The Market

New owners of the Château d’Etroyes in Mercurey

By billn on April 26, 2023 #the market

News came out, yesterday, of the acquisition of the Château d’Etroyes by the Bollinger group of Champagne. As you will see, the actual Press Release (here) positions this more as an acquisition by Domaine Chanson of Beaune – who are, of course, Bollinger’s arm in the Côte d’Or.

Despite a production covering more than 50 hectares in the area of Mercurey & Rully, plus producing over 20 different cuvées – it’s a name that I confess to not having stumbled across – except for here – and I have one more!

I expect that this will change over the coming years, as this acquisition more than doubles the surface of vines of Domaine Chanson. I also expect that there are multiple synergies to be unravelled in the coming years.

A patchwork of history of the Château d’Etroyes
Whilst the château and some vineyard ownership dates from around 1720, the existing winery of d’Etroyes was founded in 1930 by François Protheau. Following the death of François in 1955, his son, Maurice, took over and expanded the family holdings – in the 1960s the domaine ran to ‘only’ 35 hectares – it was double that at its peak – though only 50 of those hectares were in the Côte Chalonnaise. After 50 years at the domaine, Maurice passed away in 2005, leaving the winery to his children Michelle, Martine & Philippe. The domaine and château had new owners in 2016 – the Helfrich family – who resold in 2018 before the chateau found its latest owners. There are some additional aspects to this transaction in that François Protheau had also a négociant operation with about 10 hectares of vines which produced Mercurey, Montagny and Rully – I’m unsure if this part of the business/vines is also part of the Chanson-Bollinger transaction, or whether they remain in the portfolio of the Côte d’Or’s François Martenot – i.e. the old Maison Béjot.

offer of the day – marc morey 2021

By billn on March 21, 2023 #the market

From my local, Swiss merchant. In the brackets, you will find the prices of the 2020s & 2019s from the previous two years and — indicates ‘not offered.’

Domaine Marc Morey 2021:
Saint-Aubin Charmois 1er Cru 2021 75cl 52.00 (49.00, 48.00)* (Swiss Francs)
Chassagne-Montrachet 2021 75cl 64.00 (59.00, 59.00)
Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 1er Cru 2021 75cl 79.00 (78.00, 72.00)
Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Cru 2021 75cl 79.00 (78.00, 74.00)
Chassagne-Montrachet En Virondot 1er Cru 2021 37.5cl — (46.00, 47.00)
Chassagne-Montrachet En Virondot 1er Cru 2021 75cl 94.00 (88.00, 88.00)
Chassagne-Montrachet En Virondot 1er Cru 2021 150cl — (181.00, —)
Chassagne-Montrachet Caillerets 1er Cru 2021 75cl 99.00 (94.00, 92.00)
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 2021 75cl 158.00 (139.00, —)

*Prices delivered, but without the 7.7% Swiss purchase tax…

Offer of the day – Domaine de la Comtesse de Chérisey

By billn on March 14, 2023 #the market

One of my favourite white wine domaines of the last couple of years – but a harder one to pin down as they no-longer show their wines before bottling and also commercialise the wines with some delay – hence, here we have a mix of 2018s plus an occasional 2017.

The prices are in Swiss francs* including the Swiss 7.7% purchase tax – delivery is extra:

Offer – Domaine de la Comtesse de Chérisey

2018 Meursault La Genelotte Monopole 1er Cru 75cl 122.00*
2018 Meursault La Genelotte Monopole 1er Cru 150cl 254.00
2017 Meursault La Genelotte Monopole 1er Cru 150cl 223.00

2018 Puligny-Montrachet, Les Chalumeaux 1er Cru 75cl 122.00

2018 Puligny-Montrachet, Hameau de Blagny 1er Cru 75cl 122.00
2018 Puligny-Montrachet, Hameau de Blagny 1er Cru 150cl 254.00

2017 Blagny La Genelotte Monopole 1er Cru (Rouge) 150cl 223.00

100-150 Swiss Francs (it’s about the same in Euro) does seem to be about the going rate for very good white 1ers from Chassagne to Meursault. I’m old enough(!) to remember when they were under €40 and were drunk with much more regularity. The red is very expensive for a Blagny – even a 1er cru – but given such low yields in this vintage, it clearly remains more of a cost-centre than a profit-centre!

offer of the day – comte georges de vogüé 2021

By billn on March 12, 2023 #the market

Or, at least in part 2021 – there are only 2 wines offered – and whilst the price of the Musigny may have softened, the villages has always been an expensive thing – I last bought the 2012 and that was €100 a bottle. These wines were offered by my usual Swiss merchant.

The first price is for 2021, the subsequent prices in brackets are of the formula (2019, 2018, 2017) and — means ‘not offered.’ I’ve not seen any prices for 2020.


2021 Chambolle-Musigny 75cl 225.00 (—, —, 149.00) *Swiss francs
2021 Bonnes-Mares 75cl — (625.00, —, 489.00
2021 Bonnes-Mares 150cl — (—, —, 998.00)
2021 Musigny Vieilles Vignes 75cl 898.00 (998.00, 898.00, 699.00)
2021 Musigny Vieilles Vignes 150cl — (—, —, 1,418.00)

*7.7% Swiss purchase tax to be added, but these are delivered prices.

Update – ‘offer of the day – 2021 l’Arlot’

By billn on March 11, 2023 #the market


In Switzerland, at least, and two months after they were offered, I see that none of these have sold out. And we can assume that some were offered in very small quantities…

It’s actually a great vintage chez Arlot – but are these the first winds – breezes – of market change?

offer of the day – Dugat-Py 2021

By billn on February 23, 2023 #the market

From my usual Swiss merchant with, where offered, the price of their 2020s and 2019s are in brackets, also from the same merchant, the last two years. — indicates not offered:

Domaine Dugat-Py 2021
Monthelie Très Vieilles-Vignes 75cl — (89.00*, —) Swiss Francs

Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Avaux Vieilles-Vignes 75cl — (119.00, —)
Beaune 1er Cru Les Grèves Très Vieilles-Vignes 75cl 198.00 (198.00, —)

Pommard VV La Levrière 75cl — (149.00, 139.00)
Pommard Les Vaumuriens Hauts Très Vieilles-Vignes 75cl 169.00 (168.00, —)

Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes 75cl 119.00 (119.00, 99.00)
Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Coeur du Roy Vieilles-Vignes 75cl 159.00 (159.00, 149.00)
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles 75cl — (188.00, 149.00)
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Corbeaux 1er Cru 75cl 325.00 (315.00, 265.00)
Gevrey-Chambertin Champeaux 1er Cru 75cl 325.00 (355.00, 265.00)
Gevrey-Chambertin Petite Chapelle 1er Cru 75cl 369.00 (355.00, 265.00)

Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 75cl 558.00 (545.00, 475.00)
Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru 75cl 645.00 (599.00, —)
Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 75cl 885.00 (850.00, —)

*As usual, these are delivered prices but without the Swiss purchase tax of 7.7%. Remarkable restraint don’t you think?…!

For those of you wondering about (most of) the Côte de Beaune wines, these are rented from the no-longer-existing Domaine Christopher Newman.

Volnay votes to stop the use of herbicides

By billn on February 14, 2023 #the market#warning - opinion!

Grand cru herbicide...One of the most obviously depressing sights in Burgundy comes around right about now – February-April – when the yellow-orange, dead weeds and grass become visible. It’s a short but annoying window where you can see some very expensive plots of real estate in the raw, treated with herbicide. This view lasts only a few weeks before the offending material is ploughed back into the soil and halos of multiple growers are seemingly restored.

Recently, a small but important step was taken by the Organisme de Gestion of Volnay (ODG) – the winegrowers association – which voted to stop the use of herbicide in their Volnay Premiers Crus. An obvious ‘halfway house‘ of a decision but a welcome one that covers 110 hectares of vines.

This evolution of ‘Volnay specifications’ will now be included in the rules by the INAO, the new specifications could be in place as early as 2024. Such evolutions are rare but absolutely necessary; newly granted AOCs are held to much more rigorous standards than those that have been in place for the last 90 years – for instance also forbidding the use of machine harvesting.

From the press release: “Stopping herbicides seemed obvious to us,” explained Thomas Bouley, current President of ODG Volnay, “Because public and environmental health is at stake. We are fortunate to have an appellation of international renown, with high added value, which allows us to produce in a more ‘proper’ way. In such a favourable economic context (for our wines) our appellation must now, more than ever, be exemplary.

Burgundy – more sellers than buyers?

By billn on January 27, 2023 #the market

Well, if it’s really the case, no one can claim surprise.

Outside of a modest few domaines’ modest few wines, the only real value in greater Burgundy – in recent vintages – has come from outside of the Côte d’Or. I have never bought more from Chablis, Mâconnais and Beaujolais – but at the same time, so little from the Côte d’Or – not in 30 years of purchasing…

But ‘Wolf!‘ has been cried for many years – let’s wait and see if it’s really the wolf at the door – shall we?! I still don’t know anybody who can buy Richebourg if they want some!

Domaine Chantal Lescure – Sold!

By billn on January 19, 2023 #the market

Domaine Chantal Lescure is/was a 19-hectare domaine to be found in the centre of Nuits St.Georges and it has been announced this week that it has been sold.

The domaine was founded in 1975 by Chantal Lescure and Xavier Machard de Gramont – you may recognise the latter name – Chantal was the aunt of Axelle Marchard de Gramont. Was? Yes, Chantal died 25 years ago.

Chantal was one of 7 siblings and her family came from an industrial background in Dijon, making their fortune by commercialising the pressure cooker in France. The family later diversified into vines. After Chantal died (1996) it was her sons Aymeric and Thibault Machard de Gramont who came to the domaine but it was said that the next generation had little interest in running the domaine, so put someone else in charge to manage it.

The holdings are impressive – 19 hectares – with 1er crus dotted along both the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune – there’s even a little Clos de Vougeot grand cru. The domaine was (later) also an early adopter of organic viticulture, having been certified organic in their vines since 2006 and has been run by François Chavériat.

But now there are new owners, and for a change, it is not a group whose main business is making handbags. The cost of the acquisition hasn’t been released – or yet rumoured as far as I can tell!

Jean-Philippe Girard and Eric Rousseau are the new team in charge. Of course, you will know Eric from his previous life at Domaine Armand Rousseau, but what of Jean-Philippe Girard? He’s from Dijon and has recently stepped down from his own company which he ran for 30 years – working on the technologies associated with wheat, flour and bread. He’s also (still) the head of a development agency that aims to establish of new companies in the community of Dijon.

It seems that François Chavériat will remain in his position. I wish them all success in this!

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