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billn

billn

a couple of links…

Decanter News: “The latest Burgundy export figures suggest the region’s wines are becoming harder for consumers to find and there are fears that prices have risen too strongly.” …I suppose the obvious reaction is – no shit Sherlock… To distract me from such pricing, I’ve been reading Jerome’s tour of domaines during harvest. Good stuff.

Lovely Lavaux

Burgundy Harvest 23 September 2014…

OUF! That’s cold! We woke today to blue skies and what would turn out to be a day of glorious sunshine – but OUF (again) – the temperature, and that wind is cold – are we suddenly in November? Heading to the triage table, my gillet wasn’t enough – I needed double-gillet-ing! Today we started with grapes from Lavaux St.Jacques – they were grapes to warm the hart – if not my blue fingers while sorting. Really only the most peripheral of sorting was required, indeed they were so good that half our cache went straight to the fermentation tank with their stems intact. Lovely stuff. Actually not so many grapes today, so we have the luxury of lunch closer to 12h00 than 14h00. My [….]

Burgundy Harvest 22 September 2014…

Burgundy Harvest 22 September 2014…

I loved the Clos St.Denis but was completely unmoved by the Griotte – and I can’t blame the cork! How will the last of this trio of 2012s fare? 2012 Chézeaux (Ponsot), Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes Deeply coloured. Pure, crunchy griotte fruit – obvious ripeness but plenty of freshness too – I like. In the mouth this has a widening palate, sweetness but a nice texture and energy too. It seems longer-finishing that the Griotte-Chambertin and certainly much more interest today. This is a good wine that I’ll be happy try again (and again!) Rebuy – Yes Back to the harvest… This morning was blue-skied sunshine – but 4 or 5 degrees cooler was my impression – it feels just a little more autumnal. The [….]

Burgundy Harvest: 21 Sept 2014 (the pause)…

Burgundy Harvest: 21 Sept 2014 (the pause)…

Of-course we had storms and even the possibility of hail in our weather forecast for today, so no grapes. Instead, breakfast at Hotel Le Montrachet – for six – one of which has their birthday. We, very enjoyably, graze for 90 minutes, until they take it all away… As you will note from the pictures (below), the storm seemed a long, way-away – if it was to come at all – there’s a short burst of rain in Beaune about 14h45, but only for 5 minutes against a backdrop of sunshine. So back to the keyboard, after cruising past the cows in Place Madeleine! Post Script: A few small showers later in the evening, but basically nothing. We thank the forecasters for our day off! [….]

Santenay Villages

Burgundy Harvest: 20 Sept 2014…

It’s Saturday!! But no rest for the wicked – or those with grapes! The rain started again on Friday evening ~21h00 – it was still raining at 12h30, but I’ve no idea when it stopped. There were a few spots of rain this morning too, but not enough to really wet – the sun shone brightly from about 14h00 though. There’s the possibility of a storm with hail forecast for Sunday, so tomorrow we have no grapes – but there was plenty to pick today, hence, we triaged from 10h00-19h00 – admittedly with the two obligatory coffee-pauses and a good lunch. I brought the 1973 no-name Romanée St.Vivant – all chocolate, width and with just a faint suggestion of oxidation. It exceeded my expectations! And [….]

Burgundy Harvest: sensationalist, un-nuanced, reporting

Burgundy 2014: September heatwave set to save vintage Sensationalist BS – the headline anyway – it could of-course reference the ‘Meursault to Beaune’ area but that is, from a volume perspective, clearly only a modest percentage of whole of Burgundy, and (for instance) contains no red grand crus etcetera, etcetera… Let’s assume it was the editor who was to blame…

Not quite sure where this might be?

Burgundy Harvest: 19 Sept 2014…

Ouf – plenty of action today! We started at about 09h45 with Santenay Clos Rousseau, The lost were a little variable – a lot of what we had before lunch (it was a big pick) needed to triage a little rot but more often, fruit that was a little unripe – there was no signs of hail and no dried berries. By 11h00 it was raining and got steadily heavier over the next hours – it didn’t stop until about 15h30. Actually in Santenay it was more like a storm and our pickers had to stop – they will probably be back tomorrow for more Santenay villages… We didn’t break for lunch until close to 14h00, but there was plenty for even the biggest appetites [….]

Burgundy Harvest: 19 Sept 2014 (prelude)…

I was running through the vines between 19h00 and 20h00 yesterday, and in the twilight, I noted a couple of picking machines in the vines – the first on the flat (Bourgogne) behind the old railway station of Pommard, but the second seemed to me to be in Beaune 1er Les Montrevenots. The first thing that crossed my mind was – are they afraid of the light? But judging by the fruit I’ve triaged this week (so-far) this is probably as good as any vintage to do this – the dry stuff will mainly fall in the vineyard – so half the triage is done, the skins are decently thick and there’s not too much botrytis. Still, it wouldn’t be my choice, but I’m surprised [….]

A little pinot gris too...

Burgundy Harvest 18 September 2014…

So – what reason to open a bottle today? Hmm – well, on this day in 1635 Emperor Ferdinand II declared war on France – seems a good enough reason! I bought these direct from the domaine after tasting from barrel in 2003, but there was a mistake – the labels may have said Petits-Monts, but the (correct!) cork said Malconsorts. So I had to buy 6 more Petits-Monts as I didn’t want to give these Malconsorts back – despite having 6 of those too! Well, after more than 10 years in the cellar, I’d no idea if this was a Malconsorts or PM – it turned out to be Malconsorts. 2002 Nicolas Potel, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Malconsorts I’ve drunk about 4 or 5 of [….]

Biodynamic and super...

Burgundy Harvest 17 September 2014…

The plastic ‘cork’ now says Très Vieilles-Vignes, though the label says Vieilles-Vignes – they were 100 years-old in 2005. Anyway, life may have moved on, but today was the 26th anniversary of me getting married – so a good excuse for a nice bottle! 2012 Chézeaux (Ponsot), Clos St.Denis Wow! This is deeply coloured. The nose is not über demonstrative but is fine and complex, darkly fruited and smooth – it’s ripe but safely avoids ‘over-ripe.’ Ouf! This is really mouth-filling and silky – but super-concentrated in the mid-palate – real 2012 heft from there into the finish. Very, very, very long on a stony and mildly mineral note. It’s very hard to find the tannin here, such is the extract of buffering fruit. Simply [….]

Burgundy Harvest 16 September 2014…

Burgundy Harvest 16 September 2014…

Ouf – What a day! We made up for a lack of grapes on Monday, by triaging from 09h30-20h45. But there was lunch and 2 coffee breaks included! I officially felt the hottest, ever, during triage this afternoon – or certainly since the last time it was hot anyway… We started the day with villages Volnay, and what a start! Just like the Volnay Lurets (which I missed) on Sunday, the vibrating table shook out the vast majority of shrivelled-up, dry berries, leaving very little to triage – so much so that about 1/3rd of the way through, the cry was heard from winemaker C, “We’re going whole-cluster!” Two minutes of man(only)-handling the destemmer out-of-the-way and our ‘giraffe’ was now dumping the (whole cluster) grapes [….]

2012 côte de beaune blanc – drouhin…

2012 côte de beaune blanc – drouhin…

I can summarise with ‘yum!’ 2012 Domaine Joseph Drouhin, Côte de Beaune (Blanc) Medium-pale, lemon-yellow. High-toned but with an undertow of fresh but ripe fruit – enticing! Full in the mouth, quite broad but with both freshness and an interesting density – a performance that easily surpasses the label. Excellent stuff with a nicely mouth-watering finish. Rebuy – Yes

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