Travel

Au revoir Puligny – hello Männlichen

By billn on October 15, 2021 #travel#travel pics

Lauterbrunnen Valley
Looking down on the Lauterbrunnen valley – the higher, frosty, houses are Wengen – it was -4°C at 2,200m.

I was under orders – ‘you’re not spending your birthday in Beaune’ – so I did as I was told, like always! 🙂

After finishing up in Puligny on Wednesday I hit the road for Bern. Thursday I hit the mountains – a nice 18km ‘run’ (some parts are just too steep to run!) with an interlude at 10km of goulash soup then back down to Wengen just in time to see the annual beauty pageant – of cows. My birthday evening consisted of Wienerschnitzel and just a glass of crément (d’Alsace!) as I was driving – but you can assume that the weekend is bringing some more considered glasses of wine 🙂

Where to Stay and Eat in Burgundy in 2021(?)

By billn on October 05, 2021 #travel

This doesn’t come from me – and I only know two of the places on this list – the Abbaye de la Bussière and ‘Le Terroir’ in Santenay. The latter I like, the former I like a lot, so maybe I should look into the others. Make of these recommendations what you will…

Where to Stay and Eat in Burgundy in 2021

week 39: the last harvesting days, @louvre_lens & some wines

By billn on October 04, 2021 #degustation#travel pics#travels in burgundy 2021#vintage 2021

week 39 wines...We’ve just returned from a (necessary) week in the UK – so my harvesting this year was cut a little short – that said – my home team in Beaune still managed to finish in September, just!

The major part of the harvest was completed on Saturday (25th) and their Paulée followed on the Sunday. Their last parcel to be picked is always some vines high in Pommard – Les Vaumuriens – often 3-4 days after the rest of the harvest due to the altitude of these vines – but this year they were picked not for full maturity, rather they were picked to avoid the heavy rains that were forecast at the end of the week – 12.5° was not a bad result though and capped 10 days of harvesting for the team.

Apart from our Charlemagne that brought in 30 hl/ha, most of the rest were between 15-25 hl/ha. The Charlemagne was saved by 3 nights of using candles to counter the worst of the frost – at a cost of ~€5,000 per hectare per night – and the domaine owning just over 1/3rd of a hectare here – so that was at a cost of €5,000. Given a price of over €100 a bottle for this grand cru, that’s less than 5 cases of wine so a cost that could easily be absorbed but you can see how quickly that becomes uneconomical as the bottle price reduces.

The team were making their first ‘decuvage’ today and whilst it’s clearly a vintage where the triage was paramount, they are happy that it was done well as the latent wines taste good with no detectable taints.

Below, I include the notes of a few wines that were, mainly, drunk in the UK.

On the way back to Burgundy from the UK we decided to stop at the Louvre-Lens Museum. It more than breaks up the journey, it’s a super location – free to enter but, should you wish, you can make a donation – with a packed restaurant too which, next time, I’d like to try. The next stop was for a few plates of tapas in Chablis’ Why Not – here a bottle of Tribut from the list – more on that below. Finally, to Beaune to sleep and take in the very rainy Sunday!

1998 Guy Castagnier, Clos de la Roche
Not bright and clean but still an inspiring nose – on of purity of fruit and a decadence that implored me to drink – so I did. Deeply flavoured, beautifully fresh – just a little muddled in the long finishing flavours today. Probably to start drinking up but still with plenty of pleasure.
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Leroy SA, Bourgogne
Less depth of colour vs the Castagnier – but clean and bright – actually not so old looking. Complex, a little spice – racy red fruit too – another good aroma. In the mouth, I find unexpected concentration and depth of flavour. This is very, very good. Of course, simpler than the grand cru but with great personality and flavour. Great Bourgogne – bravo – luckily a few more remain at home!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 JC Fagot, Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles-Vignes
An impressive provenance – which I’m not allowed to reveal – that’s why JC had only one barrel – but it’s a beauty. Richly aromatic – ripe but pure – a certain impression of salinity too. In the mouth, the salinity is replaced with a slightly minty attitude to equally rich flavour – not a bruiser by any means though. Beautifully constructed wine – simply excellent.
Rebuy – Yes

2016 Laurent Tribut, Chablis
Ordered from the wine-list – and I’m a bit disappointed by this one – I suppose it serves me right for not being sufficiently adventurous as I’ve had a few of these and they have all been great. This wine, however, has a slightly apple-y hint of oxidation to it. Direct from the fridge (I took the rest home) you will barely notice until the wine starts to warm in the glass after which it’s as clear as day. Sub-standard vs all my previous great bottles.
Rebuy – No – though previous bottles were great.

2018 Château Rougeon, Bourgogne Passetoutgrains La Chapelle
Predominantly (72%) Gamay
What a simply delicious wine – from top to toe – aromatically interesting, beautifully textured, long and deliciously flavoured too. Great Passetoutgrains – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

Some images from the week:

a weeknd without wine – well, almost!

By billn on July 12, 2021 #travel#travel pics

Sunrise in Sedrun
Sunrise in Sedrun, Graubünden (Switzerland) – an early breakfast was required…

There actually was some wine on Saturday evening – to celebrate still being alive – something from Sardinia – it seemed the most interesting on the hotel’s list. For the previous 5 days not a drop had been drunk, though with visits in the Côte d’Or, plenty had been ejected to the spittoon that week.

You will probably know that I’m a keen runner, one that has mainly taken to the trails in the last years as this surface seems less aggressive on a sensitive hamstring of mine. Last year I decided to try my first mountain course though typically aggravated said hamstring about 10 days before the race, so couldn’t take part. One year later, last weekend, it was time to try again. Of course, I aggravated my hamstring again just 4-5 days before the race this time but not enough to put paid to the trip – I could anyway use it as an excuse for not trying too hard – runners are well known for preparing their excuses ahead of time 🙂

To collect our race numbers and to be allowed into the start area we had to show our vaccination infos – easy in Switzerland as it’s one of the first countries to have rolled out the covid app with vaccination info on your phone – a QR-code. That box ticked, we were allowed into the athlete’s area without a mask – a novelty in public these days.

Concerning the race, I think the technical term (today) is WTF!

The bald stats – 16.4km – though my GPS said that I did 16.8 – with 1,250 metres of climbing up to 2,500 metres altitude, numbers that seemed abstractly no problem. I did the baby race, not the marathon (that enjoyed double the amount of climbing) and I’d assumed about 8-9 minutes per kilometre for each 200m gain of altitude and then the rest of the course would be downhill – so easy – or(?)! Pff! – more like 12-13 minutes per kilometre and one was 15 minutes – the last major uphill one, fortunately – as it is simply impossible to run or find sufficient space for overtaking – the latter is only possible through the kindness of those in front of you, by making space for you. Early on, I thought I would have to properly stop and take a rest but somehow came through. I was a little faster than those around me on the downhill and only landed on my arse once – fortunately, in this particular place, there was only wet mud/grass rather than the moonscape of rocks higher up the hill. Thank god for Goretex shoes – but my socks will never be white again 🙂

The result was still my slowest 10-mile race ever, yet surprisingly, one that delivered one of my highest finishing positions for years too. Mountain running requires a level of resoluteness that I’ve never needed when racing on the roads. The place and the people, indeed the event, I loved but my initial instinct was ‘never again‘ – I didn’t notice any of the views from 2,500 metres – I certainly only saw the place for my next footstep on the harum-scarum downhill!

So, never again? As my better half explained – ‘Yes, that’s what most women say when they give birth to their first child – but most will do it again.‘ And you know(?) I can already see how altering my training can bring me an improvement of at least 1 minute per kilometre… 😉

Sunday when we got home we drank a little Chablis from one of the J.Moreau samples from Thursday – no surprise that it was less good despite being left stoppered in the fridge – 72 hours open clearly being of no advantage!

the saturday saunter…

By billn on November 09, 2020 #travel pics

In the deep of the Berner Oberland, with magnificent, if misty, views of the mountains – a modest 10km walk in just under 2 hours…
A fabulous day out…

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

these hills are made for walking – & even jogging!

By billn on July 29, 2020 #travel pics

Left or right?
Left or right?

All countries seem to be recommending taking your holidays at ‘home’ this year – and I’ve seen images of terrible queues in the Swiss mountains in the last couple of weeks, but it seems that we found a beautiful and only modestly visited area: Guarda in the Swiss Engadin. Back now – so I must finish my June Report for publishing before the month-end:

Images only with my ‘phone:’

back…

By billn on August 01, 2019 #travel

From a short break in Piemonte, but later today comes an even shorter break, in Beaune.

We arrive in heavy thunder, lightning, rain and hail – but then it was over – seemingly the hail not hitting any of the vines. We made no Piedmontese domaine visits, just a tour of some better-known locations – and of course, there was the eating! In a very short summary; I loved Novello and La Morra. Barolo was nice but almost a disappointment after La Morra. Of course, Turin was more than interesting. Alba gets many compliments though perhaps we didn’t find the best parts – it certainly has a nice shopping street in the centre, but Asti, once you get through the suburbs and into the centre, is on a grander scale which I found much more impressive.

Interesting that in Asti, it seems hardly possible to find ‘Spumante’ in good wine-shops. They sell Moscato-Asti though – only about 5-6% alcohol and sweet – but no bubbles!

Finally, it was absolutely the best decision to take the ‘St.Bernard Pass’ instead of the tunnel for our return – simply spectacular – there was too much cloud for this ‘detour’on our way to Italy.

Burgundy Report

Translate »

You are using an outdated browser. Please update your browser to view this website correctly: https://browsehappy.com/;