weekend wine – week #18 2022

By billn on May 10, 2022 #degustation

weekend 18 2022

2019 Gautheron, Chablis 1er Montmains
One of my house wines from last year: Already coming into a great place (I might be tempted to open my 2020 Homme Mort!) with freshness and aromatic clarity – a super invitation. In the mouth, cool, all sinew and muscle – mineral freshness. A wine to drink and drink – and we did! Lovely stuff
Rebuy – Yes

2003 des Chézeaux/Berthaut, Gevery-Chambertin 1er Cru
In small-volume vintages – such as this – their Cazetiers and Lavaux are usually blended. For at least 15 years this wine has been absolutely delicious. Today, showing a small extra aromatic maturity but luscious, sweet fruit on the palate too – it just goes to show how we have become accustomed to the ripeness of modern wines – this was quite an outlier for many years – it’s now, practically, normal! On day two the last third (overnighted in the fridge) didn’t smell so nice – I didn’t finish my glass – but day one was really on top form. I think I have 3 or 4 more – I’m sure that they will all be enjoyed!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Thillardon, Chénas Vibrations

By billn on May 06, 2022 #degustation

Thillardon Vibration

2020 Thillardon, Chénas Vibrations
It’s not often that a bottle is drunk on an evening chez moi – even with two of us to satisfy – but this wine managed it with ease! Medium red colour with a nose that suggests no sulfur then over-delivers on attractive red berry fruit. In the mouth; sweetness, plenty of generosity too, yet never ponderous. There’s a mineral energy too here that befits the name of this cuvée – and frankly, it was just delicious.
Rebuy – Yes

recent wines – week 17 2022

By billn on May 02, 2022 #degustation

2016 Buisson-Charles, Chablis Vaudésir
Patrick Essa has been making a range of maison wines for a few years now. This was served blind and had a ripeness yet energy that made me think of the best producers in Mâconnais – but not Pouilly-Fuisse. There was a modestly exotic style to the fruit but a clean attack that should have reminded me that 2016 is quite a favourite of mine in Chablis. Overall, a great wine for such a ‘non-standard’ Chablis, yet one that properly reflects the vintage there. It drank great for the whole night!
Rebuy – Yes

2016 Vincent Dancer, Meursault Les Grands Charrons
Another wine of supple, slightly exotic flavours – at this age the vintage completely outshining the place. Another wine that you would justly call delicious despite, in this case, having no single feature that you might consider Murisaltien! Yum!
Rebuy – Maybe

2010 Daniel Rion, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Beaux-Monts
Another wine that was served blind, and what a tour de force of a nose – much more mature than you expect from the vintage, full of sous-bois and enticing mature character. It seemed to me to be a warmer vintage so I considered 1997 or 2000 to be suitable vintages and perhaps from a very place – such as Chapelle-Chambertin… So much for blind guessing! But this was a wine that was completely on song – the first to be opened from this case, no-less!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Camille & Laurent Schaller, Chablis
Here’s a wine with no hint of the 2020 greens – just a very attractive and properly mineral yet tasty wine. All as it should be from this (otherwise) excellent vintage. Super!
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Nicolas Potel, Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
When released, this wine was one of my joint-top-three Volnays of the vintage – it wasn’t possible to separate this from Lafon’s Santenots or d’Angerville’s Ducs – 3-4 years later this was clearly in third place – though still something great. This may, unfortunately, be my last bottle – unfortunately, because it was such a bravura wine – concentrated, clean, complex, a little muscular, even a little young – certainly younger than the 2010 Rion. But a beauty – a real beauty! Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2000 Bessin-Tremblay, Chablis 1er Montmains
As the previous bottle – great wine from an excellent vintage. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

a few bottles, mainly from last week…

By billn on April 28, 2022 #degustation

Just a few wines that were drunk before last weekend – the weekend wines will follow – but what can I remember? 😉

2016 Raphaël Chopin, Beaujolais Lantignie La Savoye
Full coloured – and with a ton of tartrate rubble to deposit in the last glass too! Full, warm-weather aromatic but not cooked. Really impressive size for this wine – more than the 2019, for instance. Supple, layered, concentrated but just about avoiding ‘heavy.’ Excellent!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Cyril Gauthier, Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
One of my new ‘house wines’ for this year – but showing the problem of 2020: Not a hint of pyrazine from the tank-sample at the domaine but clearly there’s a lick of it here. Yet! The same bottle on day 2, neither I nor my equally sensitive better half could find any – it was just fabulous. So, I will be decanting this an hour or 2 beforehand. I seem to be already down to my last 8 bottles – oups!
Rebuy – Maybe

2017 Domaine d’Henri, Chablis 1er Fourchaume Héritage
Right out of the gates – great wine. Of course, still a baby – but a mineral and citrus-infused wine that was completely delicious and as classic as you can imagine any Chablis to be from the last 6-7 years. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Frederic Berne, Régnié Aux Bruyères
Silky, concentrated, pure class in a glass!
Rebuy – Yes

1998 Denis Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin
Practically undrinkable young (for this palate) with its heavy cigarette-ash oaky nose – but now it’s in great shape. Admittedly, a strong aromatic remains – one that’s now a mix of tobacco and sous-bois – but lovers of mature wine will be purring. Balanced, layered deliciously complex mature wine. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Boris Champy, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Altitude 377
Anyone brought up on the Bourgognes of the 1990s and onwards will be shocked by how good the Bourgognes of today can be – and here’s another. Despite being Boris’s first vintage and really only being present for the harvest and elevage of this wine – it’s lovely. Fine open, pure-red-fruited delicious stuff. There’s fine energy as you might expect from the Hautes Côtes but there’s depth and class to this flavour too. His 2020s were even better when tasted last year. Super wine!
Rebuy – Yes

largely, weekend wines – week 14 2022…

By billn on April 14, 2022 #degustation

Travelling in Burgundy this week – but to places such as southern Beaujolais, Châteauneuf, Château Commarin, Flavigny and others – rather than domaine visits – but there will be some images posted over the weekend. Also, a week, largely, away from the keyboard – but there have still been some wines:

As you may note from one of the images, an important birthday for one of us – the other of us has the same milestone in a few more months!

2008 Marc Roy, Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Prieur
The colour shows plenty of maturity – the nose likewise – but the aromas are of attractive sous-bois and none of the occasional herbacity of this vintage – it’s a fine invitation. In the mouth – yes – nothing acidic or strident about this 2008; here we have a roundness of fine flavour, modestly cushioned. Delicious, beautifully packaged wine – indeed, almost a voluptuous wine – yet completely balanced. Blind, I think I may have been guessing a 2006!
Rebuy – Yes!

2019 Les Pinot Blacks, Irancy
Subscribers will have known for a long time that I really rate this wine. It’s very early to say, but this is, by some distance, the greatest young Irancy that I ever tasted. I’m sure that it has the change to be the greatest oldest too – but time is not on my side to confirm that 🙂 Made in, perfectly judged, whole-cluster style – Bravo.
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Bessin-Tremblay, Chablis 1er Montmains
Note the label-change (from Jean-Claude Bessin) for this vintage.
In a vintage with many problem wines from the region, here is an assuredly great wine – fabulous stuff! Bravo again!
rebuy – Yes

1962 Servin, Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
I worry; the cork – although it comes out in one piece – doesn’t smell at all nice. But I pour a sample to better appraise.
Plenty of colour but still properly golden – despite my worries, the smell is very nice, the wine is clearly fine. Growing with lanolin, creamy notes then beeswax and slowly honey too. In the mouth ripe lemon, a suggestion of oxidative style but no real oxidation. Lovely acidity and a generosity of middle and finishing flavour. Great old wine – blind (or blond suggests google), I wouldn’t for a moment think ‚Chablis‘ but bravo – clearly a rare treat! Not just stable for the 2 hours we take to drink all of it – it grows larger and more interesting in every direction!
Rebuy – No Chance!

2017 Louis Latour, Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles
The ‘backup’ birthday wine!
Here’s a fine and incisive nose – impressively floral perfumed too – not just acacia but almost a faint lilac too. In the mouth the first impression is also incisive and mineral – the texture more impressive than the Chablis. Slowly an extra barrel-derived cushioning becomes apparent too. This is a wine that’s clearly being drunk a little on the young side – but what clarity and purity despite the padded cushioning of the barrels. Clearly a great wine – which in an ideal world I might start to drink in another 3 to 5 years when the oak is less visible.
Rebuy – Yes

weekend wines, week 13 2022…

By billn on April 03, 2022 #degustation

weekend wines - week 13 2022

To accompany the heaviest snow of this winter at home:

2018 Auvigue, Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles-Vignes
The nose reflects the palate – round, a certain richness, but somehow still inviting. The palate is fleshy and quite delicious but the generosity of this wine would be taken to a, more interesting, higher level with a touch more energy and/or acidity. Tasty for sure, but my eye is starting to wander before the first glass is drained…
Rebuy – No

2019 Dr Loosen, Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
Of- course, there is sweetness but the deliciousness, more importantly, the moreishness, that was lacking in the last can be found here 10x over. The 9% means that you can drink more of it too! The tiniest fault is only one brought about by my lack of patience – a faint extra whisp of SO2 at the end of the, otherwise super, nose. A treat!
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Bouchard Père, Volnay 1er Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot
What a great cork – hardly a mm of wine ingress. The wine has depth of colour and weight of aroma – good aroma – that’s showing some signs of development but still of power. The palate is concentrated yet beautifully balanced. Day 1 showing a little young but very drinkable, indeed enjoyable. Day 2 and the wine is more sullen, less open but has not moved in the direction of any faults – it’s just tighter. A fine bottle whose best time is certainly still to come.
Rebuy – Yes

The 109th edition of the Tastevinage tasting

By billn on April 01, 2022 #degustation

And as I have the theme of Clos de Vougeot (yesterday) what better than the results of the twice-yearly Tastevinage, held by Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, which was held in the château just a week ago?

This tasting was on Friday 25th March and included 442 wines that were assessed, blind, by the tasters.

Of the 442, 147 of these wines were assessed as meriting the Tastevinage label, of which 50 wear a Bourgogne label, 61 villages, 33 premier cru and, finally, 3 grand crus – there seem to be relatively fewer and fewer grand crus, and even 1er crus, presented these days. There are lots of new names on this list that I hope to discover this year; Galopière, Desertaux-Ferrand, Ponsard-Chevalier and others.

If you click on this link, you can find the list of successful producers and their wines.

the charity clos de vougeot for the abbaye de cîteaux

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 Cîteaux, 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 Définitoire of Cîteaux Abbey in Burgundy. Those additional domaines from up and down the Côte 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 Château 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’Ardhuy, Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils, Domaine Capitain-Gagnerot, Domaine Charlopin-Parizot, Domaine du Clos Frantin (Albert Bichot), Domaine Drouhin-Laroze, Maison Dufouleur Frères, Domaine d’Eugenie, Domaine Faiveley, Domaine François Lamarche, Domaine Jacques Prieur, Maison Joseph Drouhin, Maison Louis-Jadot, Domaine Méo-Camuzet, Domaine Michel Noëllat, Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg, Château Philippe le Hardi, Domaine H. Rebourseau, Maison Remoissenet, Domaine René Dubois, Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Château 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, Château de Vosne Romanée – Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, Domaine Jacques Frédéric Mugnier, Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Domaine Emmanuel Rouget, Domaine Georges Roumier, Domaine Armand Rousseau, Domaine Taupenot-Merme, Domaine Comte George de Vogüé.

In addition, on Saturday, April 23rd 2022, there will be a charity dinner in the Château du Clos de Vougeot – which includes a tour of the Abbaye de Cîteaux – tickets for this 5-course charity dinner are available online and cost €228 per person. The internet auction will close during this dinner. Honourary guests will include the Abbot of Cîteaux, Father Pierre-André 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 Château du Clos de Vougeot makes the following comment “Seat of the Climats de Bourgogne World Heritage Site, the Château 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 Cîteaux 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 cuvée that amply highlights the link to the Abbey of Cîteaux – 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 Cuvée Cîteaux

2020 Clos de Vougeot, Cuvée de l’Abbaye de Cîteaux
Tasted today. Only 13.5°, which is modest for 2020, likewise there’s plenty of colour but this is far from saturated. Hmm, that‘s a sophisticated nose – wide, faintly oak-spiced and saline with some implied silk to the aroma – still, it’s a little tighter in the higher tones as there’s 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 – über-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:

Monternot’s 2016 Fruit & Terroir…

By billn on March 25, 2022 #degustation

Monternot's 2016 Fruit & Terroir

The twins weren’t available for a visit to taste 2020s earlier this year. It’s close to retirement time for them – hopefully, they have a good succession plan underway as they always produce highly interesting and well-priced wines:

2016 Monternot Les Jumeaux, Beaujolais Villages Fruit & Terroir
More terroir than fruit today. To be honest, I was expecting this 2016 to be a bit more accessible – but it’s concentrated and young – even a little herbed. Of-course, we still managed to knock off the majority of the bottle!
Dark coloured. A nose of weight, impact and still plenty of freshness – yet far from cliché Beaujolais fruit – concentrated and with some herby flashes. In the mouth, this is broad and has super balance, yet the structure – without harshness – retards the drinking pleasure a little – certainly the drinking speed! Good, if not great – but obviously still a baby – I wonder how long it will take for my VV cuvée from 2019 to start to show itself! I might try one soon anyway 🙂
Rebuy – No

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