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billn

fluffy clouds & autumn colour…

fluffy clouds & autumn colour…

Perhaps a little sad on my part – but great clouds before it got dark yesterday 😉 Actually it was a very clear-skied night, so much so that the Hautes Côtes had their first frost of the Autumn – but beautiful skies and colours in abundance today, interspersed between tastings in Vougeot, Gevrey and Vosne. Dinner with Jancis and Neal where we put the world to rights too! Probably no time to post anything tomorrow, but I’ll be starting in Pommard, moving to Nuits (to congratulate Jacques Desvauges, the (soon to be) winemaker at Clos de Tart and then finishing at an address in Marsannay!

to be, or not to be, 2004…

to be, or not to be, 2004…

I know, I know, ‘here we go again’ you are thinking. Well yes, and no… I’ve actually tried a few very good 2004s in the last days – I looked very hard at them, but found nothing amiss. So everything’s alright now say some. Hold your horses say I! The three wines that were fine, in every way, have not suddenly got better and lost their pyrazines – not as far as I know anyway – because I’d never tasted these wines before (as far as I remember) so I don’t know how good or bad they were before. But let’s be fair to those good wines and note them here, because I’d happily drink all three again: 2004 Domaine Lafon, Volnay 1er Champans 2004 [….]

de l’eau…

de l’eau…

I drove to the Côtes yesterday evening – it started dry in Switzerland, but it soon got very wet in France. Only the last few kms before Beaune allowed me the luxury of ‘intermittent’ windscreen-wipers! It seems that the department of the Côte d’Or got it (the rain!) quite badly – about 1 month’s rain in 24 hours. The Côte d’Or itself seemed to have only very limited patches of standing-water in the vines, but my first appointment today was at Vougeraie in Premeaux – Pierre Vincent was having to pump-out some of his cellar – “Perfect humidity” he quipped, also noting “That’s why it’s called Premeaux – it’s the first with water!” Hard to believe, but it was actually dry today (post-7am!) and the [….]

a year in corton…

a year in corton…

A very cool book – really super photos from Jon Wyand – it also looks like he’s been flying a very sturdy kite, given some stunning aerial shots…

The right road...

what to do on a friday?

Easy – visit Domaine Leflaive…

good day, thursday…

good day, thursday…

The mist blew off by lunchtime (again!) today, and beautiful it was. Afternoon in the Côte de Nuits for me and I thought I’d take plenty of pics after my 3pm appointment in Chambolle – unfortunately I didn’t leave the cellar until 6pm – when it was already dark! Not many pics then!

mist, sun, barrels, horses, trees and sky…

mist, sun, barrels, horses, trees and sky…

It just felt like that kind of day! On my way through the mist to visit Le Grappin today, I even saw peoples’ breath steaming a little – it didn’t seem that cool, but apparently… The sun managed to break through quite early today, it was already sunny around lunchtime. The vineyards close to the RN(9)74 have lost much of their leaves, but on the hillsides they remain beautifully coloured, delineating the vineyards – none more-so than Monthelie and St.Aubin in the Côte de Beaune. Heading back to Puligny from Saint Aubin I happened upon the horses of Leflaive doing their thing in Pucelles. Idyllic…

Le Grappin 2013s

Le Grappin 2013s

Tasted with Andrew Nielsen in Beaune 29th October, 2014. Pictured right, Andrew and Emma Nielsen. Le Grappin @legrappin www.legrappin.com Well, there was no point in making you wait 2+ more weeks for the October issue of Burgundy Report EXTRA! to read this – because the Le Grappin 2013 offer closes on the 4th of November – so here you go for a free view of what’s assembled in the EXTRA! The highlighted wines are personal my favourites. Andrew and Emma were moving, scrubbing and moving (again) everything in sight when I visited. The former cuverie of Fanny Sabre in the centre of Beaune remains their compact and bijou home. It could have been an even tighter squeeze were it not for the hail of 2013: [….]

weekend wines and misty burgundy

weekend wines and misty burgundy

A couple of wines from the weekend above – and why not 2008! The Pillot was nicely muscled and in perfect drinking order. The Camille Giroud Corton was a pig to taste before bottling but has rounded out to a very pretty and engaging wine – very yummy. 2 hits from 2008! Monday, back to the Côtes. It was a misty/low cloud day, and it never really left, just covered everything with a faint shimmer of dampness. Tuesday started exactly the same. I saw Blair Pethel and he said that it was just wet enough to keep him from ploughing – oh well, it seems like Autumn is arriving. But late afternoon the sun managed to break through the cloud and we were treated to [….]

friday in sunny chassagne before the autoroute

friday in sunny chassagne before the autoroute

Friends arrive for the weekend today – but in Switzerland! So time for just one visit this morning, in Chassagne, before heading home. Picture-perfect blue sky. Still about 10° cooler – we didn’t really reach 10°C until lunchtime. Hopefully it’s still as pretty when I get back next Monday. Hopefully Beaune will be a little easier to navigate next week – this week, roads kept being closed for putting up the Christmas lights! Hmm, only 5 visits in the diary for next week though – so far 😉

cold, zalto, riedel…

cold, zalto, riedel…

Ouf! Thursday was cooler – we’ve lost 10°C in 12 hours! Thursday had a brilliant sunrise (for those heading for early appointments in Maranges!) but stayed very cloudy until late afternoon. By 4pm there were the first flashed of blue sky – but don’t tell the people of St.Romain – it was already black as night when I left there! In the evening I had a little play with, comparing a Zalto, a Riedel and a 2004 Volnay Champans from Count of Lafon. I didn’t find any pyrazines with either glass, but the aromas were a little more herbal in the Riedel versus the more floral and prettier Zalto. 1:0 to Zalto. In the hand though, I found the Zalto stem disconcertingly narrow and it [….]

chevalier for breakfast…

chevalier for breakfast…

Well, somebody has to do it! This morning the wind had dropped, but there was also a more noticeable chill: 7°C at 07h30. The light was lovely though, and the vines haven’t yet lost all their leaves from the wind! A mix of grander and ‘insider’ domaines today, including one that previously ‘could do better.’ I was invited for lunch – a shock I know – I’m unrepentant, but I don’t have a list of commercials ‘things’ that I have to avoid on my site, so I’m allowed – I consider myself too grown up for that 😉 Back to my apartment in the evening, it’s still chilly – I will have to jog faster – but first, it’s time to eat the Bolognese that [….]

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