more frost in 2021…

By billn on May 04, 2021 #vintage 2021

Last week I noted many vineyards still with frost candles waiting to be collected – it seems it wasn’t a case of the owners being lazy, rather they were waiting for more cold weather.

Overnight 02-03 May – so yesterday morning – the temperatures dipped again. In certain sectors of the Hautes-Côtes such as Chevannes and Villars, or villages lower down such as Marsannay, Gevrey, Vosne & Premeaux – even Meursault and Chassagne too – the temperatures, once more, sunk below zero. The thermometers registering between –2° and –3°C in some places. Some vigneron(ne)s have posted pictures on Instagram today of sad looking leaves.

It’s still too early to say what the effect of this year’s frosts will be, but this clearly hasn’t helped.

March 2021 Burgundy Report

By billn on May 04, 2021 #reports

March 2021 Burgundy Report


Largely still concentrating on the 2019 vintage, here is an equal mix of domaines that are new here and some more familiar names – if not colours 🙂

Additionally, you will find an extensive tasting of 2018 Beaune 1er Crus – whites too. As you may see, despite the potential – and in some places actual – excesses of the 2018 vintage, here all is calmer – indeed delicious.


this week’s views…

By billn on April 29, 2021 #travels in burgundy 2021

All you need to know in the images 😉

wines from weekend 16, 2021

By billn on April 26, 2021 #degustation

wines - week 16 2021

2018 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Clos Berthet
Modestly yellow coloured. An incisive, fresh nose with a touch of oak and even some aniseed. Hmm, that’s a lovely wine, just a slight depth of cushioning but still with fresh energy and even a little salinity too. Slowly widening as it lingers in the finish. Easy but delicious.
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Gaston & Pierre Ravaut, Ladoix 1er Le Bois Roussot
A good strong cork in this one
Medium-plus colour that’s starting to show a little age. Ooh + now thats a very lovely nose – roast red fruit but with a vibration of deeper aromas, partly from a little maturity – that’s a great invitation. Wide over the palate, a wine that quickly grows in mouth-watering intensity and then sustains a lovely finish. There are many Cortons in other vintages that are less accomplished than this. A wine that’s really starting to come into a great place…
Rebuy – Yes

And you noted a third wine, didn’t you! I got 3 of these Gevreys as part a mixed auction lot around 2009. The first bottle was eminently drinkable around that time – a second more recent bottle was not, all mean and astringent, what charm it once had was departed. I didn’t even taste this one, it went straight into the beef bourguignon – and that, let me tell you, was delicious!!!

offer of the day – william fevre 2019

By billn on April 23, 2021 #the market

From my usual Swiss importer source. The prices of the 2018s, 2017s, 2016s and 2015s from previous years are in brackets for you to compare (— means not offered).

CHABLIS Village 75cl — (22.00, 22.00, 22.00, 19.00) Swiss Francs*
CHABLIS Vaillons 75cl 39.50 (—)
CHABLIS Montée de Tonnerre 75cl 49.50 (48.00, 48.00, 45.00, 42.00)
CHABLIS Preuses 75cl 79.50 (78.00, 78.00, 75.00, 65.00)
CHABLIS Preuses 150cl — (161.00, —)
CHABLIS Bougros Côtes de Bouquerots 75cl 84.00 (79.00, 79.50, 79.00, 65.00)
CHABLIS Les Clos 75cl 98.00 (94.00, 89.00, 89.00, 75.00)
CHABLIS Les Clos 150cl 211.00 (193.00, —)

Probably the ‘advantageous’ yields of 2018 offset any price increases in 2018, not so in 2019 – many great wines here though, and for the last couple of vintages I’ve found the Preuses a better wine – if only marginally – that the Côtes de Bouquerots. A shame that they are not offering the villages in 2019, that said, I seem to have bought enough other wines in Chablis this year!
*The prices are ‘delivered’ but will attract another 7.7% Swiss purchase tax.

David Clark’s now 14-year-old Bourgogne…

By billn on April 21, 2021 #degustation

David Clark 2007 Bourgogne Au Pelson

2007 David Clark, Bourgogne Pinot Noir Au Pelson
A great looking dark/untreated and robust cork.
Plenty of colour. A cushioned width of darker-fruited aroma, oh-so faintly accented with the first impressions of a little more mature complexity – that’s a really great invitation to drink, for a Bourgogne. Silky attack but there‘s concentration here that’s framed with an über-fine tannin that adds a very faint phenolic dryness. Widening towards the finish, properly structured but showing extra floral complexity and just enough sweetness to keep you coming back for another sip – this is the best this wine has ever tasted! Still a young wine, but with a combination of structure and clarity of flavour that’s generally uncommon in 2007s – a great showing.
Rebuy – Yes

Côte d’Or – the hot and cold of it…

By billn on April 20, 2021 #site updates

cote dor the hot and cold of itThere is always something to update around here, and given the recent frost-event, I decided it was time to update my page:
The hot and the cold of it…

Now included, is the temperature data for 2020.

We may have already suspected it but now we can actually see that the last three years, 2020-2018, occupy the top three positions for ‘hottest vintages*.

Make of this data what you will…

Data since 1973 with a few 1930s vintages added for good measure…

offer of the day – Angerville 2019

By billn on April 20, 2021 #the market

The prices from my usual merchant in Switzerland:

Domaine Marquis d’Angerville (in brackets the prices of the 2018s then the 2016s – I never saw 2017s…)
Volnay 1er Cru 2019 75cl 79.00 (75.00, —)* (Swiss Francs)
Volnay Fremiet 1er Cru 2019 75cl 105.00 (105.00, 105.00)
Volnay Champans 1er Cru 2019 75cl 129.00 (129.00, 129.00)
Volnay Clos des Ducs 1er Cru 2019 75cl 215.00 (198.00, —)

The 2019s available for delivery only at the end of this year. The price you see is ‘delivered’ but ex 7.7% Swiss purchase tax. What can I say – always aspirational rather than entry-level wines here – and you will have to pay for that. I’m never surprised when the pricing of a top cuvée increases – the others, despite higher pricing, show a remarkable consistency for the region in the last years.

Baghera & Bouchard’s La Romanée – the results…

By billn on April 19, 2021 #events

Well, actually more the highlights:

The sale, as usual for this auction house, was in Geneva but because of covid restrictions in Switzerland there was a live stream available for following the bidding but no bidders or spectators were allowed in the room. The staff of the auction house (Baghera) were in telephone contact with bidders in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore – but I recollect no mention of a location in North America – though online bidders eventually accounted for 52% of the sales. A successful bidder on many lots was Ma Cuisine in Singapore. These were only bidders referred to by name rather than their paddle number – though whether they were buying for their restaurant, or other buyers, or a blend of the two, is only conjecture.

It all started in a rather steady fashion – the wines barely creeping up to mid-estimates – though to be fair, the estimates were not so low! From another perspective, the wines of the first few hundred lots were no more expensive than most of those sold at the René Engel auction two years ago by the same auction house. Perhaps it was the lack of participants in the room or many bottles of modest vintages – such as 1987/86/84 etcetera – but we were well into the auction before pre-sale estimates were finally ripped up and thrown out of the window.

The 1985s kindled much more interest but the fire really started with the wines of the 1980 vintage – I can only assume based on the positive recent article about the vintage by William Kelly in the Wine Advocate – but then bidding became even more impressive for the 1978s.

The sale was now clearly underway.

1906 La Romanée
Image courtesy Baghera

Wines from 1906 did very well – 6 bottles taking a hammer price of 185,000 francs – but the real fireworks were reserved for the wines of the 1865 and 1862 vintages. The better-known of the two is 1865 and it showed in the bidding; the first bottle sold for 165,000 Swiss francs, the buyer accepting the option of also taking the next 4 bottles at the same price per bottle – plus, not forgetting, the 22% buyer’s commission! This was the highest per bottle price of the auction; three subsequent lots of 6 bottles and then a case of 12 1865s – what a cellar chez Bouchard Père et Fils! – all receding a little in terms of the average bottle price, though that last case of 12 was the highest single bid of the auction – 1.6 million Swiss francs the hammer price or 1.952 million with the commission – or, if you prefer, 2.133 million US dollars.

The prices of the 1862s were, by comparison, modest – only 55-60,000 Swiss francs per bottle! 332 lots were offered and 332 lots were sold for a bid total of around 9.6 million francs. I assume Baghera and Bouchard Père et Fils will be very happy with the day and the results.

Burgundy Report

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