Travels in Burgundy 2021

the sun has got his hat on – my last week in Beaujolais…

By billn on March 01, 2021 #beaujolais#travels in burgundy 2021

Côte de Brouilly 26 February 2021My Beaujolais visits are in the bag – and today, is my first visit to Beaune since 11 December – report writing and a large tasting. Not to mention airing the apartment and checking that the heat still works and no problems with the pipes!

My three weeks of Beaujolais visits started with snow and minus temperatures – midway through it plumbed the lowest temperature of the winter at home, minus 14°C, it was also as low as minus 9°C in the Beaujolais hills. Jump forward to last week, and the mercury was nudging 20° – like in each of the last 3 years in February – shorts and sunglasses weather for those out pruning. Because of this ‘heat,’ I bought less wine!

??? you ask. Well, I can’t keep it in a hot car all week – some of it had hardly a gram of sulfur…

I should say that I’ve bought quite a lot of 2019 Beaujolais – those cuvées which weren’t already sold out. I’m a very big fan of this vintage – which you will see when my report is published at the end of March…

Now – around here somewhere must also be some anecdotes of wines tasted at home in the last couple of weeks – let me have a look around and come back to you on that…

this week’s snaps…

By billn on February 24, 2021 #travels in burgundy 2021

Let the sun shine…

Today was just over 20°C, but because of an almost constant wind – it felt chilly after my lunchtime run – still, never forget, it’s February, despite what my (jogging!) shorts and t-shirt might suggest!

It’s the final phase of my 3 weeks in Beaujolais – it looks like almost 70 domaines will be in the bag at report-time – all hopefully published before the end of March. The most comprehensive Chablis and Beaujolais reports there are – so people tell me – the Côte d’Or selection is not bad either 😉 That will be over 280 domaine’s wines profiled for the 2019 reports – so far…

Anyway, some of this week’s snaps:

Beaujolais, so far this week…

By billn on February 17, 2021 #travels in burgundy 2021

Spring has sprung!

At home in Switzerland, after a week of snow and minus temperatures, we hit this winter’s peak frost early on Sunday morning – minus 13°C. Directly when arriving in Beaujolais mid-morning on Monday, the temperature was 7°C. Whilst they also had a little snow and minus temperatures last week, this afternoon it was almost 15°C with a beautiful blue sky and fine views of Mont Blanc – the wild bees were flying too.

Speaking of flying things, I found some people working in the vines in Chiroubles this afternoon – and they were clearly lost – as both have domaines in the Côte de Beaune to look after. Benoit Moreau and Eric Germain are sharing 2 hectares here and right from the start they are managing their plot with biodynamics – I’m already looking forward to their 2021s 🙂

The weekend is forecast to hit 20°C in Beaujolais. Whilst it’s too early to read anything into it, one vigneron told me today that the vines are behind 2019 and 2020 at this early stage. But life is awakening – and things can quickly change.

Anyway, just to show that I’m still alive, here are a few images from this week, so far…

week one of Beaujolais visits

By billn on February 03, 2021 #travels in burgundy 2021

I love what I do, but truth be told, sandwiches in the car each day and something rush-purchased from the supermarket before it closes at 6pm for my evening in the hotel – well, it’s wearing thin. Also, I can’t sufficiently describe how much I miss my, between-visits, coffee! So far I have exercised a lot of choice though, three days and three different lots of sandwiches; salmon, roast pork and today – tada! – chicken… I will have next week at home to recover!

On the positive side, 2019 Beaujolais is a simply delicious thing – it’s only my third day of tasting and I’ve already more than 20 bottles in the car. So far, the weather has not been as welcoming as the wines – naturally, I will be hoping for more photogenic weather during the last two weeks of February – assuming the borders remain open. Maybe there will be a more impressive range of sandwiches too!

Some views from this week, so far:

a week at home – and finally the chance for some wine!

By billn on January 19, 2021 #degustation#travels in burgundy 2021

Chablis January 2021
Plenty of rain – Chablis 14 January 2021 – I didn’t fancy a dip in the Serein on this day…

My own version of dry January is down to my tasting schedule – three weeks of, and in, Chablis. Sometimes 80 wines in a day, but nothing in the evening – the number of domains with 20 or more samples is rare in this region but I did have three in a row one afternoon last week. I’m not the type to drink alone – so it’s good to get home for the weekend to share some glasses.

My 2019 house white – almost 3 cases drunk with friends over not just the summer months that year – was the Julien Brocard’s 2017 Biodynamic Chablis Boissoneuse so time to try a newer one:

2018 Julien Brocard, Chablis Boissonneuse
As with all this range, DIAM-sealed and topped with an orange wax.
Attractive though not a particularly saline nose. In the mouth there’s a fleshy depth to this texture but an undertow of minerality that would definitely have me thinking of Chablis, despite some textural comfort – more than the 2018 Fevre for instance. This has super clarity and a long and delicious finish. Very enjoyable
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Volnay
A high proportion of 1er cru juice included in this cuvée. This wine was a poster-child for that sub-set of 2005s that were tight and unyielding. I noted a slight easing of that situation 2 years ago and I’d say that the transformation is now complete – far from mature but it’s now drinking well.
A nose that’s open, has plenty of red-fruited depth and, shock, even the impression of a little textural comfort! The aspect of textural comfort is reflected in the flavour too – rounder than ever before, still with concentrated young fruit but of clarity, energy and depth. This has become a very attractive wine and one that also holds up very well after opening – I finished the last glass on the third day after opening and it was almost as delicious as the first two days. Now a very fine 2005 that you can drink – oh, and way back when, this cost less than the wine that follows!
Rebuy Yes

2016 Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Zaccharie
Hmm – that’s a nicely cushioned aroma of darker red fruit – very inviting. I love the texture here, the depth of fruit too – a young wine that’s drinking beautifully already. Nothing tertiary – all is pure fruit and much, much enjoyment. Bravo!
Rebuy Yes

3rd weekend of 2021, wines

images of chablis 2021…

By billn on January 07, 2021 #travels in burgundy 2021

Above Béru

I’m in Chablis right now – 14 domaines into a tour of about 60 – predominantly tasting the 2019 vintage.

It wouldn’t be Burgundy if the results weren’t variable, but I have to say that I’m more than impressed by the quality of many. Using 2018 as a benchmark is of no interest here because 2018 brought a swathe of delicious wines, but relatively few that were obviously from Chablis. This year we will have plenty of ‘Chablis.’

Variable as it may be, there are many great Chablis wines in 2019 and I’m looking to discovering ever-more of them!

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