Producer Update

The changes at Louis Latour…

By billn on December 26, 2022 #producer update

The news is 2-weeks old but still worth noting here.

Following the death of Louis-Fabrice Latour (right) during this year’s harvest, the news regarding succession was shared with the workforce in Beaune on Friday 9th December and then officially disseminated outside of their organisation the following week – while I was actually at the domaine to taste.

It’s a cosmetic thing, but one ‘rule’ of succession will no longer be followed – that the name of the head of Louis Latour actually being Louis. Louis-Fabrice took over as head of the company in 1999 from his father, Louis – as it was for many generations. With the leadership of the group now passing to the brother of Louis-Fabrice – Florent Latour – we can see that times and needs have changed. Florent is the new Chairman of the Management Board and he will assume operational control of the company – visually, and from many angles, Florent shows remarkable similarities to his brother.

Born and raised in Beaune, Florent holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and was working in the technology industry in the US, where he lived with his wife and children. Both internal and external communication majors on a significant part of Florent’s new role being the preparation of the next generation to take on the operational management of the company. Fingers are pointing to another ‘rule’ of succession changing – not only may Florent’s replacement (also) not have the name Louis – they may also not be a man! 😉

getting bigger; comte liger-belair’s echézeaux…

By billn on April 27, 2020 #producer update


I note that in 2020, Louis-Michel Liger-Belair has a little more Echézeaux to play with. I asked him for a few details, but at the moment he doesn’t want to say much more than “Plots in ‘Cruots ou vigne blanche,’ ‘Champs Traversins’ and the brand new parcel in ‘Echezeaux du dessus’

More interrogations at a later date 😉

all change, domaine chanzy…

By billn on February 25, 2020 #producer update

It’s already 5 years since I profiled the last version of Domaine Chanzy in Bouzeron and time has flown by for this, seemingly, restless domaine of over 30 hectares!

As you may remember, in 2012-2013 Jean Baptiste Jessiaume and his father became responsible for this domaine – just across the road from Domaine de Villaine in Bouzeron. What I hadn’t appreciated at the time was that they had been ‘hired by the owners’ to take responsibility for the winemaking, they were not the actual owners. Jean Baptiste said at the time was that they had bought the domaine as part of a consortium – seemingly then, they must have been minor partners. Subsequently, father and son Jessiaume left Chanzy after the 2019 harvest ‘to concentrate on setting up their own trading company‘ according to the current Chanzy team.

Since January, Max Blondelle is the new cellar-master and winemaker at Domain Chanzy, joining after working for nearly 15 years with Jean Pierre Confuron at Domaine Chanson. It will be too early to taste any major change of approach, but I anyway plan to visit Max in November when looking at 2019s. This has been a great source of well-made wine from the Côte Chalonnais, though also rather expensive for their appellations. The labels have had a workover – amongst other things, not surprisingly, removing the name of JB Jessiaume, above…

on the move – Boris Champy…

By billn on February 05, 2020 #producer update#the market

Hot off the press: Boris Champy, after leaving Clos du Lambrays, has just announced that he’s taking over the domaine of Didier Montchovet in the Hautes Côtes.

Apparently Didier, one of the first in biodynamics in Burgundy, had no succession at his domaine and together with Boris, they decided that this was the best way to continue the domaine. Hopefully more info later in the year – first-hand.

Domaine Montchovet, Key facts
– Created in 1984 by Didier Montchovet
– 12 ha mostly in Nantoux, Beaune and Pommard
– Certified Organic and Biodynamic viticulture (Ecocert/Demeter)
– 4 employees
– Website:

tart > devauges < lambrays

By billn on February 27, 2019 #producer update#the market

Well, that didn’t take long, did it(?)

I alluded to it yesterday, and the same evening, LVMH (via Reuters) and La Revue du Vin de France, chose to make it official within 10 minutes of each-other:

Jacques Devauges has left the Clos de Tart, to take a short walk through the village, to take over from Boris Champy as the new head at Domaine des Lambrays – paint me shocked!

domaine leflaive – info in your inbox

By billn on November 20, 2017 #producer update

Lots of websites allow you to subscribe to an email-list with future info shipped direct to your inbox – though few actually deliver much (this site included :)) – but Leflaive keep sending stuff. You can get it too, if interested, in which case you should be prompted if you go here. (No affiliation!)

Boris Champy – the new man for Domaine des Lambrays…

By billn on April 16, 2017 #producer update#the market

Boris Champy in action, right…

It is official this week – ultra-athlete Boris Champy will be the new face of Domaine des Lambrays – taking over the role of Thierry Bruin as he moves into his retirement.

Boris, who hails from a family of vignerons in Champagne, studied in Bordeaux and worked for the Moueix Family (Petrus, Trotanoy et-cetera) then had a 10 year stint at Moueix’s Dominus in California (1997-2007). In 2008 he joined Domaine Louis Latour in Beaune, and whilst we can forever-and-a-day discuss the wine-making at Latour, under Boris the viticulture was brought up to the highest possible level. Boris will be replaced at Louis Latour by Christophe Deola, production director since 2011, previously responsible for bottling, dry goods and Latour’s cooperage – Christophe is both a Viticultural Engineer and Oenologue.

Regarding Domaine des Lambrays, I asked Boris if he was happy or sad to have missed all pruning at Lambrays – “Well, it means I’ll have to wait for the 2018s to call a vintage 100% my own” he countered!

And for those of you that don’t know, Boris is a cyclist, marathon runner, ‘ultra-trailer’ and an Ironman triathlete – in his ‘spare time’…

adieu laurent ponsot – sort of…

By billn on March 10, 2017 #producer update#the market


dsc01727Laurent Ponsot, pictured right, when tasting 2015s in Morey St.Denis, last November.

Laurent Ponsot has made a name for himself, not just by being the greatest exponent of the ‘late-harvest’ Burgundy, but also by being a fighter of fraud, or rather counterfeit wine, too. But it seems that events may have taken him by surprise at Domaine Ponsot.

I got wind of it earlier this week and left some messages/questions for Laurent – he hasn’t yet responded, though if he does I’ll edit this note – but it seems that it is the end for Domaine Ponsot as we know it, if not for many of Laurent’s wines.

See Bruce Sanderson’s note here.

Without direct info from the man himself, I won’t disrespect Bruce by simply re-hashing his words – linked above – but in the last couple of years it was clear to me that Laurent was positioning himself to retire – and sooner rather than later, so 60 could have been the number – and his son Clément could ‘do what he wants with the domaine afterwards – the decisions will be his.’ Yet it seems that things can change very quickly in Burgundy. As far as I know there are no other winemakers in the family, i.e. the families of Laurent’s three sisters, so a sale seems the only option. And will the sisters have any legal right to challenge Laurent taking away with him the metayage contracts of Chambertin, Clos St.Denis, Griotte-Chambertin and Chambolle-Charmes? – Bruce indicates that Laurent will do so – despite that they have been integral to the domaine since 1982…

Regardless, it looks like a good pay-day for one, and for all, yet it will be such a shame. Domaine Ponsot – if it keeps that name, and how could it? (- with 20% ownership remaining with the family? ;-)) – will never have the same cachet without a charismatic Ponsot at the helm. Neither Laurent nor his father Jean-Marie could be the easiest of people, but they certainly both had charisma!

Still, I’m looking forward to tasting his 2016s – the lines between the domaine and négoce wines were always rather blurred here…

changes at domaine van berg

By billn on February 02, 2017 #producer update

DSC06634One of the most iconoclastic of producers – Domaine Van Berg – in Meursault is about to undergo a sea-change.They are in discussions with potential successors, but, for the moment, they have no new names to announce…

“For 15 years I have had the singular purpose of offering a quality product without concession. To maintain this high level of quality has demanded unceasing attention as well as, at times, very physical work. I have to face the fact that, at my age, continuing this exacting work is no longer possible for me, and it would be out of the question for me to offer a lower level wine than what I have, up to this point, produced. Thus, I decided at the beginning of 2016 to reduce my land properties and to let go of two small plots of land situated in the municipality of Puligny-Montrachet; the vineyards where the cuvées of “Les Bergers” and “La Combe” are grown.

On April 27, a late frost came at the most delicate moment of the vegetative cycle of the vine, just as the buds emerged, and this annihilated thousands of hectares of vineyards in Burgundy.

Most of the wine growers of our area have a very small harvest this year, and this is also the case for other areas of France and Europe. For our Domain, the loss has been 90% and the 2017 harvest is already compromised because of the damage done to the vine. Thus, I cannot hope for a harvest before 2018, which clearly means there will be no wine to offer before 2019 or 2020.

At that time I will be more than 70 years old.

Because of this fact I have decided to stop my work and look for someone younger who could continue to produce “Le vin le plus simplement” with the same philosophy as ours.

It pulls at the heartstrings that the moment will soon come to thank you for having encouraged us throughout these years, with your enthusiasm, with the trust you have shown us, and – more than anything – with all of the wonderful moments of sharing and emotion.

A beautiful adventure will shortly ends but life continues…and moving closer to our children and grandchildren, who do not live in France, seems to us the most cheerful proposition.

Bernard and Judith “

Burgundy Report

Translate »

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