weekend wines – yes it’s an early start!

By billn on February 12, 2021 #degustation

weekend - an early start...
Thursday night can be classed as the start of the weekend – no?

2014 Bouchard Père et Fils, Meursault
A young colour. The nose starts with a slightly savoury, almost saline reduction – it’s a baby – with air the aromas go deep with a ripe but still fresh fruit. Vibrantly flavoured wine of beautiful fresh balance and fine texture but there’s concentration here too – the finishing line of flavour is really super – such an engaging pure intensity. Great villages, from a great vintage in equally great, still young, shape…
Rebuy – You bet!

2017 Boursot, Gevrey-Chambertin
This starts with a forward, comfortably textured nose of ripe – but not too ripe – fruit and a creamy vanilla oak – a bit too much of the latter, today at any rate. I only took one glass on the first night – a good decision – the oak is seemingly quite volatile as on day two it has reduced to a faint accent. The wine, like most Côte de Nuits in 2017 is amply concentrated and very forward/attractive. Deliciously layered, pure fruited, easy wine. Very enjoyable indeed but for the sake of my dislike for vanilla, I wouldn’t open another for 2 years.
Rebuy – Maybe

1999 Denis Bachelet, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
The cork comes out no problem, though sniffing the wet end implies a problem – not TCA, rather with brett, let’s see…
Ouch, that stinks – DNPIM! In the glass as it aerates it smells marginally less bad with time – against my better judgement I take a sip – that’s actually not bad(!) – I can hardly taste the brett. Fresh, nice energy and dimension of flavour – that’s super – but the wine still stinks! If you wait long enough – a minimum of 25-30 minutes – the brett aroma is almost gone and now you have something really very nice. Of course, once you refill the glass, you are back to square-one so will have to wait another 30 minutes – that’s like a dry February!
Rebuy – No
Fortunately, this was my last bottle of a 6-pack; clearly this was no outliner

some wine (no surprise) from Chablis to Beaujolais…

By billn on February 08, 2021 #degustation

Marie-Elodie Zighera Confuron's 2018's
Marie-Elodie Zighera Confuron’s wines

A mix of wines tasted at home, and three tasted in Beaujolais without the winemaker – hence no separate report – so starting with Clos de Mez:

2018 Clos de Mez, Fleurie La Dot
Plenty of colour but less overt than the Bachelard wines (where I was tasting). An open width of aroma – partly floral – rather inviting. Fine drive and good freshness – there’s energy here – the concentration is not so overt but it’s still there. Subtly framed with tannin but über-fine-grained. The finish has plenty of dimension and complexity too. Really excellent…

2017 Clos de Mez, Morgon Château Gaillard
Here is a little less colour. An open nose – floral above but with a width and depth of rounder, spiced, red fruit. Mouth-filling, growing with an extra intensity in the finish before slowly fading. The tannin is more forward here but with zero visible grain. Wider at the end. Very different shape to the wine – the vintage and the place. Another simply excellent wine.

And while tasting with Anne-Sophie Dubois:

2019 Sylvain Martel – Domaine Cabissou, Julienas Bessay
Partner of Anne-Sophie, these vines high on the hill with some clay but lots of blue-stone – ‘You notice straight away in the cuverie there’s a different side to this wine – not an easy parcel to work – we do everything with a Troye.’
A weight of aroma but freshness too, faintly herbed. More incisive freshness versus the previous Fleuries. Super mouth-watering style, slowly melting over the palate in fine style – that’s a lovely wine…

Finally at home, 4 top wines from the north and south of ‘Burgundy:’

2017 Gilbert Picq, Chablis Vidécorse
A deep nose of mildly textured ripe lemon – just the merest suggestion of salinity. Nicely incisive with a fine acidity – there’s a mineral concentration here – with accents from the citrus too. The finish has a very fine intensity – that’s really very long too. A wine that started round but became tauter and added tension as it became more aerated. Really excellent young Chablis!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Raphael Chopin, Beaujolais Funambule
Actually this is a declassified Beaujolais Villages made with no added sulfur.
The nose is forward and rewardingly pure-fruited. I’m really enjoying the depth and texture of this wine – such a delicious, succulent fruit too – indeed quite sweet fruit but finishing deliciously juicy – bravo again!
Rebuy – Yes

2018 Domaine Monternot – Les Jumeaux, Beaujolais Villages Fruit et Terroir
Deep colour. The nose is fresh and excitingly deep-fruited – modestly spiced too. A super blend of energy and succulent dark fruit – extending beautifully into the finish. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2010 Jean-Paul et Benoit Droin, Chablis 1er Vaillons
A baby – a reductive agrume nose here, becoming more waxy. A fine width of freshness. Slowly starting to show more mature notes in the middle. Finishing great – and oh-so complex. A top wine – and the longer it’s open, the fresher and less mature it seems to become. Simply great wine for today.
Rebuy – Yes

Plus a few images from Beaujolais last week. This week is a ‘typing week’ at home – back to Beaujolais for my second of three weeks, next week!

well kept – weekend 4 2021

By billn on January 23, 2021 #degustation

drinks - weekend 4 2021

I often joke with winemakers that I’ve an ‘English palate’ i.e. I drink wine too young or too old – at least compared to them! For the latter category, how about 25 years for (an almost ready) villages and 8 years for a Côteaux Bourguignons? Actually, I’m still drinking some super Roty 2010 CB – though it had a Passetougrains label at that time…

1995 Grivot, Nuits St.Georges Les Lavières
Still very much a hit or a miss vintage. Grivot’s 1995 Nuits 1ers are drinking very well now, but this wine – which I could still enjoy – is still somewhat short of ‘charming.’ This nose is timid but clean – the palate still a little burly in that typical 1995 style. I’m sure I’ve 3 or 4 more of these, so no rush!
Rebuy – No because life is too short…

2012 Henry Fessy, Côteaux Bourguignons
A DIAM5 seal, the underside of which is full of dark, tartrate crystal – that’s the first time I remember seeing that on a DIAM! This wine, given the source, is almost certainly 100% gamay, and I think was bottled/labelled to celebrate the ne AOC of Côteaux Bourguignons
The nose is clean and young – there’s no real development here – indeed it’s sweetly inviting. The palate carries the merest suggestion of oak but is also super-silky. Strongly dark-red fruited. I find this disarmingly delicious. Great bang for the buck!
Rebuy – Yes

2012 Dampt Frères, Chablis Les Preuses
From magnum
Ohh, that’s a nose of chalky but inviting depth. Clean lines, freshness, padded citrus and than such an unfolding, wonderful, finish. A wine that drank superbly for two days – no problem! A great price and a great wine. Still a baby, but with none of the modest austerity I found in other 1er and grand cru 2012s this week.
Rebuy – Yes

a week at home – and finally the chance for some wine!

By billn on January 19, 2021 #degustation#travels in burgundy 2021

Chablis January 2021
Plenty of rain – Chablis 14 January 2021 – I didn’t fancy a dip in the Serein on this day…

My own version of dry January is down to my tasting schedule – three weeks of, and in, Chablis. Sometimes 80 wines in a day, but nothing in the evening – the number of domains with 20 or more samples is rare in this region but I did have three in a row one afternoon last week. I’m not the type to drink alone – so it’s good to get home for the weekend to share some glasses.

My 2019 house white – almost 3 cases drunk with friends over not just the summer months that year – was the Julien Brocard’s 2017 Biodynamic Chablis Boissoneuse so time to try a newer one:

2018 Julien Brocard, Chablis Boissonneuse
As with all this range, DIAM-sealed and topped with an orange wax.
Attractive though not a particularly saline nose. In the mouth there’s a fleshy depth to this texture but an undertow of minerality that would definitely have me thinking of Chablis, despite some textural comfort – more than the 2018 Fevre for instance. This has super clarity and a long and delicious finish. Very enjoyable
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Volnay
A high proportion of 1er cru juice included in this cuvée. This wine was a poster-child for that sub-set of 2005s that were tight and unyielding. I noted a slight easing of that situation 2 years ago and I’d say that the transformation is now complete – far from mature but it’s now drinking well.
A nose that’s open, has plenty of red-fruited depth and, shock, even the impression of a little textural comfort! The aspect of textural comfort is reflected in the flavour too – rounder than ever before, still with concentrated young fruit but of clarity, energy and depth. This has become a very attractive wine and one that also holds up very well after opening – I finished the last glass on the third day after opening and it was almost as delicious as the first two days. Now a very fine 2005 that you can drink – oh, and way back when, this cost less than the wine that follows!
Rebuy Yes

2016 Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Zaccharie
Hmm – that’s a nicely cushioned aroma of darker red fruit – very inviting. I love the texture here, the depth of fruit too – a young wine that’s drinking beautifully already. Nothing tertiary – all is pure fruit and much, much enjoyment. Bravo!
Rebuy Yes

3rd weekend of 2021, wines

weekend wines – 2nd weekend 2021

By billn on January 11, 2021 #degustation

Corton Clos du Roi Florent de Merode

As I just finished my first week of visited in Chablis, it seemed a good time to start in that way…

2018 William Fevre, Chablis
House wine, so you will find enough notes – always consistent with DIAM seal.
Rebuy – Yes

2015 Jean Dauvissat, Chablis Hommage
The first night my palate must have been playing tricks with me – I was sure there was some low-level cork-taint – the ‘now you see it, now you don’t‘ type – I just couldn’t make up my mind. Day two, it was completely fine with riper lemon aromatics and a richer, more complex palate that the Fevre. I preferred the shape and freshness in the Fevre – my better half preferred the extra richness of this. No doubt, still a very tasty wine, and it’s starting to drink very well.
Rebuy – maybe

2007 Prince Florent de Merode, Corton Clos du Roi
Quite a modest colour. The nose is quite airy and red-fruited – with a slightly smoky aspect – perhaps from some stems. Actually, this is more mouth-filling than the colour and nose suggest. A subtle base of faint tannin – like a 2019 white! Nicely fresh and wider finishing – almost a little mineral here. Not quite ready, but close! The finish is certainly a good one. This is tasty wine, but honestly, not that much better than an excellent villages!
Rebuy – No

dry january’s first wines…

By billn on January 06, 2021 #degustation

Dry January? Give me a break…

I didn’t write notes as I tasted so let me just give you some short impressions.

2018 Chateau des Rontets, Pouilly-Fuissé Les Birbettes
Plenty of colour. A nose that’s deep and interesting though I’m not sure it’s a typical PF. Like the nose, the palate has a waxy, deep, concentrated, almost exotic/apple style to the fruit – yet always retains balance. It’s delicious despite being non-standard. The bottle empties very quickly.
2018 Château des Vergers, Beaujolais-Lantignié
Deep colour – darker crunchy-fruit nose – flashes of brilliant fruity purity. In the mouth, forward, balanced and simply delicious – more classic than the 18 Rontets I think. Bravo wine.
Céline & Laurent Tripoz, Cremant de Bourgogne Prestige
I have memories of great bottles of this – and here’s another – it didn’t let me down. A cushioned, almost textured, nose that begs you to take a sip. And then a flavour that demands you take a second glass. And then a partner that asks if there’s a second bottle. Bravo (again)
2013 Gérard Mugneret, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
To compare with the slightly faulty 1995 from the same estate – quite a change of identity on those labels! This wine was the ultimate in silky, textural sophistication. More for whites right now, but 2013 is a vintage that is full of surprises, and here is one. Downright great 2013!
1995 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Ile des Vergelesses
A perfectly clean nose and palate of width and sweet fruit – like the sweetness from the ’95 from Gérard Mugneret. The Mugneret has the more impressive flavour but a faulty nose – this is fine and clean so gets the ‘nod.’
2015 Clos de la Chapelle des Bois, Fleurie
Not quite Fernand Verpoix’s last vintage – but close – also my last bottle from him, I’m afraid. The nose has some spicy, almost marsala development – still modest. The palate remains pure and young – and totally cliché perfumed Fleurie. I miss Fernand – and his wines.

this week’s wines

By billn on December 28, 2020 #degustation

All my magnums have been put to one side as we have been the quarantine-duo at home this Christmas – but still, an interesting range of bottles were opened:

2x 2018 Chablis – Davenne plus domaine William Fevre
Clotilde Davenne’s was, round but very nicely shaped. It was sweet and delicious wine but I really wouldn’t guess Chablis. The 2018 Fevre, by comparison, was the more perfumed wine, floral but also with a different style of freshness. In the mouth, the Fevre was clearly Chablis, even if it wasn’t aromatically. Still, a very fine villages Chablis, that my experince tells me will only become more and more ‘classic’ with patience – unfortunately it may just be too tasty to put that to the test!
Rebuy – Maybe & Yes!

2017 William Fevre, Chablis
The first of these Chablis that offers an obvious aromatic blast of the seashore. There’s a little more structure in the mouth – which would imply that patience is a virtue – yet the wine is still mouth-wateringly delicious. I’m forgiving myself for drinking it! Really excellent villages.
Rebuy – Oh Yes!

1999 Faiveley Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Chaignots
A domaine wine, so it has the gold ‘lozenge’ to say bottled without fining or filtration – the robust 54mm (that’s extra long!) cork is impressive too.
What a great nose! Dark but glossy red fruit – faintly with sucrosity, always an invitation. The palate is more than a match for the nose; wide, super acidity but with a depth of dark red fruit and a matching depth of creamy flavour that was obviously more overtly oaky when younger. Top, top wine – an equal to many grand crus – bravo! The best wine over Christmas…
Rebuy – Oh Yes!

So to follow-on from the Chézeaux/Ponsot Chambolle-Charmes of the last week or-so – how about two more? The Ponsot was particular but super, one was good but not great and one that left me disappointed…

2008 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
A little more than medium colour. The nose is inviting, darker, truffled fruit, almost a suggestion of rosemary too – which accents the red berry fruit. Mouth-filling with fresh energy – intense without concentration, but layered and energetic in this lovely depth of finishing flavour, a finish that’s still accented with a faintly drying tannin. The antithesis of concentrated sweet wine as we’ve seen almost non-stop since the 2015 vintage. If only for that, I’m enjoying it a lot!
Rebuy – Maybe

1995 Gerard Mugneret, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
Wax topped – but with the flexibility to put the corkscrew directly through it – except that the cork breaks – what a surprise! But the ah-so extracts the last part with ease.
The nose – well it could definitely be better! There’s a freshness of dried leaves but also some brett in the depth. In the mouth this is is much more attractive – intense, attractively acidic in a way that modern vintages are not (let’s wait for 2020…) Wide, no fat and a super finish that radiates from the core of the wine and grows larger and larger. The first half of the wine disappoints, the second-half, far from it – but it’s hard for me to drink a wine whilst try to avoid smelling it! Delicious on one hand but a shame on the other – of course, actually it doesn’t smell worse on day two – that’s a surprise!
Rebuy – No

the first of the quarantine wines(!)

By billn on December 20, 2020 #degustation

Boisset Auxey Ponsot Chézeaux Chambolle Charmes

The first day of 10 days quarantine for me and my better half – but we’ve no symptoms or positive tests – but yesterday we visited my 96-year-old mother-in-law in her care home – and she was (in theory!) negative – but today they rang us to say she is positive, so…

At least I can still taste my wines 🙂

2010 Jean-Claude Boisset, Auxey-Duresses Les Crais
A deeper yellow colour but far from gold. That’s a beguilingly attractive nose – ripe citrus and salted caramel. In the mouth such a lovely acidity – incisive wine. The flavour of many dimensions and a depth of creamy, salted caramel, like the nose. The barrel is obviously playing its part here, but oak-averse as I am, I can only say that this is completely delicious – give me a second glass. There was a third and a fourth too – none left for day two!
Rebuy – Yes

1997 Ponsot/des Chézeaux, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
An impressive 54mm of cork-length here.
Plenty of browning to this medium strength colour. The nose starts with deep, smoky, sweetly-turned-earth, dried leaves, a flash of espresso – but then it’s gone – and a graphite-style aroma. There’s not much aromatically in this Chambolle that you would associate with fruit or flowers! In the mouth, the style is broad with plenty of acidity – some 1997 sweetness and plumptiousness of texture. Waves of flavour sweep from the middle into the finish of this wine, plenty of bitters and vegetable references but without tipping over into vegetal. I find this wine captivating but don’t come here for cliché Chambolle!
Rebuy – Yes

wines for friday night

By billn on December 19, 2020 #degustation

As a warm-up, there was the last glass from the Pavelot, then the following, their two corks in fine shape:

2018 Jacques Saumaize, St.Véran Poncetys
That’s a deep nose, faint smoke surrounding a vibrant depth of ripe pineapples and minerals. Ouch – that’s so good! The pineapple fruit to the fore again but more importantly a zinging width of energy and then a long mouth-watering line of finishing flavour – more mineral and citrus here. That’s a beauty!
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Comtes Lafon, Monthélie 1er Les Duresses
There’s the start of a little tertiary dried leaf aroma, but above is still a pure and attractive dark fruit and flowers – almost blackcurrants. Very silky with a nicely direct line of flavour. Plenty on insistent concentration with wide waves of persistent finishing flavour too – here the blackcurrant returns, maybe a little blackcurrant leaf too. Fine acidity and a tannin that’s more suggestion than reality. This is still young, but it’s also delicious.
Rebuy – Yes

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