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chablis 2013 – no reference points…

chablis 2013 – no reference points…

My hat of the day award! I’m more than 75% of the way through visiting roughly 35 domaines for my January, Chablis Vintage 2013 Report (though my last half-dozen visits are not for another 10 days) and its a very particular vintage. I won’t publish my report until the start of the second week of February, but given all the offers that I’ve seen, and more particularly some of the descriptions (exultations/exhortations to buy!) I’ve seen, I thought it timely to add just a few words – caveats if you like… Except a few wise old owls who invoke very old vintages (ones never, ever, drunk by 99.9% of current buyers) the producers will tell you that they have no reference points for this vintage. [….]

blinded by the light – chablis encore…

blinded by the light – chablis encore…

I came out of my last appointment, Billaud-Simon, at about 17h10 and noticed a beautiful red light on the hill-top vines. I zoomed up in the car to Les Clos but the last rays of the sun had already departed the vines in those 3 or 4 short minutes. Of-course the sunset lasted a little longer 😉 You will have no-doubt gathered by now that I’m beginning my second week of Chablis 2013 tastings – just one more trip at the end of this month to wrap up 30+ domaines for the January EXTRA! It was a very modest day today – only 3 domaines and about 30 wines…

herbicide – off-colour and off-limit…

herbicide – off-colour and off-limit…

You know I like to pepper these pages with pretty pictures taken along the road, but some of today’s pictures leave a bad taste in my mouth. Actually, the fact that I find this more than a little disgusting, reflects well on the progress that has been made by vigneron/producers in the Côte d’Or. The palour of herbicide, today, stands obvious and sore against a backdrop of green grass, rock and perfectly ploughed furrows. It is exactly because it is becoming so rare in the Côte d’Or that it produces ever-more extreme emotion in me when I encounter it. You can double the shock when you know that the focus of my ire was 8-10, 100m rows, of Bâtard-Montrachet… It is nothing more than laziness [….]

Moutonne - I'm sure you knew

darkness…

Well, Tuesday may have started with frost and blue skies, but by late morning it was all gone. Similarly, Wednesday had a wintry, misty, darkness to it… At lunchtime we heard of the atrocity in Paris – a lunch partner who likes a laugh became rather contemplative; “The thing is, for my generation, these people were our symbols of liberty in France…” he said…

not chablis…

not chablis…

Well, you didn’t think I’d turn up empty-handed did you? 2008 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Beaune 1er Montrevenots When very young there was a gorgeous and piercing note of fruit that had irreproachable clarity. Sad to say that it has faded, but the wine overall is balanced and intense and for the vintage it’s rather friendly – though many show kinder faces now than when they were young. The fruit is dark red and has lots of energy and interest – lithe and flexible. It is still lovely. Rebuy- Yes 2007 Camille-Giroud, Corton-Rognets Oof – aromatically I would have guess Renardes – but the musky animale note slowly fades into a modest aromatic. In the mouth this is very good, with fruit of fine clarity and very good [….]

what a great start to 2015 – chablis…

what a great start to 2015 – chablis…

I left home at first light – not that early at this time of year 😉 – and with a -5°C frost. It was wall-to-wall gorgeous views almost the whole way to Beaune – just some mist around Dôle. A short stop to reboot my lack of festive season Patisserie visits and then onwards to Chablis for 2 weeks of tasting 2013s. Just two pm visits to get me in the right frame of tasting – oh, and to try and see if I can type my notes on an iPad – that should speed up the publishing process – if it works 😉 The view from Les Clos towards Chablis at 3pm:

year-end new articles…

Lots of news on Beaujolais and Jura to finish 2014, but I’ll try to keep my focus from Irancy to Saint Veran in 2015, starting on Monday with two weeks in Chablis…! beaujolais-contest-cancelled-in-drink-fuelled-row burgundy-winemakers-buy-more-of-jura And a little champagne? That might be nice… champagnes-big-gaffe-and-5-ways-to-mend-it Oh, and do yourself a favour – if you’ve a cellar full of DRC – get a better door! I have noted some other ‘wits’ mentioning that the French Laundry’s $150 corkage fee should similarly be classed as robbery 😉 Anyway, imagine having to drink all that wine, just because the auction houses won’t touch it – some of them anyway 😉 The French Laundry (@_tfl_) victimized by fancy wine robbery on Christmas Day: http://t.co/XU0Zk8isC8 pic.twitter.com/VwoqZr80fG — Inside Scoop SF (@insidescoopsf) December [….]

Happy 2015…

Happy 2015…

It was a great day here in Switzerland – hopefully the snow will hang around a little longer… My best wishes for 2015…

just a few year-end bottles:

just a few year-end bottles:

2010 Rebourgeon-Mure Volnay 1er Santenots Bright, with a pretty nose. Not a big burly Santenots, rather one of transparency, vibrancy and beautiful flavour – very yum! Rebuy- Yes 1999 Nicolas Potel, Volnay Ouf! This smells gorgeous – just a little leaft development and a fine floral note. In the mouth too this is really exellent and has the density and complexity of a much more self-important label. The finishing structure is a hint strict – so it’s still young, but this was really excellent! Rebuy- Yes 1998 Bruno Clair, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Dominode Hmm – the nose is a bit bretty (it’s been in my cellar only 12 years but I can’t account for it’s first couple) so not really to my taste, but not [….]

‘museum-ification of wine’

“Have ultrahigh prices distorted our understanding and enjoyment of wine?” Well, have they? I think so. I didn’t used to think and then re-think whether to open a bottle from, for instance, DRC 10-15 years ago. Today it is hard, because it’s not just great wine, it’s a new garage door or a fancy new refrigerator – or in some cases, even a new kitchen. Good writing, and more importantly, thought-provoking writing, from Matt Kramer – he still has it…

peak-a-boo!!!

peak-a-boo!!!

A funny kind of day – we had an interested furry audience for the tasting this afternoon!

interesting stuff…

PUNCH | Is the Jura Dealing with the “Urban Outfitters Effect”? http://t.co/gA9inFNPQe — Melissa M Sutherland (@melissa_ful) December 13, 2014 http://punchdrink.com/articles/is-the-jura-dealing-with-the-urban-outfitters-effect/ A well-written and thought-provoking piece. There are many viewpoints of-course, and it is really no different a complaint to that of people lamenting the high-price purchases of ‘outsiders’ in Burgundy i.e. LMVH, Château Latour and/or whoever is eventually going to stump up the cash for Pousse d’Or (I don’t see anyone stumping up the cash for Rebourseau!). The argument cuts in all directions; Guillaume d’Angerville himself, hardly happy about a ‘negociant from Nuits’ having bought a sizable chunk of villages Volnay, when he would have preferred the vines to have stayed in ‘Volnay hands.’ It’s sometimes described as progress – it’s always transient – [….]

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