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domaine leflaive – the passing of the baton

http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/51624

bonnes-mares…

Well, mainly…

A visit in Morey on Thursday afternoon, and unusually, I was early! So I stopped off for a wander around the vines of a particular part of Bonnes-Mares, just outside the centre of Morey. The ground was very dry, though today’s rain – luckily without storms – should have helped in that department.

Thursday’s weather was still hot in the sun but cooler with a strong wind. Today, the rain and cold hit. I suppose we needed a bit of balance, as 30°C for three days running is a bit unusual for the first half of May. Before the heat the vines were basically ‘average’ versus a normal growth cycle – but the heat had the vines growing incredibly fast – the cold (About 10° and wet) may have just kept them in the ‘average.’

early starts…

The days are long for some.

Such is the heat (& sunburn) this week, that many are already starting their day in the vines at 06h00. Some balancing with a long siesta, others not.

Today was ‘second treatment day’ for some, though given the forecast for storms tomorrow or Friday, I’m not sure if it will have been worth the effort – but let’s see who’s right, them or the forecasters…

Two tastings this morning that were a world apart – Felettig and Le Moine – the traditional and the new, yet both characterised by a myriad of small parcels and/or cuvées.

A small collection today – from Chambolle and Beaune:

hot in the côtes…

Hot, hot, hot today – my car’s aircon can hardly keep up. Definitely not a time to be smooching around town with bottles in the car!

After what seems like months of not visiting, I was yet-again back in Vosne-Romanée today. So I’ll apologise up-front for the photo-monotony 😉

But first a bit of Boisset (new) cuverie action:

Then a little Vosne selection:

2 reds for my weekend: richebourg & nuits st.georges…

An interesting pair for this weekend – a more than half-good 1994, but one bested by a 2008 – despite their respective labels…

1994 Jean Grivot, Richebourg
Medium, medium-plus red colour – really not lots and lots of age. The nose has bright and ripe cherry-red fruit – quite nice I must say. In the mouth this is big and round, despite plenty of acidity, with ripe and appealing, sweeet cherry fruit that really has a certain ‘Richebourgness’ about it – I’m really amazed that this is a 94 until after the mid-palate and into the finish – here the acidity is rough and rustic, the finish is also pinched and not so long. Overall, interesting parts, but not really a coherent whole. Maybe half a Richebourg then, but this cost only £40 when released – which is much less than a 5th of a Richebourg now. Despite the finishing drawback, a very drinkable wine.
Rebuy – Maybe

2008 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Perrières
After the Richebourg, here is a darker-shaded fruit, silky-smooth, inviting and with a small undertow of oak. The palate is sleek, just a little lush too. There’s plenty of acidity, but it’s less forward than the last bottle about 4 years ago – good balance. This is silky smooth all the way from the first impression to the last – long too, much longer finishing and more interesting than the Richebourg – modestly oaked, still – but super.
Rebuy – Yes

windless…

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The first spray in Beaune…

I was shaking my head watching a tractor deliver it’s treatment in the vines yesterday – or not deliver as it turned out. A reasonably strong wind was sweeping across the vines, and with it, their treatment was swept away. Not just a waste, but what price bio or organic certification when half of your neighbours’ treatments end up on your vines? Oh-well.

But today the wind is just a fraction of yesterday and the sky is clear and blue. I see that Guillaume Tardy and Charles Lachaux are making their first treatments of the year in Vosne, and further south, Nicolas Rossignol (the Beaune/Volnay version!) is doing the same. Of-course, there are many others too…

These first treatments (powdered sulfur mainly, some with copper too), despite modest growth of the vines so-far, are mainly due to the early pressure of rot – oïdium mainly – after the strong rains of the last weekend: I assume that must also have been reduced by the wind of the last days, though…

2013s… (and a bit of gevrey!)

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Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles today…

The 2013 whites were rather accurately reported I think, but I really felt that reporting on the 2013 reds was all over the place – more-so than the wines themselves.

Of-course I’m talking about good addresses, and, in the main, Côte de Nuits domaines (which I’m visiting this month), but the wines where I’ve re-tasted, as much as the new wines tasted, show that the 2013s have put on more weight and richness versus the November-December tasting jamboree. The end of 2014 had more dissolved CO2, more visible acidity and less richness than how the wines show today.

The problem with many reports I saw, was that they described only the wines (ergo the vintage) at that moment in time, not with other vintages as reference points – with those reference points in place, you can reasonably say that a vintage should be x or y in character, which was largely absent from any critique. Oh-well…

And for Dan, as I’ve written elsewhere, today those wines show more like a blend of 2010 and 2009, than the hypothetical 2010/2008 impression they gave in November.

Anyway, a bit of Gevrey-Chambertin today:

burgundy sales stats…

For those with an interest 😉

floral vosne-romanée…

I really can’t remember the last time I aimlessly wandered around Vosne with my camera, but today, either side of an appointment at René Cacheux I did just that. The vines really look in fine shape, and not just the vines either…

a couple of weekend glass-fillers…

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2007 Robert-Denogent, Mâcon-Solutré Clos Bertillonnes
My last magnum (I think!). The first of these half-dozen mags wasn’t that brilliant – maybe that was cork-related – the problem wasn’t oxidation, rather just not tasting great but all the rest have been excellent. An inspired auction buy about 4-5 years ago! This was crisp but weighty, ripe but fresh. It was devoured by 4 people – enough said!
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Bertagna, Vougeot 1er Clos de la Perrière
The first one of these I drank a few years back – it was sugary and not completely inspiring – could this be better now? This was a very modest nose – indeed tight – but something sweet and older was trying to get out – and it was certainly inviting. In the mouth, sweet, a little interesting flavour and actually very drinkable – but as a (sometimes!) great 1er cru, this remains a disappointment; rather lacking life, energy and even concentration. I have 1 more I think – but I’m not holding out much hope as this was less exciting than the last one…
Rebuy – No

2011 ramonet bourgogne pinot noir…

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2011 Ramonet, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Both I and my girlfriend sniffed this as soon as it was poured – we both decreed that is was pyrazine free – she’s more sensitive to it that I – Excellent! – so we both began to drink. 20 minutes later, we both decided we were wrong, indeed it had become modestly smelly but more than modestly tasting of pyrazines. Initially, it was fresh, faintly minty red fruit – hardly medium weight. Fresh on the palate with a similar (almost) medium-weight concentration of transparent, sweet-enough flavour. Lots of people will be happy with this, but I found it hard to drink.
Rebuy – No

gros frère et soeur 98 grands-echézeaux

I knew exactly what I was looking for, end even more surprising I found it straight away – well, almost! Except, it wasn’t what I expected. I was sure that this was the 1995, but no. Hmm, maybe I do have a 1995, somewhere, but clearly I wasn’t going to find it in 5 minutes! Okay, I really prefer 20 years on a wine like this, but hey, I decided that I was already committed!

What I do have in mind is that the vines were not long replanted at this time(?) if that was really the case, I have to say that this was a brilliant performance, indeed a performance of bravado!

WP_20150424_0021998 Gros Frère et Soeur, Grands-Echézeaux
Deeply coloured – clearly not young, but it already looks a wine of weight in the glass. Very aromatic – quite some impact to the nose too, a little spice, a little leaf and dark-red, slightly roast fruit edged with graphite and spice – though to be fair, it could be oak-spice rather than Vosne-spice! Large-scaled in the mouth, architectural but with enough padding to make the wine more than just interesting. Quite some weight of flavour again and complex in the mid-palate too – where tannin still swirls, but does not jar. Really a wine of character, still with a little oak in the finish, but really it’s one of those ‘who cares!’ wines. Excellent!
Rebuy – Yes

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