do you want to taste all the grand crus of burgundy – for €2,500?

By billn on January 20, 2019 #events

That’s ‘only €75’ per grand cru, but it must include Montrachet, Romanée-Conti, La Tâche et-cetera…
From the BIVB:

Top wines in 2019: Indulge yourself with Bourgogne’s 33 Grands Crus

There are 33 Bourgogne Grands Crus wines. Some are the stuff of legend, such as Romanée Conti or Bâtard-Montrachet. Others are more accessible, like Chablis Grand Cru or Clos de Vougeot. But all have one thing in common: They represent the essence of the Climats of Bourgogne and symbolize 2,000 years of winemaking history.

Now you can share in this priceless heritage. The Ecole des vins de Bourgogne is offering a single training session per year to explore these 33 outstanding appellations, including the rarest of them.

“The Ultimate Bourgogne Wine Tasting: The 33 Grands Crus” is run in English by two experts, one in tasting, the other in geology.
The program includes reading the landscape in the field, estate visits, and commented tasting sessions, which together will provide a unique insight into these celebrated wines. These three days combine learning with pleasure.

And as an additional treat, participants will be invited to the exclusive Paulée of the Musique & Vins Festival on Friday 28 June at the Château de Meursault!

Dates: 27 to 29 June 2019 (plus an introductory evening on 26 June).
Limited to 15 places
Price: 2,500 euros

Registration and program: on line.

Romanée-Saint-Vivant – 20 years on

By billn on September 18, 2018 #events

I’m planning a tasting of 16 different labels of RSV from the 1999 vintage – in Bern, in Spring 2019. All the bottles were bought by me between 2001 and 2002…

Clearly it won’t be a cheap tasting, but get in touch if you’re interested to join – 10 places available – anyone who brings a magnum of the Leroy can get in for free though!

Waiting will be:

L’ArlotClavelier et FilsLouis JadotNicolas Potel
Robert ArnouxJoseph DrouhinLouis LatourAntonin Rodet
Sylvain CathiardGriveletMoillard-GrivotRomanée-Conti

exhibition: le pinard des poilus

By billn on July 25, 2018 #events

There’s a new exhibition coming up in the Clos de Vougeot, from Saturday 15 September 2018 until Sunday 31 March 2019 – Le Pinard des Poilus

Commemorating the end of the 1914-1918 world war. This exhibition brings together the Château plus UNESCO, author Christophe Lucand and the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.

The inauguration of the exhibition will be held on Wednesday 12 September from 6.30 pm in the former dormitory of the Monks of the Château. Here you will have a preview of the exhibition plus a discussion moderated by Christophe Lucand, a historian, and author of the book “Pinard des Poilus” – what a coincidence! The central theme is wine during wartime.

The preview is open to the public and is also free – but entry is only by pre-reservation due to a limited number of places – and note, the presentation is likely only in French.

If you wish to join this evening, you can confirm by phone +33 3 80 61 07 12 or by email here.

midsummer beaune….

By billn on June 23, 2018 #events

We arrived in Beaune about 9pm on Thursday – I say ‘in’ but that’s not technically correct – virtually all the entrances to the centre of Beaune were blocked. A little local knowledge, followed by reversing 300 metres up a one-way street finally got us to our usual parking place. Why? Well it’s midsummer’s night in Beaune and there are bands galore – at least until 11pm – the bars largely going to 11h30-12h00 – even those that normally close at 10pm.

And the ‘bands?’ Let’s just say that there was was something fort everyone! From traditional LaLa singers, to French pseudo-Muse, to Southern Boogie, to not so Deep Purple and eventually the best school disco ever. That’s midsummer Beaune.

It was clearly a very hard night, because Friday and Saturday seemed much quieter than usual!

henri jayer – the last hurrah?

By billn on April 16, 2018 #events#other sites#the market

Auction catalogue screenshot 12 April 2018

On June 17 2018, there will be an auction of burgundy wines that has very little (recent) equal. It will take place in Geneva under the auspices of Baghera Wines.

Whilst incredulous of a number of lots in this auction house’s first couple of auctions – how could they possibly be legitimate? – the catalogues were certainly sumptuous, fabulous things – keepsakes. The auction in June has, however, a provenance that seems irrefutable:

“855 bottles and 209 magnums! That’s how many bottles there were in Domaine Henri Jayer’s cellar. A handful of people knew of the treasures that were lying dormant at the Domaine, even though many bottles had been opened and shared these past few years. The anecdote about one last Richebourg 1959 opened by the family last Christmas shows how much Henri Jayer’s descendants enjoy tasting their father and grandfather’s wine.”
Baghera Wines

Whilst I like Burgundy Report to be inclusive, indeed egalitarian, sometimes you cannot escape from the rarest of the rare – and today that’s unquestionably Henri Jayer. Domaines Romanée-Conti and Leroy command similar prices, but their supplies are replenished with a new vintage each year – but for the wines of Henri Jayer that’s not the case – and it’s no joke that more wines bearing his label have already been drunk, than he ever produced – and yet ever-more come to the market.

Henri, born in 1922, died in 2006. I never met him, though I have (allegedly) had his wine in my glass twice – once it was an awful, bretty abomination and probably not genuine, the other time it hinted at the sublime and was maybe genuine – both were villages wines of the 1980s, drunk in the early 2000s.

Jayer was the vigneron(ne)s’ vigneron, working his vines for upwards of 60 years and his influence on the region is as strong as that from today’s benchmarks like the aforementioned Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Domaine Leroy – but he took a different path – decrying the use of whole clusters, choosing to destem all his grapes. Even when faced with great wines made with their stems, he remained resolute in his conviction. His wines remain highly sought-after, the problem is that his labels are also the most falsified and fabricated that you could imagine.

History is sometimes told with rose-tinted spectacles; it is said that Jayer was one of the first to reject fertilisers and reduce yields, but he began cultivation in the war years – there were no chemicals available so yields were inevitably low, though it’s true that, later, he never resorted to chemistry even when could – he used only his hands and his horse for his hard labour. And much hard labour was indeed required for his most famous of crus – Vosne-Romanée 1er Cros Parentoux – so small at 1.01 hectares that it is completely ignored in René Engel’s book Vosne-Romanée despite its position on the border of Richebourg and Petits Monts. When Jayer began his work, the whole of this unplanted plot was owned by Madame Noirot-Camuzet. Rented by Jayer, planting, dynamiting and even growing vegetables in the plot, he became not just the largest owner, after the family sold him 0.72 hectares in 1957, he continued to farm the vines retained by the Camuzet family. So Cros Parentoux, for so long bottled only as a villages wine, became for a time his monopole – though it was only in in 1978, that Jayer marketed Cros Parentoux for the first time under his own label.

In 1995, having officially retired, Jayer passed the management of 0.43 hectares of Cros to his nephew, Emmanuel Rouget, but he retained the balance of these vines as he ‘hobby vinified’ until the end of 2001 – from 2002 all of his vines were entrusted to Rouget.

The ‘Cros’ is by a long way the most populous wine in this sale and whilst, at first, it’s amazing that so many bottles remained at the domaine, given my recent experience of moving 800 bottles of my own wine, such a number can fit in a relatively small space, indeed could almost be lost in a, once, functioning cuverie. Once more the catalogue is a wonderful thing and full of detail – where else will you learn and see pictures of Jayer with his trusty horse Pilote and read the commentaries of Aubert de Villaine and Emmanuel Rouget?

We might not be able to afford such bottles, but we can always learn from them

[EDIT]: Here’s the PressRelease-Bagherawines-ENG-20180417

a little st.vincent action

By billn on January 27, 2018 #events

No rain!

As Matt in a previous comment noted, very well organised, and it seems to me that the idea of having a concert with 300(+) people collected together in one place was good for keeping the streets just a little more ‘navigable.’ Apparently the organisors had problems with some people complaining that there was no red wine – presumably that would be the same people, who towards the end, were walking in (approximate) straight lines and who were ‘interacting’ with some of the displays 🙂

Already looking forward to the St.Vincent 2019 in Vezelay!

st.vincent – st.veran – 2018 27-28 january

By billn on January 26, 2018 #events

If you are going to the St.Vincent for St.Veran tomorrow – in Prissey – you actually may not need an umbrella!

The Château du Clos de Vougeot has an exhibition of all the posters – the first poster was done in 1971 – but if you can’t make it, here they are in ‘micro-format!

tastevinage – version 100

By billn on September 20, 2017 #events#the market

The images for this post were stolen from the website of

Next week I’ll be attending the 100th edition of Tastevinage tasting in the Château du Clos de Vougeot – as a little background, here’s what I previously learned and wrote about the Tastevinage tastings.

The twice-yearly tastings have been organized since 1950, but for the 100th edition, the organisers are trying add a little extra interest for the millennial generation.

The underlying question “Would you recommend this burgundy to a friend?” remains unchanged, but there is a more ‘modern’ approach to the labeling, and instead of the usual Coups de Coeurs – i.e. the wines liked unanimously by the table of tasters – will henceforth become, more internationally, the Majors – “And their should be not much more than 25 per session” notes Arnaud Orsel of the organising committee.

So, on the face of it, just a little tinkering – as the concept seems to work well in practice. The most interesting ‘change’ will be novel new tasting glasses – apparently specially designed for the tasting of burgundy wines – specially to cover both the reds, whites and crémants that are part of this tasting. You will even be able to buy the glasses at the shop in the Château du Clos de Vougeot – I’ll report back on what I think of them.

And, perhaps, in a nod to the general market aspirations of Burgundy, Jeannie Cho Lee will be the president of the day for this tasting number 100.

a world of difference…

By billn on May 07, 2017 #degustation#events#travels in burgundy 2017

What a lovely day Friday was, but how definitely un-lovely the rest of the weekend in the Côte d’Or was!

Friday I had lots to do, but late afternoon it was possible to get out for a walk in the vines and the old town of Meursault – and not one piece of Panatone from the Petite Vadrouille passed my lips!

Saturday (& Sunday, mainly) was a different kettle of fish – and pity the poor vignerons of Savigny-lès-Beaune who had their weekend of ‘open-doors‘ – a few of us hardy souls braved the rain, but 2 hours was more than enough, even with umbrellas – everything was wet!

In that time we managed to take in the Chenu sisters, the sisters of Domaine de Serrigny, Hugues Pavelot and Henri de Villamont – with strikingly different results – noting that I had a head-cold so no notes, but all our (4!) palates were generally aligned. We all like the Chenu sisters’ wines the most – 2015s – the Savigny blanc tasted more like a Bourgogne Blanc but a fresh and tasty Bourgogne – the 2015 red Savignys were lovely – Les Clous was most of our favourites, probably followed a super and typique Lavières. The Talmettes was delicious and very elegant if a much lighter impact wine – we all bought bits and pieces!

Onto the sisters of Domaine de Serrigny; a small range on show with a couple of villages level 2015s and some 2014s, even a Côte de Nuits Villages from Corgoloin which was lovely, as was the Savigny Blanc here – it had much more about it than the Chenu wine. The trip to the cellar of Hugues Pavelot was something of a disappointment – maybe it was the choice of wines – perhaps things that they had more of in the cellar and were looking to sell off? Anyway, not much to write home (or to you!) about.

Lastly we dropped in on Henri de Villamont – probably with the sole hope that they might be showing their 4 domaine Chambolles! In the end we got two white Savignys and two red, plus they found a couple of 11s in the tasting cabinet – a Chambolle and a Mazis. Of the Savignys – in both cases it was the domaine’s Savigny 1er monopole Clos des Guettes which was the best – both red and white were forward, sweet, brassy wines with a lot of oak make-up – but highly drinkable. The two 11s I wouldn’t recommend to anyone – then again, I don’t know how long those bottles had been open.

That was it – 2 hours – very wet, time to go home for a hot shower. Dinner in the evening was our first visit to Beaune’s ‘La Superb‘ restaurant, sat right in front of the brusque chef as he cooked. I hated my desert, but really enjoyed the rest – I’d definitely go back!

Burgundy Report

Translate »
Thank you!Your subscription has been confirmed.You'll hear from us soon.
Join the Burgundy Report mailing list:

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