weekend walks…

By billn on April 12, 2021 #asides

To lighten the mood after last week’s frost – it’s also snowing at home this morning(!) – a few images of two weekend walks. The first in Thun, Switzerland:

And then a nice circular walk from Sunday from Schloss Wyl taking in the Ballenbühl viewpoint of the Berner Alps:

some weekend wines…

By billn on November 16, 2020 #asides

Just a few quick recollections of 4 complete winners:

2017 Antoine Olivier, Santenay Le Bievaux l’Air de Rien
DIAM sealed
What a punchy and energetic wine. A touch of apple and pineapple and who knows what else in this delicious and effusive wine. Real concentration but never over-generous. I sometimes think this cuvée tastes like Meursault – but not this vintage today. Delicious all the same.
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Berthaut, Fixin Les Clos
A sturdy, if bleached, cork.
Ooh – what a lovely nose – fading leaves, undergrowth – but violets too! Broad over the palate, another mouthful of generously flavoured wine. Robust too – it seemed just as good on the second evening. The tannin still present but becoming ever-more something of an anecdote. A lovely drop!
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Heritiers Louis Jadot, Beaune 1er Clos des Ursules
The cork comes out in one – but was starting to crack…
First sniff – I sit up and pay attention; gloriously wide, complex, dried leaves but flowers and fruit too – such an invitation. A wine of undoubted, but much softened, structure – just enough to let the flavour melt and then play over the palate. Just a great finish too – less robust than the Fixin as the wine’s definitely fading on day 2 – but day 1 it was simply great – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2015 Richard Rottiers, Moulin à Vent
DIAM sealed.
Definitely a funky, low-sulfur, start to this nose. Aeration clearly works some magic – though needs about 15 minutes – bringing the fruit and a measure of clarity to the fore. The palate starts a little grainy – though delicious – like the nose, softening with air. There’s never any question about how tasty the wine is – evidenced by 3 people emptying the bottle in under 30 minutes!
Rebuy – Yes

some weekend wines – obviously!

By billn on September 07, 2020 #asides

An evening in Beaune with Marko de Morey – he kindly contributed the Arlaud

2015 Bouchard Père, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er En Remilly
Interesting to compare to the 2013 of a couple of weeks ago – that wine was by far the readier and the better for it. I note a shorter DIAM here – DIAM5 and no-longer the 54 mm version
A round and easy nose with a little oak showing through. Round, sweet, creme-brulée flavoured and a little – but today not enough – citrus in the mix. Far too round and easy – though easy to drink too! Not worth the tariff if you plan to drink it right now. I won’t open another for 3 or 4 years…
Rebuy – Maybe

2000 Arlaud, Clos de la Roche
Plenty of maturity to this colour, even a small amount of browning. Ooh – now that’s a nose – round, forward, complex and oh-so inviting despite the merest suggestion of brett – yes! A narrow entry that widens at speed – there is concentration but also a nicely alive freshness – I still note a little attractively ‘dirty’ barrel impression here. A finish that slowly – but only slowly – fades into the distance with a little mint-leaf. Such excellent balance here. A little was left for day two, and the brett was much more forward, also much more visible was a steely finishing minerality which is more common for the cru. Really a top wine on day one, still more than interesting on day two.
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Bertagna, Vougeot 1er Clos des Perrières
I remember early bottles of thas had an unattractive – to me – sweetness that verged on the saccharine, but here, finally, we have a wine that’s showing beautifully.
As to be expected from the vintage, a nose with a certain freshness – but delicacy too – not the same volume of aroma as the Arlaud but this is clearly going to be very good – and there’s no brett! Flavour-wise, this ripples over the palate, waves of flavour, slightly brown-sugared, but nothing untoward. A cleaner, if slightly less involving finish versus the wine of Arlaud. Beautiful finishing with a little extra floral character. Like the Arlaud, some of this made it to day 2 – this was the more stable of the two and easily the best after overnighting. On day one it was a much closer call with no clear winner. Excellent stuff!
Rebuy – Yes

04-Sep-20 – harvest update

By billn on September 04, 2020 #asides

There are still some domaines harvesting chardonnay in the Côte de Beaune, but the whites being picked are now tending more to aligoté. The reds of the Côte de Beaune have been largely finished. The earlier Chablis harvesters started quite a while ago, but many are still far from finished. Like in Chablis, the Mâconnais and Beaujolais are following similar timings…

My home domaine had last weekend off (a long weekend – Friday to Sunday) as their higher vines in Pernand Les Pins (blanc) and Pommard Vaumuriens were not yet ripe on the 28th August. Monday 31st they were able to assemble enough pickers to finish the job. So 8 days of harvesting but over 12 days.

Today I managed to taste the reds – no whites as I was 15 minutes too late! Ripe but pure, super depth of flavour already despite specific degrees only between 994 and 1005. Particularly, I like the lines of these nascent wines – they have a great spine of acidity – roughly with pHs of around 3.20-3.30. It will be a pleasure to return to them in 12 months – I expect a style for reds much closer to 2019 than 2017 or 2018. Yields are modest – 35-38 hl/ha for whites and closer tho 30, on average, for the reds. This domaine is always conservative on yields, the average of the Côte de Beaune is higher, but not in the Côte de Nuits, where the dryness and some patchy areas of oïdium have made for losses of up to 50% in some places – Groffier still managed to make 40hl/ha but we will have to wait for the tanks to be emptied and the wines pressed before we can, generally, have a better idea…

Our afternoon saw a nice north to south tour through the Côte de Nuits. Not too many teams out in the vines this afternoon – but it was a warm day – touching on 30°C again this afternoon. Mainly we saw teams close to the RN74 – typically Bourgogne vines, though a few villages in Vosne and Chambolle. Just one team could be seen in the vines of the Clos de Vougeot – I think that this was the team of Chantal Lescure.

Tomorrow a nice trip out to Vézelay…

And for interested parties – Marko de Morey has been in the middle of his Côte de Nuits vines since Wednesday this week…

offer of the day – bonneau du martray 2018 (and older)

By billn on July 11, 2020 #asides

The domaine is continuing its offering of ‘library’ wines as last year, their pricing is also unchanged versus last year.

CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 2018 75cl 229.00 (*Swiss Francs)
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 2018 150cl 475.00
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 2017 75cl 229.00
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 2016 75cl 209.00
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 2010 75cl 229.00
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 2008 75cl 219.00
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 2000 75cl 229.00
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 1993 75cl 239.00

I love magnums, but these seem rather too expensive.
As a guide, domaine Corton-Charlemagne starts at about €75** these days, and you can find some very fine versions under €100. Those sought-after wines such as chez Bouchard Père or Henri Boillot are closer €150, so there’s still a very significant premium here. I assume that DRC’s first vintage (2019, ex the Bonneau du Martray vineyards) will be priced higher though. I expect about €300-400 from the domaine’s representatives – let’s see.
*As always, these swiss franc prices are delivered but lack the 7.7% Swiss VAT…
**Add about 10% for the price in Swiss francs

Trouble and strife – Chablis

By billn on April 11, 2020 #asides

2018 white burgundy report

By billn on December 20, 2019 #asides

Puligny-Montrachet 1er CombettesI know that this Diary page has been a little quiet for the last days, but there’s been much, furious, typing in the background whilst in my winter hideaway in Nice! If the weather had been poorer – as was the forecast – it would have been online sooner 🙂

My October Burgundy Report is now online – that means 2018 White Burgundy – the biggest coverage to-date, with 66 domaines’ wines evaluated – well over 700 wines.

You can see it here.

Burgundy Report

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