monday, so it must be the clos de vougeot

By billn on March 11, 2019 #degustation#events

Well, it could have been April given the variability of the weather – except that it was colder – the heavy bursts of rain often contained hail but they were punctuated by a beautiful blue sky. I saw 0.5°C as the lowest temperature on my early-morning trek over the Jura from Switzerland. One cloudburst of small hailstones had the effect of depositing 4-5cm of what looked like snow onto the autoroute – cars pirouetted, lorries jacknifed – not many people have winter tyres in France!

The 4-wheel drive, winter-booted Scooby danced through it all – but still had to beware of what others might do! Anyway today was the Trilogie en Côte de Nuits and my destination was the Clos de Vougeot to taste 2017 wines from 3 villages – Morey, Chambolle and Vosne – though there was also ‘Mini Me’ in the form of a small contribution from Vougeot too – I did have the impression that there wasn’t a lot of Chambolle on display. The first of these ‘Trilogies’ I attended was in a small cellar in Vosne to taste 2007s – some producers really haven’t improved since then – yes I’m looking at you Gros Frère et Soeur!

The rain was lashing when I arrived in Vougeot, and, of-course, cars were parked (abandoned!) everywhere – so a long hike with an umbrella was my choice. 1,000 people had registered for the tasting, so in circumstances like this you cannot taste everything – my choice was to taste all the Vosne-Suchots, Chambolle-Charmes, Echézeaux and Clos de la Roche that I could find in the room – there were surprisingly few of the 1er crus! Fortunately, a small, tasty, buffet lunch was included – necessary as, following my very early departure from Switzerland, my low sugar levels demanded action in the late morning.

Lots of old-faces to renew acquaintances and some good wines too – notes will follow-up in the reports section!

three reds: average age 25 – including the 2014…

By billn on March 07, 2019 #degustation

1991 Vaudoisey-Creusefond Pommard 1er Epenots
A great year of the Côte de Nuits – in my experience – but less-so in the Côte de Beaune. My last couple of these – a few years back – were bacterially unstable – so I was flipping a coin here.
This smelled open, fresh and very clean – just a freshness over dried cranberry/raisin fruit. Hmm – the same on the palate – freshness – quite clean, cranberry-raisin – a dried but quite pure fruit. Wide, good depth. Long and tasty. A result! After 30 minutes the nose is developing some balsamic overtones but this wine stays quite stable – even the last third on day two was pretty good.
Rebuy – Maybe

1976 Tollot-Beaut, Aloxe-Corton
Clearly not the best seal as this cork starts to sink in the neck when pushed with the ah-so, but I still managed to get it out in one piece, so that was an achievement!
Brown wine, no doubt. The nose hovers between beef soup and balsamic though not directly of sherry. Mouth-filling, silky, despite the renown of the tannins of the vintage, and with a saline accent. The flavours, like the nose, certainly on the savoury side. Actually the shape and structure remain fine here – but flavour that only a mother could love. The remaining two-thirds will go for the beef bourguignone – I have 8-9 more of these, maybe 10 – so at worst, I’ll have plenty of beef bourguignone!
Rebuy – No

2014 Leclerc/Chézeaux, Griotte-Chambertin
Hmm, big, simmering cherry fruit – gives the impression of a little gas behind the aroma – subtle and interesting it is not – at least to start with. Ooh – but in the mouth: A narrow entry here, but a wine that grows and fills the palate with impressive speed. The acidity is fine and the the width and energy ramp up as you head into the finish – of-course it’s far too young – but it’s getting better and better with air… The nose over 3 hours, never really finds a nice place – in fact I almost have the impression of a little of this other 2014 from them – though, nose apart, that Chambolle has much more depth and dimension – it’s a far better wine.
Rebuy – No

some weekend wines – week 9 2019

By billn on March 04, 2019 #degustation

A couple of ‘grand’ but ‘ordinary’ wines before their bigger brothers and sisters. Those bigger brothers and sisters had more of everything, but were not necessarily more delicious – there is much value to be found in Burgundy – still!

2017 Céline & Frédéric Gueguen, Sacy ‘Cépage Confidential’ Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire
Already in bottle for a year now. Sealed with a DIAM-style ‘cork’ but from Trescases…
Big, wide, saline nose – a little more pungent impression below – very attractive, even compared to the Meursault. More open, more saline, less intense but a fine fresh width. Less long too but a delicious thing – like a salted agrumes. A hard cepage to find, but worth a little searching!
Rebuy – Yes

2010 François Gaunoux, Meursault 1er Gouttes d’Or
Not the longest cork here – but in perfect shape.
Hmm – an intense lemon yellow. The nose starts almost a little structural and angular, but aeration brings some cushion and a rounder impression – a little more flesh too. Wide, citrus, intense citrus, mouth-watering, holding a long line. A little custard style to the flavour. Long finishing in a lemon-custard style. Something of baby that starts angular and becomes ever-more welcoming with air, ever-more delicious too though I’m not sure that I would have guessed Meursault.
Rebuy – Maybe

2010 Joseph Roty, Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire
Since 2012 this wine is labeled Côteaux Bourguignone – it’s 100% pinot. A perfect cork of modest dimensions.
What a wine! Drunk over three nights as a chaser for the other bottles – it started aromatically dumb on the first night, was beautiful on the second and even more beautifully perfumed on the third. Mouth-filling, fresh, nice energy, still quite young with an ever-growing depth and tension to the flavour. Simpler, for sure, but no less delicious than the following wine – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2000 Vougeraie, Clos de Vougeot
The most impressively long and young looking cork.
Ooh – exciting, deep, leafy, sweet with a touch of white mushroom. Fresh, very wide over the palate, ingraining the tongue with flavour, so mouth-watering and with super length. Not necessarily more delicious than the Roty, but certainly with a much longer list of available adjectives – if that’s your penchant! Gorgeous, gorgeous wine – narrow finishing, but also very long finishing.
Rebuy – Yes

jean-marc & hughes pavelot’s 2000 savigny dominode

By billn on March 01, 2019 #degustation

2000 Jean-Marc & Hughes Pavelot, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Dominode
Plenty of colour. The nose settles with some slightly balsamic notes in an otherwise attractive width of mature red fruit – faintly spiced. Nice lines, and despite plenty of earthy rubble that has formed in the base of this bottle there’s more than a lick of tannin that remains. Still, whilst a charcterful wine, it’s never rustic. It’s a fine and broad width of middle and finishing flavour, though after an hour I can sense some developing brett. The conclusion is clear – take less than 1 hour to drink this wine – bring in friends if you have to. It’s a robust wine, and apart from the brett there remain many youthful aspects. This wine was at its best between 05-15 years of age – it’s still very drinkable, but not on the same level.
Rebuy – No

old, but not past it* bourgogne blanc

By billn on February 28, 2019 #degustation

*Past it – informal British:
Too old to be of any use or any good at anything!

But it seems that the ‘good luck lightningcan still strike twice in the same place!

1996 Patrick Javillier, Bourgogne Cuvée Forgets
A nose of some weight, freshness and faint truffle. Round, vibrant but with very balanced acidity – none of uncomfortable intensity of some 1996s. Long. You would never guess Bourgogne – super-wine! A second bottle of this (yes, there was more!) was more tired – so – not in my glass, thank-you 🙂
Rebuy – No Chance!

1996 Michelot, Bourgogne Blanc
More bright and floral aromatics – less what I’m expecting – but still quite the invitation to drink. Also vibrant in the mouth. More intense flavour, delicious and showing a little extra floral complexity, slightly less round than the Forgets.
Rebuy – No Chance!

Both completely delicious, but the Javillier (bottle number 1!) edged it for me.

weekend wines – week 8 2019

By billn on February 25, 2019 #degustation

A lovely, diverse, selection this weekend:

2014 Yvon et Laurent Vorcoret, Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Still relatively modest colour. A nose that, after the Italian, is clearly more powerful and sweepingly saline. Supple, wide, complex, saline – mineral – ooh – you know what? This is absolutely great. There’s such a depth of long, lingering flavour. For the cash, this is absolutely eye-catching, taste-budding stuff – bravo – just so good and so quickly the bottle is drained!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Cuvée Vézelay
Bottled for the St.Vincent – I have a couple more!
Fresh, citrus, more direct fruit than the Chablis and still plenty of minerality – but the Chablis has more. This is what many a St.Romain wants to grow up like – but without the often, heavy-handed oak of the Côte d’Or! Brilliant stuff…

2017 Julien Sunier, Fleurie
Red wax-topped…
Plenty of colour for such a hailed vintage. A nose of both fine width and depth – filled with round, red fruit – such a success for the vintage. Mouth-filling but still with great line. Hardly an overt note of tannin – super energy too. Über-delicious – and it was gone in a flash!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos des Chézeaux
Hmm – what an invitingly deep colour. The nose still actually has a touch of vanilla from the barrel – but there’s depth of dark-red fruit topped by a little floral accent too. 10 minutes and the volatile oak seems to have fled. Wide, beautiful, concentrated red fruit, a mineral, graphite style in the mid-palate that accents the red fruit. Wide and delicious, only modestly sweet, but who needs more. Great villages. Oh, and so very yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2009 cécile tremblay la croix blanche

By billn on February 21, 2019 #degustation

2009 Cécile Tremblay, Bourgogne La Croix Blanche
Still good colour – it’s aging so very slowly. Wide complex, slightly saline accents to the aroma. Round but fresh, open, still a large grain of tannin, adding richness as it warms in the glass. But this is fresh and long with a modest but present intensity. Ooh – delicious despite its slightly rustic side – a short note for a wine so long on drinkability. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

weekend bottles, week 07 2019

By billn on February 18, 2019 #degustation

The first wine was the 2018 VDF Je t’aime, mais j’ai soif, from Claire & Fabien Chasselay in the south of Beaujolais. The first bottled 2018 in these pages – and so delicious it is, I bought some directly after I tasted it. It’s a very simple cherry-berry, not strongly coloured wine but it could be a beer replacement – you can drink it in pint glasses! Delicious. Rebuy – Yes

The 2014 Dampt Frères, Bourgogne Tonnerre ‘Le Clos du Château’ has long been a favourite – nice label, nicer wine! But possibly for drinking up this summer – this has a strange note on the nose and palate for the first 30 minutes, then all was very fine – maybe a cork issue – but no reason not to drink my remaining bottles for their fresh, saline presence but still with a nice ripeness of lemon fruit. Good energy, great wine for the price. But if they are all going in the same direction as this one, then Rebuy – No

some weekend bottles, week 06 2019

By billn on February 12, 2019 #degustation

First-up the 2017 Seguinot-Bordet, Chablis 1er Fourchaume. Drive, fresh, pure – a sleek line of flavour that whisks you into a delicious, and saline-inflected, mineral finish. At it’s best cold – and at its best, it doesn’t last long! – An easy Rebuy – Yes!

Second, another white, and one that underlines why I like this producer so much: 2014 Nicolas Maillet, Mâcon-Verzé – a little fuller, riper, more yellow citrus nose. Riper and fuller flavoured too – but with great drive and energy from its acidity. Oh yum – my slight preference from these two – and another easy Rebuy – Yes!

Lastly the 2016 Piguet-Chouet, Auxey-Duresses Les Heptures Cuvée Mathis – how’s that for an off-putting mouthful of a name(?) A wine that on one hand is ripe, round, concentrated, nicely textured and with good balancing freshness – and on the other hand is choc full of vanilla oak – as such, not for me! More white Vicar?
Rebuy – No

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