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billn

From perfect to 'bulky'

08 september – 2015 harvest day 5

Great fruit this morning – in parts anyway – and that was Santenay Clos Rousseau. There’s a young-vines part, an old-vines part, and a very old-vines part. It seems to me that there’s usually a bit of competition with the grower’s own pickers as to who gets what – we seemed to have a bit of everything today. There are some vintages where occasional barrels of this wine have a grand cru class about their mid-palate and finishing complexity, but frustratingly the assemblage of barrels has never quite managed to capture that – I suppose that the next time it happens, I will have to buy a whole barrel 😉 There was no oïdium here, but there was botrytis in the younger vines with their [….]

07 september – 2015 harvest day 4

07 september – 2015 harvest day 4

Let me tell you – it’s quite chilly in the mornings. After handling the grapes for a while, you beg a large, restorative mug of coffee to tease the blood back into your fingers – well, I do anyway! The week is set fair with sunny days and cold nights – the forecasters suggest that temperatures might reach the heady heights of 24°C mid-week, but today, despite endless blue sky, it’s probably peaking at only 18°C. Today it’s a balance between Côte de Beaune red and our first Côte de Nuits red. The glamorous grand cru, Corton Clos du Roi to finish our day versus ‘villages’ Gevery-Chambertin Le Crais to get us up and running. It’s not a big volume day, probably similar to yesterday [….]

Debris

06 september – 2015 harvest day 3

Don’t believe the 2015 hype – well, don’t accept it as universal anyway – this is Burgundy. Today was a Volnay at the home domaine – Volnay 1er cru and Volnay villages. This vineyard/plot/vine selection delivers plenty of rot – every year. It also usually brings a lot of unripe clusters which are simply thrown away – which I find incredibly frustrating – but it always makes a beautiful, clichéed, floral Volnay – sometimes better than our Caillerets (like in 2011…). This year, there’s still plenty of hard work in triage, but certainly less than usual. Less unripe clusters too – not particularly small berries but I’m pretty sure this will be a good wine. A modest day – only 4.5 tonnes triaged 😉  

Lying in wait.

05 september – 2015 harvest day 2

It’s Saturday, and at 07h00 it’s not fully light – where did the summer go?! Today is a cool, cloudy day – it’s also a relatively modest work-day – and for 2 reasons: 1 we only have two loads of chardonnay to triage today, and 2 there is almost no triage to do! A few leaves need removing, and from 1,800kg of fruit (first load – Meursault Vireuils) I found only one bunch with some porriture – JUST 1 BUNCH! In the three hours that follow the Meursault (the time it takes to make the pressing), we have the chance to drink coffee, eat croissants, wash all the cases the fruit was delivered in, and take an hour to walk around the market in Beaune. [….]

04 september – home domaine’s 2015 harvest day 1

04 september – home domaine’s 2015 harvest day 1

Only two vines today – Beaune Cras and Santenay Comme – both 1er crus. The Beaune is usually quite good from a fine selection of more than 80 year-old vines, the Santenay always needs a lot of triage from this plot/grower – but! – the triage table going at full speed, and not many triagers required. Something of a revelation. I don’t actually remember how good the 2005 Le Comme was, but this was superb. A great start – and only one of those spotty red things to be found in the whole day! Tomorrow two whites, one from Meursault and the other from Chassagne. More from me as it happens 😉  

2015 harvest update – hail!

2015 harvest update – hail!

Video Here  Photo belongs to Aurélien Blugeot Happy are those in the Côte de Beaune that have already cut a significant portion of their whites – Dominique Lafon and Olivier Lamy leading the way with accompanying social-media images of perfect grapes picked under perfect blue skies. Yesterday night it turned stormy – a modest amount of rain fell in the Côte d’Or, and the forecast for the days that follow is fine, but in Chablis the rain was much, much heavier – historically high levels for a 12 hour period – and at about 2am there was also hail, big hail – @Meteo89 announced that 600 hectares were touched by hail. Alerted this morning by Meursault vigneron, Patrick Essa, I then spoke with Matthieu Mangenot [….]

all-round excellence last weekend…

all-round excellence last weekend…

5 from 5 – who would have thought! I’d rebuy all of these! The Collet (Chablis) crémant hits the spot as always for just €8. The 2012 Pernand Clos Berthet was my last from 6 – all have been a great – seriously under-rated wine for the price. Ah – the Clos des Ursules – another 2000 that’s theoretically in no rush to consume – yet the bottle gets devoured! Maison Leroy Bourgogne 93. I’m drinking up my home stash of Leroy Bourgognes – such as it is – but there’s still a few 96s in storage. It was very good though not massively different to a recent 1995. 2005 ‘only a villages’ Camille Giroud Gevrey En Champs. With all the anecdotal references to 2015 [….]

one brusque the other smooth and intense…

one brusque the other smooth and intense…

2006 Roger Belland, Santenay 1er Les Gravières As a baby this was a big fruit bomb of interest. Today, in middle-age, it’s still big but both aromatically and from the flavours it’s also brusque, indeed it’s borderline brutal – I really wouldn’t know that I came from Burgundy, though I might still guess it’s pinot noir! Wait a few hours and everything about the wine moderates, yet I’m still not inclined to consider augmenting the cellar. I always found wines from this domaine great fun when young, probably it’s time to revisit to see how Julie Belland is having an effect! Rebuy – No 2005 Nicolas Potel, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Petits Monts Hmm – almost no nose – and 5 hours later it’s still the [….]

friday – must be engstligenalp day…

friday – must be engstligenalp day…

vendanges 2015 – vendanges!!

To be honest, it’s still very much the calm before the storm, but there are plenty of big names already in the vines… It started with Olivier Lamy on Wednesday and then on Thursday he was joined by Dominique Lafon and Jean-Marc Roulot – amongst others. Today both Dujac and Vougeraie were in the vines – though only for their Côte de Nuits whites – in particular, Pierre Vincent was only picking his young vines in the Clos Blanc de Vougeot. One vigneron from Meursault dryly noting that much of Meursault might be picked before people start picking their grapes for cremant! Given the thick skins of the (both colours of) grapes, it is clearly going to be something of a phenolic vintage, so maybe [….]

lac de biel – oh so pretty…

lac de biel – oh so pretty…

Yesterday: Fifty different grape varieties packing into one hillside by the lake of Biel in Switzerland. It’s very pretty indeed!

henri latour and g&p ravaut – good stuff…

henri latour and g&p ravaut – good stuff…

2002 Henri Latour, Auxey-Duresses 1er Les Grands-Champs Just a lovely nose – some leafy development and a faintly spiced red fruit – this is very inviting indeed. In the mouth this lacks the width and richness of youth – it’s much more direct, yet not particularly strident. An easy, tasty-drinking wine – but don’t look for plush fruit any more. Rebuy – Yes 2006 G&P Ravaut, Ladoix Les Carrières Yum – directly this is really yum. The nose has just a little development but has width and dimension – plenty of complexity here – lovely. Unlike the Latour, here is still plenty of youthful richness – yet the wine is completely open and tasty – dark red fruit, good energy and a lovely lingering finish [….]

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