Travels in Burgundy 2019

week 49 2019 – the visits…

By billn on December 06, 2019 #reports#travels in burgundy 2019

Yes – it’s already week 49!
Above, the people who said ‘yes’ to a visit by me this week! And this week, no surprise, some great wines!
I’m starting to wind down now, just another ~8 visits next week, followed by a smoking keyboard – actually the keyboard doesn’t get that hot as my typing seems to get less and less accurate each year!

a tyring problem and frost

By billn on December 05, 2019 #travels in burgundy 2019

Yesterday and today were cold and frosty in the Côtes. Unlike yesterday, today’s typical winter mist, except for a while in Nuits, never really departed, blanketing the Côtes (but not the Hautes Côtes) in foggy, low cloud. Today’s temperature never turning positive – early morning Comblanchien resembling a ski-resort as the road was so white. Very occasionally it was picturesque – the first haw frost of this year-end!

My day started with a tyring problem ie practically no air in a rear tyre – only 1-month-old tyre at that. So my first job today was to visit the local retailer of said tyres, who tested for this and tested for that but could find nothing amiss – so sent me away with a new valve. 12 hours later all is good – and I was only 30 minutes late for my first appointment in Morey!

sunset stress…

By billn on December 03, 2019 #travels in burgundy 2019

It started frosty, but it was lovely in the Côtes today – Côte de Nuits to be precise – save for the biting wind and 2-3°C. Fortunately, there were plenty of dogs to stroke to keep my hands warm!

Despite the great light and the fabulous sunset (no pics – I was driving!) it was a stressful day, as I left my phone in Beaune by mistake. I had enough cash for lunch (just!) but the question was ‘what to do with my hands between visits?’ or ‘what if somebody needs me?’ I tried to enjoy the day without the phone, but didn’t quite manage it – does that make me Gen X or still completely (sub) millennial? 😉

Anyway – an evening of typing and then jogging in minus °C…

week 48 in the côtes…

By billn on November 29, 2019 #reports#travels in burgundy 2019

Above, the people who actually said ‘yes’ to a visit by me this week!

The weather was very changeable this week – lots of rain, plenty of winter mist, but some patches of sun too – even in the hautes côtes 😉

I loved a quote from one of the vignerons pictured above; “In 2019 it was easy to work in the vines, the weeds hardly grew due to the dry heat. Now, at the end of November, we have plenty of rain, so they are starting to grow!” And you can see just that as the ‘herbs’ and flowers start pushing in some images below, in Mazis-Chambertin.

Now a weekend in rainy Switzerland before returning for the appointments of the next two weeks…

week 45 visits #2018BurgundyReport

By billn on November 09, 2019 #degustation#travels in burgundy 2019

Back home for a very short weekend before taking the road back to Beaune tomorrow evening.

My last visits for the ‘2018 whites’ report are now made, and I’ve already started the transition to building up the list of red domaines. As a teaser for the forthcoming reports, you can see the mugshots of this week’s unfortunate victims!

catching up

By billn on November 07, 2019 #travels in burgundy 2019

It’s been all go here in the last couple of weeks – though you’d hardly notice from the posts here. Thankfully Mark de Morey (de la Vosne) has been prolific in the last couple of weeks!

This week has been the perfect example; Monday a relatively easy start; a vertical of a well-known Beaune followed by my last ‘white wine domaine’ visit that will (still) feature in the October report. Additionally, I had to arrange new winter tyres for the scooby-doo – they will be fitted tomorrow, after 3 domaine visits, just before heading home to Switzerland. Tuesday saw 160 Beaujolais Nouveau to be tasted – some people comment ‘courage!’ but that’s for an entirely different arena – that said, you definitely have to grind out the last 60 or so! The notes/infos will be online, here in the Diary, well before the 3rd Thursday of this month.

To celebrate finishing the marathon tasting, the local Beaujolais team took me, and the other tasters, out to a restaurant in the evening, but I was sat in the back of this (seeming) rollercoaster of a sportively driven car, far too hot, so came within a hair of vomiting – that was pretty shitty – I can say that today, 2 days later, my head is practically back in a normal zone!

Wednesday – well that must be Mâconnais! The other ‘last’ visits for the ‘white’ October report. Here I should meet, in two locations, all of the AVBS – well, I managed most of them anyway. I haven’t counted how many wines, but certainly 100 or more – my teeth are now über-sensitive and über-unhappy! And people seem to think that this job is fun! 😉

Today was practically a holiday – only 4 visits and a mere 37 wines tastes (but with tooth pain!) – luxury! So that’s my (mainly) rainy week in Beaune – so far! Here are a few images from the week:

burgundy, week 43 2019

By billn on October 25, 2019 #reports#travels in burgundy 2019

This week’s lucky recipients of my visits for October’s report!

It’s been a pleasure to be in the Côtes this week; the vines resplendent, though – photographically speaking – the light has been sub-optimal for the best photos, with mainly greyer skies. But still a pleasure!

The leaves in some places have dropped – whole sections – clearly there are places where clone type trumps the weather – but generally all is still beautiful – maybe the chance of some nice pictures over the weekend.

High-plains Pommard

By billn on October 23, 2019 #travels in burgundy 2019

Over Platière towards Pommard.

A platière is a shelf or a plateau, but in Pommard – high up in Pommard – is the lieu-dit of La Platière; 3.3 hectares of which is classified as villages, and 2.5 hectares premier cru. This is more of a gentle slope from high up on one of Pommard’s valleys than a real plateau – but hey!

Though not an official lieu-dit, practically all of the premier cru part is in a walled section next to Les Arvelets, whose portal/gateway proclaims Clos de Platière – well, almost!


The Clos de Platière was a place I discovered nearly twenty years ago whilst walking my dog – what a wonderful place I thought, with brilliant views back to Pommard – I also thought that this would be a great Clos/monopole to own, even if there isn’t such a climat! Back to the ‘almost’ – the stone gateway is almost illegible today – unlike 20 years ago!

But why was I back in Platière?

Well, yesterday, like waiting for a bus, having not tasted a Pommard labelled Platière for years, two came along at two domaines on the same morning. It jogged my memory of that place – so indeed why not take a jog up there?

Château de Meursault added quite a number of hectares to their exploitation in 2018, vines that had been rented by Bejot since 2009, but it is the de Mérodes that own them. Bejot took these on, plus other vines at the same time as the de Mérodes entrusted (some of their) vines in Corton to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Now it’s Château de Meursault’s turn with almost 4 hectares of Platière, including, seemingly all the 1er cru section. Shortly thereafter, I also tasted the Platière of Jacques Prieur – or rather their Labruyère-Prieur label which is used for contract purchases.

So these two buses arriving at the same time reminded me to drift up to the high plains (sorry Clint) of Pommard – I still love the combination of calmness and great views in that place!

mugshots from week 42, 2019

By billn on October 19, 2019 #reports#travels in burgundy 2019

Some very classy wine tasted this week – my thanks to the domaines that made some time available to see me – of-course all will be in the October report, published next month.

The week was a mix of sun and much needed rain – the latter, of-course, less photogenic. We also had the first day with typically autumnal weather – a misty morning that slowly gave way to sunshine – that was Wednesday. A week with 400,000 km on the clock of the scoobydoo too!

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