starting monday with a little vézelay

By billn on March 18, 2019 #degustation


Tasted blind, today, in Chablis, samples courtesy the domaines…

To get this week started, five very drinkable wines from the home of this year’s St.Vincent.

2017 is the first vintage for the villages appellation of ‘Vézelay’ – previous to that, the wines were labeled as Bourgogne Vézelay. 2017 was also a very low volume vintage for Vézelay – 1,320 hectolitres from not much more than 70 hectares that were in production – that’s only about 18 hl/ha – like Chablis there was much frost in 2017.

One of the Croix Montjoie wines is a little obviously oaked, but when you see the cuvée name – well that explains everything 🙂

2017 Vignerons de la Colline Éternelle, Vézelay
Medium-pale yellow. In the mouth this has plenty of volume and quite a nice texture – supple and showing a nice ripeness of tasty fruit. The finish has a little mineral aspect with the merest touch of rigour. Overall, very drinkable.

2017 Domaine La Croix Montjoie, Vézelay La Voluptueuse
A hint more colour. A wider nose with a touch of oak spice. Again a mouth-filling wine – sweet, silky, the oak is quite forward in a more Mâconnais style. Very delicious, if very obvious, wine – but fine finishing. I’d keep this in the cellar 12 months before drinking.

2017 Domaine La Croix Montjoie, Vézelay L’Élégant
Here the nose is on one hand more compact, but on the other of finer, more precise citrus fruit and even a few floral accents – very attractive. Plenty of energy – much more acid-forward – some agrume intensity here but also some richer depth of flavor in the mid-palate. Ooh this is less delicious than the last but more my personal style of wine – it’s excellent!

2017 Domaine La Croix Montjoie, Vézelay L’Impatiente
Like the last, the nose is a little more compact, but showing fresh citrus fruit and even a little salinity – attractive again. A little more energy and some minerality showing with this one too – much more in a Chablis/Tonnerre vernacular. A little richness of texture and less direct attack from the acidity. My favourite.

2017 Jean-Luc & Paul Aegerter, Vézelay Réserve Personelle
The is the only wine sealed with a DIAM-style cork.
Fresh, wide, open, citrus accents, almost a little lime fruit and phenolics in here. A subtle prickle of CO2 and a modestly reductive mineral impression. This brings a wide impression over the palate and it’s another wine with a nice texture. Whilst it’s the most overtly mineral finishing – less-so in the Chablis/Tonnerre style of the last. Carafe this, but it’s a very good wine.

onward and upwards – les duresses

By billn on March 14, 2019 #picture gallery#warning - opinion!


June 2018.

It can be complicated – there are three interested parties here – not including the ones actually doing the work!

As you can see from the sunny pictures, taken last June, this beautiful corner of Auxey-Duresses, sitting on a corner that looks towards both the Moulin des Moines and Monthèlie, was more than a little run-down. You see this, or much worse, across most of the vineyards of Burgundy, but since achieving UNESCO World Heritage status, there are certain grants available to those people who (correctly) want to shore-up the basis of their livelihoods – the vineyards. It’s important for the tourists too!

This one is more complicated because the owner is not the exploiter – it’s one of the Meursault Bouzereau’s who works the vines in this particular plot, but on a fermage basis. So you have the winemakers, the owners and the UNESCO foundation who are all contributing to this work.

Here there’s a house that stands alone, a house that I’ve always admired but has always seemed to be empty – probably due to the 80 km/h (++!) road that’s directly in front – there’s no sign, but the locals call it Maison des Duresses – but it has seen much updating in the last 12 months. Likewise for the last few months a fine piece of renovation can be seen to the wall that extends from the house in the direction of Monthèlie, and includes these beautiful pillars with a stairway. The guy doing the work told me that he’s not usually alone doing this – but he was yesterday afternoon – but that he’d also worked a little on the stones so that the name of the old owners would be more legible.

A lovely piece of work!
 

let’s call it an hommage, shall we?

By billn on March 13, 2019 #other sites

I read Christie’s recent posting with a sense of deja-vu – it was less than a couple of hundred words in their summary of Domaine Rousseau, and it was also far from identical – but I think the resemblance is stark.

1. Christie’s this week:
“In 1951 Charles Rousseau found himself at Victoria Station in London clutching two suitcases: one contained his neatly pressed shirts and trousers, and the other was stuffed with bottles of glorious burgundies form (sic) his family’s vineyards in the village of Gevrey-Chambertin. He visited his sole foreign client, a director at the British Broadcasting Corporation, before pounding the pavements of London, peering through shop windows to see if they sold wine within.
The bemused wine merchants smiled kindly at him and his wines before wishing him well on his way out…”

2. Me in 2005 and 2016:
“To that end in 1951 he found himself in London’s Victoria Station, two suitcases by his side. He first visited that very rare thing – an existing ‘foreign’ client – a director of the BBC, before setting about visiting as many companies as possible who might have an interest in his wines. He mainly chose his targets by looking through their windows to see if they already sold wine!
It was tough; his targets were happy, if rather bemused, to entertain Charles in their offices…”

I’ve pointed the similarities out, without response.

some weekend wines – week 10 2019

By billn on March 12, 2019 #degustation

2013 Comte Liger-Belair, Vosne-Romanée
My first from this mixed case. Ooh what a great looking cork – a fine ‘pop’ as it’s extracted too – but the cork doesn’t smell very nice.
Is it corked? – well, not easy to tell as there’s plenty of toasty reduction. Wide, supple, the palate is suffused with the reductive note of the nose but then a broad and tall finishing wave of great flavour – the texture is fine here. I give this wine the old ‘Fourrier-shake’ and it seems that there’s plenty of CO2 to dislodge. The reductive note fades, but never disappears – the cork note that takes over is stark – ouch!
Rebuy – almost certainly Yes (without the TCA…)

2017 Julien Brocard, Chablis Boissonneuse
A new case – of 7!
Fresh and ripe lemon on the nose – more ripe than I remember when first opening – but it adds more focus with time. The palate is still dynamic, fresh, and sweetly ripe. Bravo – still great villages…
Rebuy – Yes

2016 Domaine Diconne, Auxey-Duresses Vieilles-Vignes
Hmm – this seems to be my last one – I clearly have an errand…
A nose that’s a real invitation – there’s the impression of freshness but also of concentration. Silky and intense. Mobile and wide over the palate, I love the energy but depth of pure flavour here – excellent wine.
Rebuy – Yes

tuesday, st.romain via volnay…

By billn on March 12, 2019 #asides


The tree at the top of Volnay Clos des Santenots – in full bloom!

I often get distracted whilst underway – at least when the rain stops! The almond tree in Santenots this morning was just the latest example – it didn’t make me too late for my appointment today, though.

I’ve meant to do it for years, but this morning I finally visited a tonnellerie, and not just any, but François Frères a) of St.Romain but b) of rather more global fame. More in my March report, but here’s a ‘flavour’ of my visit:
 

monday, so it must be the clos de vougeot

By billn on March 11, 2019 #degustation#events

Well, it could have been April given the variability of the weather – except that it was colder – the heavy bursts of rain often contained hail but they were punctuated by a beautiful blue sky. I saw 0.5°C as the lowest temperature on my early-morning trek over the Jura from Switzerland. One cloudburst of small hailstones had the effect of depositing 4-5cm of what looked like snow onto the autoroute – cars pirouetted, lorries jacknifed – not many people have winter tyres in France!

The 4-wheel drive, winter-booted Scooby danced through it all – but still had to beware of what others might do! Anyway today was the Trilogie en Côte de Nuits and my destination was the Clos de Vougeot to taste 2017 wines from 3 villages – Morey, Chambolle and Vosne – though there was also ‘Mini Me’ in the form of a small contribution from Vougeot too – I did have the impression that there wasn’t a lot of Chambolle on display. The first of these ‘Trilogies’ I attended was in a small cellar in Vosne to taste 2007s – some producers really haven’t improved since then – yes I’m looking at you Gros Frère et Soeur!

The rain was lashing when I arrived in Vougeot, and, of-course, cars were parked (abandoned!) everywhere – so a long hike with an umbrella was my choice. 1,000 people had registered for the tasting, so in circumstances like this you cannot taste everything – my choice was to taste all the Vosne-Suchots, Chambolle-Charmes, Echézeaux and Clos de la Roche that I could find in the room – there were surprisingly few of the 1er crus! Fortunately, a small, tasty, buffet lunch was included – necessary as, following my very early departure from Switzerland, my low sugar levels demanded action in the late morning.

Lots of old-faces to renew acquaintances and some good wines too – notes will follow-up in the reports section!

offer of the day – comte georges de vogüé 2017

By billn on March 08, 2019 #the market

Here you go – a long time since I saw a local offer for these – given the pricing, perhaps no surprise! These 2017s offered by my usual Swiss merchant.

DOMAINE COMTE GEORGES DE VOGÜÉ 2017 – En Primeur

2017 Chambolle-Musigny 75cl 149.00 *Swiss francs
2017 Bonnes-Mares 75cl 489.00
2017 Bonnes-Mares 150cl 998.00
2017 Musigny Vieilles Vignes 75cl 699.00
2017 Musigny Vieilles Vignes 150cl 1,418.00

*8% Swiss purchase tax to be added, but these are delivered prices. I remember buying my first bottles here in Switzerland (the Musigny) for 230 chf – but those were the 1998 and 1999s – of which I still have a few bottles. Whilst I won’t be jumping at these, just for comparison the recent (2016) vintage from DRC was sold out with the Corton at 410 chf and the RSV at 1,300 chf (both with a further 20% UK purchase tax to add) – so from this domaine’s perspective, perhaps their wines are too cheap!

three reds: average age 25 – including the 2014…

By billn on March 07, 2019 #degustation

1991 Vaudoisey-Creusefond Pommard 1er Epenots
A great year of the Côte de Nuits – in my experience – but less-so in the Côte de Beaune. My last couple of these – a few years back – were bacterially unstable – so I was flipping a coin here.
This smelled open, fresh and very clean – just a freshness over dried cranberry/raisin fruit. Hmm – the same on the palate – freshness – quite clean, cranberry-raisin – a dried but quite pure fruit. Wide, good depth. Long and tasty. A result! After 30 minutes the nose is developing some balsamic overtones but this wine stays quite stable – even the last third on day two was pretty good.
Rebuy – Maybe

1976 Tollot-Beaut, Aloxe-Corton
Clearly not the best seal as this cork starts to sink in the neck when pushed with the ah-so, but I still managed to get it out in one piece, so that was an achievement!
Brown wine, no doubt. The nose hovers between beef soup and balsamic though not directly of sherry. Mouth-filling, silky, despite the renown of the tannins of the vintage, and with a saline accent. The flavours, like the nose, certainly on the savoury side. Actually the shape and structure remain fine here – but flavour that only a mother could love. The remaining two-thirds will go for the beef bourguignone – I have 8-9 more of these, maybe 10 – so at worst, I’ll have plenty of beef bourguignone!
Rebuy – No

2014 Leclerc/Chézeaux, Griotte-Chambertin
Hmm, big, simmering cherry fruit – gives the impression of a little gas behind the aroma – subtle and interesting it is not – at least to start with. Ooh – but in the mouth: A narrow entry here, but a wine that grows and fills the palate with impressive speed. The acidity is fine and the the width and energy ramp up as you head into the finish – of-course it’s far too young – but it’s getting better and better with air… The nose over 3 hours, never really finds a nice place – in fact I almost have the impression of a little of this other 2014 from them – though, nose apart, that Chambolle has much more depth and dimension – it’s a far better wine.
Rebuy – No

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