just a bit of cramp

By billn on May 09, 2022 #events

…but still 24.4 km done today for the team at Bike to Care.

The only real negative (cramp excepted) of this foot-tour through the C么te de Beaune from Santenay in the south to Beaune in the north – the cuverie of Louis Jadot as finishing-line – was the north wind! In the face the whole way! Never cold though, we had almost 24掳C and lots of sunshine. The vines looked resplendent – now with 20-30cm, or more, of leafy growth.

The bikers will tackle another 100km stage tomorrow – the C么te de Nuits this time. Me? I’ll be making some domaine visits – and comparing tales of aching legs at the Ch芒teau de Clos Vougeot tomorrow evening 馃槈

As it’s not quite over, feel free to contribute at this link!

Santenay to Beaune...

Beaune’s Bike to Care?

By billn on April 26, 2022 #events

Bike to Care

With significant impetus from, it seems, the team at Louis Jadot, there’s a charity event lined up for Beaune on Monday-Tuesday/9-10 May. Two days of teams biking (cycling!) courses in the C么te de Beaune/Hautes C么tes and the C么te de Nuits/Hautes C么tes – both courses approaching 100km, or 60 miles, in length.

As described by the website which supports this initiative:

“Over the course of the past year, our friends in the restaurant business have been living through exceptionally challenging times. In order to thank them for their fidelity to our business, to support them and to stimulate their continued interest in their business, we are launching a dynamic project that we hope will encourage industry solidarity: Bike to Care en Bourgogne

The aim is to raise funds to support the restaurant and hotel trade given their less than productive 2 years during the many covid-related closures and confinements.

Teams of cyclists will be made up of chefs, sommeliers and hoteliers from France and abroad – there is also a section for journalists – though apparently this group seem less energetic and takers were few and far between. In that context Fr茅d茅ric Barnier of Louis Jadot got in touch with me; I’m no cyclist – my bike has done 10km in the last 5 years! – but I suggested that I could run. Of course, not the full 60 miles – I may be stupid but I’m not that stupid 馃槈

So, I shall be running the last section of Monday’s Beaune – South Loop – the small matter of Santenay to Beaune – 20km. If, from distance, you’d like to support this event and make a small donation to the cause, I shall be part of the team ‘PARTENAIRES FRANCE’ so please feel free to contribute using this link: PARTENAIRES FRANCE

And, of course, if you are in or around Beaune on that day, feel free to cheer us all along our way
The route is here

clos de vougeot/citeaux auction – and the results were…

By billn on April 25, 2022 #events

Citeaux - Clos de VougeotFollowing on from this report, and tasting here.

And so, on Saturday evening, came the end of the almost week-long auction to benefit the Abbey of Citeaux. The proceeds of the sale totalling totalling 鈧797,750 / $870,000…

The highest prices went to wines – often in large format – that were donated by other domaines for the gala dinner – there was even a little German Riesling on offer – but the prices of the bottles of the Clos de Vougeot were quite strong too – with prices averaging between 400 and 600 Euros per bottle for the 75cls – starting in lots of three and including the buyer’s premium before 6-packs and then larger format bottles. These wines are planned to be bottled in August, this year,

And for the fun of it, the top-ten lots by price, were:

Lot 130: La T芒che 2009 Domaine de la Roman茅e-Conti, 1 Jeroboam, sold for 鈧100,000
Lot 128: Montrachet, The exceptional harvest of 7 Domaines 2016 Montrachet Producers, 1 bottle, sold for 鈧93,750
Lot 127: Clos de Vougeot 2016 Comte Liger-Belair, 1 Jeroboam, sold for 鈧30,000
Lot 126: Clos de Vougeot 1988 Domaine Leroy, 3 bottles, sold for 鈧27,500
Lot 132: Bonnes Mares 2015 Domaine Georges Roumier, 1 Magnum with Experience, sold for 鈧27,500
Lot 133: Chambertin 2009 Domaine Armand Rousseau, 1 Magnum, sold for 鈧23,750
Lot 129: Musigny 2007 Jacques-Fr茅d茅ric Mugnier, 1 Jeroboam, sold for 鈧23,750
Lot 112: Clos de Vougeot, Cuv茅e de l’Abbaye de C卯teaux 2020 Clos de Vougeot Producers, 1 Balthazar, sold for 鈧17,500
Lot 135: Musigny Vieilles Vignes and Bonnes Mares 2019 Comte Georges de Vog眉茅, 2 Magnums with Experience, sold for 鈧13,750
Lot 113: Clos de Vougeot, Cuv茅e de l’Abbaye de C卯teaux 2020 Clos de Vougeot Producers, 1 Balthazar, sold for 鈧13,750

And that wasn’t the only auction this weekend…

Baghera continues to unearth quantities of Ren茅 Engel wines, this time 282 bottles and 24 magnums and raising almost as much as the Clos de Vougeot sale.

All here

the charity clos de vougeot for the abbaye de c卯teaux

By billn on March 31, 2022 #degustation#events

Chateau du Clos de Vougeot in November 21...

In just over one week – Friday April 8th 2022 – Sotheby’s will commence an online charity auction of wines from Burgundy. The final recipient of these funds will be the Cistercian Abbey of C卯teaux, established in 1098.

The syndicate of producers of Clos de Vougeot and the Fondation du Patrimoine – so a group of domaines in addition to the syndicate – are coming together for this event in order to aid the restoration and conservation of the D茅finitoire of C卯teaux Abbey in Burgundy. Those additional domaines from up and down the C么te d’Or donating wines (red and white) as additional lots for the auction.

Twenty four* of the syndicate of producers of Clos de Vougeot have donated wine from their 2020 vintage. The elevage of this assembly has been entrusted to Ch芒teau de la Tour with a planned bottling time in September 2022. There is a little over 2-barrels worth of wine – 570-litres – that has been set aside for this auction.

*Clos de Vougeot Contributors: Domaine d鈥橝rdhuy, Domaine Bouchard P猫re et Fils, Domaine Capitain-Gagnerot, Domaine Charlopin-Parizot, Domaine du Clos Frantin (Albert Bichot), Domaine Drouhin-Laroze, Maison Dufouleur Fr猫res, Domaine d鈥橢ugenie, Domaine Faiveley, Domaine Fran莽ois Lamarche, Domaine Jacques Prieur, Maison Joseph Drouhin, Maison Louis-Jadot, Domaine M茅o-Camuzet, Domaine Michel No毛llat, Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg, Ch芒teau Philippe le Hardi, Domaine H. Rebourseau, Maison Remoissenet, Domaine Ren茅 Dubois, Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Ch芒teau de la Tour, Domaine de la Vougeraie.
Contributors of other lots: Domaine Marquis d’Angerville, Domaine du Comte Armand, Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur, Domaine Henri Boillot, Domaine Bonneau du Martray, Domaine Dujac, Domaine des Hospices de Beaune, Domaine Kloster Eberbach, Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Domaine des Lambrays, Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Leroy, Ch芒teau de Vosne Roman茅e – Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, Domaine Jacques Fr茅d茅ric Mugnier, Domaine de la Roman茅e Conti, Domaine Emmanuel Rouget, Domaine Georges Roumier, Domaine Armand Rousseau, Domaine Taupenot-Merme, Domaine Comte George de Vog眉茅.

In addition, on Saturday, April 23rd 2022, there will be a charity dinner in the Ch芒teau du Clos de Vougeot – which includes a tour of the Abbaye de C卯teaux – tickets for this 5-course charity dinner are available online and cost 鈧228 per person. The internet auction will close during this dinner. Honourary guests will include the Abbot of C卯teaux, Father Pierre-Andr茅 Burton, Aubert de Villaine, and Guillaume Poitrinal who is the president of the Fondation du Patrimoine – plus, of course, multiple winegrowers who are supporting this project. Arnaud Orsel of the Tastevinage, headquartered in the Ch芒teau du Clos de Vougeot makes the following comment “Seat of the Climats de Bourgogne World Heritage Site, the Ch芒teau du Clos de Vougeot was owned and occupied by the monks for more than seven hundred years. It was only natural then to put our savoir-faire at the service of C卯teaux Abbey by conceiving, organizing and hosting this charity auction which will take place in the Great Cistercian Cellar.

The wine…

A label has been designed for this cuv茅e that amply highlights the link to the Abbey of C卯teaux – done with pure-gold elements that are redolent of the old texts and manuscripts of the monks. The label is the work of artisan caligrapher Christelle Sordel – and took her over 80 hours to complete the original artwork.

Clos de Vougeot 2020 Cuv茅e C卯teaux

2020 Clos de Vougeot, Cuv茅e de l’Abbaye de C卯teaux
Tasted today. Only 13.5掳, which is modest for 2020, likewise there鈥檚 plenty of colour but this is far from saturated. Hmm, that鈥榮 a sophisticated nose – wide, faintly oak-spiced and saline with some implied silk to the aroma – still, it鈥檚 a little tighter in the higher tones as there鈥檚 no obvious floral component here – today. In the recent run of warmer vintages, you can forget the old chestnut of ‘austere Clos de Vougeot;‘ this wine is framed by the most modest of tannin – 眉ber-fine-grained – and whilst this tannin modifies the texture so that it becomes more velvet in textural style, this tannin has no dryness. Balanced, with fine width of flavour, delivered in layers – some oak complexity here for sure. A wine that’s neither overtly vibrant nor mineral but soothing, complex and certainly well-concentrated, like the nose, there remains impressive sophistication. Not an obviously grand vin today but with more elevage to come, it is still a very good, potentially excellent, grand cru – and with zero faults. Almost too tasty for young CV!

In French you may see some of the scope of the rennovation:

Well-done to the Saint Vincent…

By billn on March 21, 2022 #events#the market

After 4 years of preparation, multiple adaptations for health requirements, and despite the economic and geopolitical context, the collective effort of organisers from Blagny, Corpeau & Puligny-Montrachet delivered a great 78th Saint-Vincent Tournante. Given the later than intended start, it also seems that these guests enjoyed better weather than anyone can remember. The organisers have announced that they had welcomed around 50,000 visitors, including 17,000 tasters. Bravo!

As announced by the Grand Master of the Confr茅rie des Chevaliers du Tastevin: ‘See you for the 79th Saint-Vincent Tournate in 2023 in Couchey!

61st Hospices de Nuits Auction

By billn on March 20, 2022 #events

Hospices de NuitsMarch 20, 2022 in the Ch芒teau de Clos de Vougeot – the 61st wine auction of the Hospices de Nuits

The wine auction of Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges can be considered the little sister of the famous Hospices de Beaune auction but that still didn’t stop the auction buyers on Sunday from following recent events in Beaune by setting their own new records for the wines of the 2021 vintage. Just like its equivalent in Beaune, this 12-hectare Nuits domaine auctions wine for the benefit of their local hospital and retirement homes.

For this 61st edition of the wine auction, and for the very first time, total bids exceeded 2 million euros. At 鈧2,486 million (excluding auction costs) this total was up by almost 30% compared to last year’s auction of wines from the 2020 vintage – which had totalled 鈧1.9 million euros. We shouldn’t overlook the fact that last year there were 114 barrels for sale – this year there was a further, modest, reduction to 109 barrels: The 2020 crop had been reduced in volume by the semi-drought conditions of the summer, whereas the 2021 vintage by the April frosts and then having to contain mildew in the early summer – both vintages were described as roughly ‘half-harvests.’

Like the Pi猫ce des Presidents barrel in the Hospices de Beaune wine auction, the Hospices de Nuits also offer a special barrel for the benefit of a chosen charity. This barrel was sold for 41,460 euros – a little down on the 49,380 euros paid for the equivalent lot last year – this year to benefit APF France Handicap, ‘an organisation both for supporting and defending the rights of people with disabilities.

This year’s average price per barrel reached a new record of 22,481 euros for the reds – which was a year-on-year increase of almost 35% – and 58,000 euros for the only barrel of white, which more than double the price in 2021.

next weekend’s saint-vincent…

By billn on March 12, 2022 #events

Pulignacious-Montrachet, Corpeau-Montrachet and Blagny-Montrachet are slowly bracing themselves for next week’s, long-delayed, Tournante Saint Vincent 2021.

Already the difference between Friday and Saturday was obvious in Puligny with more ‘decorations’ visible.

Today, we lunched at Auberge du Vieux Vigneron in Corpeau and so could extract a few stats from Jean Charles Fagot:

  • There are 35,000 tickets sold – so these people get access to the special cuv茅es of the St.Vincent, amongst other things. But if the weather is kind, they are hoping for more than 80,000 visitors!
  • To assuage the thirst of these 35k ticket-holders wait 17,000 bottles of the St.Vincent cuv茅es…
  • And just to make sure that your olfactory senses are fully functional you may, from some distance, note Jean Charles’ two stalls selling snails. He’s anticipating selling 3,000 dozen of them! – I asked how much garlic that would require – and he just laughed…

Enjoy if you are going! –

psst! interested in 100 bottles of grand crus?

By billn on March 01, 2022 #events

Saint Vincent raffle

Fancy 100 bottles of Grand Cru from the Saint Vincent raffle?

Well, for 鈧2, you are in with a chance of at least one! Head along to the official ‘Saint鈥慥incent Tournante’ website and the required page here*.

*You will have to register on the site to gain access to their ’boutique!’

this week in the c么te – visits and (over?) large events

By billn on February 03, 2022 #events#reports

After three January weeks in Chablis, I made a short interlude in Beaune this week – so I’ll add these domaine reports to my (January) Chablis report which should be out in 2 weeks: That’s 64 Chablis domaines’ 2020s, plus the six domaines from the C么te d’Or that are pictured above.

In other news, various events have been postponed or ‘repositioned’ in Burgundy: For the second year in a row – due to covid reasons – the Chablis Saint Vincent (in Fleys) has been pushed back a year, and is now planned to take place 4 & 5 February 2023. Unlike their counterparts in Chablis, Puligny/Corpeau/Blagny are still planning to run their event this year at the repositioned timing of March 19th and 20th – this coincides with the auction of the Hospices de Nuits – which has many in that place grumbling that they will see fewer visitors due to this ‘competition’ for tourists. Additionally, the Grands Jours de Bourgogne are holding firm with their plan to run this year during 21-25 March.

As, amongst others, the UK and Switzerland put forward their plans for the loosening of covid-restriction I think there will be much more optimism in Beaune, Nuits and Puligny that their events will actually take place – despite high infection rates and little indication that France will be changing their covid-related rules – at least in the very short term. I can honestly say that such large gatherings remain off the table for me at this stage, though I’m happy to continue visiting vigneron(ne)s one-on-one across their tasting tables. Indeed next week I start my three week tour of Beaujolais 2020!

Wish me, continued, luck – ie to remain ‘negative!’

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