a couple of wines – weekend 48 2022

By billn on December 04, 2022 #degustation

week 48 2022 wines

2020 Beaune-Grandchamp, IGP Saint Marie la Blanche
The words ‘Burgundy’ or ‘Bourgogne’ are not allowed anywhere near the label!
They tell you that Melon de Bourgogne must be drunk young as it’s prone to age much faster than aligoté or chardonnay – but this wine, sealed with DIAM3 was fresh and pristine. The nose is attractive and slightly floral. In the mouth there’s a combination of attractive fruit and energy – the flavours clean and delicious – that floral of the nose haunting the tasty finishing flavours. Not better than a good aligoté but in itself a very tasty wine – yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 AF Gros, Vosne-Romanée Clos de la Fontaine
Now into the second half of this six-pack, bought en-primeur.
Lots of colour. A forward and powerful nose – dark and spiced – though possibly more of this spice comes from the barrel than from Vosne – darkly fruited too. In the mouth, the power of the nose is amplified – this is a wine of scale. The texture is good and there’s obviously still plenty of tannin supporting this wine but neither with grain nor astringency. The fruit is deep here but for drinkability today needs a little more energy and/or clarity. I’ll drink this no problem – but today a second glass is not invited – it’s still far from a wine of maturity. Today, I think I’ll take another glass of melon!
Rebuy – No

a little ‘colour’ from this week…

By billn on December 03, 2022 #travels in burgundy 2022

Truth be told, it wasn’t very sunny this week in Beaune and its surroundings but here are a few views that didn’t require blue sky!

The kidnapping of St.Vincent….

By billn on December 01, 2022 #in case you missed it

Whilst tasting in Beaune this week, I met a saint.

This particular saint – let’s call him Vince – has had a colourful recent history but has now fully returned to his day job.

Vince (right) heralds from 1940s Beaune and his day job is to sit in the cuverie of a winemaker for 1 year, occasionally to be transported on the shoulders of locals – typically in freezing, wet, January weather. His home address changes each year when he moves to a new cuverie. But in theory, he’s there to make sure that pest, pestilence, frost and hail do not beset the vineyards of Beaune. Some years he’s less effective than others!

Vince got caught up in some local difficulties around 2002. Apparently, two of Beaune’s winemakers had significant disagreements, the upshot being that one of those winemakers could ‘no-longer find‘ Vince. This was obviously a bit of a problem for locals who didn’t want pest and pestilence etcetera, etcetera, in their vineyards – and of course for those other people who simply enjoyed raising Vince onto their shoulders in cold and rainy January processions. Eventually, in 2005 a new Saint was employed – also let’s call him Vince-2 – to take on 1940s-Vince’s rôle.

After about 15 years, 1940s Vince was found – it was a miracle!

But now there were two Beaune Vinces – what should be done? Eventually, it was decided that 1940s Vince should return to the full-time rôle of wet and cold January processions and trying to keep on top of the weather – oh, and the pests. Don’t, however, feel sorry for 2005 Vince – he also found a full-time job – he now smiles at all the visitors in Beaune’s Musée du Vin!

offer of the day – bruno clavelier’s 2020s

By billn on November 29, 2022 #the market

So many new offers in time for Christmas! This one hot off the presses…

Bruno Clavelier 2020:
With the previous year’s prices for the 2019s, 2018s, 2017s & 2016s (from the same merchant) in brackets. — indicates ‘not offered’:

Bourgogne Passetoutgrains 2020 75cl 24.50* (23.50, 22.50, 22.50, —) (Swiss francs)
Vosne-Romanée La Combe Brûlée 2020 75cl 105.00 (95.00, 90.00, 80.00, 84.00)
Vosne-Romanée Les Hautes Maizières 2020 75cl 105.00 (95.00, 90.00, 80.00, 84.00)
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Corbeaux 1er Cru 2020 75cl 160.00 (140.00, 135.00, 120.00, 123.00)
Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts 1er Cru 2020 75cl 180.00 (155.00, 150.00, 130.00, 137.00)
Vosne-Romanée Aux Brûlées 1er Cru 2020 75cl 180.00 (155.00, 150.00, 130.00, 137.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Combe d’Orveaux 1er Cru 2020 75cl 195.00 (170.00, 160.00, 140.00, 147.00)
Corton Le Rognet V.V. Grand Cru 2020 75cl 185.00 (165.00, 155.00, 135.00, 144.00)

*These prices are not delivered but do include the Swiss 7.7% purchase tax. Ever upwards!!!

Just a few wines from the last couple of weeks ;-)

By billn on November 28, 2022 #degustation

Wines worth a special search to acquire are highlighted – as in the reports:

First from Faiveley:

2014 Mercurey 1er Le Clos du Roy ‘La Favourite’
Just from the top part of the climat
I like the volume of aroma here – a base with some dried leaf maturity and quite a strong floral perfume – potpourri in style. Open, lovely waves of fine acidity that add a certain tension to the flavours. That’s even showing a subtle, grainless, finishing tannin – subtly accenting the texture. I might even wait another year or two to drink this but it’s a very tasty wine.

2019 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
More than 9 ha are owned in Gevrey – they only make two VV cuvées, this one and another from Mercurey.
Almost an extra silkiness and certainly a more direct aroma – growing with a little, fresher, floral note. Extra density but great mouth-feel too. This is so mouth-watering and completely delicious – I wouldn’t feel a bit embarrassed drinking this today – it’s delicious and the faint spice from the oak makes no extra demands. Bravo!

2016 Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Chaignots
Narrower but deeper aroma – dark and cushioned – a little fine cooking spice – there are some stems here but I didn’t note them. Incisive, cool, fresh in the mouth – I love it! The spice and salt are stronger in the finish. Simply excellent – that’s a delicious, still young wine.

2018 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
A fine, almost airy, width of aroma – less power but some fine perfume here again. Like the previous wine this is beautifully expansive – more oak visible in the flavours but, again, not too distracting. The structure is moderately visible in the middle and finishing flavours. A wine that’s more to wait for – but a super wine.

2018 Clos des Cortons Faiveley
A broad and finely spiced aroma – at the risk of being distracted by the label I would say muscular – but faint flashes of perfume can also be seen. Really impressive in the mouth – rich but still generous, modestly oaked – this oak is more visible in the finishing flavours. A great wine…

And some whites:

2020 Ladoix Les Marnes Blanches
A nice puff of freshness – round, lovely fruit – rich but with nice energy. Mouth-filling, even a hint of structure but still roundness – a halo of fine tannin and stony length. I would wait 2-3 years for the oak to fade and accentuate the freshness but this is a remarkably tasty wine.

2020 Meursault 1er Blagny
Here the nose has a little more gassy impression – perhaps some CO2 here – ripe lemon citrus in the aroma. Ooh – now that’s got a beautiful definition – direct, gorgeously shaped, mineral, slightly chalky finishing – a baby and possibly a great one…
2020 Corton-Charlemagne
Narrower, but with depth and freshness – tension! Broad, bubbling with fresh complexity, the oak is visible but a mere accent in the opening flavours – a broad wave of flavour to ride. Unquestionably great wine. Super long. Grand Vin.

Domaine Trapet

Domaine Trapet grand crus2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Ostrea
A faintly spiced, a nicely transparent width of aroma – the depth with a slightly darker-red fruit. Super in the mouth – mineral, modestly structured, lots of freshness. Drink with pleasure now, despite the structure – but wait 10+ years with ease!

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos Prieur
Less spice and maybe more clarity to this nose. Bigger, more energetic and mouth-watering – almost juicy. Right at the end a little chalky structure. A simply gorgeous wine…

2017 Chapelle-Chambertin
A lovely round cushioned fruit – not a full-power nose but a very attractive nose. Ooh – that has a super and quite intensely direct flavour. A baby but such an attractive one.

2017 Latricières-Chambertin
This nose has more width and a more rose-petal perfume. Those rose-petals visible in the flavours too – more delicate yet complex at the same time. Not more delicious than the Chapelle but more my personal style of wine – a beatiful 2017 in a delicate style.

2014 Chambertin
A tighter, less expressive nose. More mouth-filling, energetic and complete wine in flavour. Structural too – I’d drink this happily today but give it another 10 years for the ultimate joy.

The 162nd Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction

By billn on November 23, 2022 #annual laurels#events

Last Sunday, the sale of the 162nd edition of the Hospices de Beaune wine auction – the oldest charity wine auction – delivered a total of €31 million including all the auction fees.

The last two years’ sales, which were affected by covid-restrictions and covid-postponements, were but a memory on Sunday as 700 people packed into the sales room in Beaune. Not only was the room full but the telephones were buzzing too – Sotheby’s indicating interest from 30 different countries – interest that endured for the whole 7 hours of the sale.

I could tell you that it was only a modest 8% increase* in the price of a barrel versus last year – but in Hospices de Beaune-land that’s nearly another €3k per barrel – and 20 years ago €3k was the average cost of a barrel at the sale! Of course, this is a charity sale that benefits all the healthcare users in, and around, Beaune and Nuits St.Georges – and so it was a great result for the local hospitals and care homes. The headline amount of the sale was simply a massive record a) because it was a very healthy volume – almost as high as the 2018 ‘record’ volume – but with prices that have doubled since that particular sale.
*But more like 12% if we were to include the ‘star lot’ – the President’s barrel…

This sale included two new cuvées: Corton Grand Cru cuvée Les Renardes, with 13 barrels sold for a combined total of €700,756, and Beaune Blanc 1er cru Clos des Mouches Cuvée Hugues et Louis Bétault with 5 barrels sold for a combined total of €235,440.

If the general market was looking for some softening of burgundy wine pricing – here was not the place to look. The wine merchants of Beaune were caught between a rock and a hard place – of course, happy for the hospital but also asking themselves how they will sell-on the wine from barrels they bought for themselves. Five barrels of Bâtard-Montrachet Cuvée Dames des Flandres sold for €324,000 each, not only more than double the pre-sale high estimate but also a price level usually reserved for the special charity barrel of the auction. In a show of solidarity the wine merchants of Beaune came together to purchase this special barrel – the Pièce des Présidents:

Louis-Fabrice - President's Barrel 2022
Image courtesy of Maison Louis Latour

2022 Pièce des Présidents
The special charity barrel of the 2022 Hospices de Beaune wine sale was sold for €810,000.

This barrel was bought by Maison Louis Latour and Maison Joseph Drouhin, with the support of the FNEB – the Fédération des Négociants-Éleveurs de Grande Bourgogne. The Latour and Drouhin families came together to dedicate this barrel to the memory of Louis-Fabrice Latour who passed away in September. The two families agreed in advance that they would pay €700k for the barrel with the members of the FNEB electing to top up that amount to cover the higher hammer price. The sale proceeds for this barrel always go to charities independent of the local healthcare system, charities which change each year – in 2022 the proceeds will go to the Princesse Margot Charity and the Vision du Monde Charity.

Almost secondary to the spirit of this purchase is the barrel itself: a blend of three of the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune’s terroirs on Corton, including Renardes, Bressandes and Chaumes. The cooperage of Maison Louis Latour produced the barrel.

A few stats

The hammer total for the 162nd Hospices de Beaune wine sale was €29,788,500 including the Pièce des Présidents; €28,978,500 excluding the Pièce des Présidents. Vintage 21 and 22 totals (Sotheby’s) include the President’s barrel – the earlier years’ values (Christie’s) are stated without including the President’s barrel. All the figures are ‘net,’ so without the respective auctioneers’ commissions.

VintageSale Total € millionsPrice per barrelNumber of barrels
2005€3.79 million€4,803789
2009€4.99 million€6,250799
2015€11.3 million€18,880575
2016€8.4 million€13,833596
2017€13.5 million€16,657787
2018€13.95 million€16,850828
2019€12.28 million€21,823589
2020€12.76 million€21,677630
2021€11.68 million€33,223352
2022€29.79 million€35,974802

the wines of weekend 46 – 2022

By billn on November 22, 2022 #degustation

weekend 46 2022

2017 Verret, Bourgogne Côte d’Auxerre Les Gaudiers
Now that’s a really good one – fresh, mineral, and with plenty of pure citrus complexity – yes! In the mouth this has a little generosity but a lot of energy too – I like the direct line of this wine despite there still being plenty of creamy oak in the middle and finishing flavours – for my own taste a bit too much – but your mileage will vary. It’s still a very impressive wine!
Rebuy – Maybe

2011 Camille Giroud, Beaune 1er Aux Cras
Wow – what a cork! I could hardly extract it – it was like concrete – but (unsurprisingly!) less than 1mm of wine travelled up its length!
Here’s a nose that starts solid, a bit monolithic, and not much fun – air works wonders. If opening a second bottle (with a similar cork!) I’d definitely carafe. The wine is a fine middle-weight with super clarity of mainly red fruit and a little sizzle of minerality. After half an hour the nose has opened up well with a good blend of red fruit and flowers. It’s a very nice wine and there are still no overt signs of impending maturity – you can keep this, no problem. I never saw any pyrazines here when young, and still don’t. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

a few views from the last days…

By billn on November 21, 2022 #travels in burgundy 2022

weekend 45 2022…

By billn on November 16, 2022 #degustation

I missed telling you about a couple of nice ones at the weekend:

2017 Roland Lavantureux, Chablis Vauprin
Plenty of colour here but there’s not even a hint of anything oxidative. Broad and fresh with a little caramel padding – the oak is still visible in this one. In the mouth – who switched all the lights on?! – such energy and fine architectural shape – then there’s the delicious flavour. As a purist, I should discount this wine because, like the nose, it still has some barrel caramel in the flavours – but it’s just so damn delicious. And hey presto – the bottle was empty – how did that happen?
Rebuy – Yes

2008 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Corton Clos du Roi
I think this is the last bottle from a mixed case of 2008s that I bought at the domaine about 10-12 years ago.
Medium colour. What an elegant, nay, beautiful nose! So perfumed. In the mouth there’s some fat – I’d go as far as to say generosity – and beautifully perfumed flavour. Blind, I don’t think that I’d ever guess this the be a 2008 – bravo – finesse personified!
Rebuy – Yes

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