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weekend wines – weekend 28 2018

2013 Olivier Leflaive, Bourgogne Oncle Vincent
Pale lemon yellow. A narrow, fine nose of clean citrus. Plenty of fine zip to the ever-widening palate, little finishing waves of nice intensity flavour. When younger this needed plenty of air to show its best, but now it’s directly open and delicious. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Lejeune, Pommard 1er Argillières
Ooh – now that’s a nose! Perfumed, floral, clean red fruit – simply gorgeous. Mouth-filling, mouth-watering, clean pure fruit – like the nose. Super acidity, intense and it lingers long. Relatively primary, brilliant in the glass and oh-so stable – the last glass two days later was lovely – bravo.
Rebuy – Yes

2015 Dampt Frères, Bourgogne Tonnerre Le Clos du Château
This has more than a passing resemblance to last weekend’s Bourgogne Vézelay with an open, attractive, aromatic sweetness. In the mouth also open and sweet, perhaps lacking a little structure and intensity – yet – the flavour always delivers, faintly orange blossom, faintly ginger. Just a very tasty wine. Missing the incisive nature of the 2014 – from what I recollect, the 2016 misses it too – but I’m holding it to higher standards than is typical for an €8 wine – for the price this remains excellent.
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Louis Jadot, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
Hmm – everything about this wine is a little too ‘medium!’ On the positive side, this wine was terribly young when I first first opened one of my 6-pack in 2007 – today I would say it’s almost drinking, if not ‘giving.’ The nose does have some complexity and interest in its medium-weight delivery. Likewise in the mouth, a medium concentration, though a little less tart than the last time. The balance is actually excellent, but the overall performance is very modest. This wine will be twenty years old next year, but I still wouldn’t countenance opening one for a while longer than that – if it performs like this, it will seem like a wasted bottle and certainly a waste of cash relative to the asking price today…
Rebuy – No

2017 Eva Frick, Rheingau Riesling
Simply delicious – grapefruit mouth-puckering but with delicious, refreshing flavour. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

a brienzersee saturday…

already time for jayer’s records to fall?

Only last month was that (in)famous Jayer sale – the sale of the century – but already a new sale of the century is on its way. You will have to wait until August to see the details of the collection though, and October for the sale!

I had the feeling that it was highly unlikely that there was another bottle of 1945 Romanée-Conti left in this world – several hundred more having been drunk than were ever made! But it seems from this video that Robert Drouhin may have one – maybe more – certainly there are scores of DRC from other (old) vintages. This should come as no surprise, given that Drouhin were the distributors of DRC in France and Belgium from 1928, indeed they were the largest distributor of the domaine’s wines.

Serena Sutcliffe describes Robert’s cellar, a portion of which they will be selling in New York, as a “jewel-box of a personal cellar,” and she’s probably not even started contemplating all those bottles of Drouhin’s Musigny – all at least 50 years old. I’ll be very interested to see the catalogue of wines – I expect that the records set by the Jayer wines are about to be tested!

There really is no normal opportunity to get these wines.
Serena Sutcliffe, Sotheby’s

Enjoy the video:

midweek wines – week 28 2018 – a double ruchottes

Seemingly a week that’s dominated by world cup football – if I can ignore Wimbledon (poor Roger!) and the Tour de France! I’ll see if a double Ruchottes can occupy me…

2009 Ramonet, Chassage-Montrachet 1er Les Ruchottes
My run-in to the semi-final wine.
Despite a wet line of wine through the cork, this has a young, lemon yellow colour. The nose actually gets more and more reductive in the first minutes it’s open – a toasty reduction rather than fireworks – though slowly it begins to trend towards fireworks. In the mouth, fat as always (this vintage) but with an outstanding length of finish – all creamy noisette before a mineral line. The mid-palate flavour also has some minerality and even touch of tannin. Always an impressive 2009, but so far, not a particularly delicious one. In the flavour profile it reminds me a little of my 93 Meursault-Cras from Voillot – with a little less acidity and more fat – which implies it needs another 10 years and that strains my confidence due to ‘normal’ corks…
Rebuy – Maybe

1999 Frederic Esmonin, Ruchottes-Chambertin
My semi-final wine…
The nose starts with a blast; deep, earthy – exciting! It’s almost a surprise that it tightens a little with air. Plenty of volume in the mouth, impressive intensity, still a suggestion of tannin – and that earthy, faintly bitter, finishing flavour that’s redolent of the first nose. A relative youngster this wine – the energy and flavour complexity making for a great ride. In this era I often found the Ruchottes chez Esmonin a little lacking – but this bottle, not a bit – excellent!
Rebuy – Yes

already veraison…

I thought that people were joking last week when they said that we might see first veraison (grapes starting to change colour) later(!) this week. It seem that even they underestimated things. The image above is from Mark O’Connell from Domaine Clos de la Chapelle and was taken in Corton-Bressandes, today!

weekend wines – weekend 27 2018

A weekend of going further afield:

1998 Giuseppe Cortese, Rabaja Barbaresco
I think there was a smell of something unwelcome on the cork, but the wine seemed okay. Sweetly complex flavour offset by by an earthy nose – an odd nose. By the time I poured the second glass I was finally sure that there was some cork taint – a shame…

2015 Henry de Vézelay, Tastevinage Bourgogne Vézelay
A narrow but fresh and attractive nose. The palate, likewise is clean, easy, but very tasty. Neither a broad nor powerful wine but a very tasty wine with modest but ripe fruit – the bottle was finished in double-quick time – always the best judge!
Rebuy – Yes

2016 Blue Mountain, Gamay Noir
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
A delightful nose; cherry fruit that’s cushioned with very well judged oak – it’s really just the most modest of, but intriguing of, accents. The palate is modestly round with a slowly mouth-watering half cherry, half raspberry fruit – again cushioned by sweet oak – but this accent, like nose, is far from jarring. I’d wait for the oak to fade even more into the background, but this is simply an admirably delicious wine!
Rebuy – Yes

today in the vines…

A 30°, 12 km jog in the (red) Côte de Beaune, before the British Grand Prix:

friday brought us to…

Chablis, Irancy and Vézelay:

Our first ever trip to Vézelay – and what a beautiful destination. The old town and its ecclesiastic centre dominating from the hill-top – vines below. We will be revisiting to see how it changes in the different seasons…

counting the cost – this week’s hail update

I’d promised an update after 48 hours and here you go – but first a few images from this morning’s jogging route around Beaune:

Beaune has been modestly affected, but the southern part of Nuits was worse. It seems that the vineyards south of Beaune, Mâcon excepted where there were also some impacts, saw only rain, though there are further reports, today, of hail around Dijon.

“We had quite serious damage in Beaune-Grèves, maybe 10 to 50%, it’s hard to evaluate right now. Very few impacts in Beaune Clos du Roi, and we were also fortunate to have avoided hail everywhere else. I saw yesterday my friend Sophie Confuron from Premeaux, where it seems to be quite hard…
We are now waiting for dry weather.”
Nathalie Tollot, Domaine Tollot-Beaut (Chorey).

“We have been touched by hail in Nuits 1er Les Cailles (losing) 30-40% and Nuits les Porrets 10-20%, nothing on our other vineyards from Côte de Nuits.
In Beaune, just 5% losses – mostly in Grèves and Toussaints.
We are still confident because tomorrow and for the next week the weather will become more sunny and dry, that will permit the berries which were touched by hail to dry.”
Fred Weber, winemaker at Bouchard Père et Fils (Beaune).

And for more precision on the situation in Nuits St.Georges:

“The hail came from the Combe Vallerots in the south of Nuits, finishing in Comblanchien. It affected the appellations of the Nuits 1er crus, villages Nuits and generics that are located between the route-nationale and the highway. The damage is between 20 and 50%. Now we need some sunshine with the north wind so that all affected berries can dry out.”
François Ambroise, winemaker at Maison Ambroise (Prémeaux).

Louis-Michel Liger-Belair estimates that he may have lost 30% in his Nuits 1er Clos des Grands Vignes (Prémeaux) so it’s likely that there are some losses in all of the Prémeaux 1ers, such as Arlot, Clos St.Marc, Clos de la Marechale, et-cetera. From Saturday onward, the forecast is just what the vingeron(ne)s are hoping for – at least 5 days of dry sunshine, approaching 30°C…

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