Travels in Burgundy 2018

#2017burgundyreport – chassagne but mainly meursault and some montrachet

By billn on October 04, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

The weather took a turn for the better today after some modest rain yesterday, though my start to the morning could have been improved on – for the 3rd time in 5 days, while parked, my car had been the object of target practice by incontinent pigeons – and I mean incontinent – I’m not sure that an ostrich could have improved on the ‘coverage.’ Once more to the ‘rincage haute pression!

It was comfortably over 20°C in the afternoon, with 26° forecast for tomorrow and Saturday – the last of the day’s sun brought a lovely light.

I had a late finish in Chassagne – only stepping out of a dim-lit cellar about 18h45 – already the sun was casting some long shadows. I managed to catch some of the last rays as I drove towards Montrachet – fittingly – as today I managed the rare feat of tasting 2 Montrachets today – who knows, there may be a third tomorrow 🙂


By billn on October 02, 2018 #reports#travels in burgundy 2018

It’s colder. And the birds are starting to gather in the vineyards. I guess it’s Autumn!

Monday was the first day of my programme of vintage 2017 domaine visits – it was also the day of a very rare occurance – rain! Okay, only modest rain! But it was the first in this neck of the woods since the middle of the harvest – actually the end of the harvest for many white domaines – so that’s about 3 weeks – but we’ll soon have 25°C again – it’s forecast for the end of the week!

Yesterday brought visits in Puligny, Meursault and Chassagne. Today there was more Puligny and Chassagne but tomorrow I will get out a little more, adding St.Romain and Pernand!

A few views from my first two days:

an afternoon mooching around meursault…

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

And still the weather is remarkably benevolent- perhaps the first rain for a while on Monday, but then sunny and and dry again – for days….

(mainly) côte de nuits today…

By billn on September 28, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

Slowly a little Autumn colour is sneaking in…

back home in beaune…

By billn on September 27, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

A walk much closer to home today – a walk from the centre of Beaune, out through the premier crus into Pommard – a quick cola there, before returning through a different range of premiers back to Beaune. 3 hours, 12km…

a northern burgundy day…

By billn on September 26, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

My ‘holiday’ week continues (next week I begin my attack on the 2017 whites) but today our first stop of the day was Auxerre – of-course noting a little Côteaux Auxerois on the way into the city!

The entry into the city, over the bridge is a balm for sore eyes – simply beautiful. A great place to spend half a day, following the back-streets of the old town, moving from Hotel Particular to Hotel Particular – fully recommended!

Then onwards to the Abbey of Fontenay, but en-route a must stop is Noyers-sur-Serein – described as a preserved medieval town – worth an hour or two of anyone’s time:

We finished our day at the Abbey of Fontenay – frankly it’s worth double the price of admission (a paltry €10) – I could have spent a whole day with a collection of cameras!

a southern burgundy day…

By billn on September 25, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

Solutre – but a shame about the bus!

Still colder, but eventually a couple of degrees warmer than yesterday – still, the legs declined another 20km walking day!

We toured through the small villages from Tournus towards Cruzille via the gorgeous Ozenay, then slowly worked our way to Vergisson and Solutre. Ahead of us was the prospect of lunch at Josephines in St.Amour. We slept off our lunch in their garden, near the pool – only to be (later) informed that here was private – oh-well – it’s only the first time that we’ve been caught! Onwards: Julienas, Jullie, Fleurie La Madone, Fleurie, Poncie, MAV and then back to Beaune for our Aperol-Spritz – enjoy!

sunday in gevrey…

By billn on September 23, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018

The colour is only modestly developed in the vines, so-far, but with a week of good weather ahead, it looks like the start of October could be colourtastic!

down south – a 2018 mâconnais update…

By billn on July 25, 2018 #report: producers#reports#travels in burgundy 2018#vintage 2018

Yesterday I hit the Mâconnais to taste wines from the Artisan Vignerons of South Burgundy – wines that are as good as Mâcon can be. They will be in my July report at the end of August.

Northern Mâconnais got pretty badly hit by the hail this year, some vineyards (to use the local black humour) completely harvested. Most people have some hail damage, the very worst affected domaines have lost over 80% of their production. By contrast, the south of Mâconnais which includes the important areas of Saint Véran and Pouilly-Fuissé were overwhelmingly untouched.

In the south the vines and grapes look fabulous – despite a little mildew towards the bottom of the slopes – their one (joint north-south) issue is that the hot and dry weather – much drier than the Côte d’Or – is starting to block the onset of maturity. So whilst the south are planning on a harvest start of ~25 August, it could easily slip into September without the help of a little rain. The grapes are plentiful but small – see images below – rain will not just be needed to rejuvinate the progress towards maturity, it will also be needed to bring better balance to the grapes. The producers of the northern Mâconnais are already looking at September for harvesting, their vines being 7-10 days behind those in the south…

Burgundy Report

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