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saturday in the côtes…

Well the long-range forecast hadn’t been good – one might say miserable! But Saturday dawned with blue skay and only really clouded-up as the skies anyway darkend around 5pm – a good day…
 

september report is online…

Online here: https://www.burgundy-report.com/reports/

It’s all about 2018 and 1998 – the short report that peps your appetite for the major reports on the 2017s to come in October to February – already 40 domaines visited, plus another 15 next week. Then there’s the small matter of nearly 150 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau which I’ll write about in these pages next week. It’s getting busy – enjoy!

Oh – I forgot to mention the little bit of science fiction that’s also in the September Report!

A Burgundy Report EXTRA! subscription costs 85 Swiss Francs per year.

weekend stuff, week 43 2018

Hot-footing back from Beaune on Friday, I thought to myself – Chambertin time! I’d pulled this bottle out for a friend’s tasting of Chambertins and Bèze, but after some date changes, I found myself unable to attend – a big shame – but the bottle was still looking at me, so…

1996 Chézeaux/Ponsot, Chambertin
Ponsot’s 1996s have a reputation for not being ‘on it!’ Laurent counters that no-one should judge his wines before they are 25 years old – okay, I’m not quite there, but close…
The long cork slides out rather easily, but it looks in great shape. The first sniff of the wine shows some oxidative notes but also a whiff of something resembling great Chambertin – unfortunately that was the only decent whiff it gave – afterwards just oxidative notes. On the palate the shape was mouth-filling with an impressive and saline depth and length of flavour, unfortunately everything preceding that was oxidative. I didn’t like it – even if the label had said 1946, I still wouldn’t have been interested to drink further. So then came an experiment – can you still make a good boeuf bourguignonne with oxidative wine? I can tell you that the answer to that, is a resounding yes!
Rebuy – No

Next day, with out boeuf bourguignonne:

1999 René Engel, Grands-Echézeaux
I had the impression that this was a heavier bottle than Philippe had used in earlier vintages. The colour was deep. The nose grew and grew; peppery, herby, mega-complex and saline – it was a rush! The palate was direct and a little narrow – driving you towards the finish. Not that sweet but with a wonderfully impressive weight and length of finishing flavour. Classic but great, young 1999 style. If you want hedonism drink this wine from 2000-2003 in preference to this still rather young wine. With our boeuf the wine widened and fattened, becoming much more accommodating. No doubt great wine – maybe I’ll try another in a couple more years!
Rebuy – Yes

2015 Vincent Latour, Meursault Cuvée St.Jean
I visited Vincent for the first time to taste his 2016s – a very good effort in such a challenging vintage. I re-visited last week, and can tell you that he has brilliant 2017s. He thrust this bottle – a blend of multiple sites in Meursault – into my hand when leaving, and I have to say that this is showing very well.
The nose is open and comfortable, faint hints of oak mingling with a little spice of the village. In the mouth there is the comfortable depth of texture of the vintage but still with enough acidity to enliven this cosseting, silky experience. Just delicious…
Rebuy – Yes

the 2016s of roc des boutires…

Domaine Roc des Boutires is a modestly sized estate with 4.2 hectares of vines spread across 14 parcels that were planted (in the 1970s) between 210 and 430 metres above sea level. This a relatively new addition to the stable of wines of the Parinet family – the owners of Château du Moulin à Vent. They bought the produce of the domaine as must since 2011, and finally managed to buy the domaine itself in 2016. So this is their first ‘domaine’ vintage.

The domaine itself is was located in the village of Pouilly – but the team of Chateau du Moulin à Vent don’t have a place there to vinify so bring the grapes to Moulin à Vent – which is allowed because Romanèche-Thorins is one of the villages authorized to vinify Pouilly-Fuissé by the Pouilly-Fuissé décret – the rules!

The difficult growing season manifests itself with yields for all the wines of 20 hl/ha or less – whilst they avoided the 2016 frosts, they were significantly impacted by hail on April 13th 2016, which basically removed the vines’ primary buds. The secondary buds were still in-tact, but much less productive, hence, the yields. The good summer meant that the grapes that remained were in good health.

The wines were fermented 70% in tank, 30% in barrel – on their lees – with a total elevage of 15 months. There was no batonnage and a normal malolactic. Bottled on December 14, 2017.

Samples were kindly provided by the domaine, and were tasted in mid-October:

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé
Medium colour, a nice freshness and a citrus inflection to the nose too – no oak to note. Volume in the mouth, faintly saline but a melting depth of concentrated flavour too. Mineral, just a little vibrant finishing. Hmm, this is rather excellent for a ‘base’ wine.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé En Bertilionne
Fresh, more depth of aroma, here with an accent of oak – but transient oak – 5 minutes later there is none to find. Beautiful texture, good width of flavour, with concentrated ripe lemon fruit in the mix, faint bitters too – serious, complex wine, mineral-inflected and very long. This should require a little patience but it’s quite something!

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Aux Bouthières
A fresh nose again, a beautiful line of aroma, almost an impression of sweetened butter to the aroma but no direct vanilla impression like the last. Wide, fresh, more than a little mineral, only slowly melting over the tongue, so a much sleeker impression on the palate. Less open than the Bertilionne, in fact easily the tightest of these three. Super components, plenty of concentration, very modestly phenolic in the citrus finish. Patience, a great wine under construction!

#2017burgundyreport – the winemakers of week 43, 2018

Back home for a week to put the finishing touches to my September report and then start work on the October report, which will be including the smiling vignerons above – who were pouring their 2017s this week – it’s no surprise that they are so happy.

Again, this ‘predominantly white producers‘ report will be online at the end of November – you can subscribe below 🙂

A Burgundy Report EXTRA! subscription costs 85 Swiss Francs per year.

damn corks!

I was looking forward to this when I got home from Burgundy last night. Unfortunately it was too oxidised to find any enjoyment – it’s now being re-purposed – marinading my beef bourguignone!
The cork did slide out rather easily – but it looked fine…

baghera at it again

– with 1,363 bottles, 158 magnums and 3 jeroboams of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wines up for auction in December. PDF here.

The pre-sale estimates look much more realistic, in the current market, than those by Sothebys for the recent record-breakers, and if you haven’t previously seen magnum format DRC ‘Assortments,’ here is your chance – and offered in multiple vintages too!

Certainly there were very many questions surrounding the lots in earlier auctions from this auction house, but the last sale, dedicated to Henri Jayer, was seemingly beyond reproach. Personally, I wouldn’t touch the older lots – that simply reflects my own risk-reward approach – but wines of the 1990s and younger I would be more open to, that said, additional provenance info would still be a pre-requisite. It is good that there are high-resolution photos of all the lots available on the auction website which you can access here – though it seems naive of them to make the serial numbers visible. I note the statement by Baghera that “this December 2nd sale is a golden opportunity to acquire Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wines embracing ideal conditions of origin, of traceability and of storage” – so it would be essential to have some expansion of that information.

A spokesperson for Baghera told me:

“This couple of European collectors were wine passionates and had been purchasing Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wines for many years, directly from the Domaine.
When consigning with us, they wished that they identity wasn’t disclosed and we respect their decision.

The wines had never been moved since purchased, and have lying all those years in an underground temperature-cellar. Most original wooden cases were still sealed (as per photographs on our website : www.bagherawines.auction) when we had access to this incredible cellar (pictures of the sealed cases can be found on our website : https://www.bagherawines.auction/en/catalogue/voir/27 — under the lot description). The wines were inspected and picked up by Baghera/wines last July and delivered to Geneva after temperature-controlled shipment as it should be. “

For the younger wines I completely understand, for the older ones, this is very murky territory; clearly the two collectors didn’t buy them direct and they will have been moved multiple times, if genuine. There are many more questions in respect of provenance to be answered here.

One thing to note, despite the bottle-posing elegance of Baghera’s photos – the enviable collection of many, many lots of DRC Montrachet when posed against a green background, above (from their catalogue), renders all the bottles – young and old – looking completely oxidised. Who knows, maybe there is method in their madness…

[Edit:] As always, it’s the old bottles that are problematic: See here.
In this particular segment of the market, there are many more fake than genuine wines to be found – to be taken seriously, this auction house has to be more forthcoming on why they stand behind these wines. It may be that just a handful of questionable wines can take the shine from an otherwise brilliant collection of a lifetime. This is the attention to detail that all modern auction houses have to aspire to – 95% good isn’t good enough – and, even if this attention to detail is there, it is not yet evident to me. For extra sleuthing, I’ll leave that to Don Cornwell and Maureen Downey. NB – two things; I do note the final thanks (page 433 of the catalogue!) to Jean-Charles Cuvelier, long of DRC, “for his precious help” – but the detail and extent of that help can only be guessed at. Finally The last page of the catalogue reports the sale date as 02.12.2008 – hmm – it’s always the biggest bloopers that pass people by…

icymi – week 43 2018…

From a week where the first clouds are appearing (literally, not metaphorically) in Burgundy since, for like, weeks! Above, Chassagne village yesterday afternoon…

young talents 2018

The big tasting was this week, and here for your interest is the list of nominees for the trophy in each category.

Some are well-known to readers of Burgundy Report, some naturally, are new. There will be a ‘taste-off’ with the trophy’s main judges – this year Olivier Poussier and Estelle Touzet (me last year ;-)) – and the trophies will be awarded at a dinner on Friday 16 November where anyone can attend – and even bring some of their own wine! Enjoy:

30ème Trophées Jeunes Talents
Les Nominés 2018:

Mâconnais
Damien MARTIN – Domaine de LA DENANTE
Mâcon Verzé
Saint Véran « Les Maillettes »
Pouilly Fuissé

Franz-Ludwig GONDARD – Domaine GONDARD PERRIN
Crémant
Viré Clessé « Climat Brechen »
Viré Clessé « Aux Quarts »

Charles Edouard DROUIN – Domaine Thierry DROUIN
Mâcon Vergisson « La Roche »
Pouilly Fuissé « Maréchaude »
Pouilly Fuissé « En Buland »

Beaujolais
Virginie FOURNIER – Domaine de la PIROLETTE
Beaujolais Villages
Saint Amour
Saint Amour « le Carjot »

Didier LAGNEAU – Domaine LAGNEAU
Beaujolais Villages
Régnié Vieilles Vignes
Côte de Brouilly

Cyril CHIROUZE – Château des JACQUES
Bourgogne Clos de Loyse – chardonnay
Moulin à Vent
Moulin à Vent « Clos de Rochegrès »

Côte de Beaune
Alexandre PARIGOT – Domaine PARIGOT
Hautes Côtes de Beaune « Clos de la Perrière » – pinot noir
Beaune 1er cru « Les Grèves »
Pommard 1er cru « Les Charmots »

Chloé CHEVALIER – Domaine CHEVALIER
Aloxe Corton
Gevrey Chambertin
Ladoix 1er cru « Les Corvées »

Matthieu THEVENARD – Domaine Alex GAMBAL
Bourgogne – pinot noir
Saint Romain
Saint Aubin 1er cru « les Murgers des dents de chien »

Côte de Nuits
Alice et Louis HAMMANN RION – Domaine A&B RION
Bourgogne « La Croix Blanche » – pinot noir
Vosne Romanée Dame Juliette
Vosne Romanée 1er Cru « Les Chaumes »

François AMBROISE – AMBROISE frère & sœur
Bourgogne – pinot noir
Nuits Saint Georges
Nuits St Georges 1er cru « Les Vaucrains »

Pierre BART – Domaine BART
Bourgogne – pinot noir
Marsannay « les grandes vignes »
Marsannay « au champ Salomon »

Côte Chalonnaise
Arnaud et Xavier Desfontaine – Château de CHAMILLY
Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise- chardonnay
Montagny « les bassets »
Mercurey 1er cru « Les Puillets »

François Berthenet – Domaine Berthenet
Bourgogne – pinot noir
Montagny 1er Cru « Mont Cuchot »
Montagny 1er Cru « Les bonneveaux »

Félix DEBAVELAERE – Domaine DES ROIS MAGES
Rully « Les cailloux » – chardonnay
Rully « Les cailloux » – pinot noir
Rully 1er cru – chardonnay

Chablisien/Auxerrois
Camille BESSON – Domaine BESSON
Petit Chablis
Chablis 1er cru « Vaillons »
Chablis 1er Cru « Montmains »

Fabien DAUVISSAT – Domaine Jean DAUVISSAT
Petit Chablis
Chablis 1er cru « Vaillons »
Chablis 1er cru « Fourchaume »

Charly NICOLLE – Domaine CHARLY NICOLLE
Petit Chablis
Chablis 1er cru « Les Fourneaux »
Chablis 1er cru « Mont de Milieu »

Grand Auxerrois
Matthieu DANGIN – domaine Bruno DANGIN
Crémant cuvée Blanche
Crémant cuvée Rose – rosé
Crémant cuvée « Prestige de Narcès »

Sophie et Matthieu WOILLEZ – Domaine de la CROIX MONTJOIE
Bourgogne Vézelay « L’élégante »
Bourgogne Vézelay « L’impatiente »
Bourgogne Vézelay « La voluptueuse»

Bastien MATHIAS – domaine Alain MATHIAS
Bourgogne Tonnerre Côte de Grisey
Chablis
Chablis 1er Cru « Côte de Juan »

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