2019 vintage – blind wines today…

By billn on October 26, 2021 #degustation

Young Vigneron's trophy, 2021...
Young Vigneron's trophy, 2021 – the first wave of judging…

I was tasting a bunch of 19s this morning – single-blind as I knew the vintage and AOC. What was clear to me from 8 whites was that none of the aromas sung – one nearly – and that was one of the fresher wines. Essentially, this freshness was the ‘missing’ in this selection of modest crus…

A single crémant interlude – which tasted more like cider – heralded 9 reds for me.

The reds – there were 9 – where not ambitiously oaked for Bourgognes(!) – began with a bit more definition – certainly not all were deeply coloured, indeed this selection had more airy and open wines than dense, deeply coloured samples.

From these 17 samples of still wines, I had a preference for the reds today – only a small sample though…

A few magnums of 2015 Fleurie :)

By billn on October 25, 2021 #degustation

2015 Fleurie - magnums

I was tasting a bunch of 19s and 20s today – but when I got the chance to taste some older wines from magnum…

They started a bit rustic but became better and better and that’s the vintage – some great wines and many very good wines that are less sophisticated…

2015 Cave des Producteurs des Grands Vins de Fleurie, Fleurie
Now thats deeply coloured! An inky deep nose with that faint marsala accent of impending maturity that many BJs develop. Big, structural, still lots of drying tannin – some nice flavour complexity in the finish – but this structured wine begs at least 2 or three more years in the cellar.

2015 Marrans, Fleurie Clos du Pavillon
Also deeply coloured. A more compact nose with some faint pepper-spice. A width of chunky flavour here that’s both melting and mouth-watering – almost a 2015 that you can start drinking. Long finishing through a little tannin and a nice extra floral accent…

2015 Château de Fleurie, Fleurie La Madone Réserve Caveau
Lots of colour – of course! Quite a silky nose, faintly spiced and wide. Supple but becoming massive in the mouth and with plenty of tannin in the back end – wide, faintly but long finishing. Very good, but definitely for keeping a few years more…

2015 Thierry Condamine, Fleurie Les Moriers
Strongly coloured but transparent. The nose, like most here, showing the onset of faintly spiced maturity, the pepper more to the fore. Here is lovely energy – concentrated and structured but neither impose themselves too much. The finish is delicious – less dense but the most approachable of all these wines so far. Lovely wine.

2015 Lafarge-Vial, Fleurie La Joie du Palais
Plenty of colour – though a little younger looking than some. Round, fresher, sleeker, super texture, lots of flavour energy too. There’s some textural drag from the tannin – there’s no grain – which suggests waiting but this is, frankly already great – Bravo!

2015 Chateau Poncié, Fleurie les Moriers
The darkest, deepest, colour of all – almost saturated. A nose of some roundness and a slight Mushroom de Paris accent. Full, mouth-filling – but so fresh and saline accented. The tannin is beautifully fine and shows with practically no dryness. Only a suggestion of oak to be seen right at the end of the finish – the only wine where it’s visible. Also great, but very different from the Lafarge-Vial – bravo again!

Fire! Fire! Fire! (prices…)

By billn on October 23, 2021 #the market#travels in burgundy 2021

Autumn fire in Maranges - the colour of Autumn
Fire in Maranges – the colour of Autumn, yesterday…

It was inevitable, I suppose, but the bare facts are:
2017 – a good volume of wine in both colours
2018 – another good volume – even more-so the whites
2019 – short in whites and less than average for reds too
2020 – okay for whites but short for reds again
2021 – a catastrophe in white and very short (on average) in reds too

I remember the first time I saw prices of €10k for barrels of Corton-Charlemagne and was shocked – well you can think more in the region of at least €40k today.

But the fanning of the fires in the 1er crus of Meursault and Puligny are to be expected – the 2021 yields often 10-25% of a normal year here – currently at least 30% higher bulk prices are being asked and people are still very much testing the elasticity of those prices. I think they will increase by a lot more when you take the example of Bourgogne (red!) Côte d’Or into consideration; last year it was under €1k for the barrel, this year because 2021 will be significantly short (though not as dramatically as in the whites!) the prices quickly hit €1.5k and now people are offering €2.2K – about €7.60 just for the juice without accounting for time, labour, bottles, labels, corks and capsules, wax if you must, distribution costs and local margins and so on. That’s how short the bulk market looks right now and there’s no rule to say it can’t go higher.

Obviously, the people making Bourgogne Côte d’Or with merchanted grapes/wine don’t have a cat in hell’s chance of (more than) doubling the price of their bottles – so some fingers may get burnt – I do remember one vintage where a major seller was losing money on every single bottle of Petit Chablis that they sold. Likewise, it’s unlikely that the (majority of) white 1er crus will be able to sustain 30-50% prices increases at their end customers – but this elasticity has yet to be fully tested. I do think that the price-elasticity of the grand crus will take this in their stride – certainly for the better-known producers.

We will be watching!

in the côtes this week

By billn on October 20, 2021 #travels in burgundy 2021

This week in Beaune the weather’s been quite nice – in fact with beautiful blue skies yesterday – It’s been ideal for the producers for pulling out dead vines and making the holes for replanting. But tonight the rain is forecast.

I’m making visits to taste the 2020s (mainly) in the Côte de Beaune – all I’m missing at the moment is the chance to get out and do a bit of jogging – tomorrow’s a long day with three big ranges of wines in my 5 visits, so I’m not holding out much hope for any kilometers. At least I got in a bit more than 7km yesterday evening, finishing at close to 4 mins/km – so I’ll take that after a bit of ‘mountain running’ last week!

Three B’s – Birthday, Bâtard & Bonnes-Mares

By billn on October 16, 2021 #degustation

Thunersee, Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau from Schadau
The three peaks to the left; the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau. The big (closer) one on the right is the Niesen.

I said that there would be some birthday wines – but first, today came a nice walk in the shadow of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains as seen over lake Thun – not bad!

Another recipe from Tanya Grandits and a couple of decent wines too:

2016 Olivier Leflaive, Bâtard-Montrachet
This is a domaine wine. For a number of years, O Leflaive produced the better wines of the two producers of that name in Puligny, certainly from the 2006 vintage. Only from this 2016 vintage had Domaine Leflaive pulled up their bootstraps sufficiently to have at least equivalent quality. 2016, despite the wines’ frosty rarity, is one of my favourite vintages for whites – some critics, bizarrely, describe this as poor vintage, with too many ‘over-concentrated’ wines. Bullshit I say!
Still a very young colour. That’s a very good if not quite great nose – mineral, deeply white-flower-scented and accented with a little caramel – some of that depth undoubtedly coming from a slight firework reduction. Direct, mineral, concentrated and oh-so-pure flavoured. This wine opening out so impressively in the finish – a great, great finish that somehow sustains itself like a mythical perpetual-motion machine – wow! Crystalline, chiselled, with the purity of a waterfall – never for a second do you think that there is insufficient energy for the concentration on hand, never for a moment do you think ‘fat.’ Bravo – this is a grand vin for sure – drinking brilliantly but with a life that will extend to decades with this DIAM10 seal.
Rebuy – Yes

2000 Thomas-Moillard, Bonnes-Mares
I have often recounted that Bonnes-Mares can be a wine that’s a bit too brutal for me, hence, I (generally – the 2005 de Vogüé excepted!) prefer to give them a few years in the cellar. A six-pack of this wine was bought on release – this is one of the last, perhaps the last, that I have.
Deeply coloured. Oof! What a nose! So large that you have much of the detail long before your nose is in the glass: Very clean – not a hint of bret or any other unhappy signs of age, deeply impressive notes of soil, tobacco, turned leaves in an Autumn forest – and even fruit too – if rather bloody fruit! Seemless concentration in the mouth – this wine is coming into a great place for both flavour and texture. I’d like a hint more energy to really beg me to take the next glass but the flavour is just so good that I’m anyway on message. Big, big wine – grand cru wine – but also a wine that can caress!
Rebuy – Yes and who wouldn’t at the old price!

Au revoir Puligny – hello Männlichen

By billn on October 15, 2021 #travel#travel pics

Lauterbrunnen Valley
Looking down on the Lauterbrunnen valley – the higher, frosty, houses are Wengen – it was -4°C at 2,200m.

I was under orders – ‘you’re not spending your birthday in Beaune’ – so I did as I was told, like always! 🙂

After finishing up in Puligny on Wednesday I hit the road for Bern. Thursday I hit the mountains – a nice 18km ‘run’ (some parts are just too steep to run!) with an interlude at 10km of goulash soup then back down to Wengen just in time to see the annual beauty pageant – of cows. My birthday evening consisted of Wienerschnitzel and just a glass of crément (d’Alsace!) as I was driving – but you can assume that the weekend is bringing some more considered glasses of wine 🙂

The colours of Autumn…

By billn on October 12, 2021 #travels in burgundy 2021#vintage 2021

Santenay - 12-Oct-2021
Santenay, late afternoon today…

The colours of Autumn are coming – here is a little Santenay and Chassagne (Morgeot) from today. The colours of the pinot a little more vivid and partly golden in the area around Volnay and Pommard – but not bad here either!

my weekend wines – week 40 2021

By billn on October 11, 2021 #degustation

week 40 2021 wines

2019 Louis-Clement David-Beaupaire, Beaujolais Villages
Pale coloured – more of a heavy rosé. The nose is that attractively fecund invitation that comes with many of the natural persuasion but behind is more than a suggestion of perfume and fine fruit. The flavour is equally natural but delicious – rarely are natural wines also terroir wines and that’s certainly the case here but it’s still a fun wine. Tasty and enjoyed though I wouldn’t look to cellar it much longer…
Rebuy – Maybe

2017 Jean-Marc Vincent, Santenay 1er Les Gravières
That’s a serious looking DIAM 10 Origine seal.
Plenty of colour for a Santenay in 2017. The nose draws you in – not just a width but a depth of cherry-red fruit too. Direct, beautifully fresh for the vintage – at first silky, then a little tannin that emphasises the relative youth of this wine. A faint twist of barrel too. I very much like the shape – the architecture – of this wine but it’s elevated to the next level when coupled to such purity of flavour. No simple 2017 this, it’s a great example of what was possible in the Côte de Beaune in this vintage. Deliciously bravo despite its youth!
Rebuy – Yes

And another 2016 Beblenheim Riesling from the family Trapet of Gevrey-Chambertin – this case is now almost gone – you know that I will have to make a replacement purchase!

Burgundy 2021 – the facts and figures…

By billn on October 08, 2021 #the market

key facts and figures Burgundy 2021I’ve had this for a couple of months, so it’s remiss of me not to have already posted it.

So here (the image, right, is also linked) are the key facts and figures of slightly greater Burgundy as released by the BIVB in July of this year.

I say slightly greater because there’s no Beaujolais included, which I consider being a key part Greater Burgundy – I hope you enjoy as much as I do – I’m always fascinated by such details and comparisons!

Burgundy Report

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