time to start your 100 day countdown!

Pic by Olivier Lamy.

Floraison in Burgundy (flowering in Burgundy) – reported and pictured by Olivier Lamy today. He saw the first flowers today in Criots, Chaumées and Gravières vineyards.

Those are all chardonnay – the pinot is usually later to flower…

a sunday nuits walkabout…

A hike up to Château Gris and higher…

a saturday (mainly) puligny walkabout…

mâcon wine note(?)

Mâcon wine note – Friday evening, 22nd May (and Saturday too) on the ‘Esplanade Lamartine’ in Mâcon…

04 de vogüé and 12 comte liger-belair

Dinner in Caves Madeleine yesterday, and generous diners wanted to open the 2004 de Vogüé – so I naturally had to find something to pique interest too.

Not a bad pair of after-dinner bottles..

2004 Comte Georges de Vogüé, Bonnes-Mares
The 2005 of this is magical, but less fortunately this shows in a classic 2004 vernacular. Today that means quite a mushroomy start, then after 10 minutes in the glass a slowly growing pyrazine note. Another taster said peaunuts – I don’t get that but it fits to what some other people see in this aroma. The acidity also seems a little spiky to me – but I usually have this impression in the presence of pyrazines, so your mileage may vary. Yet – great mid-palate flavour and a really wonderful, exceptionally long finish here. Still not a wine I’d like a second glass of – even with the wonderful 00001 bottle number!
Rebuy – No

2012 Comte Liger-Belair, Vosne-Romanée Clos du Château
Hmm – clearly a spicy nose – from Vosne but also barrel, almost a modest smokiness too – I’m far from a big oak fan, but this remains alluring. In the mouth, fresh attack of flavour and a structure that’s still supported by plenty of oak – that oak almost seems a little burning in the mid-palate, but then magically melts to leave a lovely, mouth-watering finishing flavour with no bitterness, rather one of real elegance. Lots to find here, and a wine I like to keep going back to, despite being such a baby…
Rebuy – Yes

hail update & get ready for the léproserie

 La Léproserie de Meursault…

So, late yesterday afternoon we had the first hail of the growing season. I linked Thibault Morey’s hail video (on Facebook) yesterday, and today I spoke with some growers and looked at the vines.

The spread of hail was a little wider than was first reported (by me), with vines also in Blagny and Meursault touched – mainly high on the hill – I even heard that a little Pommard was hit but I couldn’t verify it.

Essentially it was the canopy that was peppered with holes, and that canopy overwhelmingly protected the latent clusters of flowers below, I did see a few damaged parts to the clusters but it was minimal and will have no impact on either volume or quality – this time. You see the extent of the ‘shot’ in the images below.

As it turns out, hail is not the only concern just now; it’s much colder this week, but cloud-cover ensured that temperatures didn’t drop below 6°C yesterday evening, though in Arnay le Duc (on the plateau above the Côte d’Or) the ground was white with frost this morning, after a 0°C night. Nobody wants to see that! I did a small tour of the wall of Meursault Clos des Perrières this morning as the south-facing part had the first flowering I found last year, but still nothing yet…

Lastly, The Léproserie in Meursault is very soon to open its doors to tourists and I find the combination of the old with the new visitor reception to be really excellent – maybe it helped the sky was quite moody today!

opening hail season :(


For those of you with a Facebook account – you might be able to see this video. Hail today in the area of Chassagne and St.Aubin recorded by Thibault Morey. Not too much damage – a few perforated leaves and the odd (latent) cluster touched, but basically minimal damage.

If the same was to come in another week or so, then we might have a different story – but so-far, we’ve no flowers…

Generally the weather is much, much cooler than last week – we hardly reached 15°C today – the wind has a little bite to it too – what a difference to last week! Still, there is as much sun as cloud – it’s just a matter of timing with the camera!

finding a mouth-wash can be troublesome…


So when a 15 year-old Beaujolais Nouveau is too excruciatingly corked, where to turn? Well, the first wine didn’t pass the test!

1999 Jean-Claude Belland, Santenay 1er La Comme
It’s ages since I had one of these – this might even be that last – all bought on release. Yuk! I might have some tolerance for a subtle hint of brett, but here is a wine that just reeks of it – it doesn’t taste better either – down the sink…
Rebuy – No

1998 Bruno Clair, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
What a relief – clean, bright, complex and with fine focus – what a lovely nose! In the mouth there’s a nice direct line of flavour that’s perfectly melded with the acidity. The tannin is virtually nothing to talk about, but the waves of complex flavour are – just excellent – very, very yum! Another great 98…
Rebuy – Yes

2000 beaujolais nouveau ‘not nice’ shocker…

I liked the look of the seriograph-printed 2000 nouveau from Duboeuf, so kept it as a memento of the millennium, surrounded by empty bottles of DRC and Musigny (of-course!) in my ‘bottle-art’ installation in my office. But I’m in the process of moving house – or more aptly, still making a big mess of the old one – so was going to throw this out.

But why not open it? Despite it never being ‘cellared’ the level was high in the neck and the capsule spinned without issue. What a great post I thought, the excellence of 15 year-old nouveau!

2000 Georges Duboeuf, Beaujolais Nouveau
Hmm, the corkscrew pulls up right through the middle of the cork, but without budging the sides. I change to an ah-so and the cork comes out fine. Unfortunately the cork has something rather too in common with the wine – both absolutely stink of cork taint – I still tried to taste, but it was über-yuk!!! The texture, form and delivery seem not bad, but now I’m looking for something to take the nasty cork-taint taste out my mouth…
Rebuy – No

three medalists from the weekend…

It seems that the 98 GE from Gros F&S was no fluke the other week, the 98s are showing much love, and not a little maturity. A fine trio this weekend…

1998 Antonin Guyon, Corton Clos du Roy
Medium-plus colour. The nose is a symphony of depth, leaves and dark-red, roasted fruit – ouf! – excellent! In the mouth there’s a little silk and the weight and fat of a grand cru. I find fine flavour dimension here and only a very modest tannic accompaniment. The acidity is fine and the finish is super. Hyper-critically, the nose is less interesting and hints a bit of beef-broth / brett after an hour – but it’s so good I suggest you have enough people around you that it’s finished in less than an hour. Really fine…
Rebuy – Yes

2011 Le Grappin, Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc
The nose still has a bit of that phenolic impression that was obvious when it was young. In the mouth it’s rounded out perfectly, no astringent phenolics in the finish now, just a warm slightly ripe flavour with the merest hint of oak and a fine supporting acidity. A wine you can sip all evening in the sun – yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2010 Digioia-Royer, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
Medium colour. What a pretty, if simple, red cordial fruit nose. The plate is similar but with a lovely acidity to drive it. Really super-tasty, simple but gorgeously flavourful wine. I dare you not to drink the whole bottle… (oups!)
Rebuy – Yes

domaine leflaive – the passing of the baton



Well, mainly…

A visit in Morey on Thursday afternoon, and unusually, I was early! So I stopped off for a wander around the vines of a particular part of Bonnes-Mares, just outside the centre of Morey. The ground was very dry, though today’s rain – luckily without storms – should have helped in that department.

Thursday’s weather was still hot in the sun but cooler with a strong wind. Today, the rain and cold hit. I suppose we needed a bit of balance, as 30°C for three days running is a bit unusual for the first half of May. Before the heat the vines were basically ‘average’ versus a normal growth cycle – but the heat had the vines growing incredibly fast – the cold (About 10° and wet) may have just kept them in the ‘average.’

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