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alain billard’s 2009 beaune 1er aigrots

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Not so much a tasting note, as an appreciation note!

As part of this month’s Volnay project (all the producers in the village!) I met with Alain Billard who lives and vinifies in Volnay, but his ‘tasting/selling’ room is actually the other side of the hill in Monthelie.

Like all the producers I’ve visited, I’ve tried to concentrate on their Volnay wines, even if they do have Rugiens! After tasting his excellent Volnays Alain suggested something ‘a little older’ and asked me what – I stumped him by suggesting the Beaune, his vines neighbour those of Lafarge. It turns out he has very little stock but found this bottle – I thought it excellent. Indeed I thought it so good I said I’d buy it for my evening apero – he refused cash and pushed the bottle into my eager hands.

I decided to run before dinner and apero – it was a modest 50 minutes up and around the ‘mountain’ of Beaune. As I walked the last 400m to my apartment (so being moderately less sweaty on arrival) I met a friend and asked them – ‘fancy a coffee – or a wine?‘ 45 minutes later there was no more wine – that’s all you need to know – a really super wine from a lovely, unheralded producer. Yum!

yet another volnay gallery…

My last day in Volnay – for a week or two. It was hardly less windswept, and cooler too – 5-6°C – but a dry day.

wet, wet, wet…

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Of-course it wasn’t just Beaune, the whole of France (and not just) was buffeted by wind and some heavy downpours today.

More than once today (5 visits) I had second thoughts about climbing out of the car!

weekend wines… week 5

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A great wine and a good wine…

2010 Patrick Puize, Chablis Terroir de Fyé
A golden colour. Hmm, lovely nose, a little development, a little honey, a little mineral reduction – lovely and very inviting. Yup! This has gorgeously flowing flavours and seemingly a little fat to the texture – wonderfully balanced with the acidity. Almost impossible for two people not to drink the whole bottle. Fortunately we were two, so I didn’t have to test the hypothesis with 1 person! 😉
Rebuy – Yes like a shot!

2011 Jean-Claude Cluzeaud, Volnay Beau Regard
Medium-plus colour. The nose starts all big and bulky – just a dense block of dark-red fruit. I decanted. After 30 minutes the nose has opened with a lighter, wide note that is almost a textured sweet herb and a narrow but deep red fruit note. Bright acidity, red fruit, a nice extra dimension of fruit in the mid-palate. Really good finishing width. Whilst this may benefit from cellar time, this is very drinkable today. Not the clarity of flavour of the vintages either side, but this is a good wine and so I’m not sure I’d wait…
Rebuy – Maybe

volnay today…

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Taking advantage of the nice, if slightly windy, weather today, before the rain that’s forecast for Sunday:
 

week 05 2016 – the first of february’s volnay visits

Le portraits….
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So for commentors, Woody and Joost, you will be able to see the reports of these visits in my February 2016 issue of Burgundy Report, here. Published about the end of March.

The first weeks visits to vignerons who live in Volany included:
Pascal and Pierrick Bouley of Domaine Réyane et Pascal Bouley
Patrick landanger of Pousse d’Or
Christophe Thilloux of Domaine Thilloux
Florence et Thierry Poulleau of Domaine Pilleau Père et Fils
Thierry Glantenay of Domaine Glantenay
Romain Vaudoisey of Domaine Jean Vaudoisey
Frederic Lafarge of Domaine Michel Lafarge
Thibaud Clerget of Domaine Yvon Clerget
Pascal Roblet-Monnot of Domaine Roblet-Monnot
Pascale Rossignol of Domaine Rossignol-Sainson
Jean-Baptiste Cluzeaud of Domaine Cluzeaud
Guillaume Glantenay of Domaine Pierre Glantenay
Frederic Rossignol of Domaine Rossignol-Fevrier
Thiébault Huber of Domaine Huber-Verdereau
Not pictured, Jean-Philippe Charlot of Domaine Joseph Voillot – thought I’d wait for his arm to come out of it’s sling, after his shoulder operation.

great stuff – old maps!

Here:

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this week’s volnay views…

Occasional blue sky and more than occasional rain – Volnay in the first week of February…
 

january weekend bottles, part last!

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2005 Roger Belland, Santenay 1er Commes
I note a DIAM closure here – that must be one of the earliest. Belland’s wines, certainly the 05 and 06s started big, brash and impressive before becoming fainter and thinner – maybe that was a phase, because this is now quite impressive…
Still deep colour. A deep, dark-fruited nose. Wide. The first impression is silkiness followed by a growth of tannic texture – though that tannin is relatively smooth. Good dimension of flavour with a nice ‘pop’ of mid-palate flavour that is wide and clean in the finish. A fine Santenay with a certain power but no fat – also this seems to hardly be aging, it’s a baby – but tasty!
Rebuy – Yes

2014 Drouhin Vaudin, Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
I’m almost surprised to start with – I think I’ve taken a couple of sips and tasted nothing – I must concentrate – and thus I’m rewarded:
A complex, sleek nose. Round and very complex in the mouth – really a width of complexity delivered in an almost Vosne-style. Supple, and very tasty today with super finishing flavour; really fine fruit flavour – super wine!
Rebuy – Yes

And a few others from memory…

2006 Camille Giroud, Volnay 1er Taillepieds
Very tasty and quite aromatic wine. Super, but not as fine as the 06 Gevrey En Champs tasted from this producer in the last weeks.
2007 Fourrier, Morey St.Denis Clos Solon
Picture perfect – no lack of fineness in eather the nose or the palate – seamless – and that’s not a word you’ll hear too often about 2007s!
2009 Edmond Monnot, Santenay Chainey (Blanc)
Excellent in all respects – a little richness but balance and fine flavour dimension. Simply yum!
1998 Jadot, Beaune 1er Grèves
A négoce wine. Smells not bad but tastes rather good – still something of a baby. Wait another couple of years before re-tasting.
2005 Gaston & Pierre Ravaut, Ladoix 1er Carrières
What a fabulous fruit on the nose. It’s like that on the palate too, certainly with a little structure, but really super wine – showing great.
2012 Christian Moreau, Chablis Les Clos (Clos des Hospices dans Les Clos)
Drunk in Au Fils du Zinc in Chablis. The nose and the palate betray a little discreet oak, but this wine offers both aromatic and flavour joy. A certain richness but concentration and an inner dynamism – this is sooooo good!

december’s report…

2-DSC08881Well that’s the last of my reports for 2015 now online.

That’s another 440 notes accumulated across visits to 14 major producers (I call them grandes maisons), a blind tasting of 36x 2013 Ladoix – which delivered some lovely wines, and a tasting in search of pinosity in Beaujolais – wines back to 1949. I can safely say that it was a privilege! Oh, and there’s my Vintage Viewpoint 2015,2014,2013 too.

Whilst the numbers are not the reason for doing this, that’s still over 1,500 wines in the October to December issues. January looks like a big one too – 47 Chablis domaines – fortunately February has fewer days, so that looks like just 35 domaines in Volnay, starting tomorrow! 😉

Enjoy:
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Irancy 2016…

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Well, all week the armchair forecasters were saying nice on Saturday, terrible on Sunday – the weather that was! As it was, the rain and wind arrived early – midday on Saturday. This was one day where everyone was happy that it was 8°C and not 1°C!

The Irancy Saint Vincent parade started in the dark of the early morning, from high on the hill above Irancy into the town below – by torchlight and with handy flames by the side of the the route; representatives from all over Burgundy with their own ‘Saint Vincent’ statues.

Still, for the first 5 hours or so everybody stayed dry, if still a little wind-swept! By mid-morning there was a 2km line of slowly moving cars to the parking areas – in fields. I really don’t want to think what the parking was like on the Sunday after plenty of rain. Le Bien Public put Saturday’s visitor numbers anywhere between 15 and 20 thousand – well done Irancy!

The town was well decked-out and with multiple tasting venues – though to be honest, there were so many people at each ‘tasting station’ we preferred to walk the town and enjoy the atmosphere – and it was a lovely atmosphere. For lunch we queued almost 30 minutes for what turned out to be the last of the ‘parmentiers de canard’ – French shepherd’s pie made with duck! – but it was hot and tasty – luckily-so, as it was now raining as well as windy. The glühwein never looked more attractive, particularly as we had to walk back up the hill (to the parking) in the wind and rain!

I hope the weather (and the muddy fields) wasn’t too bad on Sunday – we were already back in Beaune by Saturday evening.

week 04 2016 – the last of january’s chablis visits

This week’s portraits… 😉

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