a few old friends from 2005…

By billn on March 08, 2020 #degustation

It’s always worth checking on a few old friends 😉

2005 des Croix, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
It’s been a while since I checked in on this wine – last time out it was showing in a rather sweet fashion but was clearly still a great young wine. Today a little less overtly sweet – at least with a couple of thousand 2018s having been tasted behind the scenes! The cork broke in half and then the bottom half disintegrated into the bottle – so it was decanted into a jug.
The colour has lost all of its purple highlights. The nose starts with a modest reductive impression – almost an onion-skin impression too to the darker berry fruit – I’m assuming the cork’s to blame though I note that my last bottle was also a little reductive – the nose improves with time but never quite seems 100%. In the mouth this remains excellent – at this age meagre Bourgognes and indeed plenty of village wines start to thin and screech – there’s not even a suggestion of that here. Mouth-filling, wide, silky but still concentrated wine. Not the perfect example, I’m sure, so less easy to say if this will benefit from more patience – but it tastes super, right now, without any overt impression of aromatic development. I won’t rush to drink my remaining half-dozen, or-so, bottles.
Rebuy – Maybe

2018 Clotilde Davenne, Chablis
What a very tasty wine – plump but balanced, deliciously fruity and with a good nose too. I see only one problem; it just doesn’t taste like Chablis today – a nice Chardonnay for sure – still a great value too, also for sure, but no real sense of place. If it wore a Bourgogne Chardonnay label I’d be heaping plenty of praise on it for the price! I’ve some more – so I’ll give those 2 years to see if this wine can recover its family accent.
Rebuy – Not today

2005 Camille Giroud, Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs
Now that’s a great nose! Complex, the first semblance of dried leaves and finely judged maturity – still young but heading in a very fine direction – it’s such an invitation to take a sip! The palate is concentrated and just a little less yielding than the nose – tasty, with beautifully packaged concentration – but still showing a little tightness in the flavours. Overall much to like and good though the texture is, it’s a little behind the two other reds here, but overall the second-best red of this tasting because of the nose of Croix.
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Michel Lafarge, Beaune 1er Les Grèves
A sweeping nose, super depth – it brings the impression of energy and good red fruit – but it still can’t match the Gevrey in this department. In the mouth, this is different to the previous wines – more direct, lots of energy, really a wine with a more driving and mineral personality – frankly, it’s brilliant here – if it were a white you might call it Perrières or Caillerets. A young wine but such an impressive wine.
Rebuy – Yes

So drinking, but still young wines these 2005s…

weekend wines – week 9 2020

By billn on March 04, 2020 #degustation

I like to keep things varied – in terms of the label – plenty of great acidity in this selection of wines. It’s also nice not to experience corked bottles for the first weekend in a while:

2017 Chanzy Rully Les Cailloux
A very faint toast, but a certain concentration is evident below. Yes, there’s a suggestion of toast in the flavours too, but this wine’s a beauty – mineral, great intensity. Super Rully – a presence that belies the label – bravo! Subscribers will remember how much I loved the 2017 Côte Chalonnais wines!
Rebuy – Yes

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Perrières
Deeply coloured – the nose is wild, wide and darkly fruited – but what’s that? Vanilla? I don’t remember that! In the mouth, this reflects the nose with a width of seamless, wonderfully textured flavour. The vanilla is less bothersome in the flavours – and of course, the acidity is super. Beautiful balance, intense, but far from mouth-puckering – a great 2008 – despite the vanilla!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Philippe Pacalet, Moulin à Vent
Hmm, thats a lovely nose – partly floral, fresh red berry fruit. Fine concentration and super energy – complexity too. It’s a high-toned, energetic flavour that I might describe as airy if it wasn’t so insistent – sustains a great length too. This wine’s a honey – so yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2014 Céline and Frédéric Gueguen, Côteaux Bourguignone – Sacy ‘Cépage Confidentiel’
Oh – this sings and zings – the acidity of 2014 but nothing sharp – more overt freshness than the 2008 Nuits. So mineral and also so saline. Blind it would leave me confused – I think of Chablis – but not quite Chablis – often one of Burgundy’s great bargains!
Rebuy – Yes

2013 des Chézeaux/Berthaut, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos des Chézeaux
Amélie Berthaut’s first vintage in charge of vinification at the family domaine.
Good depth of colour. The nose is sweeping and interesting – it’s an invitation. Sleek and driving flavour – not quite together at the outset but it comes together well with some air – the structure has just a suggestion of rusticity. 2013 remains a vintage that needs to find its place – the wines can be ordinary or great – this one starts a little ordinary but gets better and better – it’s tasty but it’s not yet great though!
Rebuy – Maybe

2016 Domaine de la Pirolette, St.Amour La Poulette
Wow – from start to finish, this is a great wine; so sleek, so silky-textured, so mineral too. This is a wine that vibrates with energy – red berry fruit – it’s also very well matched in style to the acidity of many of the wines here. Pure, intense and very classy – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

boeuf bourguignone and lots of corky bottles…

By billn on February 24, 2020 #degustation#seals (not the furry kind)

At the beginning of February, I had a corked bottle of Castagier’s 1997 Clos de la Roche. The middle of February I had corked bottles of Vincent Dauvissat’s 1997 Chablis 1er Les Forêts and it’s not just old bottles because I also had a corked 2018 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Cuvée Lapierre MMXVIII.

This weekend I managed the double; A corked 1999 Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny and a corked 2002 Cheseaux/Ponsot Griotte-Chambertin. Anyone want to estimate the worth of all those useless bottles?

Actually, not completely worthless, the Chambolle was more ‘liegeux‘ – as the french would say for ‘lightly’ corked – I could drink a glass and a half and it was clearly the best showing for the cuvée since this wine was very young. As for the Griotte, it made a lovely sauce for our boeuf bourguignone – washed down with a delicious glass (or two) of 2019 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau – who would have thought that this would be the best way to employ these last two bottles before opening!

this weekend’s wines…

By billn on February 10, 2020 #degustation

Saturday – a nice day for a walk with a borrowed dog!

A modest ‘effort’ at the weekend – just enough to keep from a dry palate!

2016 Jean-Marc Pillot, Montagny 1er Les Gouresses
After more than 650 Chablis in January, this nose shows an obvious richness and roundness of sweet oak, but the palate was altogether more taught, finishing mineral and fresh – plenty of intensity and completely delicious wine. Simply excellent for the price – yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2011 Camille Giroud, Santenay 1er Clos Rousseau
There were always some barrels of this that seemed close to grand cru in standard – but never the whole blend, that said, this was singing; fresh, aromatic, a certain sweetness and deliciously flavoured. Round, slightly airy finishing flavours but the mid-palate had plenty of tasty depth – a wine that was drunk faster than it should have been – excellent!
Rebuy – Yes

it’s beaujolais week 1

By billn on February 03, 2020 #degustation#travels in burgundy 2020

Moulin à Vent…of three!

It was 13°C when I left Switzerland for Beaujolais at 5 am this morning – it was 13°C again when I got back to my hotel at 19h45 this evening – but in the middle, it had peaked at 18°C. Now I do remember 23°C last February, but that was the second half of February – when people were pruning vines in t-shirts – but this is so much closer to January!

So, I’d expected rain, but the day got steadily brighter and sunnier – they suggest gales in the night and maybe even snow in the next couple of days – welcome to our weather!

There were also some weekend wines, of course! Now it might look a bit odd, taking 2 bottles of Castagier’s 1997 Clos de la Roche, but as you may have surmised, there was a problem with the first bottle’s cork! On the positive side – yes there was one! – I tend to eat well when there’s a corked bottle, usually, the unspeakable wine ends up as the base for our house variation on Beef Bourguignone – and the Clos de la Roche did make a really great sauce! The second bottle was very good on its own, in a glass! It would be a rebuy at the old price of 60 Swiss francs! The 2010 Pommard Epenots from Rebourgeon-Mure was also lovely but a stricter 2010 that didn’t appreciate following the sweetness of the Clos de la Roche – so mainly was drunk on day two – very complex, lots of depth to the earthy flavour and lovely balance and energy. Give it another 2-3 years for being fully ready – excellent wine that I’d also buy again at the old price. Then were the two Chablis 1ers from 2018; both good – the Seguinot-Bordet the more flighty and higher-toned, the Vorcoret the more concentrated and more overtly Chablis at this early stage in their life. Both delicious and rebuys at today’s prices (shock!)

weekend wines, week 4 of 2020

By billn on January 28, 2020 #degustation

A homage to my last 3 weeks of tasting, and the weekend’s event – the 77th Saint Vincent – in Gevrey-Chambertin:

2016 Agnes et Didier Dauvissat, Chablis ‘Les Petits Vignerons
A fine Chablis nose that draws you – steely, with a modest seashore and minerality. In some respects, the concentration here reminds a little of 2018s with an extra richness – but the shape of the wine, the line and intensity, the wonderful Chablis complexion of this wine are a little different. So delicious, so engrossing. That’s a great villages…
Rebuy – Yes

2008 Joseph Roty, Gevrey-Chambertin ‘La Brunelle
Their Côteaux Bourguignone aside, Roty needs at least 10 years to get going, and here we are…
This nose starts herby, earthy and a little creamy – the last of the oak – but aeration brings more roundness of red berry fruit to the fore. Supple, wide, fresh but also growing in intensity and a really super, creamy, finishing energy and complexity – that’s a great finish for a great villages – bravo…
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Jean Raphet, Clos de Bèze
This was great, way back in 2003, I would have bought more, but the merchant refused to refund a corked bottle, so that was the last contact that I had with them…
The nose here has much in common with that of the Roty, just a little extra sweetness and richness. Much more richness of texture and depth to the flavour too – it comes to you in concentrated waves of flavour – and with impressive intensity in the middle too. This is the wine that impresses more, though the ‘smaller’ Roty is actually the tastier wine today… still, very good, and possibly still too young…
Rebuy – Maybe

weekend wines – week 2 2020

By billn on January 13, 2020 #degustation

2005 Gambal Dents du Chien, 1999 Bouchard Chambertin

2005 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Les Murgers des Dents du Chien
Golden colour though no browning. A perfumed roasted lemon is my first impression, a little spiced too. Time adds faint lanolin to the nose. In the mouth to my surprise, is a lovely sweeping line of freshness – waxily-fine textured and mineral. Such a difference in the delivery of flavour versus the Chablis of last week. The finish mineral and has some caramel aspects – probably the barrels talking here. Concentrated but alive, beautifully proportioned and very long. A point! Opened on Friday, this was completely stable/robust, such that still delicious on Sunday – narrower, but not a suggestion of tiring in either flavours or aromas. Bravo – I hope it’s not my last!
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Bouchard Père et Fils, Chambertin
Not a wine you see very often – it’s a domaine wine – but with only 0.15 hectares, it’s not a wine that they tend to (need to) show in tastings. A couple of years ago the 1998 was brilliant! Here a poor start, but only because the cork breaks in half – the second part coming out in a thousand pieces! I asked Frédéric Weber if he could tell me a little more about the plot and he responded right away! “Yes, it’s a plot of 0.15ha in the upper part of the Chambertin (close to Les Latricières) I think it is a very nice situation particularly in the hot years because we are close to the forest and that permits us to keep freshness and a good balance, the soil is poor and very thin, the yield is low in average, in the best year I produce only 2 barrels. I like to vinify with whole clusters and a soft maceration to express the aromatics and elegance of Chambertin, we do not produce a deep Chambertin in this part.”
What a beautiful nose – not the pure and powerful that I remember from the 1998, rather a beautiful and elegant floral bouquet. Rather silky in the mouth, still a grain of ripe tannin if you search hard enough. Elegant and floral here too – slowly becoming a little more mineral and mouth-watering. Very long. Not a powerful wine but such a beautiful thing – I would say ready but hold for as long as you wish. None of the overt structure remains that you can still see in many of the higher 1999s
Rebuy – Yes

Remembering Mr Beaujolais

By billn on January 06, 2020 #degustation

Julienas, Clos du Fief

2014 Michet et Sylvain Tète – Clos du Fief, Juliénas Cuvée Prestige
I’m in Chablis today – the start of my 60(+) domaine tour of 2018s – but before I left Swaziland I decided yesterday evening to remember Georges Duboeuf with this very impressive Beaujolais – but I didn’t have any from him – sorry Georges! I decided not to go the dark and obvious route (2015,16,17,18) and didn’t directly find anything more complicated (2012, 2013) so here you go:
Medium-plus colour. A slightly round nose that hinted at a little reduction – but after 5 minutes this was singing – almost a floral/spice note to this nose that’s mirrored in the flavours. Elegant, complex and a delicious winner of a wine. Bravo to Georges!
Rebuy – Yes!

1999 mazy – from fred esmonin

By billn on January 05, 2020 #degustation

Frederic Esmonin, Mazy-Chambertin 1999

It was never really going to be possible to beat Friday’s wine on Saturday, was it? – Or was it!

1999 Frederic Esmionin, Mazy-Chambertin
Frederic always preferring the (Maz)’y’ to the (Maz)’is!’ I haven’t opened one of these for 10 years – perhaps now’s the time!
Hmm – now that’s an inviting nose. Only modest amplitude, but a nose with more maturity than the Potel Clos des Chênes and still ‘clean’ & fresh. In the mouth, less innate density than the Chênes, but here is a more open, almost sparkling, complexity – a little mid-palate oomph too – like all good Mazi should have. The middle and finish of this wine are really quite something – energetic and vibrantly intense. Never the same weight of impact of the Chênes but altogether more complex and welcoming – did I mention ‘easier to drink?’ Hmm, this moreish wine didn’t need two days to finish – though in this case, help came from someone else who tends to prefer whites. Less than a glass laid in wait for day two – cloudy with sediment – less good but no brett or unsavouriness. My best wine of 2020 – even after the brilliant Potel, though I think that the more concentrated Potel may have more longevity!
Rebuy – Oh Yes!

Did I mention how much I’m liking 1999s right now? 😉

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