Travels in Burgundy 2018

the week so-far

By billn on December 13, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

54, 53, 52, 51…..

Of-course nothing much tops the return of the Scooby this week – covered in frost when recovered on Wednesday morning – an early train trip to Chalon was required, and then a taxi. Subaru is not that well-developed in France – what would have been a 2 day job to fix back home in Switzerland (one day to get the part), took 12 days in France; fault diagnosis, a part ordered from Belgium, which when it arrived was the wrong part, then re-ordering, then fixing. But all is now good, and only 4 appointments were cancelled in the process, as a planned week at home was included, plus some days of French car-hire.

But the weather’s been kind this week – fortunately – as Tuesday was just 4 appointments in Beaune, on foot. Wednesday, after Chalon, to Premeaux and today was Beaune again followed by Nuits St.Georges. Tomorrow to Nuits again for my penultimate tasting of 2018. Today’s tastings were marathons; starting slowly with a mere 26 wines – then hot-footing it to appointment number two – 54 wines! I really wasn’t in much shape for driving afterwards but the sandwich shop was close by, so munch, munch, munch… The afternoon was much easier – 3 hours and only 44 wines!

When I got back home I went straight out for a run – if I’d for one moment sat down, that would have been me immobile for the rest of the evening – as it was, I felt I deserved pizza afterwards!

#2017burgundyreport – grisaille, boulevard repetitions and now some côte de nuits…

By billn on November 29, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

It’s a normal winter week in the Côtes – grey, and sometimes for good measure, with wet mixed into the grey. It’s not all that photogenic – particularly if you have to get wet whilst taking a grey photo! My trusty Subaru (now almost 370,000km since new!) seems to have developed a funny noise from the engine-bay – maybe a loose exhaust manifold? Anyway, fortunately it’s stable as I’ve no time to get it checked!

The temperatures are not all that cold – holding at about 7° – I hardly need my gloves for jogging, but as usual at this time of year, the best running routes are lost to the darkness, so endless repetitions of the Boulevard and other ‘lit’ areas are required – such is life!

In the cellars it is business as usual, of-course. 2017 being a much more interesting vintage than many who tasted early proclaimed. This is the first week that I’ve consistently starting entering into the Côte de Nuits – and the quality at the good addresses is more consistent than in the Côte de Beaune – at least with my small but growing sample. I’ve roughly 20 visits this week before a short weekend back home and then returning to the Côtes for more next week, and the week after!

Today a ‘trek’ south; to Rully, Mercurey and back home via Volnay…

UPDATE: Well, it didn’t quite work out like that today.

‘Cleaner’ weather for sure – indeed almost blue sky – but also a palpable lack of a Subaru – timing-belt was kaputt – and only 3 weeks after a service too! I could have continued driving, but then there would probably have been a destroyed engine – it was best to stop…

So, not only did I have to arrange for the car to be towed away, I had to cancel my trip to Rully, Mercurey and Volnay – but then the Volnay domaine came back to me – ‘Oh that’s okay – we can pick you up in Beaune!‘ Now how’s that for service? – and their wines were great too – what a relief!

wind, sun, rain and fog – a normal autumn in beaune

By billn on November 15, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

Wednesday morning in Aloxe-Corton…

I haven’t yet posted any pics of this week so far – truth be told it’s been quite miserable this week so far, except for Monday and Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday the mercury (not the wine) hit 22°C and there was a strong wind too – I wouldn’t have wanted to be driving a high-sided vehicle – the wind ripped the majority of pinot leaves from the vines, so large swathes are now just bare vines. The chardonnay is a little more robust, but it’s still mainly the young vines that retain their leaves.

Tuesday was quite heavy rain in the morning but it all-but stopped before lunch – perfect! – as I decided to jog up to the three crosses in Santenay. The fact is when I get home after 7 in the evening, I just can’t quite force myself out for a jog, so this is an alternative that keeps me from vegetating – provided I’m not then too smelly for the afternoon appointments 🙂

Wednesday and Thursday brought great tastings, but outdoors it was damp and foggy – actually quite typical weather for November – come to think of it, typical for December, January and February too – and did anyone mention March? Anyway another midday jog on Wednesday – around Corton – I happened upon a vineyard worker preparing his new vines for planting. He was happy to have his photo taken, then I asked what domaine – it was DRC – working on their new fermage plots ex Bonneau du Martray – theirs since the 1st of November.

Thursday there was no lunchtime jogging! First some Monday-Tuesday pics:

Then Wednesday and Thursday:

volnay, chassagne, santenay and even maranges…

By billn on November 08, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

Volnay – early!

Monday aside, which was typically misty for November, we’ve had lovely sunny mornings but then plenty of rain in the afternoons – particularly yesterday – that was heavy! But today – it was nice all day – I was even tempted to pull out my camera! The effect of the rain was that most of the pinot leaves have fallen between Beaune and Volnay, but further south, from Chassagne to Maranges, the leaves are clinging on, but not as tenaciously as the second-set grapes! The leaves of the chardonnay are still mainly in place…

First, Volnay to Chassagne:

Then a mix of Maranges and Santenay from that last half hour of light…

another côte de beaune day…

By billn on November 06, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

Good Morning, Aloxe-Corton!

Wet weather crept up on me today – I entered a tasting room with lovely blue sky and autumnal colours behind me – I came out, not much more than an hour later, and it was dark – at lunchtime! The afternoon became wet – but apart from some good wines in the afternoon, a personal highlight was the chance to taste with John Tilson of The Underground Wineletter fame – a writing contemprary of Clive Coates and seemingly still doing the rounds now and then!

saturday in the côtes…

By billn on November 03, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

Well the long-range forecast hadn’t been good – one might say miserable! But Saturday dawned with blue skay and only really clouded-up as the skies anyway darkend around 5pm – a good day…

sunday in the vines (:-))

By billn on October 21, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

Finishing with a long run through the vines, chasing the last of the sunlight. And who have thought that the medieval terror of tar and feathers would still be thing in modern-day France? 🙂

saturday in the vines…

By billn on October 20, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

There’s still a lovely light in the Côte d’Or, but the vine colours are less intense now as the vines begin to lose some of their leaves – the temperatures are not quite cracking the 20°C-mark now, but still we have none of the (normally!) ubiquitous fog of October…

two days in the côte de beaune…

By billn on October 11, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

It was supposed to be great weather this week, but Monday only saw some hazy sun from the late morning, Tuesday and Wednesday resembled January with two misty days on the côtes – but today quickly warmed and delivered much afternoon sunshine. Visits, photos, jogging, more photos – the usual stuff!

Note: We seem to have reached peak autumn gold in and around Volnay-Pommard – Beaune and Corton are not far behind…

Burgundy Report

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