « La Roche »
Pouilly Fuissé « Maréchaude »
Pouilly Fuissé « En Buland »

Catégorie Beaujolais – Cyril CHIROUZE of Château des JACQUES
Bourgogne Clos de Loyse – chardonnay
Moulin à Vent
Moulin à Vent « Clos de Rochegrès »

Catégorie Côte de Beaune – Chloé CHEVALIER of Domaine CHEVALIER
Aloxe Corton
Gevrey Chambertin
Ladoix 1er cru « Les Corvées »

Catégorie Côte de Nuits – Pierre BART of Domaine BART
Bourgogne – pinot noir
Marsannay « les grandes vignes »
Marsannay « au champ Salomon »

Catégorie Côte Chalonnaise – François Berthenet of Domaine Berthenet
Bourgogne – pinot noir
Montagny 1er Cru « Mont Cuchot »
Montagny 1er Cru « Les bonneveaux »

Catégorie Chablisien – Camille BESSON of Domaine BESSON
Petit Chablis
Chablis 1er cru « Vaillons »
Chablis 1er Cru « Montmains »

Catégorie Grand Auxerrois – Sophie et Matthieu WOILLEZ of Domaine de la CROIX MONTJOIE
Bourgogne Vézelay « L’élégante »
Bourgogne Vézelay « L’impatiente »
Bourgogne Vézelay « La voluptueuse»

Burgundy Report

Translate »

You are using an outdated browser. Please update your browser to view this website correctly:;