once more, the return of the grands jours de bourgogne…

By billn on October 03, 2021 #events

Grands Jours de Bourgogne 2022The 15th edition of Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne, after its covid-cancellations, has been rescheduled to 21-25 March 2022.

A wine-trade fair for ‘professionals’ (described as sommeliers, restaurants, wine-stores, importers, wholesalers & sales agents…) plus journalists.

There will be the usual 12 walk around tastings from Chablis to the Côte Chalonnaise via the Mâconnais the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, representing 1,000 winegrowers and merchants plus 6,000 different Burgundy wines.

For more information:

The date on the following video may not have changed, but the logos above have!

La Fête des Vins de Chablis – 2021

By billn on September 30, 2021 #events

Fete des vins Chablis - 2021

I’m still crowd-phobic in the post(?)-covid times, so I won’t make the trip myself, but if you are out and about on the 23-24th October this year, I’m sure you will be made very welcome and can taste lots and lots of Chablis, Irancy, Epineuil – etcetera!

More info here.

an open day – château moulin à vent

By billn on June 14, 2021 #events

Chateau moulin a vent open day 2021

New in my inbox today.

I guess that this is the covid-successor to the last few years’ Jazz à Moulin à Vent – also held at the château. I can’t make it as I have a new kitten to collect that day(!) but feel free to head along yourself!

See Here.

Baghera & Bouchard’s La Romanée – the results…

By billn on April 19, 2021 #events

Well, actually more the highlights:

The sale, as usual for this auction house, was in Geneva but because of covid restrictions in Switzerland there was a live stream available for following the bidding but no bidders or spectators were allowed in the room. The staff of the auction house (Baghera) were in telephone contact with bidders in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore – but I recollect no mention of a location in North America – though online bidders eventually accounted for 52% of the sales. A successful bidder on many lots was Ma Cuisine in Singapore. These were only bidders referred to by name rather than their paddle number – though whether they were buying for their restaurant, or other buyers, or a blend of the two, is only conjecture.

It all started in a rather steady fashion – the wines barely creeping up to mid-estimates – though to be fair, the estimates were not so low! From another perspective, the wines of the first few hundred lots were no more expensive than most of those sold at the René Engel auction two years ago by the same auction house. Perhaps it was the lack of participants in the room or many bottles of modest vintages – such as 1987/86/84 etcetera – but we were well into the auction before pre-sale estimates were finally ripped up and thrown out of the window.

The 1985s kindled much more interest but the fire really started with the wines of the 1980 vintage – I can only assume based on the positive recent article about the vintage by William Kelly in the Wine Advocate – but then bidding became even more impressive for the 1978s.

The sale was now clearly underway.

1906 La Romanée
Image courtesy Baghera

Wines from 1906 did very well – 6 bottles taking a hammer price of 185,000 francs – but the real fireworks were reserved for the wines of the 1865 and 1862 vintages. The better-known of the two is 1865 and it showed in the bidding; the first bottle sold for 165,000 Swiss francs, the buyer accepting the option of also taking the next 4 bottles at the same price per bottle – plus, not forgetting, the 22% buyer’s commission! This was the highest per bottle price of the auction; three subsequent lots of 6 bottles and then a case of 12 1865s – what a cellar chez Bouchard Père et Fils! – all receding a little in terms of the average bottle price, though that last case of 12 was the highest single bid of the auction – 1.6 million Swiss francs the hammer price or 1.952 million with the commission – or, if you prefer, 2.133 million US dollars.

The prices of the 1862s were, by comparison, modest – only 55-60,000 Swiss francs per bottle! 332 lots were offered and 332 lots were sold for a bid total of around 9.6 million francs. I assume Baghera and Bouchard Père et Fils will be very happy with the day and the results.

The swiss sale of La Romanée back to the 1862 vintage…

By billn on April 16, 2021 #events

For the safety of their international customers, Baghera/wines has chosen to organise a dynamic online sale, auctioning the 332 lots in live-streaming from “Club 1865 by Baghera” and on the Baghera/wines website.

la romanee memories
Image and video from Baghera

I’d planned to attend Sunday’s auction but there you go – it won’t be possible – one day later and such gatherings would be allowed in Switzerland. I note that you had to register your details at least 72 hours ahead of time if you want to bid online – it seems that’s already too late for you now, if not already done.

It’s still possible to follow the sale, live online if you are interested though. Maybe I may glance at my laptop whilst otherwise watching Max Verstappen and Louis Hamilton and co on Sunday – as I won’t now be going to Geneva…

La Romanée – how about a ’62? – it’s just a question of which century…

By billn on February 25, 2021 #events#the market

la romanee memories
Images from Baghera

Remember this? Well, the catalogue is now available – you can bid online, or just electronically thumb the pdf…

baghera-la-romanee-1862We can quibble about pricing – and who’s to say the catalogue doesn’t underestimate the hammer prices? Particularly when you consider a sought after vintage of the wine from today’s maker – Louis-Michel Liger-Belair will easily approach US$10,000 for a single bottle. With that in mind the prices, considering both age and provenance, are damn-near respectable.

I considered maybe a birth-year wine? but I forgot that Bouchard didn’t have the contract in the 1960s – I’ve seen 1962 La Romanée from Camille Giroud though! So what about adding a century? Okay I know what hair I have is greying, but it’s not that grey!

2020 Hospices de Beaune – no-sale…

By billn on November 15, 2020 #events


I spotted the news late on Saturday – far too late for posting about here – a Sunday-morning tweet having to suffice. As you can see from the photo above, on a Sunday night that is usually packed with revellers, the only thing moving in Beaune tonight, was the Christmas lights.

I’ve seen in various local press-outlets that the organisers have been getting a lot of flack over their insistence that the Hospices de Beaune sale would go ahead – and then finally giving in to the inevitable and cancelling at the last moment. On the other hand, I admired their bloodymindedness – that they were trying to keep a charitable event going – and one that is extremely important to the businesses in, and around, Beaune too.

They are planning to find another date as soon as possible, is the current message, but for those buyers who normally (directly) decant the wine into older barrels, trying to lessen the impact of all the new oak – well, it won’t be the same this year – will it(?)!

Loathed as I am to criticise, in the end, like so much of the auction-business in 2020, they should have found a mechanism that preserved as much as possible of what makes this sale so special – but done online. Not just safety for all but a certain measure of security too – having not done so – now what?

Well, in the first instance, somebody’s going to have to pack-up the saleroom – for now, anyway!

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