week 50 2019 – the visits…

By billn on December 13, 2019 #degustation#reports

Yes, I know – week 50!

I’m now in Switzerland, but should have been in France ready to use my TGV tickets on Sunday – but there are no TGVs. The same time last year it was the gilets jaunes. Oh well…

Anyway, the last visits of this year are now completed, so it’s just down to the typing of those 113 individual reports: The 2018 Whites issue (October Report) will be online in the next few days – the 2018 Reds issue (November Report) will be online before my Christmas lunch – gotta have a target!

My thanks to the winemakers who made time available this week:

weekend 49 2019 – the wines

By billn on December 10, 2019 #degustation

weekend wines

Three ‘bravo’ wines in one weekend – none of which were the expensive ones – we were blessed! 😉

2017 Albert Grivault, Meursault 1er Clos des Perrières
A creamy nose – very nice, background citrus but not ‘special’ today. In the mouth this has beautiful shape, line and length – but – the oak is all-pervading and very creamy. This is a wine for saving – drunk at least a couple of years too early. Very long but it’s currently about potential. A shame to have opened today.
Rebuy – Maybe

2018 Céline Chevallier, Chablis
Perfect – no oak! This wine has a beautiful top note of aroma – despite the 2018 vintage, it’s absolutely classic. In the mouth too it’s much more mouth-watering and moreish compared to the Grivault. Absolutely delicious – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2009 Château de Bellevue, Morgon Le CLos Reserve du Caveau
Deeply coloured. A nose that starts sleek, dark-.fruited and has a graphite/mineral impression. In the mouth this starts equally sleek and has driving direction – Morgon is like the Corton of Beaujolais – but with time and aeration this begins to fill all the corners of your mouth – powerful but at the same time cushioned – no fat. This is great but still an absolute baby. Bravo again!
Rebuy – Yes

2001 Nicolas Potel, Romanée St.Vivant
A cork that breaks into two. Not a big nose but one that’s very rewarding in its understated, complex, moderately spiced, slightly mature way. In the mouth, there’s a lovely shape and super texture – mouth-filling and at the same time, a little soft. The flavours have quite some maturity about them. This is delicious wine but vs the cost of entry today, of dubious value – this cost ‘only’ €80 way back when. Oh, and don’t leave any for day two either – I left some overnight in the fridge, next day it was bretty – something I didn’t note on opening. A wine that I enjoyed very much, but wouldn’t dream of re-purchasing at current pricing.
Rebuy – No

2005 Claude et Catherine Maréchale, Pommard La Chanière
Deep colour – oh and what a great nose too – profound, some modest notes of maturity – it’s highly inviting. Big in the mouth, like the nose, profound. I love the padded muscularity, the delicious complexity, and the great texture. This is great, great villages and it’s ready to go now! Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

week 49 2019 – the visits…

By billn on December 06, 2019 #reports#travels in burgundy 2019

Yes – it’s already week 49!
Above, the people who said ‘yes’ to a visit by me this week! And this week, no surprise, some great wines!
I’m starting to wind down now, just another ~8 visits next week, followed by a smoking keyboard – actually the keyboard doesn’t get that hot as my typing seems to get less and less accurate each year!

a tyring problem and frost

By billn on December 05, 2019 #travels in burgundy 2019

Yesterday and today were cold and frosty in the Côtes. Unlike yesterday, today’s typical winter mist, except for a while in Nuits, never really departed, blanketing the Côtes (but not the Hautes Côtes) in foggy, low cloud. Today’s temperature never turning positive – early morning Comblanchien resembling a ski-resort as the road was so white. Very occasionally it was picturesque – the first haw frost of this year-end!

My day started with a tyring problem ie practically no air in a rear tyre – only 1-month-old tyre at that. So my first job today was to visit the local retailer of said tyres, who tested for this and tested for that but could find nothing amiss – so sent me away with a new valve. 12 hours later all is good – and I was only 30 minutes late for my first appointment in Morey!

sunset stress…

By billn on December 03, 2019 #travels in burgundy 2019

It started frosty, but it was lovely in the Côtes today – Côte de Nuits to be precise – save for the biting wind and 2-3°C. Fortunately, there were plenty of dogs to stroke to keep my hands warm!

Despite the great light and the fabulous sunset (no pics – I was driving!) it was a stressful day, as I left my phone in Beaune by mistake. I had enough cash for lunch (just!) but the question was ‘what to do with my hands between visits?’ or ‘what if somebody needs me?’ I tried to enjoy the day without the phone, but didn’t quite manage it – does that make me Gen X or still completely (sub) millennial? 😉

Anyway – an evening of typing and then jogging in minus °C…

2018 – it’s not your father’s burgundy…

By billn on December 02, 2019 #degustation#reports

Dominique Gallois
My white report will be out in not much more than a week, covering over 40 domaines’ wines and the white vintage assessed in detail.

But here’s a weekend red – my first bottled 2018 red burgundy at home – and it’s more than a good one for the vintage – though I’ve only visited 44 (mainly) red domaines so far. Dominique Gallois has made super, punchy, balanced wines with fine energy in 2018 – they are well above the average – but here you can see, firsthand, the (my) stylistic conundrum of the vintage:

2018 Dominique Gallois, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Very deep colour. Directly from the fridge (as all my wines), I can’t really describe this as pinot from Burgundy, it smells more like a good gamay cru – but at least there’s no bubble-gum here. Likewise in the mouth, this starts in direct, concentrated, even assertive style. It’s fresh, you might even convince me that it’s pinot – but, initially, not from Burgundy. As the wine warms in the glass the texture becomes more overtly velvet, the structure and flavours relax over the palate – even the nose smells a little more like pinot. It’s absolutely delicious wine of sufficient freshness, purity of (dark) fruit, no hard edges and a concentration that you don’t often find in a villages wine. It is a great regional wine – if you like the style – I can happily drink it despite its overt sweetness, but stylistically, 10,11,12,13,14 are all much more attractive to me. And blind, I still wouldn’t guess that it was from Burgundy…
Rebuy – Maybe

week 48 in the côtes…

By billn on November 29, 2019 #reports#travels in burgundy 2019

Above, the people who actually said ‘yes’ to a visit by me this week!

The weather was very changeable this week – lots of rain, plenty of winter mist, but some patches of sun too – even in the hautes côtes 😉

I loved a quote from one of the vignerons pictured above; “In 2019 it was easy to work in the vines, the weeds hardly grew due to the dry heat. Now, at the end of November, we have plenty of rain, so they are starting to grow!” And you can see just that as the ‘herbs’ and flowers start pushing in some images below, in Mazis-Chambertin.

Now a weekend in rainy Switzerland before returning for the appointments of the next two weeks…

offer of the day – drouhin-laroze 2018

By billn on November 27, 2019 #the market

Prices of the 2017s and 2016s, from the same offers in previous years, from the same merchant.

Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs 2018 75cl 55.00* (49.50, 49.50) Swiss Francs
Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaut-St-Jacques 1er Cru 2018 75cl 69.50 (69.00, 65.00)

Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2018 75 cl 135.00 (125.00, 119.00)
Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2018 75cl 139.00 (129.00, 125.00)
Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2018 75cl 168.00 (149.00, 145.00)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 2018 75cl 188.00 (165.00, 158.00)

*There is 8% Tax to add in Switzerland, but then these are delivered prices

It seems quite rare for the 2018s to come down in price – eh?

Burgundy Report

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