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

pavolot’s 1999 dominode…

By billn on December 16, 2020 #degustation

pavelot 1999 savigny dominodeI opened the 1997 of this about 2 weeks ago and it was in brilliant form. Here the 1999 – unsurprisingly a little younger and less mature, but both drinkable (very!) and showing the extra class of the 1999 vintage:

1999 Jean-Marc Pavelot, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
A cork that came out in one – obviously bleached – but not, seemingly, to the detriment of the wine.
Clearly a lot of maturity in this colour but, all the same, deeply coloured. Impressive depth to this nose – a core of powerful, perhaps not fully open, fruit. I have the impression of both class and sulky – clearly less mature aromas than the ’97. Mouth-filling, plenty of tannin if you go searching it out, otherwise here’s a very sophisticated, balanced and concentrated wine. A suggestion of Savigny herb in the middle flavours. Mouth-watering freshness and still an accent of drying tannin – though you’ll no-longer find any grain. I would say just about starting to drink properly but with at least 10 years ahead of it – I’m very happy to have 6 or 7 more in the cellar. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

something for the weekend…

By billn on December 14, 2020 #degustation

weekend wines...
This weekend’s…

A strong couple of wines for this weekend’s successful re-run of the Hospices de Beaune 2020 wine-auction – only 1 month late – the auction that is, not these two wines! Some thoughts on the auction tomorrow when I’ve had the chance to peruse the full detail.

2017 Sébastien Giroud, Pouilly-Loché
DIAM10 for this wine…
A warm depth of faintly spiced aroma – but with a support that seems structural and fresh. Mouth-filling, lovely texture, flavours framed with a little salinity. Last time tasted I’m sure this was more open, today it’s direct and a little more mineral. Wide fishing, modestly mineral here too. Excellent, but already for keeping a little – give it a couple more years.
Rebuy – Yes

2002 Varoilles, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos des Varoilles
A cork where the worm of the corkscrew is clearly going to pull through the centre of the cork – the sides welded into place. So I go for the ah-so – still, a far from perfect choice as the cork, anyway, chooses the break in half. At least the last part comes out in one piece!
Some browning at the rim – it looks like there’s some measure of maturity here. The nose is lovely – deep, mature, turned-over earth and dried leaves yet still a little floral perfume too, lovely! Mouth-filling, open, layered, with a nice bite of acidity and a long width of finishing flavour – there’s fine density of flavour here, which, like the nose, has a nice floral lift to it. Really super – I remember a magnum of 02 Gevrey 1er Romanée that disappointed from this producer – doubly so, as I’ve two more in the cellar! Hopefully, given how good this is, that was only a cork issue. Day two the nose is less attractive – a little brett creeping into the aromas – fortunately, it still tastes super.
Rebuy – Yes

new reports for the next 4 weeks plus 3 weekend wines:

By billn on December 06, 2020 #degustation

weekend wines 6 dec 2020

It’s cold now and the roads are turning a little white – actually they will be very white when I reach my 1,000 metre peak in the Swiss Jura when heading to Beaune tonight!

This will be the starting point of my final week of tastings in ‘the Côtes‘ for this year. I will have managed to taste with roughly 145 domains – which is much more than anticipated when President Macron announced the imposition of a second French lockdown. I’ve had to be quite flexible with a few domaines cancelling at late notice due to ‘positives‘ within their teams, but I’ve still managed to revisit some of those towards the end of my tour. So it’s worth outlining how I’m hoping the subscriber reports will appear:

September Report:
Online later this week – 28 domaines from the Mâconnais, mainly 2019s. A look at 2018 Corton – 30 wines tasted blind. Lastly a look back at the 2020 growing season.
October Report:
Hopefully online before may Christmas lunch – the white vintage in 2019 & the mainly white domaines of the Côte d’Or and Chalonnais, vintage 2019 – about 43 domaines is my current count
November Report:
Between Christmas and the New Year – the red vintage in 2019 and the mainly red domaines of the Côte de Beaune and a little further south – 39 domaines, vintage 2019
December Report:
Hopefully before Monday 4th January – the Côte de Nuits domaines, about 32 of them at current count, vintage 2019. I say hopefully before 4th January, because I’m (still!) planning to start my January 2019 Chablis campaign of 55-60 domaines on that day with same in Beaujolais to follow in February!

Wish me luck 🙂 Note, the grey and wet of last week meant not so many ‘underwy’ photos, the forecast isn’t great for this coming week either – perhaps Monday will see a little blue sky – let’s see.

And to finish, here’s what kept the throat lubricated this weekend:

2016 Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Godefroy
Plenty of colour – as you might expect. A deep nose, obviously fruited but with fine energy too – with air the fruit becoming more focused on cherry stones. Sumptuous in the mouth, with layers of dark-fruited flavour and the merest undertow of ripe tannin. The finish is rather smart, a more graphite-style minerality slowly coming to the centre-stage. Very fine, young Beaujolais – not a hint of maturity. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

1997 Jean-Marc Pavelot, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
Having found a stash of the 99 of this wine, I though that I’d take my time and work up to it with a 1997 chaser! What an impressive nose! Absolutely ready – wide, full, beautifully clean and sweet with a wealth of underbrush and dried-leaf maturity – yes! Plenty of sweetness here on the palate too, even for someone currently tasting 2019s! Mouth-filling, though never too much. Actually, there’s still plenty of tannin at the base of this wine, but all is ripe and it’s not particularly grainy – call it an interesting bookmark. Wide in the finish and I really like the energy here, the flavour is supple and long. A wine that’s in a great place now – possibly the best since release and certainly there’s no rush to drink it up. Very yum indeed – proper older Burgundy with no faults!
Rebuy – Yes

2009 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Les Murgers des Dents du Chien
We are want to give extra praise to white wines just for having properly survived for 10 years, and that was the case for me here – at least to start with! The was nose full, round, with almost a little oaky reduction mixed with a sweetness of intermediately-aged flavours – ‘yes!’ I thought. Time in the glass and I started to focus a bit more on the forward sweetness, though the texture is good and the acidity does a good job of balancing the round, slightly fat flavour. There’s a certain minerality as you head towards the finish too – all good for the future. It has all that you could wish for in this vintage – except that it needs at least a couple more years of patience – it’s a far cry, for the moment, from the brilliance of the 2006 – but both 2006 and 2009 being sweeter, rounder, white-wine vintages, I retain plenty of hope!
Rebuy – Maybe


By billn on November 30, 2020 #degustation

this weekend(ers)

Three great wines – we were lucky this weekend!

2016 Jules Desjourneys, Pouilly-Fuissé Vignes de la Côte
An extra-long, extra expensive looking cork.
A fresh and precise aroma that’s both inviting and intense too – an accent of fine herb frames this nose. So broad and mouth-filling. This is incredibly intense, direct wine – it attacks the palate yet is never sharp or hard. Finishing broad, like the nose, and lasting so long… A great wine that should last a good many years! Bravo.
Rebuy – Yes

2018 Roty, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Fontenys
Here’s an open and very deep nose. Wide and so fresh – such cool fruit, such minerality too – Ooh – the blacker fruit is completely secondary to the structure and style of this and I couldn’t care less, for this is great wine; academic, intellectual wine, such complex wine too. Persistent wine – the oak relegated to merely a spice component it seems. Great wine – again!
Rebuy – Yes

2009 Camille Giroud, Bourgogne Cuvée L
In 08 and 09 the winemaker of the time, David Croix, assembled the lees from all his cuvées at bottling time. This murky assembly was given an extra number of months to settle and produce a few cases more – a blöend from Bourgogne to Grand cru – so Chambertin and Cortons included. This 2009 was initially a bit surly and a long way behind the young brilliance of the same wine in 2008 – but today?
Ooh – that’s not a massive nose, but again a really great one of understated dried leaves, a sweetness of fruit then swooping in from above a beautiful violet-flower perfume – wow! In the mouth you taste the violets and the fat sweet fruit of the vintage. Right now this is brilliant – transformed from its sullen early days. Could the acid be finer – maybe – but I’m splitting hairs. I’m so happy that 4 more of these wait in the cellar!
Rebuy – Yes

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