Travels in Burgundy 2017

monday morning in st.amour…

By billn on July 24, 2017 #travels in burgundy 2017#vintage 2017

A little blustery and – not surprising given the ‘active’ cloud – there were some rain-showers here and there.

The vines go high here, with breath-taking views – though Mont Blanc was absent this morning: ‘Good‘ said the vigneron – ‘When we can see Mont Blanc, it means that bad weather is coming!‘ We talked about the development of the grapes this year, and basically there is very little veraison so-far here. I mentioned that I took a photo of some coloured grapes in Chambolle on Saturday – so, not to be outdone, the vigneron eventually found some in St.Amour too 🙂

In this neck of the woods, they normally estimate 45 days from first veraison to harvesting. Those early estimates of harvesting around the 25 August seem to have softened and they are now considering the first few days of September as highly possible. Of-course we have a little altitude here, so it will be earlier in the south of Beaujolais…

3 things to note from this weekend:

By billn on July 24, 2017 #travels in burgundy 2017#weekend stuff

Fantasy Pricing #1
If in Gevrey, and if not taking a coffee at Jeanette’s, then I like to sit on the big sofas of the Rotisserie for drink. The drink prices are okay for such a place – but stay with the drinks. I ordered a couple of (disappointingly small) early-afternoon sweets to go with our drinks – small blueberry tarts with a little ice cream – though I should add that they were delicious. But the bill was €30! Yes, that’s right, €10 per plate of tiny desert. The daily menu here (one of my favourite restaurants, Chez Lucien) is less than €20. So be warned – don’t order the sweet unless you are the restaurant. Two pieces of (not much smaller) chocolate cake came gratis with last Thursday’s coffees! NB Two coffees and two glorious pâtisseries at Pâtisserie Fabien Berteau in Beaune cost about €15…

Fantasy Pricing #2
The new ‘domaine shop’ of Champy in Beaune is very nice – beautifully fineshed and just a stone-throw from the Hôtel Dieu. There are lots of well-priced wines here too – villages and Mâconnais wines mainly – and it’s a nice showcase for their new label design and of-course there are plenty of Domaine/Maison Laroche wines too. The prices of name wines is completely another thing though; €100 for Puligny Folatières, or (wait for it!) €315 for 2015 Mazis-Chambertin? I know that this wine is, year-in, year-out, their best wine, and I have to assume that they know the market pricing better than me, or rather what the market will bear, but €315 – really………(?)

Really, it seems that now is the time to say ‘Goodbye Bejot’
I know that today was a Sunday, so why shouldn’t Bejot’s old premises on the D974 look deserted(?) But a second glance reveals that all the signage has been removed – no single reference to Bejot remains…
(Bejot’s old news)

saturday in the vines

By billn on July 23, 2017 #travels in burgundy 2017

First, Nuits, Vosne (Flagey), Chambolle, Morey:

Then into Gevrey:

breakfasting in beaune…

By billn on June 21, 2017 #travels in burgundy 2017

€5.50 for a formule breakfast with a big café au lait – and with a fine view of the Place Carnot too – you can hardly get the coffee for that price, back home in Switzerland!

it’s hot in them thar côtes…

By billn on June 20, 2017 #travels in burgundy 2017

A quick dip into the Côtes via TGV – but on Thursday I should be re-united, in Switzerland, with my car – hopefully in a decent condition – I don’t think any speeding tickets have arrived in the post yet 🙂

Yesterday 36°C, today a much more modest 34°C! But lots of aircon required for touring. Picture perfect, even if a little too hot, but nice visits and a great menu du jour in Beaune’s La Superb today…

The grapes are developing well on the vines – both pinot and chardonnay are in the best (volume) state that we’ve seen in late June since 2011. Of-course, much water still has to pass under many bridges, but (with fingers crossed) all’s looking good for now in the Côte d’Or – and that’s pretty rare for a vintage ending with a 7!

a chablis day…

By billn on June 08, 2017 #travels in burgundy 2017

 Coming over the Vaudesir hill towards Preuses…

A simply perfect day in Chablis today, with guests. Two great domaines visited, of-course Au Fils de Zinc visited (Raveneau Butteaux and Droin Le Clos – both 2010) and weather ordered from the Gods. Though actually my forehead now suggests that I would have done better if I’d remembered my (sun) hat!

the last 2 days in the côtes…

By billn on June 07, 2017 #travels in burgundy 2017

Very changeable yesterday and today – but definitely warming up! A few pics taken along the way:

what’s new in beaune and peeking behind (usually) closed doors…

By billn on May 26, 2017 #travels in burgundy 2017#vintage 2017

So first, what’s new this week?

  • The first flowers were seen this week in a parcel of Louis Latour’s Corton-Charlemagne, though most are expecting to see flowers later next week – I think a weekend of wall-to-wall 33°C will help that! So we seem to be looking towards a harvest starting-time of roughly the 10th September.
  • I’ve lost Claire again! Claire Forestière made great wines at Bertagna before a short-lived own-label chez Cottin-Frères. I lost sight of her for years after that, but was re-united when I found her working chez Loron in the Beaujolais. But I heard this week that she’s left Loron – nobody seemed to know where she is heading!
  • There’s some hard work going on to renovate what was previously an ‘art’ gallery just across from the Hospices de Beaune, and I noticed on the placard outside the name SAS Champy. I called Dimitri Bazas to ask – ‘are you opening a shop?’ And it seems so: “Yes Bill, you saw well, Champy is making a shop to sell the wines and also a VIP tasting room on the first floor with a unique view of the « Halles » and the « Hospices » !!! It is a really exiting project and we hope to open it at the end of June – early July.” So there you go!

And before a Friday evening apero, whilst walking in Beaune we saw, on the opposite side of the Hospices to Champy’s new shop, an open door! This door is 99.9% of the time most definitely locked, but what the hell, I took advantage. This was the Couvent des Cordeliers, and today is the 1243 Bourgogne Society – or ‘club’ – where the extremely (delete as appropriate) well-heeled, or fortunate get to enjoy degustations of the most sought-after wines that Burgundy can offer. I think it is a fabulous place right in the centre of Beaune, and in its own way, almost as interesting as the Hospices. It’s a shame that it is always locked away…

A little extra info on 1243 can be found here.

Burgundy Report

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