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

Two 1996 Cortons – well, that was a waste of time!

By billn on March 24, 2022 #degustation

1996 Cortons

The 1996 Castagnier of the weekend was just so damn good – so why not a couple more from 1996?

I’d been doing a little cellar-sorting and had happened upon (as you do…) some older Cortons – that would work!

1996 Thomas-Moillard, Corton Clos du Roi
A cuvée that Clive Coates used to love from this producer that, like most Corton of the era, was something of a masochistic pleasure when younger. The cork had no more than a mm of wine that had had tried to travel up its length and was very impressively robust – a great cork! Or not. The wine was actually corked!!!
Rebuy – No

1996 Hospices de Beaune, Corton Cuvée Charlotte Dumay
Way back when, I scored a whole case of this – do you remember 12-bottle cases of grand crus? Just two remained from this case – a wine equivalently masochistic as the TM when young but, historically, a bit less energy and flavour precision than the TM. Also a decent cork but a wine that smelled much sweeter – though with a tell-tale accent of brett. Just for information, I like Marmite (Vegemite) on my toast but within short order, this wine absolutely stank of the stuff. Pinch your nose and you could lose some of it – but NO! I could no-longer put it in my mouth. Reject!
Rebuy – No

Some weeks, the cellar depletes faster than other weeks!

Sylvain Martel’s 2020 Juliénas ‘Bessay’

By billn on March 22, 2022 #degustation

2020 Sylvain Martel, Juliénas Bessay
Vines that are all on high, on blue-stone. Certainly more rain here than in Fleurie in 2020 – though these old vines, worked organically, delivered 30 hl/ha from 0.8 ha
An aromatic of energy – mineral, almost steely red fruit – freshness too. Good depth and supple concentration but with a lovely finishing freshness – long, haunting flavours in the finish but subtle – this is no broad or powerful finish – just a very elegant wine.
Rebuy – Yes

some weekend wines – week 11 2022

By billn on March 22, 2022 #degustation

weekend wines 11 2022

We were really treated by three out of the four wines this weekend!

2020 Jacques Picq et ses Enfants, Chablis
We needed a little white wine for the risotto – but why not some glasses to drink too? It turned out that this wine emphasised my worries about the green-meanies in 2020 Chablis: More than 10% of all the wines that I tasted in January were green or showing direct pyrazine – but this was lovely – in January. Well, not today – it’s good but there are clear notes of pyrazine where I didn’t see them before. I’m back in Chablis the first week of April – and you can be sure that I’ll be extra attentive!
Rebuy – No

2019 Verret, Saint-Bris Veaupiary
Great nose, delicious flavour – what a super wine – Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Ponsot, Bourgogne Cuvée du Pinson
The corked stained 90% of the way through – looks like good timing to drink this one! The last pour was full of muddy rubble and less bright
Lots of colour – and not a markedly mature colour either. A super nose – really inviting and open – hard to believe (blind) that it’s a more than 15-year-old Bourgogne. The first few sips show a lot of acidity – almost a sour style to the wine – but with food all was fine. Layers of flavour and tons of complexity. A simply great Bourgogne! Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Guy Castagnier, Clos de La Roche
I was down to my last couple of 1996s from here – there remains only some Bonnes-Mares, I think…
A modest medium colour – but not much browning. Yes! What a great nose! Complex, still with fruit and a large wave of pure floral perfume – great! In the mouth, melting, perfumed flavour – oh-so complex and beautifully balanced. People talk of the 1996 acidity – but here the acidity is much less obvious than for the 2005 Ponsot. Long – with such an airy, delicate and complex persona – Jérôme’s father also made great wine! This was probably the best wine I’ve had at home this year, so far…
Rebuy – Yes

weekend wines – week 9 2022

By billn on March 07, 2022 #degustation

week 9 2022

Quite a mix – also my reactions versus my expectations too!

2020 Georges Duboeuf, Pouilly-Fuissé 1er Clos Reyisser
The Duboeuf family actually do own vines here and whilst the label and corks seem to indicate it might have been made at their factory, here is actually a ‘domaine’ wine. And of course from the first year of premier crus.
My first impression is that the nose is a little round from the barrel elevage – and the palate too – there’s no real distinction or interest here. I had a brainwave and thought (largely imperceptible) gas might be making a difference. I shook the bottle 4 or 5 times with my finger in the neck – this did indeed release a lot of gas. The nose wasn’t particularly helped but the palate became a lot more interesting; a sleeker more structured impression, of minerality and much better form. I rather liked it from here forward. Not exceptional but, essentially, correct and tasty – which was a very positive improvement. I know I drank this way too young and expect that it should improve.
Rebuy – Maybe

2016 Laurent Tribut, Chablis
This vintage remains an absolute favourite of mine – The ‘cut’ of 12 or 14 but the extra concentration of fruit meaning less austerity – ignore the naysayers say I! Unfortunately, already my last bottle of this.
Oh yes – we are clearly in for a treat. Clarity of fine, ripe, but very fresh, cool, fruit with just enough seashore to indicate intent. If the nose shows intent then the palate delivers in spades – this can only be from Chablis! Direct, pure, cool-fruit – and,. of course, overtly mineral. Yet here’s such an easily assimilable package that the bottle is drained in double-quick time – a shame – but bravo!!!
Rebuy – Yes

1995 Delas, Hermitage Les Bessards
Even, way back when, these were not cheap wines – I remember buying at auction 6-packs of this and the 1994. I think the ‘greater,’ or at least the easier to drink 1994 has all, sadly departed from my cellar but of the (always needed more time) 1995 there remained 2-3 bottles, so…
An impressive nose of depth and freshness – hyper-complex florals punctuate a broad creosote aroma of railway sleepers. The creosote is still visible but on a lower order in the flavours. A wine of fine acidity and direct style – not particularly tannic but structural. The finish a laser-beam of red and black berried complexity. Still more of an exercise than a fully delicious thing but the finish was gorgeous. Keep patience!
Rebuy – Maybe

1998 Domaine Louis Jadot, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
I bought this wine in ‘pair’ too – 6 of these and 6 of the 1999. Whilst more affordable in 2002/2003, they have never been ‘cheap.’
A compact yet complex nose – there’s a little nice development here – very attractive if not particularly forward. This nose made some promises that palate struggled to make good. There is depth, there is complexity – this is no ordinary wine – but the combination of AOC hierarchy and price (today) were steps too far for this bottle. In isolation, it’s an excellent wine but given any proper context – it was average at best and absolutely underperforms versus the modern pricing. Day two and the nose had a touch of brett though the palate remained consistent.
Rebuy – No

2012 Le Grappin, Beaune 1er Boucherottes
My last bottle, I think.
A rounder, redder fruit nose – far from the complexity of the Jadot but attractively easier. The palate reflects the nose with red fruit and a slight extra sweetness to that fruit. There is complexity here and a wine that’s comfortable to drink. I did prefer it younger but it’s still in a very good place. Clearly a ‘lesser’ wine than the Bèze – except for value – where this scores very well.
Rebuy – Yes

a nz pinot…

By billn on March 02, 2022 #degustation

Carrick Excelsior 2009 Central Otago pinot noir

I have long bored anyone who would listen, and for a number of years, that NZ pinot is the closest thing to burgundy. My reasoning was that the acidity (hence the energy) was the closest. They can still be pretty ripe – like this one – but they can also be damn delicious too! So by way of a change…

2009 Carrick, Excelsior Central Otago Pinot Noir
I worked a couple of vintages in Beaune with someone who also worked here – I even visited the winery in ~2012. This was their top cuvée and used a screw-cap seal.
Not a very deep colour – even a little browning. Ooh – what a directly funky, sous-bois nose, and of attractively sweet, leafy maturity too. A beauty in the mouth to start but as the wine warmed I was definitely noticing the 14% (stated) alcohol. Still, deliciously flavoured. I have a few more and other vintages – maybe later this year…
Rebuy – Yes

Normal service will be resumed – tomorrow – but today, there’s still half of this to finish…

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