Activities for the Month of the Climats – June 2024

By billn on May 31, 2024 #asides

A range of activities starts on the 1st of June in Burgundy to celebrate the month of ‘Les Climats

There are walks, tastings, guided visits and much, much more.

There’s a site where you can find all the details – here.

It’s all in French, but Google is your friend if you need to translate anything into English – or whatever language you prefer !!

Enjoy !!

I also have this (only in French) press dossier‘ as pdf with the various actives…

2022 Beaujolais are looking great…

By billn on February 14, 2024 #asides

2022 Burgundy Part 19 - domaines 207-215I’m only a dozen domaines into my 4 week tour of Beaujolais but things are looking excellent.

The average (high-)quality of the 2022s that can be seen, in general, across greater Burgundy – can be seen here too. But all the great wines that have gone AWOL in other areas seem to be waiting for me here. It’s not going to be a hard 4 weeks!

The 2022 Beaujolais Report – 3 of my 4 weeks – won’t be online until the end of March. First, dear subscribers, you will have digest the 2022 Chablis report that will be online by the end of this month 🙂

Julie Balagny – adieu…

By billn on July 06, 2023 #asides#beaujolais#sad losses...

Julie Balagny

I heard the sad news over the weekend but waited for confirmation before writing anything. Julie Balagny, vigneronne of Moulin-à-Vent has recently died.

Her home was nestled in the hamlet of Les Thorins. A house whose door would usually be wide open – even if she was not at home – which happened to me more than once when she forgot that we had an appointment! But, in her stead, there was always a dog, a cat, or maybe a chicken, to greet me. Memorably, there was once a young lamb – making a great impression of a dog – except for its voice.

Julie was a free-thinker and very much a non-interventionist winemaker, sometimes to the extent that she might fall foul of fellow AOC winemakers and choose to label her wines as Vin de France. But the wines of Julie reflected her character – honest and frank – they were low-intervention wines, modestly coloured but immodestly full-flavoured. Her 2021s were superb – if you want to pidgeon-hole a style, similar those of the Thillardon brothers – it was just a shame that there were so few of them in 2021.

This is a big loss to the diversity of production in Beaujolais and I will miss her very much…

Burgundy’s Cave de Prestige 2023

By billn on June 22, 2023 #asides

Since 1971, and from Chablis to Mâcon, the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) has been selecting cuvées to illustrate the wines of Burgundy all around the world and to be used during the BIVB’s promotional and training activities. Tuesday 20th June 2023 was the 52nd awards ceremony for what has become known as the Cave de Prestige.

Cuvées from 97 Cellars, Maisons and Domaines were selected for the 2023 list – 48 of the producers were relative newcomers, i.e. appearing for the first time or making their return after missing a few presentations. In total, 168 wines were awarded the ‘Cave Prestige’ label after being chosen through more than one jury of tasters, representing 19% of the wines submitted. About 15,000 of these bottles will be purchased for use in the BIVB’s promotional activities for the next 12 months, activities such as:

• Masterclasses in France and abroad, at press dinners, and educational tastings organised by the BIVB’s press service.
• The Ecole des Vins de Bourgogne as part of its training activities
• PR events with partners such as the Cité Internationale du Vin in Bordeaux, VIP visits etc.

You can find the full list of 2023 winners – and their wines – here.

This presentation lasts about 2 hours so there is never the chance to taste all the bottles. The last couple of awards evenings that I attended, I started with whites – which typically meant that I never got started on the reds! So this year I did the reverse!

Here the wines that I managed to taste in the available time:

2023 Cave Prestige

BIVB Cave Prestige 2023
And the winners are:

In ‘blue’ the wines that I would unhesitatingly buy…

2020 Patriarche, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Poulettes
Easy, open red fruit. Impact and good intensity from a growing concentration. Some oak plus graphite minerality wrapped in a good texture – very good.

2020 R.Dubois et Fils, Nuits St.Georges
More depth of colour. Narrow but here’s a nose of silk. Mouth-filling +/- great scale for the label. Framed with some fine-grained tannin – less structurally seductive vs the last but with a super energy – in fact I’d wait a bit longer for this one – but the finish is excellent, in fact, a bit more persistent!

2020 Albert Bichot, Nuits St.Georges Château Gris
Only faint high tones escape the glass but there’s plenty of depth with some implied aromatic silk. Broad, energetic, very faintly grained with tannin – just a hint of pine needle and a finish with some creamy oak stil showing. The last notes clean and tasty!

2020 Clos des Poulettes, Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Poulettes
A more vertical nose – the depth slightly metallic but still bloody and attractive. This does have a very modest pyrazine flavour but that gives an extra complexity. Very good!

2020 Faiveley, Nuits St.Georges Les Montroziers
A faintly spiced width from this more compact nose. Hmm – I really like the combination of mouth-filling volume and silky texture – high-toned fruit for this wine. The finish is super – if you want to drink Nuits on the young side – from this group here this is an easy choice – excellent wine, indeed a really top villages.

2020 Seguin-Manuel Vosne-Romanée Aux Communes
Higher toned complexity, slightly powdery red fruit too. Easy, open but mouth-filling wine – fluid wine – becoming a little more strict from the middle to finish – but in a good way. That’s lovely.

2020 Beaumont, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
A breadth of higher tones. Incisive, direct – frank even – great texture and a super mouth-watering style. You will note some impression of oak but this is an excellent, intense, villages wine.

2020 Beaumont, Morey St.Denis 1er Les Millandes
Even more aromatic volume than their Gevrey VV, the high-toned oak apparent here too. Super shape, velvet texture – so clearly a step up. The oak is still present but thats another super wine – an impressive finish here!

2020 Roux Père, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Noirots
A narrower but more fine, pure nose – beautiful red fruit clarity. Fluid, nicely concentrated – like the nose a wine of red fruit clarity. Subtly generous in the middle and finishing flavours. Super again!

2020 Guy & Yvan Dufouleur, Fixin 1er Clos du Chapitre
Here is some colour! Concentrated aromatics, faintly savoury, perhaps with some modest pyrazine. Yes certainly there’s pyrazine in the flavours! Large scale and faintly grained – the finish intense but the greens take away some of my interest – which is a shame, because otherwise, that’s a great finish.

2021 Huguenot, Marsannay Montagne
Ooh – the smoky oak is still rather dominating this nose. In the mouth we have fine scale and a super texture with just a faint dryness of tannin on the end of the tongue. Slowly mouth-watering with a little generosity right at the end.

2021 Albert Bichot, Fixin
An easy but silkily attractive red fruit nose – only of modest intensity. Given the nose the nicely incisive and fresh start to this wine is a bit of a surprise – but this is a delicious and juicy thing. A super finish here. That’s a great villages.

2021 Besson, Givry 1er Les Grands Pretans
An airy and attractive width of red fruit. Broad with good energy – a juicy wine thats framed with a fine grain of tannin – but not drying. Good, almost steely finishing flavour. Thats lovely wine.

2020 Belleville, Mercurey Champ Ladoy
High toned, interesting and dark, metallic, almost bloody fruit. Mouth-filling energetic wine – I like the style – surely a little oak adding to the mix but this is a big, tasty, mouth-full of wine

2020 Château d’Etroyes, Mercurey 1er Le Grand Epervier
Higher toned – more open, more silky red fruit nose. Energy and intensity. There’s a grain of tannin here plus a suggestion of oak but this is really very tasty wine!

2021 Suremain, Mercurey 1er En Sazenay
Higher toned, airy. In the mouth, there is a good scale and a tasty, high-tone presentation – very good.

2021 Albert Sounit, Mercurey 1er Clos des Montaigus
Again an airy, more silky, depth of red fruit. There’s a little dark-oak accent to this fruit but this has some generosity and quite some structural sophistication. The flavour is slightly darker red – probably because of the barrels but is delicious.

2021 Catherine & Claude Marechale, Volnay
Pretty high-toned red fruit. Supple and quite concentrated, there’s structure here too. Thats a super medium-term wine. Yum!

2020 Nuiton-Beaunoy, Volnay 1er Chanlins
Clarity and depth – thats a rather good nose! Mouth-filling, with plenty of intensity – there’s some oak showing here too but this a fine wine of both energy and sweet finishing flavour!

2021 Baptiste Guyot, Monthelie
Some attractive high tones here. Fresh attack, with just enough cushion. Direct and pretty, though also with some proper middle structure. The finish is direct and with lovely clarity – a simply super finish.

2021 Catherine & Claude Marechale, Beaune Les Bonnes Feuvres
Nicely complex, high-toned notes – that’s very attractive. Round in the middle, some structure but also with very tasty darker red fruit. Slowly fading. Very good…

2020 Denis Carré, Beaune 1er Les Tuvillains
Hmm, that’s a nose with both depth and interest – very nice. Mouthfilling, fine energy though today with plenty of finishing bitters – keep to 3-4 years before returning.

2020 Françoise Andre, Beaune 1er Reversées
Silky but also concentrated aromatics. Concentrated wine, with energy too though broad finishing. There is tons of material here and it’s never harsh – more a longer-term wine than many and simply excellent, potentially a great one!

2020 Françoise Andre, Beaune 1er Belissand blanc
Finishing with a white one!
Clean, very slightly lactic, with almost a little coconut complexity. Freshness, energy and concentration – growing more intense as it melts over the palate. A delicious wine!

offer of the day – bonneau du martray 2020

By billn on March 31, 2023 #asides

The domaine is continuing its offering of ‘library’ wines as in previous years.

CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 2020 75cl 450.00 (*Swiss Francs)

Two ‘library’ releases with this offer:
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 2018 150cl 910.00
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 2014 150cl 910.00

After a period of price stability – 2016-2018 @ around 220 Swiss francs – the blue touch-paper has been lit…
*As always, these swiss franc prices are delivered but lack the 7.7% Swiss VAT…

A couple of excellent – Nuits themed – articles…

By billn on March 30, 2023 #asides

Each in the online ‘Drinks Business’ of the last couple of weeks and both by the same author:

1. Hospices de Nuits a barometer of ‘welcome’ cooling for high-end Burgundy prices

2. Grand cru for Les Saint-Georges?

There’s really nothing to add!

offer of the day – 2021 l’Arlot

By billn on January 25, 2023 #asides

From my inbox – the same merchant as every year:
I offer the comparison with the previous prices (in brackets) of the 2020s, 2019s, 2018s, 2017s, 2016s, and 2015… and — signifies ‘not offered’

Domaine de l’Arlot 2021

Côte de Nuits Villages Clos du Chapeau 2021 75 cl 38.00 (—)
Nuits-Saint-Georges Mont des Oiseaux 1er Cru 75cl — (—, —, 69.50, 59.00, —, 59.00)* Swiss Francs
Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru ‘Hors Ligne’ 75cl — (—, —, —, 79.00, —, —)
Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de l’Arlot 1er Cru 2021 75cl 99.00 (98.00, 89.50, 88.00, 85.00 85.00, 79.00)
Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos Forêts St-Georges 1er Cru 2021 75cl 99.00 (98.00, 89.50, 88.00, 85.00 85.00, 79.00)
Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos Forêts St-Georges 1er Cru 2021 150cl 203.00 (201.00, 184.00, 181.00, 175.00, 175.00, —)
Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er Cru 2021 75cl 189.00 (148.00, 135.00, 129.00, 119.00, 119.00, 109.00)
Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er Cru 2021 150cl — (—, —, 263.00, —, —, —)
Romanée Saint Vivant Grand Cru 2021 75cl 695.00 (575.00, 498.00, —, —, 486.00, 445.00)

Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de l’Arlot blanc 2021 75cl 109.00 (—)

Wow! Now that’s getting expensive in Vosne-Romanée – eh?
*Note that an additional 7.7% sales tax is also due, but the delivery cost is included…

offer of the day – drouhin-laroze 2020

By billn on February 28, 2022 #asides

In brackets are the prices of the 2019s, 2018s, 2017s and 2016s, from the same offers in previous years, from the same merchant. — means not offered…

Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs 2020 75cl — (59.00, 55.00, 49.50, 49.50) Swiss Francs
Chambolle-Musigny 2020 75cl — (68.00, —)
Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaut-St-Jacques 1er Cru 2020 75cl 89.00* (—, 69.50, 69.00, 65.00)

Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2020 75cl 149.00 (139.00, 135.00, 125.00, 119.00)
Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2020 75cl 159.00 (—, 139.00, 129.00, 125.00)
Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2020 75cl 215.00 (179.00, 168.00, 149.00, 145.00)
Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2020 150cl — (363.00, —)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 2020 75cl 225.00 (205.00, 188.00, 165.00, 158.00)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 2020 150cl — (415.00, —)
Musigny Grand Cru 2020 75cl 698.00 (650.00, —)

*There is 7.7% Tax to add in Switzerland, but then these are delivered prices

week 1 for Beaujolais 2020 – part 2

By billn on February 12, 2022 #asides

chez Lapierre...

The second half of my week(1) in Beaujolais – only a little rain overnight Thurs-Friday and already sunny again before lunch on Friday, this being the only day without a morning frost:

Burgundy Report

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