Site Updates

Happy New Year…

By billn on January 04, 2024 #reports#site updates

… and the ones that got away!

There’s no other time like December/January for the Burgundy Report – so little (apparently) happening but so much typing 🙂

I’ve so far uploaded the first two reports for the 2022 vintage – the whites of the Côte de Beaune and the Mâconnais – and I’m well on my way with the Côte de Beaune reds (online Monday or Tuesday) with the Côte de Nuits to follow maybe 1 week later. 66 new reports are already online with 80-90 more on their way.

I’ve not included any vintage summary – yet – it will appear in the next report. For a special reason this year, I will combine the whites and reds into a single summary – all will be clear when you read it !!

And the ones that got away?

Well, that would be practically all my planned Christmas and New Year bottles. Every year, just before Christmas we spend some days in Nice – me typing in the mornings and in the afternoon we promenade! This year the weather was lovely – sunny and 14-16°C. For our return trip we decided to spend 2-3 days in Beaune – but already the first evening my better half wasn’t feeling well. The next day she was worse, so we headed directly to Bern. She had a strong flu (twice negative for corona) – and guess what? Three days later, me too – despite both of us having taken flu jabs.

My better half is just about well now, I still have a dumb cough so haven’t jogged for 12 days already. We have managed to finish a bottle of cremant over the last 3 days – which is a clear improvement! – but couldn’t finish the couple of bottles of Beaujolais that I opened over the last 10 days. But one was a useful exercise; I caught my first (known!) dose of corona in September and whilst I quickly regained my tasting faculties, I wasn’t sure that I could smell and taste the pyrazines as effectively as before. With the Lapierre 2021 I know that the sensations of the pyrazines is well and truly back 🙂 Oh well – the rest of the wines should last another year 😉

Health and happiness to you all in 2024 !!

Burgundy Report – WhatsApp Channel

By billn on November 08, 2023 #site updates

You may note that the ‘subscribe to mailshots’ link is now gone from this page – it became unworkable due to the number of spam emails added by bots – sigh! I’m still circulating (syndicating?) new posts in LinkedIn and, for now, Twitter.

No extra syndication route fits all user requirements but for ‘released right now’ this WhatsApp channel seems effective – assuming you are a WhatsApp user!

Just click on the WhatsApp image (right) on your phone* and you can sign up to see/get notification of all new posts on Burgundy Report. It’s been working now for a couple of days – and all seems well. Meta might get your data – but I don’t see it 🙂
*It’s not yet an option on the standalone desktop version of WhatsApp but it is working on the browser version!!

Both pictures and explanations!

By billn on January 22, 2023 #ladypyrazines#picture gallery#site updates#travels in burgundy 2023

Vaudesir to the left, Vaudesir & Moutonne to the right...
Vaudesir to the left, Vaudesir & Moutonne to the right…

A chilly week in Chablis and the Côte d’Or too this week and weekend – I offer you a small gallery of the sights.

But first, a couple of readers have asked some questions and also for some help in deciphering some of the ‘codes’ that I use in my descriptions and reports. These are things that have built up over the years, or are shorthand when taking notes that I don’t always remember to return to ‘long-hand!’ But every now and then it’s worth a little explanation because not everyone has been coming here for years and years 🙂

Agrumes: I had always assumed that agrume was also an English-language word but it seems I may have been mistaken and that it is predominantly found in the Latin tongues. Simply put, it is citrus but it actually covers the whole family of citrus fruits. For this reason, I may sometimes refer to more green-shaded agrumes (lots of lime or lime skin) or orange/mandarin but the effect can also be shaded more to grapefruit or even some complexity of all. The Latin languages have definitions that are more open to ‘interpretation’ than the Germanic-derived ones 🙂 Some white vintages are marked by ‘agrume bitters‘, so without extra info, you can translate that ‘simply’ as a zesty, citrus-skin type of bitterness.

Do you ever feel that a bit of oak can contribute to the overall ‘quality’ of a wine? Or are you averse to all manifestations of oak?” That’s a great question! We all have our own preferences, and whilst I would always prefer to taste the wine, rather than the containers in which it has been raised (elevage,) some aspects that come from the oak distract me less than others. Oak with a strong toast is much rarer than was once the case – overt vanilla too – which is good for me – I don’t want either of those in my glass. The more creamy accents that can come from the barrel distract me much less and I can say the same – within limits – for those spicy notes that you more often find with reds. I do believe that the barrels contribute to more impressive wines of additional longevity – but a deft hand that can expertly meld the aromas and flavours of the wood would always be my preference. It’s not just the organoleptic (smell-flavour) aspects of the wines that are altered by the barrels though – it is the shape and texture of the wines too… But a strongly oaked wine that I wouldn’t want to drink young (because of that strong aroma or flavour) can still be a very great wine if you have sufficient patience. You need a reviewer that can put ‘the now’ to one side and still be able to say that they think that a particular wine will still be great.

Do ‘the greens’ that you have found so often in 2020 white Burgundies ever go away or is it a mark that always persists?” To offer a little more focus – I have found these pyrazines in the wines of the Côtes d’Auxere – including Chablis – so some red to go with a lot of white. There were occasional reds in both Beaujolais and the Côte d’Or too – but relatively rare – I did not note these greens in whites from any other region. If the reds of 2004 and 2011 are to be used as benchmarks, then the pyrazine notes that I am sensitive to, are stable. The 2020 Chablis that I have re-tasted in the last two weeks are worse – more overt – than was the case one year ago.

You cite the common reaction to them as occurring in 80% of tasters – do the remaining 20% have no adverse effects whatsoever & should they all rush out & buy up the 2020 vintage Chablis?” You got that ‘back-to-front’ – it’s only about 10% of tasters that are sensitive – anecdotally, more often, it is women that have this extra sensitivity. The rest can and should rush out to buy what is otherwise a well-constructed, fine vintage for Chablis.

Gothic & WC: WC is a shorthand that I often use interchangeably for whole-clusters or whole-bunches or ‘stems.’ I sometimes refer to the effect of wc on the wine being a little gothic. By that I mean, darker, more structural – indeed a bit austere too – so in this case it means with some herbal aspects and more drying tannin. This was visible in the 2021 wines at a few important domaines – but far from all – some domaines made gorgeously perfumed wines even with 100% use of whole clusters…

Okay a few images from the last 6-7 days, enjoy:

last week (mainly) in Beaujolais…

By billn on February 28, 2022 #site updates#travels in burgundy 2022

A few days at home, this week and the start of next, will allow the site ‘plumbing’ to be completed and, of course, will allow me to start tackling the mountain of Beaujolais visit reports – 67 done with more visits (15-or-so) to do in March due to cancellations, etcetera – there are still plenty of ‘postives‘ out there!

But here’s a few images from last week:

some radio silence – there’s plumbing work underway!

By billn on February 12, 2022 #site updates

Regular visitors will have noted a week without visible updates to the site – with occasional minutes where the site wasn’t reachable – or seemingly unconnected bits and pieces.

Sorry for all that, there are a few modifications and enhancements to the site that require some new plumbing, and that’s currently underway. There’s still likely to be a little tumbleweed around here for the next few days but the invisible work of publishing the new report on Chablis 2020 – 64 domaines – is also in progress and its publication will be next week.

I’ll anyway share with you a few images from the fine Beaujolais weather of this last week – I’ll also be there for the next two weeks!

My thanks…

Côte d’Or – the hot and cold of it…

By billn on April 20, 2021 #site updates

cote dor the hot and cold of itThere is always something to update around here, and given the recent frost-event, I decided it was time to update my page:
The hot and the cold of it…

Now included, is the temperature data for 2020.

We may have already suspected it but now we can actually see that the last three years, 2020-2018, occupy the top three positions for ‘hottest vintages*.

Make of this data what you will…

Data since 1973 with a few 1930s vintages added for good measure…

Of tales of Meursault-Combettes & grand cru Vin de France…

By billn on March 14, 2021 #site updates

Puligny-MontrachetUpdated: Puligny-Montrachet – a village profile

My original profile of the village of Puligny-Montrachet – and, of course, its vineyards – was published in 2006. A lot has changed since then – not least the pricing that I had included! I decided that, as a whole, it was showing its age and could do with an overhaul.

So last year, in the summer, I asked a fine cadre of producers of Puligny 1er and grand crus too to accompany me – suitably distanced – in their vines in order for them to explain a little of the assembly of soils, orientations and breezes that produce such magic.

Along the way were some fascinating anecdotes of Meursault-Combettes (not Puligny) and best of all about some Vin de France, hidden in full view, surrounded by great grand cru…

welcome to burgundy report – version 6

By billn on May 10, 2019 #site updates

All is newly plumbed and wired – it will take a few days to be sure that everything’s working. Take a look, let me know if something’s wrong – I’ll get onto it!

Burgundy Report

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