this week so far – a brace of jcb

By billn on January 30, 2019 #degustation

2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Morey St.Denis 1er Monts Luisants
A satisfyingly strong cork is a good start, but a nose such as this takes it to the next level – deep, almost a licorice frame to the dark fruit. Fine volume in the mouth, width, dark fruit that’s redolent of the nose, a modest baseline of tannin – a little plushness to the texture. Layered and über-delicious finishing – such a shame that I only have one more of these. The finish has a little bitter chocolate – some dark, almost dissolved, wood here. Great premier cru – it would make many grand crus blush! Another 5 years needed for optimum drinking, but this bottle did not last the whole night!
Rebuy – Yes

2007 Jean-Claude Boisset, Nuits St.Georges Aux Lavières
Decent depth of colour, though starting to show some age. Wide, sweet dried leaves, perhaps a hint of cocoa-powder. Medium weight, some direction, mocha-tinged fruit. The barrel is showing here, but so is plenty of sweetness from the fruit. A modest touch of tannin on the end of the tongue, and actually quite good length. A tasty wine, like the last still showing some of its elevage but very tasty. If I could choose only one, it would be the 2006. But this is very tasty wine.
Rebuy – Yes

a poor weekend of ‘on-piste’ wines – week 03 2019

By billn on January 21, 2019 #degustation

From the great off-piste wines of last weekend to the disappointing on-piste wines of this weekend!

2014 Ponsot/Chezeaux, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
My first from this case. I note a more golden inner-ring on this plastic suppository (cork) – maybe that’s the reason I’ve never extracted an Ardea more easily!
Day 1 – Relatively modest colour. Hmmm – what is that strange smell, practically balsamic – after 5 minutes in the glass the smell is even stronger! Was that a dud Ardea then or – optional lightbulb moment – this is 2014, could it be Suzuki? Hmm – well it’s something. The line, texture and freshness are fine, very fine. Pinch your nose and it even tastes half-decent – but given the price of this cuvée should I have to pinch my nose to drink? – No! Maybe it was the Ardea, a second bottle would confirm, but I’ve only three more, so that can wait for another day.
Day 2 – overnight in the cold but stoppered: Significantly less volatile (no surprise) but still not a great smell – but the taste is now great with quite some profound, creamy old vine flavour – a better nose and I would say that this was a great 2014.
Day 3 – the first day with something approximating to fruit on the nose – but it’s too late for the palate – all the interest is gone!
Rebuy – No

2005 Maurice Ecard, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Jarrons
My last one of these was bad, probably cork-related. This begins better…
This starts great, open, dark coloured, full of aroma, a suggestion of earth and flowers. In the mouth, very good volume and density, width of flavour, depth of flavour too. The last notes are a touch oxidative – but just a touch – I clearly don’t think much of the corks used here, but this wine is very drinkable, indeed yum! But it is for drinking-up now – which is a shame for a 2005.
Rebuy – No

weekend wines – week 02 2019

By billn on January 14, 2019 #degustation

2017 Bourgogne Tonnerre Le Clos du Château Blanc
Hmm – some vintages this is a match for 1er cru Chablis, and it’s there or there about in 2017. Fresh, a 2015 style of yellow, easy fruit but with definition and drive. It’s as good as it gets in white burgundy at €8 – actually for that price it’s simply amazing!
Rebuy -Yes

Which reminded me that I had an ‘older’ bottle of the red:

2015 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Le Clos du Château
Here’s a wine that I suggest searching out in riper vintages
Modest colour, but a nose of vibrant pinot fruit – very red fruited with a subtle herb – though much less than you will find in the majority of Savigny, for example. Presence in the mouth, easy, slightly creamy – probably once from a more overt barrel – open, fresh only a grain of tannin if you go in search of it. Easy, tasty wine for a very modest price – highly recommended in this vintage.
Rebuy – Yes

2009 Domaine des Billards, St.Amour Reserve Caveau
Rounding out a trio of great corks.
Ooh now that’s a deeper colour – almost saturated. A deep nose, luxuriously fruited with a touch of pepper above – white pepper. Ultra-silky, a wine of muscle, of sinew, a richness and depth of flavour but no fat. So many layers – ooh great wine, great finishing. Hard to imagine doing better for the price in Burgundy. Normal service will be resumed with Côte d’Or wines next week!
Rebuy – Yes

weekend wines, week 1 2019

By billn on January 09, 2019 #degustation

1996 Guy Castagnier, Clos St.Denis
A cork that broke into many pieces – just about recoverable
My last one of this stinked – brett amongst other things – this was way better! A smooth and pure dark-red fruit on the nose – in fact just that – a nice line and shape, but primary – at 22 years old! The palate was reasonably concentrated, nicely silky but like the nose – oh-so young. Given the forward but still balanced acidity I’m not sure what vintage I may have guessed – still a bit sharp for 2005 – but equivalently young. No maturity here – but delicious – all was drunk the same night. And it was a stable wine too – no bretty development – the last sip was as good as the first.
Rebuy – Yes

Now you mention 2005s…

2005 Bertagna, Chambolle-Musigny Le Village
Another terrible – broken in the middle cork – at this level of annoyance, I’d prefer DIAM! Not recoverable either, even with an Ah-So, it ended up in the neck so I quickly decanted through a filter.
Well, what do you know – more depth and certainly more aromatic complexity – perhaps even maturity – than the 1996. Go figure. It’s a dark complexity that is visible in the flavours too – perhaps a little oak-derived. But a wine with more volume and more maturity than the CSD, complex though less finely textured. A great and cushioned wine for the label – Chambolle has always been my sweet spot for 2005s. Great Villages! Another wine that didn’t last the night (but not the same night!)
Rebuy – Yes

a few wines to get back into the swing of things – week 1 2019

By billn on January 04, 2019 #degustation

2006 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Les Murgers des Dents du Chien
A golden colour, but not so deep – it looks fine! Hmm, it smells fine too! A little toast, fresh width and fainter sweetness. Weight in the mouth, a freshness that easily carries a richness of extract – growing wider, mineral, concentrated – such lovely texture. Excellent, mineral, length. Beautiful shape, more mineral than tasty – but still yum!
Rebuy – Maybe

2007 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Les Murgers des Dents du Chien
Plenty of energy on this nose, just a little more appealing than the 2006. Ouch – that’s great – but only just. Many lower wines in 07 can be like battery-acid, this avoids that, but it’s still not a wine for the acid averse. Complex, tasty and with so much zing – just drink is somewhere calm! I love!
Rebuy – Yes

2008 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Les Murgers des Dents du Chien
A more cushioned nose, faintly sweet, almost a sweet apricot aspect. A hint more age than the 07, but whilst there’s plenty of acidity, this is less driving than the 2007 – it’s the most balanced and delicious of all these wines so-far – still vibrant, indeed electric in the mid and finish. I maybe love this even more than the 07!
Rebuy – Yes

2009 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Les Murgers des Dents du Chien
Hmm – a fresh nose but with a depth of toasty notes – this needs a litter air. I’m expecting some fat, some richness, but no – fresh, mineral, balanced – yet without an obvious acidity like the last two wines. It seems that this is balanced more by its minerality than its acidity. Open, classy, great texture and importantly delicious – something that to an extent the 2006 lacks.
Rebuy – Yes

I admit that I’m tempting fate, but I’ve never had a sub-par bottle of Alex’s Dents du Chien. Maybe I should pull out the 2004 and 2005 that I have somewhere!

1998 Chézeaux/Ponsot, Chambertin
Well the quick summary would be that this was almost a waste of a bottle. I remember Laurent Ponsot telling me a few years ago that his wines shouldn’t be judged before they were twenty years old – more recently he updated that to 25-years – he had probably tasted this wine just before we spoke!
The nose is fresh but narrow; celery, a considered, almost spiced but certainly understated dark-red fruit aroma. Fresh, clean lines over the palate with a depth of black-cherry fruit, almost black-olive ‘fruit’ – this is a wine of line and freshness, not a wine of weight or concentration. I drank it, all of it, with a certain, measured, enjoyment, but certainly not enthusiasm given the label – or the price-point! Certainly not worth the price of entry today, your mileage may vary in the future…
Rebuy – No

my christmas magnum opus

By billn on January 03, 2019 #degustation

Of-course with a little help from my friends…

You already met the 1981 Nuits, earlier in my posts, so:

2010 Alain Geoffroy, Chablis 1er Beauroy
Light, very young colour. The nose is pure, saline, seashore – perfect. Nice zing and intensity – pure and delicious flavour – the finish a little short/inconsequential – but a prefect condition, perfect quaffer that everyone loved – easy!
Rebuy – Maybe

2010 Camille Giroud, Corton-Charlemagne
My 2017s in 75cl all died more than 3-4 years ago, but this is pristine in magnum format.
Certainly a darker colour, still a suggestion of oak but a powerful lychee-style tropicality, yet rippling muscle, and fine energetic drive to the concentrated flavour. Honestly, this is such a baby – a delicious baby – but maybe drunk 5-10 years too soon. Hard to tell with some of these wines – eh?
Rebuy – Yes

1998 Faiveley, Corton, Clos des Cortons Faiveley
I thought that Erwan Faiveley was having some fun when he described this cuvée as ‘approachable’ – I thought to myself ‘approachable in what – a full hazard suit?’ but this frightening combination of cuvée and vintage is indeed quite drinkable – but it’s still 10 years too early in this format!
A nose of cool fruit, blood, a certain celery-style herb – but very clean – there’s no brett or anything like that. In the mouth medium bodied but with a good intensity – very young, practically primary flavour but zero astringent and I must say, a nice texture. Baby wine – it drank well over nearly 3 days, but like a ‘too young’ wine.
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses
I have some of this in magnums from 2006 and 2005 – it’s still too early to prise a 2005 from the cellar I think…
Medium-plus colour. The nose has an easy quality to it – appealing, but far from the invitation of an Amoureuses. Tasty wine, of good shape, modest intensity and even quite good complexity. Simply a good wine. I was expecting more – luckily the premium for this label was very little in those days. Tasty but not special.
Rebuy – No

2013 Nathalie & Gilles Fevre, Chablis Les Preuses
I decided too early to open any of 2012, 2014, 2015 or 2016 but maybe 2013 would be worth it! Loved the silver-coloured wax capsule.
Hmm – a big aromatic here, a little apricot and lychee, but also a saline suggestion too. In the mouth, big energetic wine with plenty of sucrosity – it’s completely delicious – though you may be hard pressed to spot it as a Chablis – blind. But loved by all.
Rebuy – Maybe

2008 Camille Giroud, Bourgogne Pinot Noir – Cuvée L
L for lees – the blending of the remaining lees at bottling for all this producer’s wines – bourgogne, villages, 1ers and grands crus – then left a number of months more to (best as possible) settle. Clearly this needed more than the 5 days I gave it – it was never clean and bright!
Fresh – open, younger but complex nose. Open, good intensity – fresh-flavoured – actually very delicious in an open and easy style. Not perfect clarity, but a shape, a definition, that reminded me a little of Cortons. Very open, very tasty – I guess I’m lucky to be the only person with magnums 🙂
Rebuy – Yes

christmas magnums

By billn on December 23, 2018 #degustation

The format seems to much more christmassy and for sharing, so here’s the first this season.

1981 Maison Clavelier – Hospices de Nuits, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Corvées Pagets – Cuvée Saint-Laurent
A length of name that’s right up there with many from Deutschland! Noted, the label is only 75cl.
The corks starts to move very easily until it crumbles through the middle – a combination of Ah-So and normal cork-screw worm does the trick in multiple pieces though with hardly any ‘bits’ dropping into the neck. Browner colour but the nose is not particularly oxidised for the age of the wine. Actually it’s a more floral nose – aged for sure but not a hint of brett or leather. The flavour is easy and elegant – this is an elegant senior citizen of a wine – a touch of oxidation that shows only through some suggestion of balsamic, there’s no tannin to speak of as it has long-since been deposited on the walls of the heavy, older-style bottle. Tasty, easy – everyone loved. A good start..
Rebuy – No need (I have more :))

weekday wines, week 51 2018…

By billn on December 19, 2018 #degustation

A holiday week in the south of France – though plenty of typing was interwoven. Our first bottle was the 2016 Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly Les Griottes de Brulhié – and like most Thivin, for my palate, it was delicious. Deeply coloured and fruited – just a great bottle – the oak is not completely gone, but now is on a quite modest level. Next the crémant, 2014 Louis Bouillot, Perle d’Or – a sample, but drunk as any bottle should be. Open, good fizz – even a decent fizz for the last glass on day two. Tasty wine, and for about €12 a bit of a steal to be honest – excellent! Another bottle of the Roty – that’s at the third of this case in the last 2 weeks and it was as delicious as the previous bottles. Why not some white? okay, 2016 Domaine de Serrigny, Savigny-lès-Beaune – fresh, aromatic, depth of fresh, alive, concentrated yellow-citrus flavour – the first time that I’ve noticed some barrel notes in the finish – but frankly the wine remains delicious. The last of this week’s south of france selection was 2016 Laurent Martray, Côte de Brouilly Loïs – eventually deeply coloured wine – I say eventually because the cork was like a piece of cement in the neck – eventually being removed in 3 pieces – not the fault of the attractive wax capsule – I’m sure. More direct and acid-forward than the Thivin – like an acid cherry. Tasty but not showing at it’s best – I think the cork could have some bearing on that…

week 49 weekend wines – 2018 BJ Nouveau, 2017 Chambolle, plus an older one…

By billn on December 10, 2018 #degustation

Well, let me tell you that the Domaine Romy 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau Le Mouflet was that very rare beast – a Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé! This wine was light coloured, transparent, nicely structured and fresh in a way that the best gamay manages to surpass in the vas majority of rosé pinot noirs. It was simply great!
Rebuy – Yes

Then came the 1997 Sylvain Cathiard, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Malconsorts
My last one of these was almost undrinkably bretty, but this starts fabulously with a great and complex mature burgundy nose – so good! After 30 minute, unfortunately, this adds a bit of brett into the mix. A wine that remains drinkable, but much less ‘sniffable’ as it nears its last pours.
Rebuy – No

Lastly the 2017 Bernard et Armelle Rion, Chambolle-Musigny Les Echezeaux
A deep colour for the vintage. The nose is herby but with a very fine fruit and faint flowers too. Big wine, some structure, some herb on the mid-palate complexity too – but what a great depth of fruit as we head into the finish. A wine that softens with air – becoming ever-more friendly. Pretty excellent!
Rebuy – Yes

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