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auctions and buying ‘old’ wine

auctions and buying ‘old’ wine

You know that ‘provenance’ – i.e. knowing somethings ownership history – is not just a special thing when buying older (for which I class everything that has been on the market for more than 2 years!) wine, it is everything! That’s not because I’m particularly concerned about where the seller got the bottles from – though I suppose I should be – rather because a few weeks of inappropriate storage will render the contents of those bottles dead. The main source of older bottles is at auction. Apart from rare sales where bottles come direct from producer’s cellars, buying is, based on my experience, a complete lottery – hence, today I only bid low. There is, however, an outstanding chance to acquire older bottles at [….]

06 confuron-cotetidot bourgogne pinot noir

2006 Confuron-Cotetidot, Bourgogne Pinot Noir Medium cherry-red. Sweet, only slightly smokey stems, rather candied red/blue fruit. The palate is as sweet as the nose, with understated acidity. Occasional sips give a padded, slightly plush texture, but most show a mid-palate/tannins with a slightly astringent, sharp effect. Quite long finishing, but this far from a ‘together’ wine. Day two, less aromatically interesting, but more ‘together’ on the palate. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and say wait another year or two – it’s not really for today though… Rebuy – Maybe

living with wine, samantha nestor & alice feiring (2009)

living with wine, samantha nestor & alice feiring (2009)

The last book I read turned out to be a bit of a Christmas stocking filler. This one is published in time to make such a list too (and you can already buy it for a discount!), but be warned, you will need a considerably larger stocking! This book is far too big for my bag for the trip to work and back, lucky then that there’s not that much inside to read! This is – pure and simple – a coffee-table book, there are words, but not so many. This is a book of pictures; expensive bottles and expensive polished wood. Wine porn? Perhaps, but I see this more as an interior design book than particularly about wine, rather wine is merely the background [….]

07 bouchard père et fils mercurey

To be honest I think pricing is getting too high for such things. Basic Mercurey should not be significantly more expensive than a well-made regional wine – say plus 25% – this was double the cost of many regionals. It is intrinsically a very nice wine but my instinct tells me it’s poor value for money, hence, the ‘maybe’ rating. 2007 Bouchard Père et Fils, Mercurey High-toned, very pretty cherry aromas with a relatively understated oak-spice component. Jammy, it’s a fruit preserve impression. Good acidity and a slightly more grown-up stance in the mid-palate. The tannin has a slight grain. This medium length wine is actually quite tasty – a second glass? – why not! Rebuy – Maybe

2006 albert bichot beaune 1er champimonts

2006 Albert Bichot, Beaune 1er Champimonts Medium cherry-red. High-toned perfume of crunchy cherry-fruit eventually a little creamy oak. There is good width and an edge of fat to the texture too. A creamy vanilla-oak barrel note runs through the core of this and into the mid-palate. Medium, slightly peppery tannin and a good length. For my taste this needs a little cellar time to both round out and to reduce the barrel flavour, but it’s ripe, sweet and tasty already today, and was a very good price. Rebuy – Yes

2008 chablis réserve de vaudon

My first 2008 from bottle. 2008 Domaine Vaudon, Chablis Réserve de Vaudon Medium-pale lemon-yellow. The nose starts in a forward way, the aromas are somewhere on the border between oak toast and earthy minerality – it’s a great balancing act – slowly it is more towards the toasty bread part of the spectrum. In the mouth, the concentration gives a decent slightly oily, padded texture, but it’s a transient impression as the zinging grapefruit-style acidity takes hold. There is a sweetness that is the perfect foil to that grapefruit. Refreshing, not bad length, this is superb for the price and already a candidate for house wine 2010! A small amount left for day 2 had no trace of toast whatsoever, but was also missing that [….]

2000 pavelot savigny-lès-beaune 1er la dominode

2000 pavelot savigny-lès-beaune 1er la dominode

2000 Pavelot, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Dominode Medium-plus colour, still a hint of cherry-red colour. The nose is rather ‘anti-2000’ with a beacon of pure, fresh, faintly blue-skinned fruit at the core and a top note that is slightly more diffuse and herby (that’s a little more 2000!). The palate is not as plush as it was in its youth, but the late attack of the tannins I noticed in previous bottles is now gone – they are are certainly still there if you look for them, but are no problem now. Decently balanced, it’s as ripe as most 2000s but with a fresher aspect to the aromas. Decently concentrated and showing a wiry muscle, I regret only buying 6, I regret even more that only 3 [….]

is this bottle corked?, kathleen burk & michael bywater (2009)

is this bottle corked?, kathleen burk & michael bywater (2009)

Do you, like me, inwardly groan (while still offering a cheery smile) each and every time somebody buys you something to do with wine as a birthday or Christmas present? – or perhaps a card resplendent with bottles and glasses? Come-on everyone, we are individuals, let’s have a little imagination! – what about the card with the cute puppy instead? – oops, no I have 3 of those already. Okay I give up! In front of me, I have the book ‘Is this bottle corked’, subtitled ‘The secret life of wine’. The cover seems a relatively unimaginative, as do the selected quotes from the Times (of London!), The Times (of Oxford!) and ‘The Diplomat’ – wow do diplomats get their own paper(?) It looks like [….]

what news of france?

A good article from Panos… And the chance to buy some mature wine… Paris’ landmark Tour d’Argent restaurant is cleaning out its 450,000-bottle winecellar “one of the best in the world” and putting 18,000 bottles up for auction in December

Winemaker: Best Job in the World?

A tongue-and-cheek look at winemakers.


You know, a lot of 2000s have turned the corner and are becoming very tasty indeed. Occasional bottles though, have ‘out-performed the vintage generalisations’ right from the start, the Savigny in my glass is one such wine – only 3 now remain in the cellar, how stupid of me! I’ll tell you tomorrow what this beauty is!

1999 guy castagnier clos de la roche

Tempting fate (as yesterday’s Corton was okay though the previous bottled had been corked) I went to this Castagnier – the last bottle of which was also corked! Another success… 1999 Guy Castagnier, Clos de la Roche Medium-plus colour, still with some cherry-red in the mix. Deep, sweet beetroot, brown sugar and a dark red/black confiture fruit encasing a core of some minerality – the last drops in the glass show beautiful raised red fruits. Perfectly balanced acidity that keeps your mouth watering, yet the supporting sweetness ensures no sharpness. The finely-grained tannins are very-much fading into the background. Medium plus finish. A balanced and very pretty wine that is slowly adding some complexity and is very 99, but it’s not obviously grand cru – [….]

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