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billn

billn

with a little help from drugs ;-)

with a little help from drugs ;-)

Really hard to get out of the door this morning – some virus was giving me a headache – or maybe that was the lack of sleep – probably both! But a beautiful day and the paracetamol slowly kicked-in. I was amazed to see a number of lizards basking in the sunshine today – already in February! Worth the effort… Mainly Mercurey…

today’s Beauneblick…

today’s Beauneblick…

Ouf – accounts. I finished January’s at any rate today… Of-course it’s important to get out – even with a stupid chesty-cough – particularly when there’s a nice colour to the waning sunlight 😉 Playing here with an old manual focus lens – I chose the ones that weren’t too badly focused 😉 Tomorrow I’m off to Mercurey. Views of Beaune today…

Mutually Assured (scoring) Destruction (shorthand – 99 points!)

Mutually Assured (scoring) Destruction (shorthand – 99 points!)

Copyright Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Atkin, Pierre Vincent? I’ve no idea either 😉 As a numerical shorthand, scoring wines has some place when faced with a large list of potentials for your glass. I have never been an advocate of the seemingly self-important, faux-accurate scoring implied by the 100 points system but I accede to this utility. I do sometimes score – but my 0-2 points system, plus the ‘3 for your favourite’ – a system I use in my blind reports when there are multiple tasters, but that’s something everybody can understand: 0=don’t like, 1=like, 2=would buy, plus your overall favourite =3. But 99 points? Call me an inadequate taster, but without some initial calibration, the first wine could just as easily for me be [….]

a weekend quartet…

a weekend quartet…

1990 Michel Juillot, Corton Perrières There’s clearly a little age in the colouring, but nothing brown. The nose is modest but sweet, with a little deep fruit compôte. In the mouth there’s a little fatness to the texture – some weight too. Overall a wine that is balanced and drinks easily but is modest of flavour, energy and character. Tasty enough, but some way from the expectations set by the words ‘1990 grand cru.’ Rebuy- No 2010 Christophe Ferrari, Irancy Le Paradis Of-course, there is not the weight or fatness of texture of the last wine, but here is all energy, character and flavour you could wish for – ebullient, fresh, pure pinot nose and up-and-down energy and a certain darkly fruited complexity. Clearly ‘thin’ [….]

monday in the côtes…

monday in the côtes…

There was some snow at home when I left this morning, but the roads were clear. Plenty of snow about as I traversed eastern France though – particularly around Besançon – but afterwards it faded and everything became green. I made a stop about 15 minutes from Beaune for a pain-au-raisin and a coffee and the snow suddenly started, but I didn’t think much about it, then I walked out of the services and all was white and I was surrounded by the 20km/h driving-brigade. Ouf! The motorway was already white too – I’d only spent 15 minutes, maybe less, in the service area! Fortunately I was the only one interested in driving in the overtaking lane, so soon lost the 20km-ers. 5 minutes later [….]

what price a real winter?

what price a real winter?

Chablis, like the Côte d’Or, is wet and not particularly cold for the time of year. The temperature has ranged between 4 and 6°C today and the rain has hardly stopped. Actually it rained so hard between 9 and 10pm yesterday, that I decided not to jog – so all the Chablis-based chains were safe – it’s looking like the same for today too! The ground here is saturated, and the river is high, fast and brown-coloured. Most places look fine after two dry days, but it only needs 15 minutes of rain and all the standing water in the fields returns. The growers really want to see a week or preferably more with significantly minus temperatures – and even if a little snow might [….]

heading to beaune to avoid the cold!

heading to beaune to avoid the cold!

Monday morning I arrive home, planning to head to Chablis for my first appointments on Wednesday – but oups! 7°C in the house. Following a heating-oil delivery, the machine refuses to function, and 7°C is cold, it’s much warmer in the cellar @ 12.5°C! The engineer only gets there at 6pm so I’m dressed like the Michelin-man as I don’t know what time he’ll arrive – and it’s far too cold for typing! Okay – eventually (seemingly) all is fixed – but I’m not staying as the house will need days to warm-up. Despite the heavy snow, I’m heading to a warmer bed, in Beaune! Tuesday is snowless and actually quite okay weather in Beaune. It gives me chance to catch up on my typing [….]

sunday lunch…

sunday lunch…

Sunday is our last day in the mountains – and its snowing again. Up (somewhere!) on the hill above Klosters is a nice restaurant and you can sledge back to the town if you like. I don’t know about the sledge, but I’m up for lunch 😉

moving on…

moving on…

On the third day I ditched the ‘langlauf’ skis! I’d pretty much stopped falling over – except when I couldn’t snow-plow those tiny skis on icy snow – but was frustrated by all the ‘skaters’ zooming past me. I was too slow, and a little bored! But the next day was gorgeously pretty in the next valley in the Engadin – compared to cloudy and snow in our valley – so a really uplifting day walking between the small Engadin villages, with a view towards the Swiss National Park. We really must go back in the summer to do some walking – simply gorgeous scenery and small villages.

to be classic, or not to be classic…

to be classic, or not to be classic…

Well, I have to stave of boredom, despite being in the spectacularly pretty mountains. Okay not that pretty today due to cloud and snow! So if I can’t do downhill, what about cross-country? And then the vexed question of skating or ‘classic.’ I decide that I’m the classic type and take a lesson – I’ve never done it before! The next hour-plus I fall on my derrière at least a dozen times as my weight goes too much backwards – this hardly ever happens in downhill as you’re balanced by the pitch of the hill. But anyway, I think I’m getting the hang of it – even if my derrière disagrees!

oups!

oups!

Regular readers will be aware that each year in January I disappear for what I like to call ski-training before doing a downhill race in Mürren. Well, about 10 days ago, jogging at night in Chablis, I failed to observe a chain between two massive ‘plant-pots’ – I hit the ground hard and fast, and made a mess of one of my shins. Still, it was just flesh! That’s what I thought anyway; putting my skiboot on was not totally comfortable – but skiing got harder and harder until it simply wasn’t possible. I’m aparently fit – I can walk or run – but it seems I can’t lean forwards into my boot. Race? I can’t even get down a blue run properly – I [….]

back to the snow…

back to the snow…

A week away from Chablis and ouf! – snow 🙂 Definitely not a skiing day – rather a train-ride a nice Italian lunch and the impressively cool spa of Samedan…

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