all the v’s – Verzé, Vivant & Vougeot – weekeend 36 2019

By billn on September 09, 2019 #degustation

2014 Nicolas Maillet, Mâcon Verzé – the last of my 6-pack (I think!) all have been top but this was a little deeper coloured with a cork that removed just a little too easily. The last (large) glass went into making the risotto, but the rest of the bottle was still very drinkable – the first 5 bottles were excellent!

1999 Thomas-Moillard, Romanée St.Vivant
This is a wine that has never endeared – a shame then that I bought a dozen on release – but this is the best of that case so far, only 20 years have been needed for this!
Lots of colour – colour with a certain age, but not brown. Hmm, that’s actually a modestly attractive nose, with a bloody, earthy, leafy-spiced depth – there is interest here. In the mouth, we have concentration, layers of flavour and no-longer the practically overwhelming sense of tannin that this wine showed in its rustically cabernet-style youth. It’s long too – but it’s not inviting, nor satisfying – maybe another 10 years for the remaining 6 or 7 bottles?
Rebuy – No

2001 Dr Georges Mugneret, Clos de Vougeot
In almost every direction, this wine is smaller versus the Thomas-Moillard; less impact – both aroma and flavour – less concentration, a smaller finish too – but in one rather important area, this has something extra – deliciousness. I don’t find many down-right poor wines in 2001, but the gaps between the modest and great are large in 2001 – here is quite a modest wine versus label/domaine expectations, but it’s an elegant and delicious middle-weight wine, rather than a grand cru wine. All the same, here is plenty of leafy maturity, some sweetness and a nice drive to the acidity. Very tasty.
Rebuy – Maybe

picking grand crus already?

By billn on September 09, 2019 #vintage 2019

Just a little gratuitous grand cru imagery, as Olivier Lamy picks his Criots Bâtard-Montrachet this afternoon – 09.09.19 – almost some symmetry there!

In the Côte de Beaune, there are just a few outliners who are picking reds too – for example, Volnay 1er Taillepieds by Domaine Clos de la Chapelle – but it’s largely the precocious young vines that are being picked in reds, at least for now…
Image/post below, courtesy Olivier Lamy.

Harvesting the 2019s

By billn on September 08, 2019 #vintage 2019

Vendanges alert! So we can say that we are underway…

It’s the whites that are being harvested first this year, as is probably the case in 19 out of 20 years. First, there were some very early pickers in the middle of last week, then the Hospices were picking some whites on Friday. Saturday (yesterday) was D-day for Jean-Marc Roulot in his Meursault Bouchères, Dominique Lafon in his Meursault Perrières and Olivier Lamy in his Chassagne and St.Aubin, plus many others including Pablo Chevrot. The grapes remain rather small and with many millerandes – they auger for wines of concentration.-

A larger wave of producers in the Côte de Beaune are planning their attacks for next week – my home domaine included as we will start on the 12th. Much of the Côte de Nuits are probably waiting until at least the 15th, more likely the 18th to 20th. It’s also still a little early for Beaujolais and Chablis.

This weekend’s weather is currently cool but dry, though the temperatures should rise to the mid-20°s next week. Of course, I’ll keep you informed via my harvest diary…

a couple of weekend wines from weekend 35 2019

By billn on September 04, 2019 #degustation

Nicolas Potel and Robert Perroud

2017 Robert Perroud, Beaujolais Villages Blanc ‘Terres Blanches’
A big nose – one of impact and a little exoticism – passion-fruit! Full, viscous but flavour-packed too. A wine that comes to me over time in the glass as the ripe, exotic fruit starts to fade and you have a more mineral development. Very drinkable – and for Beaujolais Blanc, that’s high praise from me!
Rebuy – Maybe

1999 Nicolas Potel, Nuits St.Georges
The last of my 6-pack, bought on release. Every previous bottle of this was outstanding – great Nuits villages – this left me wanting – I think that the cork was to blame.
The cork came out rather easily with hardly a ‘pop’ – it was wet and smelled a little oxidative – but not the wine, in fact aromatically, it showed nothing! There was some slow improvement over time – it became a wine of direction, concentration and good texture – but lacked both aromatic and flavour intensity. I’m sure some sub-detectable taint here – never the best way to remember a case…

beaune – steady as you go…

By billn on September 01, 2019 #travels in burgundy 2019#vintage 2019

A little 33°C walking around Beaune on Saturday.

The grapes are generally very small here too – of-course a little coulure at flowering has, in some cases, contributed, but generally, it is the dry of the year that is responsible. Maturities are “all over the place,” one vigneronne told me – “My whites in Puligny are no-where near ready.” That pretty much means that people can be starting to harvest anywhere between the 10th and 20th of September. This week’s average of 30°C days will take a dip next week, with closer to mid-20°s – But it is September already, and people were already harvesting in the last 2 vintages! Storms were forecast for yesterday but I only saw one or two flashes of lightning.

adieu michel andré…

By billn on August 31, 2019 #sad losses...

Michel & Francoise André
Michel & Françoise André, from their domaine’s website.

Goodbye Michel André, Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, who died on the 26th August and was buried on the 29th – he had been profoundly unwell for the last year and leaves a large and extended family in the region.

You may be forgiven for not previously having come across the name, Michel André was very discrete, but he was also one of the most important actors in Beaune’s winetrade for the last 30-plus years. Michel is very-much the architect of the modern wine domaine in Burgundy.

At one entrance to Beaune, close to the autoroute, are some landscaped gardens, a fountain and the large office buildings of André et Associés, accountants to most of the important domaines of Burgundy. This is a business established in Beaune in 1946 and developed by Michel and his brother, Jean-Claude. Michel took his retirement only 3+ years ago, afterwards doing a little consulting, his sons have taken on many of the roles at the accountancy business.

Michel presided over the financial health of some 400-plus domaines from a time when a domaine could hardly support a growing family, through financial crisies of one form or another, to the modern day when previously undreamed of wealth lies within the vineyard land and the wines that are produced from it. Michel also worked behind the scenes helping with transferring domaines to the next generations of families – latterly with much financial pressure from extended families who saw, and sometimes grasped, their opportunites to cash-out of these (now) valuable businesses. Michel was a professional, and his family remain within the business, so without naming names, it is still fair to say that some the most important domaines of Burgundy remain extant only due to the hard work of Michel and his team, structuring the optimum solution for all concerned during such times of change.

But Michel was not just a numbers man, he also loved the vineyards and the product of those vines. So much so that in 1983, when he had the opportunity to purchase a plot of premier cru vines in Savigny Les Vergelesses, he jumped for it. A domaine on the ramparts of Beaune – the Domaine des Tergelesses – followed, along with additional purchases of vines. Sylvain Pitiot was his first winemaker before he left for the Hospices de Beaune, and then later the Clos de Tart. The domaine later took the name of Michel’s wife, Françoise André and is, today, run by Michel and Françoise’s daughter-in-law, Lauriane. It was in this context that I shared many interesting and older bottles with Michel – this being my ‘home domaine’ for harvesting in 2017 and 2018 – I think it will be a more sombre harvest this year in 2019 – but we will try to make it a great one for him.

Adieu Michel…

a little afternoon vosne…

By billn on August 30, 2019 #travels in burgundy 2019#vintage 2019

I suppose it’s just a normal summer temperature, but it was pretty hot walking around Vosne this afternoon – in a mere 30°C…

The grapes look to be nicely clean, with very little that was shrivelled – but they are so small! Of course, there’s still about 2 weeks before they will be harvested, and like in politics, much can change in that time, but I haven’t seen grapes this small since the 2010 vintage!

2014 berthaut-gerbet/des chézeaux, gevrey cazetiers…

By billn on August 28, 2019 #degustation

chezeaux cazetiers

2014 Berthaut-Gerbet/des Chézeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
It’s been a little while since I drank the 2014 Lavaux – this is a very different wine!
Airy, fresh, lovely and pure, though distant, fruit and flowers for this nose. The palate is fresh, direct and structural but with a lovely purity of flavour that reflects the nose. A very young, slightly driving wine, very raspberry fruit style. Delicious, structural, today coy – I think this could keep for a long time – and so different to the luxuriously textured ramba-zamba of the 2014 Lavaux St.Jacques…
Rebuy – Yes

a little switzerland & wines for weekend 34 2019

By billn on August 26, 2019 #degustation

A week at home; typing, gardening and doing my annual bookkeeping – oh and a little enforced work on a Subaru! – but that still allowed a little trip out to the mountains during the weekend – Adelboden.

As for the wines – this was bottle #26 (I think) of the Chablis – only a couple more remain – plus a couple of bottles of their 2017 Preuses – one of the wines of the vintage! It was excellent, as every bottle that preceded it! The 2017 Chasselay, Beaujolais Platière, opened with a nod to the recent hail, was just so jammy yet fresh – hyper-delicious. A completely different kettle of fish was the 2007 Chézeaux/Ponsot, Clos St Denis Très Vieilles Vignes – full, layered, magnificently aromatic – the only other wine that reminds of the texture shown by this (in 2007) is that of La Romanée. I didn’t think there was a lot of acidity in 2007 but compared to the most recent vintages of 2015 onwards, there’s plenty here. Great 2007 and a treat!

Burgundy Report

Translate »

You are using an outdated browser. Please update your browser to view this website correctly:;