the case workout…

By billn on March 07, 2018 #random

Whilst I didn’t upload it to my Strava, and despite no jogging yesterday, I still did quite a workout, and I have some residue of that in my muscles today! Starting out on Monday evening at 8pm, and returning home yesterday at 13h30 (over 700km later), I had one of my shortest ever trips to Beaune – the reason, to repatriate the other two-thirds of my wine-cellar.

When I moved house in 2015, I had some place for wine but it didn’t look enough. So a friendly vigneron offered space in their cuverie for what turned out to be two very highly stacked pallets worth of wine and the rent was only a bottle here and there. After 3 years of kindness, they needed the space. I didn’t find another place in Beaune, so it was all coming back to Switzerland with me. There are, of-course, technically, some issues with that. The wine started in Switzerland, which is not in the EU, but I anyway drove to Beaune with it, without a hitch. Coming back to Switzerland was also potentially fraught with customs issues, even though that’s where the wine started out from. Anyway, maybe yesterday’s rain (on the French side of the border) kept the roving patrols of the douane in their caf茅s. I made it home intact.

I’d hired a van for my two pallets, and in theory it only had a little under 1,100kg as a payload limit – I think I had closer to 1,200kg – but with no passengers – so that’s fair, no(?!) Thankfully the pallets could be loaded with a forklift so all those cases didnt have to be individually stacked! After arriving home, I’d got 3 hours to unload the van or I’d be paying for a second day of van-hire – that concentrated the mind – oh and the leg and arm muscles! Give-or-take it was 120 cases of wine to take out of the van, carry them down into the cellar, work out how best to stack them, and then head back up the stairs for the next one(s). Whilst I said 120 cases, many were 6-packs (1 6-pack, I still counted as 1 case) and the majority of the cases were not complete.

I’m guessing I brought back 650-750 bottles, and I didn’t have the chance to check the contents of all the cases – yes I am completely unorganised and only the foggiest idea what now lies in wait for me! But drinking at home will now be a little more (Burgundian) diverse, and always with a nice surprise as I find things, I already noted some unopened six-packs of 1999s… 馃檪

And on Friday – it’s back to Beaune!

the new restaurant in gevrey-chambertin…

By billn on August 18, 2017 #random#travel

New in Gevrey, the Table d’H么te Lucie & Thomas Collomb – finally the building work is done at the R么tisserie du Chambertin 馃檪

Plenty of moody pics – fortunately I never found the service at all moody! I’m looking forward to (eventually) visiting here. Whilst I’ve always found plenty of people in their (superb!) Bistro Lucien, I’m (only mildly) surprised that they are adding more competition for themselves – maybe they weren’t sufficiently catering for the ‘high-rollers!

la maison (2)

By billn on July 02, 2017 #degustation#random

Scene of the (literal) car-crash on Thursday evening, was La Maison in Vougeot.

It was a little soir茅e to taste 2-3 wines and in partnership with Lalique for them to promote their new (wine) glassware. Nice carafes for sure – I didn’t ask the price – the Burgundy and Universal glasses were very nice too, if just a little heavy in the hand – normally in those contexts I’d take the Riedel Burgundy Vinum or the Zalto Universal. Good as these glasses are, and despite surely a much higher cost, they do have one quite large negative (in the eyes of many wine-lovers) and that’s that the name of James Suckling and 100 points is attached to them!

Oh-well, I suppose that you don’t have to look at the signature on the base of the glass!

Just for info there was a JCB Cr茅mant Ros茅 that was very fine indeed – and I’m not normally the biggest fan of ros茅-fizz. More impressive was the 2011 Vougeot Clos du Prieur茅 (blanc) – really top-notch! Given the unfolding car-crash outside, and despite being told that it was the nicest wine – I decided two glasses were enough, so I didn’t try the Chambolle-Musigny before heading home…

too drunk to think…

By billn on June 30, 2017 #random

No, not me.

Last night, with a glass in hand in Vougeot (more on that at the weekend), I heard a big crash. I looked out to see a clever gentleman who had crashed into a parked car. I instantly assumed my car when I heard the sound – well things come in threes don’t they? But no, it was someone equally unfortunate, but this time, not me.

The driver started to reverse his car from ‘the embrace’ and I instantly thought ‘he’s going to drive away’ – and he did. I thought to myself ‘I wonder if he’s left any evidence?’ and sure enough, when I turned over the large plastic bumper…

We laughed – well, not the lady whose car it was – obviously…

scooby is back!

By billn on June 22, 2017 #random

Fun Radio…
The Hits…

Seemingly the radio stations of choice for car thieves – they even installed them as presets in my car radio!

Today the scoobaru was rescued from the police pound near Lausanne – a whole day had to be devoted to this! Scooby was stolen in the vineyards of the C么te d’Or and turned up in the vineyards of Valais – I had assumed that it was somebody who simply couldn’t be bothered to pay the TGV fare to get back home – but the policeman said ‘Nope, these were real bandits.

Of-course they have taken dumb things from the car – driving glasses/sunglasses, a couple of cushions et-cetera – they had even simply cut off, at the cables, and pocketed the LED ‘daylights’ from the car – otherwise all seems okay – there’s even more petrol in it now than when I parked in Beaune!

I should be particularly thankful that they had nicely parked the car at the Swiss BMW dealership where it was found, because having done so, they then broke the window of a BMW to gain access and then use it to ‘ram-raid’ into the dealership, they then drove off in a nice new BMW. Of-course compared to my 12 year-old scooby, that’s not really trading-up, is it? Anyway, that’s the reason that the police latched onto a stolen Subaru so soon. Now back to the insurance reports…

sculptured gevrey 1er cru?

By billn on December 15, 2016 #random


A few weeks back I was walking through the vines in Gevrey-Chambertin, and I noticed that one of the most iconic vineyard houses of the C么te d’Or was shrouded in scaffolding!

The house in question neighbours Ruchottes-Chambertin, sitting in the wholly owned Gevrey-Chambertin 1er of Les Issarts – and Faiveley are the sole owners.

I visited Faiveley this week, so was finally able to ask Erwan about this small project…

“Ah the house in Les Issarts, I’ve wanted to renovate it for such a long time. I’m really glad that we finally did it this year, because literally the house was crumbling. It was once a drinking and smoking den so we blocked-up the doors and windows – it turned out that this was really lucky as the lintels were crumbling, so it was only the fact that we’d blocked up the windows and doors that stopped the walls falling down.

“It’s going to be an artist’s atelier, actually a sculptor, the lady that did the sitting sculpture of the monk that is outside the Ch芒teau de Gevrey-Chambertin – this was really a great idea, as I didn’t really want a maison d’h么te. I’m really looking forward to it!

Me too!

‘la maison’ – now there’s a video!

By billn on October 11, 2016 #random#the market

Remember my post on the new ‘boudoir’ in Vougeot? Well now there’s a little more info and even a video!

la Maison
1 rue du Vieux Ch芒teau
21640 Vougeot
Tel: +33 3 80 61 06 10

Tastings: From 鈧25 per person, open from 11h00 to 18h30 Monday to Thursday and Sunday, plus 10h00 to 19h30 Friday and Saturday.
For sale : Wines from Domaine de la Vougeraie, Maison Jean-Claude Boisset & JCB By Jean-Charles. Wine memorabilia, books about Burgundy and wine and ‘other nice things…’

No affiliation, et-cetera…

la maison – vougeot

By billn on October 05, 2016 #random#the market

dsc01250Last Saturday we paid a visit to a new ‘thing’ in Vougeot.

The Boissets have chosen to open a new retail opportunity in Vougeot – here you can buy the wines of Domaine de la Vougeraie, JCB (from Jean-Charles Boisset) and the Jean-Claude Boisset range overseen by Gr茅gory Patriat. These were previously available in the ‘Imaginarium’ outside Nuits, but the Boissets plan that Vougeot will be the only address where they sell the Vougeraie wines, locally.

The official opening will be the end of this week – maybe – it seems that strategy, timing and purpose remain somewhat fluid.

Both Nathalie and Jean-Charles Boisset were on hand to describe certain aspects of this ‘maison’ fully supported by Gina Gallo. La Maison – Vougeot is purposefully unbranded, but ‘a place where people can come and sit and relax, taste wine and also buy wine if they wish – even special dinners or tastings will be possible here.‘ You buy a card with a certain credit level which you use to feed the wine-dispenser machines – delivering measured pours from bottles under an inert atmosphere. There are multiple rooms too – each very different, yet with some unifying style accents, whether by Murano or Lalique(!) The people who designed and delivered this rather special thing were also present, including the architect currently responsible for both here and the new Boisset cuverie, plus Jacques Garcia, interior designer of, among other things, boutique Paris hotels. Note that you can also buy examples of Jean-Charles’ range of brooches and cuff-links…

I can honestly say that there’s nothing else like it in Burgundy – and I think you might get a real kick out of visiting – even if you only do it once. Part old-gentleman’s club, part swinger-club, style, and it is certainly more Los Angeles than Les Arvelets. I’ll be really interested to see how this will work in ultra-quiet Vougeot – come to think of it, I’ll be interested to see how it works at all – it seems the Boisset family are also not yet fully sure. Actually I find their ‘let’s see’ attitude refreshing.

I didn’t take any pictures outside because it was raining so hard!

no lingua-franca when it comes to insurance…

By billn on September 29, 2016 #random


Ah the joy of getting French car insurance companies to speak to Swiss car insurance companies, is something I cannot begin to describe – even when they are both AXA! If they don’t get a move-on, I may have to boycott AXA-Mill茅simes…

Note my car was correctly parked, in the parking, when somebody decided to crash into it and damage 4 (parked) cars, plus their own…

Burgundy Report

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