another nice wine this week – 2013 Bienvenues

By billn on April 15, 2021 #degustation

2013 Olivier Leflaive Bienvenues

This week we celebrated a birthday in a nice Swiss hotel, so for pre-dinner, I brought a bottle of my own. Bought direct from OL on release. This wine has spent quite a long time in a refrigerator as the apartment gets too hot in the Beaune summers – perhaps why it showed so young – but sealed with a DIAM10, there were, of course, no problems…

2013 Olivier Leflaive, Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet
Hardly a medium-yellow colour – very young looking. Such a forward and impressive nose – still plenty of oak showing in these youthful aromas – I could have easily guessed 2017 from the colour and freshness of aroma – it turns out not just the aroma! To start with I’m really impressed by the acidity – tinged with a rasp of salinity – then it’s the mineral-laden finish that just goes on and on. The fruit is obviously of ripe yellow citrus but richly packaged and with oak references too – but never overtly of spice, cream or vanilla – or anything else so gauche. The acidity is the key to balancing the richness and concentration of this wine – and it’s completely delicious in a very young style – the finish is wide and haunting. Layered gorgeousness here as opposed to the layered rigour of my last hyphen-Montrachet (my last post). A simply great and still baby 2013, bravo – I knew that there was a reason for buying some!
Rebuy – Yes

drinking to excess…

By billn on April 14, 2021 #degustation

drinking to excess(?)

Excess, in this case, not necessarily volume-related…

I’d planned to post on this modest line-up of bottles early last week – but the frost-related events of the week made me reconsider my timing – despite bottles such as these being the marketing livelihood of the region – or at least the central part of the Burgundy region.

Whilst it’s no surprise that we began with the white, I’m more often inclined to drink great Montrachets/hyphen-Montrachets at the end of a tasting – the reason? There’s extra glycerol and a mouth-coating nature that can dull the reds that follow – any level of red and it can last for quite a time too – up to half-an-hour – but anyway:

2005 Leflaive, Chevalier-Montrachet
It’s hard to believe, but in the great scheme of things these bottles were relatively inexpensive – certainly versus their retail price today. A wine that was impressive young, and then impressively impossible to drink when 5-6-years-old. What would today hold?
A deeper yellow colour but no overt oxidation – not aromatically either. The nose was powerful and mineral, practically a salinity hovering above the depth of ripe but still fresh fruit, an accent of creaminess suggesting a little age. In the mouth a blend of muscle and richness – the almost brutal structural minerality that I remember from my last bottle, fortunately, now only that – a memory. This wine opened wider and wider with aeration – no mean feat from a great start. I’m so happy that I retained a modicum of patience with this wine. Incisive, powerful, complex and with just enough of the minerality of this place that you might even have a chance of guessing (blind!) where it came from. Over 3 hours a wine that never waned but I would still say super-impressive rather than delicious…
Rebuy – Maybe at the old price

2007 Comte Liger-Belair, La Romanée
My last bottle of this vintage – the first drunk during our Paulée meal at the end of the 2011 vintage in Beaune. Probably the vintage of this wine that I have drunk the most – so often was it served by Louis-Michel Liger-Belair in the first 15+ years of his tenure.
A little aeration is required but here’s a nose that adds more and more weight – there’s a complex foral and spice mix that overlays the fruit – one might say a typical very great Vosne – particularly as there’s plenty of evidence of sous-bois/dried leaves to this wine now. Mouth-filling – but with a roundness too – no space is spared in the mouth. The flavour sweeps you towards the finish, finely textured but then widens over the palate in the finish like only a great wine can – so impressively spiced here – a great, great finish. Not the best vintage but a wine that would transcend its neck-label – if it wore one!
Rebuy – Yes at the old price!

2001 Romanée-Conti, Romanée St.Vivant
My only bottle of this. A wine of great, great repute when young, so I decided 20 years should be enough time to check on that!
The colour here is not much ‘older’ looking than that of La Romanée. What a nose; stems, spice, redcurrant purity, florals – I am very impressed – a notch more impressive than the 2007, though it’s also had more maturation time – just a brilliant perfume. Textural sweetness, starting in such a seductive way – it’s the combination of texture and balance that does it. The flavour clearly delivering delineated layer after delineated layer of deliciousness, not just fruit and spice but a suggestion of coffee-complexity too. In the end, I think I chose the correct order for the reds – it didn’t seem much of a step up to the RSV from the La Romanée but going in the other direction showed a smaller wine in the mouth – albeit, only modestly smaller – the clarity of middle-flavour of the RSV took it in this case though. A shame I didn’t have the chance to compare the same vintages.
Rebuy – would love to!

weekend 14 2021, some wines…

By billn on April 13, 2021 #degustation

weekend 14 , a few wines...

Yes, mainly Chablis but with no regrets, just utter enjoyment from all this weekend:

2019 L&C Poitout, Petit Chablis
A vertical nose – high and low tones but not so wide – there’s a floral freshness here. In the mouth the width that was missing on the nose abounds in the mouth; volume, complexity and an engaging purity- more important delicious drinkability – bravo.
Rebuy – Yes

2016 Laurent Tribut, Chablis
Not a strong colour. The nose – ooh, here is a perfumed wine. In the mouth, we have lots of concentration and an oily silkiness to the texture. A sweetness, an unctuous nature that isn’t hyper-energetic but then it doesn’t need to be – just so moreish – it’s literally begging me to take another sip. This is the character of the best 2016s and I absolutely adore it. Bravo.
Rebuy – I would love to!

2019 Cyril Gautheron, Chablis 1er Montmains Vieilles-Vignes
80 year-old-vines near Forêts
A beautiful nose, modest intensity but with a clarity of agrume/complex citrus fruit here. Open, easy over the palate but beautifully composed, open and nicely energetic, fringed with a proper Chablis salinity. Now that’s why I bought a case!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Château de Rougeon, Fleurie Poncié
The first vintage for this wine – no prizes for guessing from a parcel in Poncié, in this case previously worked by the Chateau Poncié.
There’s plenty of colour. A nose of graphite depth and energetic width – that’s a fine if not so floral welcome. There’s depth to this wine, the graphite minerality of the nose and a layered delivery of ripe, dark fruit – not cliché Fleurie – but then these vines are up higher than much of Fleurie and sit close to Moulin à Vent. My first impression is of a sweeping, more mineral style to this wine but with aeration, it grows more depth and texture – just like a great Fleurie but with a slightly different flavour profile. It’s simply excellent, delicious, wine.
Rebuy – Yes

Additionally, there was a blanc de blanc crémant from Armand Heitz in Chassagne-Montrachet – yellow colour in a clear bottle – the cuvée name was Marcelle Lochardet – it was pure, fresh and delicious – zero dosage but nothing hard or sharp – not the typical mirabelle aromas of crémant – you could easily think it was a good Champagne – simply an excellent wine…

weekend 14 2021, drinks…

By billn on April 05, 2021 #degustation

weekend 14 2021 wines...

2018 Vocoret, Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
Despite the 2018 vintage, here’s a wine that could only come from Chablis – fresh and inviting aromas. Plenty of mouth-filling presence, lovely citrus energy too. A year on since last tasted, this wine is now in a very good place. Easy but delicious drinking.
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Alain Gautheron, Chablis Emeraude
Thats got a lovely citrus-fresh aroma – perhaps a blend of yellow and green – a lovely invitation. Wide, just a little cushion between it and incisive. But there’s a lovely, almost zesty, orange-flesh freshness here too. That’s completely delicious – and a good job too – I bought a dozen – remember buying wines in 12s?
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Lauren & Remi Dufaitre, Brouilly
This nose starts a bit diffuse and unattractive – far from the performance on the palate which was just so moreishly delicious – fortunately, air brings big aromatic improvements. The nose goes deeper and darker, almost wrapping itself around your senses. Plenty of freshness but concentrated and textured too – ooh – that’s lovely. Simply delicious – no wonder that I, with some help, almost finished the bottle on the first day – next time I will. Bravo wine on day one, still very, very good on day two…
Rebuy – Yes

2013 François Gaunoux, Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
A nice cushion to this red-fruited nose. Silky, direct, a little mineral too. The flavour widening – here just a touch of more herby flavour – not an easy year in 2013 – but the flavours broaden out in fine fashion in the finish – a cherry-stone impression here. Long too. Refreshing and very tasty wine.
Rebuy – Maybe

2013 Clotilde Davenne, Bourgogne Aligoté Vieilles-Vignes
A steely, slightly smoky, reductive nose. In the mouth this is briskly fresh, showing a hint of the aromatic reduction – though less than the nose – and plenty of mineral and citrus complexity. The reduction sticks around for about 20 minutes before fading into the background. Still very young, highly attractive wine that’s better to decant – Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

weekend wines, week 13 2021

By billn on March 29, 2021 #degustation

2010 Famille Barbet, St.Amour Clos des Billards
A reserve caveau label – usually the best of wines – let’s see…
The colour is modest and showing some age but there’s no browning. All the time that it’s open, this is a timid nose, that’s not to say that it’s not a very fine nose – it is, fine red fruit clarity and complexity – but never full-power and no gamay-marsala ageing characteristics. Mouth-filling and wide, delicate, elegant, pure – I could go on in this vein. Don’t drink this in a crowd or you will miss most of what’s going on – you might even call it characterless – and I would understand. Ultra-pure, complex, delicious – and I do love it – but versus everything that’s been made in Beaujolais since 2015 – half a wine!
Rebuy – Maybe…

2019 Alain Geoffroy, Chablis
An attractive aroma with some freshness. I like the shape and energy, there’s good texture too. Persistence in the finish – a tasty wine – and with a Chablis style to it too. Very good.
Rebuy – Maybe

2019 Château de Rougeon, Aligoté L’integral
A forward nose, strongly herbed and shows an older, apple-style, fruit. This is a wine made without sulfur and with skin maceration too. Do I want a second glass – unfortunately not – not a wine to my taste though I’m a big fan of some aligoté with ‘only’ no added sulfur…
Rebuy – No

2020 St.Cyr, Beaujolais Nouveau French Kis Kanon
Almost Beaujolais ‘Oldeau’ – and not actually allowed to be sold with this label now (after a certain amount of time) – though the same wine could now be sold as ‘Beaujolais’…
A bright cherry-red colour. A sweetly cordial fruit – hardly medium-weight flavours, some might not say ‘serious‘ but fun and very tasty wine. Isn’t that the plan?
Rebuy – Yes

a 1992 mid-week winner…

By billn on March 25, 2021 #degustation

Vincent & Denis Bethaud 1992 Fixin Les Clos1992 V&D Berthaut, Fixin Les Clos
Of course, today’s domaine Berthaut-Gerbet. Hard-wax-topped – the wax in-tact. A decently robust cork too – I had anyway decided to start with the ah-so and it came out easily in one piece.
Ooh – now that’s a nose! Deep, faintly smoky – I would guess with whole-clusters – and sweet too – it’s a really great invitation for a wine of such age, no deviations or distractions – aromas that embrace. Bright – fresh – good attack and than slow-moving fresh waves of smoky, layered, sweet flavour – no exact primary fruit but a last impression of heavy strawberry with such a clean but long finish. A little iron in the flavours if, not quite, blood. Really at its apogee – in my experience, it’s rare for a 30-year-old, of any level of the appellations, to come so perfectly together as this has – but you’ve got to win sometimes 🙂
Rebuy? – No Chance!

wines from weekend 12 2021

By billn on March 23, 2021 #degustation

wines weekend 12 2021

A fine and varied selection this weekend…

2017 Agnes et Didier Dauvissat, Chablis 1er Beauroy Elevé en fût de chêne
Plenty of depth to this yellow-coloured wine. A width of sweetness – more creme-patissière than the seashore but very inviting all the same. Incisive, super attack, wide, clean, very mineral – more-so than almost all 18s and indeed most 19s can muster. Such a waterfall of deliciously mouthwatering flavour – yes! Bravo, delicious, proper Chablis, just missing a bit of aromatic salinity today, that’s doubtless due to the elevage, but the wood has already 99% been shed by the palate…
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly Les Sept Vignes
Bought as part of a mixed 12 at the domaine after tasting last month…
A round, cushioned and forward nose with a fine depth of fruit. Mouth-filling freshness with great texture. There’s such a lovely energy to this deliciously mouth-watering fruit. Thivinb’s entry wine for their range of Côte de Brouilly – and already a great wine. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Jean Grivot, Nuits St.Georges 1er Roncières
From a half bottle – a robust cork that smells sweet and clean.
Ooh – there’s a depth of aroma – squeaky-clean, almost textured dark fruit and minerals – that’s very impressive for an old half-bottle – full of iron and blood – completely typical for Grivot’s Nuits with age! In the mouth – clearly the acidity of the vintage – but not a bit sharp as there’s plenty of flavour concentration to offer balance. Such a concentration of middle and finishing flavours – like the nose, darkly fruited and very mineral. Not a wine with overt maturity – no sous-bois or dried leaf characters. Paint me impressed – I have some full-size bottles of this (or maybe they are 95s…) if so, and as much as I’m enjoying this powerful, if far from elegant wine, they deserve more patience! A brute that I can appreciate.
Rebuy – Yes

wines from weekend 11 2021

By billn on March 14, 2021 #degustation

(Subtitled: There are not many positives to take from a corked bottle of Romanée St.Vivant)

d'angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs - Gueguen Chablis 1975 - Moillard Romanée Saint Vivant

2018 Gueguen, Chablis Cuvée 1975
Sealed with DIAM3
This nose starts with a small reduction but slowly expands, filling the glass with agrume fruit as the reduction fades – very attractive. Hmm – that’s rather incisive and nicely saline too – more 2019 in style than 2018. Clean in the middle and mineral finishing. A very above average 2018 – indeed one of the best I’ve tasted at home in the last weeks – excellent wine!
Rebuy – Yes

2002 Marquis d‘Angerville, Volnay 1er Clos des Ducs
From a half-bottle. I worry that the cork may break, but slowly, slowly it comes out in one piece.
The nose starts, fresh, deep and darkly fruited – open but a baby. Sleek, incisive to start – after the Gueguen there’s clearly more acidity here but so silky and so balanced – ooh – and holding such a brilliant line and length of finish – already bravo – and we have hardly started! Aeration widens the palate of aroma, becoming redder-fruited, leafy and floral. The finish all the while becoming ever-more vibrant with fresh dark fruit. Save waiting for extra complexity, this wine is absolutely in place and drinking fabulously – one of the best wines I’ve opened this year so far – grand vin!
Rebuy – without blinking (at the old price!)

1999 Thomas-Moillard, Romanée St.Vivant
The cork comes out in one piece – but I don’t much like the smell of it…
To be fair, the wine smells less (bad) than the cork – it’s what the French would describe as liégeux – or faintly corky – you don’t always get the smell, but for me it was consistent on the palate. There are not many positives to take from a corked bottle of Romanée St.Vivant – but what I can say about this wine, is that having initially bought a case of 12, this is the first time I see some rounding of the flavours and aromas – it was a wine that, until now, was as hard as nails. Not yet ready but becoming drinkable – at least with a better cork!
Rebuy – obviously not a corked one like this…

rebourseau’s 1986 mazis-chambertin

By billn on March 11, 2021 #degustation

1986 Henri Rebourseau Mazis-Chambertin1986 Henri Rebourseau, Mazis-Chambertin
Seemingly there remain 3-4 halves from this c.2007 auction purchase of a case of half-bottles. Cutting the capsule reveals a wealth of Penicillium mould – you can imagine a family of spiders living in it – so it was clearly disappointing that only a modest touch with the ah-so ‘corkscrew’ sent the cork and its spider’s nest falling into the bottle – tsk! My handy plastic beaker (decanter) to the rescue!
The nose has a little beef-stock, brett and a balsamic oxidative style – not quite repellent but hardly an invitation. The flavour surprised – positively: Open, nicely balanced, layered and finishing mineral and even showing a little extra menthol complexity – maybe that was the spiders! The nose never cleaned up but also didn’t get worse. The flavour sufficiently good/interesting for me to take a second glass – and for a half-bottle, that’s most of the bottle. A Curate’s Egg of a wine.
Rebuy – Clearly Not!

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