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

the tastevinage majors of 2020…

By billn on November 13, 2020 #annual laurels#degustation

And for those of you with an interest, for the third year in a row, the tasting panels of the Tastevinage have chosen their ‘majors’ for the year – their best wines tasted. Like last year they have stuck with the reduced number of 12 wines to showcase. You can see them in the image below – courtesy the Tastevinage organisation. There are a couple of names that I don’t know and others that you will have seen showcased here in Burgundy Report.

Tastevinage Majors of 2020

weekend stuff

By billn on November 02, 2020 #degustation#travel pics

After returning from France, the weather was lovely on Friday & Saturday, so after multiple chores on Friday, we chose a walk for Saturday in the beautiful Emmental – which is on our doorstep. All thoughts of confinement were bannished here in the Swiss countryside!

The trees and houses, set on top of hills, are like a slightly more rustic Tuscany – but with better mountains for a backdrop 🙂 We chose a 10.5 km route of Landiswil – Aspiegg – Löchlibad – Tanne – back to Landiswil – it could have 9.5 km if we’d done it properly!

Returning to home, there was wine – hooray! There was also a wholely unnecessary amount of mess and work to extract a broken cork, but at least once we got at the wine, the effort was to be rewarded!

Way back when, I opined in these pages that if 2005 had been only an average vintage, then 2006 might have some chance to compete with 2002 for the best vintage of the decade. I also thought some 2006s to be the equal of their counterparts from 2005 – and here, in action, was a great example of that:

As for the new week before us, I’m asking myself if all is really lost in terms of domaine visits in November – we shall see…

weekend 01 Nov 2020

2016 Moreau-Naudin, Chablis 1er Montmains
I love the wines from this producer but I really wasn’t sure what to make of this wine. Of-course, I expected concentration given the amount of frost suffered in this vintage, but I didn’t really expect such ripeness too. Fine acidity, but hard to find the minerality. Excellently tasty wine but you might have been hard-pressed to guess that it came from Chablis – and Montmains is such a cool (temperature!) terroir too.
Rebuy – Maybe

2006 Camille Giroud, Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs
Singing on all levels – bar one – that damn cork!
Now that’s a great nose of clarity, depth and width – slightly cushioned and a great invitation. In the mouth too, here is a simply delicious wine of very good concentration, red-cherry fruit and just enough freshness that the wine gives you no reason to think about ‘balance.’ Layered finishing whilst always showing good energy. With a little help, I had to drink nearly all of it on the first day. A glass remained for day two when it showed no additional development – good or bad – only a suggestion of barrel that I didn’t see on day one. That’s a great villages wine and a textbook example of a great 2006.
Rebuy -Yes

this week’s, pre-lockdown, 2019 inquisition…

By billn on October 30, 2020 #degustation

burg 2019 - 30 Oct 2020

A memento of some lovely visits and wines, pre-lockdown. My thanks for all the patience of these producers…
(Report coming soon)

Alphabetically (not pictorially):
Sylvain Dussort
Albert Grivault
Patrick Javillier
Comtes Lafon
Dominique Lafon
Olivier Leflaive
de Montille
Jean-Marc Pillot
Elodie Roy
de Villaine
JM Vincent

another week’s inquisition…

By billn on October 23, 2020 #degustation


My many thanks for the vigneron(ne)s that put up with my questions this week – once-more, many covetable wines for sure, you’ll have to subscribe to hear about the bad ones 😉

Purely alphabetically, domaines:
Jean-Philippe Fichet
Jean-Noel Gagnard
André Goichot
Hubert Lamy
Vincent Latour
David Moreau
Caroline Morey
Pierre Morey
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey
Jacques Prieur
Etienne Sauzet

tasting’s not easy in covid times…

By billn on October 19, 2020 #degustation#vintage 2019

Tasting 2019s and 2018s

A long day in the Mâconnais today. As you can see, the producers can be rather grumpy in these covid-dominated times – or maybe it’s just their impatience with me, trying to find the right buttons on my camera 🙂
My thanks for all their patience!

weekend stuff…

By billn on October 18, 2020 #degustation

Pernand & Savigny

My weekenders came from north of Beaune – but not so far north!

2017 Françoise André, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Sous Frétile
A recent 2016 of this was outstanding – this needs more time…
A big, punchy nose of ripe pineapple and a sweet creaminess of oak. That more than adequately describes the palate too. A crowd-pleaser but not a me-pleaser as I find the oaky sweetness leaves something to be desired. The oak is the style of this domaine’s whites and, happily, it fades – but not yet for this wine. I’d wait a couple more years before returning – and drink the 2016 if you can find it – there wasn’t much due to the frost…
Rebuy – Maybe

2011 Camille Giroud, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Peuillets
A fine cork.
The nose is a bit one-dimensional but it’s a nice dimension of red-fruited purity. In the mouth we definitely move to the next level, with a flavour that entertains from the start but grows and widens over the palate – really nice balance and flavour complexity here – still young in many respects but rather fine and balanced all the same. Red fruit, ripe but not a bit of the extra-ripeness that we have ‘enjoyed’ over recent vintages. Probably starting to peak in another 4 or 5 years but anyway delicious today…
Rebuy – Yes

Châtaignier Durand 2015 Juliénas

By billn on October 17, 2020 #degustation

Life’s not just about grand bottles – it’s about different corners of a region, different grapes – and of course, different vintages:

2015 Châtaignier Durand, Juliénas
There’s deep colour here – as in most places in 2015. The nose has plenty of freshness, indeed a crunchiness to the fruit that’s not overtly 2015 – but then much of Juliénas is planted at quite a high altitude – so perhaps here is the reason for that. Anyway, the nose is a fine invitation to drink. In mouth, this wine has a much riper style compared to the aromas. All the same, there’s good acidity, but a wine that from a flavour-perspective is quite true to the vintage. Delicious in this riper style, it drinks quite well given the stated 14% alcohol… I have to say, yum!
Rebuy – Maybe

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