Site Updates

new burgundy report online

By billn on October 28, 2016 #reports#site updates

dsc01011After the summer pause, when the whole of France decides to go on holiday, September is about harvesting. Well usually! The harvest was a late one this year, with most of the Côte de Nuits finishing in October.

So, a report with plenty of 2016 vintage info, plus a more in-depth look at what the harvest delivered and its potential. Given the late harvest, some producer visits to taste were possible before the harvest this year – normally that doesn’t work – so you will find a little Beaujolais and much more Côte d’Or – the first 2015s ‘officially’ tasted. Officially? Well I get to taste all year, but I wait until they are well down the route of elevage (12 months) before I consider actually writing a note for others to see.

There is also an open (i.e. not just for subscribers) piece on Maison Ilan – open because it’s important from a consumer perspective.

September 2016.

vintage chart update – v1.60

By billn on September 07, 2016 #site updates

Fullscreen capture 972016 113915 AMI’ve finally got an update for my vintage chart, including the 2014 vintage for the first time – amazing what you can get done when the harvest is a little later – though I know that I’ll pay for it when I’m supposed to be visiting producers, but haven’t yet finished sorting grapes 😉

My initial rating of the 2014 vintage for whites, reflects that it is easily the greatest vintage I’ve seen for consistency – and that includes the Mâconnais and Chablis too! That almost goes for the reds too – whilst there won’t be the same level of attainment for the greatest wines as previous vintages, like the whites this is also a very consistent vintage at the mid and lower ranges – actually similar to 2005 and 2009 – if you can find good pricing, then you’ll certainly get a thumbs-up from my direction.

There are relatively few changes to other vintages – mainly the 2011 vintage – and in both colours too. First I’ve reduced the score by 1 point for the worst from the 2013 reds – some wines really do show their acidity more than others – even I can wince here. I’ve also met some very green 2011 reds that I didn’t like at all, so I’ve reduced the ‘worst’ score by a point to reflect that – the vintage is still much better than 2004 though! One the other hand, I’ve been very impressed by the development of the same vintage’s whites – I’ve seen green whites, but they are pretty rare – so in this case I’ve added points to both the average and best levels. After some disappointments that were nothing to do with greens. I’ve reduced the average score for 2010 whites by a point too.

Lastly, you may note an increase in the number of white vintage indexes that are now in red colour. This reflects the addition of vintages 2005, 2009 and 2010 to my p.ox watch…

new burgundy report(s)

By billn on July 27, 2016 #site updates

06-2016So the April and May reports were all about Beaujolais – lots of domaines visited, wines tasted – and blind too – about 650 bottles of them.

Now the June report is also online with an interesting selection of themes, including a pinot vs gamay rosé face-off, plus other interesting (for me!) looks at vineyards, tastings and some domaine visits too. I’m now teasing-out all those, as yet unreported, visits to populate my July report before attacking the base design of this site during my August ‘holiday’ – and why?

Well, this site has ‘memory’ problems, a legacy of how the report pages were designed – not a problem for most sites, but then most sites don’t have close to 15 years worth of content, including over 1,000 pages, roughly 3,000 diary posts and I’ve really no idea how many images. The NoteFinder page has also simply fallen out of use as it would be too time consuming to add all the missing notes – close to 4,000 of them – such is life. More importantly, the base code of the site was ‘cutting-edge wordpress’ in 2009, but the developer no-longer updates it – so with an eye to security I must grasp the ‘change nettle’ – and that’s a really big thing for the site AND for me!

So the pages may look a little odd during August and maybe even some of September – but after that, I can hopefully concentrate on content without the site slowing me and you down!


Burgundy Report: Chablis 2014

By billn on March 02, 2016 #site updates


48 domaines. Over 500 wines. Comment from their producers. The extra-special highlighted – as always.

Of-course for subscribers, for the next 18 months, then everyone…

december’s report…

By billn on February 01, 2016 #site updates

2-DSC08881Well that’s the last of my reports for 2015 now online.

That’s another 440 notes accumulated across visits to 14 major producers (I call them grandes maisons), a blind tasting of 36x 2013 Ladoix – which delivered some lovely wines, and a tasting in search of pinosity in Beaujolais – wines back to 1949. I can safely say that it was a privilege! Oh, and there’s my Vintage Viewpoint 2015,2014,2013 too.

Whilst the numbers are not the reason for doing this, that’s still over 1,500 wines in the October to December issues. January looks like a big one too – 47 Chablis domaines – fortunately February has fewer days, so that looks like just 35 domaines in Volnay, starting tomorrow! 😉


côte dijonnaise…

By billn on November 09, 2015 #site updates

An addition to the glossary:

#cote-dijonnaise :
“…At the end of the 1600s, there were over 300 vignerons in Dijon, mainly centred in an area called Saint-Philibert (now called Condorcet). When last measured before the onset of phylloxera (late 1800s), there were 1,200 hecares of vines…”

Is there a future for this, or other forum(s)?

By billn on October 01, 2015 #site updates#the market#warning - opinion!

WARNING – for me, at least, a long-ish post. And because many people will not follow this discussion if it stays on the Burgundy Report forum, I’m also posting it in my Diary 😉

I guess, as background, some of my experience may be mirrored by others, but…

I stopped with the forum of erobertparker when the junta closed it down – it was mainly closed due to critique, and much of it both unrepeatable and unnecessary, despite the general undertow of brown-nosing – but it was the best ‘meeting place’ I’ve ever known on the web. I paid a small subscription to go back and delete as many of my previous posts as I could (my freely given content) but much had already been archived – one could say stolen…

I started this forum by popular – well at least a dozen people(!) – demand, people who needed a new place ‘to go’. It took some work to set up, and then much more work to weed out and eventually stop the spam. But it seems, to say the very least now, to be in a persistent vegetative state…

I had a dalliance with wineberserkers, but often the tenor of discussion was (is) unpleasant – never to me – but plenty of shilling and self-importance was carried over from erp. I only go there today if somebody specifically points me to a link, or a bunch of people come to Burgundy Report because of a discussion there.

What I have noticed is that a couple of Burgundy-related groups (two, only because the moderators of the first had a fall-out!) on Facebook now have thousands of members and whilst as always it’s a small core of posters, wines and even sometimes tasting-notes, abound. There’s definitely a core of ‘look at me with my Leroy’ posters, who have not that much to say, but I like that it’s a different demographic – many more from China/HK/Singapore et-cetera than the ‘traditional’ fora. Plus, Facebook seems to have an ever finer focus – first, Burgundy Geeks group, then come individual village groups like Vosne-Romanée – I expect it might take longer for somebody to set up a group devoted to Monthèlie!

So, is Facebook the forum for the next years? In the current circumstances, I don’t see much possibility of this particular forum surviving 2016.

But that’s up to you of-course 😉

Did somebody say free stuff?

By billn on October 01, 2015 #site updates


Those of you with good memories will of-course remember my promise to make the older subscription Burgundy Reports free to view.

Burgundy is about sharing, so I feel it important that things don’t remain hidden. Yet the people who support this site deserve that their inside line on the new vintages, new wines and new producers remains theirs for long enough that they can derive the benefits from that info.

So, all of the Burgundy Reports that have been published for more than 18 months (currently January & February 2014) are now free to view. It’s automatic, so I won’t send you an email alert every month 😉

You will find them at the bottom of this page.

Looking Forward…

The 11 reports per year publishing schedule of Burgundy Report seems to be bedding in and you can already look forward to the following, each published at the end of the month that follows:

  • September – The 2015 growing season and all about those grapes…
  • October – Vintage 2014 Whites – the Domaines
  • November – Vintage 2014 Reds – the Domaines
  • December – Vintage 2014 – the Grands Maisons
  • January – Vintage 2014 – Chablis
  • February to July – Reportage, new domaines, vineyard profiles et-cetera

For those of you with such a focused interest, individual reports can be purchased, starting with the October 2015 Burgundy Report.

你好 – こんにちは – bonjour…

By billn on June 17, 2015 #site updates


Over 10 years ago, I had multiple language options as standard on these pages – but after a few alleged updates, they didn’t really work well. But after a long pause, there’s (potentially!) a more elegant solution, so…

Okay, it may be that the bottom of the page isn’t the first place that you’d look – I understand – but everywhere else looked just too scruffy to place the new ‘choose your language’ option. I’m happy to add other languages – as requested by you – but didn’t add German (so-far) as I find the translations pretty terrible. French looks not too bad to me, though don’t even bother asking me what I think of the accuracy of the (simplified) Chinese and Japanese translations 😉

The main problem with translation ‘engines’ for a wine site such as this, is that they also try to translate the vineyrad/wine/producer names – that will always be a bit of a mess, but:

这就是生活 / それが人生です / c’est la vie!

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