04-Sept – my 2022 Burgundy harvest day 5

By billn on September 05, 2022 #degustation#vintage 2022

A busy long weekend, so now’s the time to catch up.

Friday and Saturday I was touring with a client so no (extra!) dirtying of my hands/fingernails. Of course, there are practically no domaines that are open for tastings during the harvesting period – and you could double that on Saturday.

The last days gave me chance to catch up on the best (IMHO) of the commercial possibilities that remained open. You have previously seen (in the diary) that I’m happy to visit Armand Heitz’s Le Cellier in Pommard so duly did this again on Saturday whilst touring the vines of the upper Chalonaise and Côte de Beaune.

Francois & Erwan Faiveley - 2022For Friday I tried out two new ones – Faiveley and their renovated winery in Nuits, and Trapet’s place neighbouring the Rotisserie de Chambertin. Both are to be paid for but I find the experience and the wines deserve their place and price – I was very happy with both – I’ll even include the tasting notes at the end of this post.

Faiveley were, of course, harvesting when we visited on Friday but our timing was impeccable such that we managed to watch their triage and the filling of their wooden fermentation tank with Charmes-Chambertin, first bumping into François Faiveley and just a couple of minutes later Erwan Faiveley too – both pictured, right. Erwan is very happy with his grapes, suggesting that, at this stage, he sees “A little of the structure of 2012 in the reds.” It will be interesting to see if he still holds that opinion, post-fermentation – I will ask him later in the year when I visit to taste his 2021s.

For our lunchtime tasting – with possibly the best Boeuf Bourguignon I’ve ever eaten in France(!) – we were at Trapet, paying for the 8 wine tasting menu that includes wines from both Alsace and Gevrey-Chambertin. Some heavy rain accompanied our slurping but the sky was already turning blue as we exited the building to tour the vines – we were lucky.

On Sunday I was back at the home domaine in Beaune – and this was to be a long day – a Chorey day, and the domaine has a lot of Chorey!

We kicked off slightly later than usual in the cuverie – 08h00 – and that was because the train to Beaune that carried many of our pickers was late! So the picker, naturally, started a bit later.

We began with a little red Chorey before moving on to Chorey Blanc. The grape clusters had fine shape and were nicely firm – not giving up much juice in the bins. Unfortunately, the domaine was hit 3x by hail in 2022 and the hail of June was the worst, principally impacting our Chordey Blanc – some smaller areas were 100% losses. The clusters delivered to the domaine looked very good but triage was time-consuming because almost every bunch had some hail damage where we were removing every split grape – the affected ones looking like black-eyed peas. We did a great job – but it was a long job!

Before 4 hours and 15 minutes of standing in just one spot, afternoon triaging red Chorey, we made space for lunch – from both a timing and space in the stomach, perspective. 3 good wines were drunk 😉 But back to the red Chorey: Although in the same area as our white, and theoretically also with some hail damage, the triage here was much easier. Split grapes were much rarer, there was no rot, and the average maturity was brilliant. In the recent vintages, you hardly need to weed out the unripe bunches – because there are none – except the occasional second-set bunch that shouldn’t have been picked.

So far, pHs are a bit all over the place this year – certainly not as low as in 2020 – but the alcohols seem in control; the analyses here range from 12.9-13.8° so far. I’ll keep you posted as to how that goes…

Some wines from Friday:

2014 Faiveley, Mercurey 1er Le Clos du Roy ‘La Favourite’
Just from the top part of the climat
I like the volume of aroma here – a base with some dried leaf maturity and quite a strong floral perfume – potpourri in style. Open, lovely waves of fine acidity add a certain tension to the flavours. That’s even showing a subtle, grainless, finishing tannin – subtly accenting the texture. I might even wait another year or two to drink this but it’s a very tasty wine.

2019 Faiveley, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
More than 9 ha are owned in Gevrey – they only make two VV cuvées, this and one in Mercurey.
Almost an extra silkiness and certainly a more direct aroma – growing with a little, fresher, floral note. Extra density but great mouth-feel too. This is so mouth-watering and completely delicious – I wouldn’t feel a bit embarrassed drinking this today – it’s delicious and the faint spice from the oak makes no extra demands. Bravo!

2016 Faiveley, Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Chaignots
Narrower but deeper aroma – dark and cushioned – a little fine cooking spice – there are some stems here but I don’t particularly see them. Incisive, cool, fresh in the mouth – I love it! The spice and salt are stronger in the finish. Simply excellent – that’s a delicious, young wine.

2018 Faiveley, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
A fine, almost airy, width of aroma – less power but some fine perfume here again. Like the previous wine this is beautifully expansive – more oak visible in the flavours but, again, not too distracting. The structure is moderately visible in the middle and finishing flavours. A wine that’s more to wait for – but a super wine.

2018 Faiveley, Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley
A broad and finely spiced aroma – at the risk of being distracted by the label I would say muscular – but faint flashes of perfume can also be seen. Really impressive in the mouth – rich but still generous, modestly oaked – this is more visible in the finishing flavours. A great wine…

2017 Trapet, Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Ostrea
A faintly spiced, nicely transparent width of aroma – the depth with a slightly darker-red fruit. Super in the mouth – mineral, modestly structured, lots of freshness. Drink with pleasure now, despite the structure – but wait 10+ years with ease!

2017 Trapet, Gevrey-Chambertin 1erClos Prieur
Less spice and maybe more clarity to this nose. Bigger, more energetic and mouth-watering – almost juicy. Right at the end a little chalky structure. A simply gorgeous wine…

2017 Trapet, Chapelle-Chambertin
A lovely round cushioned fruit – not a full-power nose but a very attractive nose. Ooh – that has a super and quite intensely direct flavour. A baby but such an attractive one.

2017 Trapet, Latricières-Chambertin
This nose has more width and a more rose-petal perfume. Those rose petals are visible in the flavours too, more delicate and complex at the same time. Not more delicious than the Chapelle but more my personal style of wine – a great 2017 in a delicate style.

2014 Trapet, Chambertin
A tighter, less expressive nose. mOre mouth-filling, energetic and complete wine in the flavour. Structural too – I’d drink this happily today but give it another 10 years for the ultimate joy.

Les Blancs:

2020 Faiveley, Ladoix Les Marnes Blanches
A nice puff of freshness – round, lovely fruit rich but with nice energy. Mouth-filling, even a hint of structure but the roundness – a halo of fine tannin and stony length. I would wait 2-3 years for the oak to fade and accentuate the freshness but this is a remarkably tasty wine.

2020 Faiveley, Meursault 1er Blagny
Here the nose has a little more gassy impression – perhaps some CO2 here – ripe lemon citrus in the aroma. Ooh – now that’s got a beautiful definition – direct, gorgeously shaped, mineral, slightly chalky finishing – a baby and possibly a great one…

2020 Faiveley, Corton-Charlemagne
Narrower, but with depth and freshness – tension! Broad, bubbling with fresh complexity, the oak is visible but a mere accent in the opening flavours – a broad wave of flavour to ride. Unquestionably great wine. Super long. Grand Vin.

There were some other delicious wines too 😉

01-Sept – my 2022 Burgundy harvest day 2

By billn on September 01, 2022 #degustation#vintage 2022

Corton from Aux Vergelesses
Day 2. Corton from Savigny’s Aux Vergelesses

An earlier start for me as I wanted to be in the vines with the pickers – Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Aux Vergelesses – and the views were worth the early alarm call!

So far we have avoided rain though storms are currently forecast for the late afternoon and evening tomorrow – but let’s enjoy today…

Savigny Aux Vergelesses with Aloxe-Corton in the distanceThe home domaine has plenty of vines (right) in Aux Vergelesses – red and white – today was a white day here, with the reds still biding their time. Optically, these were super grapes – smaller and cleaner versus the whites that were picked yesterday in Hautes Jarrons. Just the upper part of two rows was less attractive – greyed by oïdium – the domaine didn’t treat this part properly and the result was that the grapes wouldn’t be picked. Our boss comments “Sometimes it happens but it also helps to reinforce why we do what we do and how important the treatments are.

Triage already started in the cuverie at 07h45 as it was just about light enough to start picking a little after 07h00. Cosmetic triage except for occasional bunches showing some oïdium. The odd bunch had some grilled grapes too – but much fewer than in 2018-2020 – and certainly less than the reds this year. Currently, our boss thinks the acidity is comparable to 2020 – let’s see… Anyway, this was an appreciable parcel so we didn’t finish triage before 13h00.

Did somebody say lunch? If they did, it was only to say that it was delayed – the picking team had decamped to Corton – time to set up the de-stemmer – red Corton was on its way.

The 9th vintage of Corton-Renardes for our domaine, and the extra consistency and finer shape of the grapes/bunches was clear versus the Savigny’s of yesterday. There was still some triage to be done though; many of the bunches hid some small, completely dried berries that we didn’t want in the macerations/fermentations. The last few vintages have provided only 1 barrel of this – there was clearly much more this year – emblematic of most of Burgundy this year – where frost or hail didn’t make inroads.

Of course, more fruit means more time needed to triage – the last bin of fruit was emptied and triaged and the vibrating table was switched off – at 15h00! Could we now have lunch? Yes, we could!

The pickers also had a late lunch but the Corton was the last vineyard to be picked – so an earlier finish than normal – if only an hour by the time we’d finished eating 🙂

There was some wine too:

1999 Faiveley, Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley
I couldn’t match yesterday’s Haute Jarrons on a Haute Jarrons day – but Corton on a Corton day was close! Yet another cork that split in the middle – but I’m on a run – once more the second part of the cork was extracted in one!
But what’s that? Is that corky? Swirl the glass and it seems better – but it’s there – what the French would describe as ‘liegeux.’ Behind was a wine of impressive richness and depth of flavour – and eminently approachable – but corked!
Rebuy – Well, not a corked one!

To save face:

1979 Louis Voilland, Beaune 1er Montée Rouge
The domaine has vines here – typically one of the last parcels to be harvested – but not the same parcel. Another cork that split – which I can forgive as it’s 43 years old!
A colour with more brown than the Corton but no smell of cork – actually a little café in a slightly torrified style – that’s nice. Open, mouth-filling – I’m so rarely disappointed with Côte de Beaune 79s and here’s another completely sound example. Almost no tannin to speak of but with concentration and an engaging, sometimes slightly metallic – steely – impression to the flavour. This was very good wine.
Rebuy – No chance!

Tomorrow the team will be harvesting in Beaune – probably some villages and certainly 2 premier crus – but I have clients for 2 days so won’t be back in the cuverie (to work!) until Sunday…

31-Aug – 2022 Burgundy harvest day 1

By billn on August 31, 2022 #degustation#vintage 2022

Tada! Day one of the home domaine harvest in Beaune.

About half the domaines in Burgundy have started harvesting by now, my home domaine choosing to wait until the 31st having originally considered the 27th – so why? – let’s first get that out of the way…

Our boss answers: “It’s true that the grapes would also have been properly ripe if we’d started on Saturday but for me the aromatics were still missing – today I’m much more confident in how they smell – I think that waiting was the right decision. The only issue with this delay is that we will lose all the student pickers next week as the new school year starts on Tuesday…

2022 Savigny 1er Hautes JarronsThis is certainly going to be quite a pressurised harvest as most vineyards will be ready for picking quite close together – there is less disparity between the reds and whites this year too – and it’s not just the colours, Chablis is starting to pick now – so it’s geographically ‘compact’ too.

Yesterday evening there was rain in the forecast – Nuits got some and part of the Côte Chalonnaise got plenty – over 20mm – but here in Beaune, all was dry this morning. The boss suggested about 2mm in Savigny – so the possibility of being damp underfoot in the vines – but of no consequence to the grapes we were about pick.

So today was a day of Savigny fruit, starting with 1er cru Hautes Jarrons white and then in the late morning changing over to Hautes Jarrons red – right – also 1er cru. With much cunning (guesswork!) I brought a 2005 Hautes Jarrons for lunch. This being a warm, harvest, we will, almost habitually, be picking the whites in the morning when they are cooler and the reds later in the day. Already at 11h00 the red grapes were warm to the touch – it’s less of an issue for the reds because as soon as they are destemmed they go into the tanks where they will be cooled. We finished our day with a small parcel of Savigny 1er Les Narbantons – finer, cliché, bunches, many with smaller grapes if not quite as ripe as the Hautes Jarrons – but the Jarrons is expected to come in at around 14.5°!

I’ll get more into the analytics as the days progress but the grapes themselves were rather uniformly ripe; not the smallest of grapes but our triage was largely cosmetic – a little of everything could be found – rot, oïdium, dried/raisined grapes and even a few hail impacts for the white – but very little in each case and quite rare were the unripe bunches except where the second-set had been picked. Clearly, the reds have plenty of soluble phenolics – judging by the staining of my fingers already on the first day – but perhaps a little less than in 2019 or 2020.

Of course, more detail as the days proceed and the numbers become available.

2005 JC Boisset, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Hautes Jarrons
A cork that broke in two – fortunately the second part came out in one.
A slightly funky, bretty, leathery nose that could have been 10 years older – air cleaned it up a little but not completely. In the mouth, this was altogether fresher and more interesting – it also showed fine energy. Just a modest – but correct – structure. Quite tasty but I never really warmed to the aromatics.
Rebuy – No

The calm before the storm that is harvest-time minus one day!

By billn on August 30, 2022 #degustation#vintage 2022

Today was the, relative, calm before the storm.

Yesterday, the small matter of more than 2.5 hours jogging in the mountains – with nearly 1,100 vertical metres of climbing – and even more of descending. Good training for tomorrow’s harvesting start in Beaune? I think my legs disagree today 🙂

As for our harvest timing – we are far from the earliest – but I would say roughly in the middle of the starters. I note multiple ‘famous’ domaines in Vosne-Romanée were already picking their grapes yesterday.

Just to tie a few loose ends together – here are a few notes on the most recent wines at home – with, of course, a few interesting wines lined up for the harvest lunches!

2009 Gilles Bouton, St.Aubin En Creot (Rouge)
In handy 500ml bottles
If I’m honest, it’s taken this many years for this to come into a nice phase of drinking – balanced, not overly ripe (in the modern context) and very tasty.
Rebuy – Yes

2012 Dampt Frères, Chablis Les Preuses
A magnum
The last of my 3 mags and, whilst seemingly faultless, the least interesting of the three. Very good wine but previous experiences brought a level of anticipation that remained unfulfilled…
Rebuy – Maybe

1981 Clavelier, Corton-Rognet
A magnum, and of course, that’s the Clavelier on the way to NSG – not Bruno Clavelier in Vosne…
Pale colour but a nose of engaging – indeed inviting – clarity. The flavour? Well, this was singing on all fronts. Medium bodied for Corton but with proper growth of middle and finishing flavour to mark it out as a grand cru – lacy and pure in style – that was a brilliant 1981!
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Lucie & August Lignier, Morey St.Denis Vieilles-Vignes
Yes, yes, yes! Kellen made some great wines but also some ordinary ones but here we have a winner on all fronts. Aromatically engaging, complex, with aromas and flavours on the cusp of proper maturity. Completely delicious and with some power too – all was finished on the same day!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 JA Ferret, Pouilly-Fuissé, Clos des Prouges
I tasted this earlier this year on the day of its bottling and was wowed – an order quickly followed.
The oak is clearly more visible than my tank sample suggested – but air dislodged some of that. Day two and it was singing – 80% of the oak had left the scene leaving a wine of extraordinary dimension, precision and shape to fill my glass. I won’t open another for 2-3 years but this is a great PF!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Roland Lavantureux, Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
Another wine showing some oak – though less than the Pouilly. I like the shape and dimension of this and if there is any pyrazine, the oak has it completely smothered – I can’t see any. Give it 2 years for that oak to fade – it could be a super 2020!
Rebuy – Maybe

2019 Laroche, Chablis Vieille Voye
What a wine – precision, fine, driving, energy and super Chablis precision – no oak to be seen. Classic, delicious, and bravo 2019!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Maison de la Chapelle, Irancy
A highly floral nose but with obvious pyrazines in tow too. Open, delicious floral-infused flavour but, like the nose, with a lot of pyrazine accompaniment. I could still find enjoyment here but too much pyrazine…
Rebuy – No

2020 Tupinier-Bautista, Mercurey 1er En Sazenay (Blanc)
There’s plenty of oak showing on this young wine too – but what a lovely, sizzling, acid-intensity to this flavour. I love the ride that this wine provides – great, great Mercurey Blanc!
Rebuy – Yes

a cheeky pair of midweek classics…

By billn on August 24, 2022 #degustation

week 34 2022 wines

There have been many others over the last month – and maybe I’ll get a quick summary of those to you too – but yesterday, with visitors, a couple of classics – the appellations and the vintage too.

2010 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Ruchottes
Tears or joy? This time it was joy – a wine in perfect condition though 2 of this 6-pack were oxidised. Now they are all done. An impressive-looking Trescasses cork did a good job in this case.
A strong but fresh lemon-yellow colour – this looks quite young. The nose is airy and clean but missing a little fireworks – unlike the palate. In the mouth we have expansive wine with quite enough freshness at this age – I thought it lacking here when younger. The middle and finishing flavours are muscular yet slightly lush and creamy – still with a suggestion of finishing oak but only as part of a wide palate of fine flavour. Super drinkable despite obvious concentration. Really a super thing!
Rebuy – this bottle!

2010 Nicolas Rossignol, Volnay 1er Chevrets
Nicolas, together with Henri Boillot, account for most of this climate – which is surrounded on 3 of 4 sides by Santenots and Caillerets – with the typical unbranded cork of Nicolas during this period
Medium, medium-plus colour – one of middle-age and no browning. The nose just got better and better with air; starting with a little turned earth before becoming ever-more perfumed and Volnay in style. A little more muscle and less absolute clarity of flavour than a Caillerets (his 2010 still waits in my cellar) so possibly more in the stylistic direction of Santenots. Simply excellent wine – and the proof of the pudding? No drop left for day 2!
Rebuy – Yes

23-Aug – Harvest 2022 – it’s warming up…

By billn on August 23, 2022 #vintage 2022

Whilst the majority of domaines are still testing grapes and not yet committing to their harvest dates, I’m virtually stalking a few domaines that have come to their 2022 harvest date decisions:

Chateau Thivin – yesterday
Marcel Lapierre – today
Armand Heitz – today
d’Angerville – today
Chandon de Briailles – today
Lafarge – 29 August
Roblet-Monot – 29 August
Pinson – 29 August
My home domaine in Beaune – 31 August
Perrot-Minot – 31 August
Nicolas Rossignol – 01 September

In 2020, an even earlier vintage than this year, the whites were not the first to be ready – it’s looking similar this year too – so yet another year where we don’t have the opportunity to marvel at who will be the first in Meursault :))

Another point of interest for this vintage is that recent hot ones have seen harvesting only 90-or-so days after flowering – this year it will be more than the traditional 100 days. They are all different, just saying…

tada – and onto the 2022 harvest…

By billn on August 21, 2022 #travel pics#vintage 2022

a tower or two...

Just back from our holiday of touring in Normandy and Brittany – a lighthouse tower or two above.

But, of course, you want to know about the harvest!

Grapes have already been picked – since the 17th of August but for crémant and also in Beaujolais too – red ones as below – but, for the moment, we are still waiting in the rest of the Côte d’Or, the southern côtes of Chalonnaise and Mâconnais and, of course, Chablis.

In Chablis, one month ago, they were thinking that they would start around the 25th of August but many domaines are waiting for Monday the 29th. Likewise, many had been projecting a mid-August start for the whites of the Côte d’Or – underlined by the butchers in Meursault! The butchers? Yes, they are also traiteurs (caterers) and were already booked by several domaines to start delivering food from Monday the 15th – but the 15th came and went.

As one vigneron of Beaune explained to me before my holidays; “You learn at wine school that the vines put their energy into growth and then into maturing the grapes – not both. We would have expected the growth to have stopped by the end of July and so the vines’ energy would then have been focused on maturing their grapes but it hasn’t worked out that way – the vines are still growing (end July), we are still having to cut the extra growth of the vines. It’s probably because of that that our veraison is so variable. Anyway I’d initially planned to be picking my reds towards the end of August but I’ve pushed everything back a week, maybe 10 days and certainly into September…

I spotted 2 well-known vigneron(ne)s of Volnay in Beaune’s market on Saturday (Lafarge & Roblet-Monot) and both were suggesting that another 6 days would be enough – so Monday 29th August.

My own home domaine in Beaune had also been planning to be in the vines by now but given the slow advancement in maturity, only began their maturity tests in the last few days – the current projection is to start on Friday the 27th or Tuesday the 30th of August – they will decide tomorrow.

Ready for blast-off then! It’s certainly going to be an interesting one – another in the, seemingly, never-ending series of hotter vintages but a hot vintage with by far the most rain in recent years – there was more at the end of last week. Couple that with the expectation of quite a large crop and we have the making of a vintage that could properly differentiate itself from other recent offerings – let’s see!

New on Burgundy Report

By billn on August 02, 2022 #reports

Just as a heads-up, a new Burgundy Report is online. Here.

The image above also references stories in these diary pages in the last days too.

I hope there’s something interesting for you.

Thursday is holiday touring for me – no wine visits – but there will be some in the car for emergencies 😉

Armand Heitz | Le Cellier, Pommard

By billn on August 02, 2022 #degustation

I took the chance to visit Armand Heitz’s ‘Cellier’ in Pommard. You pay a modest fee to taste, but you are tasting commercially available wines direct from the producer – a very good producer, at that. I tasted a mix of 2020s and 2019s – but all bottled and available in this shop.

Decent paid-for tastings in the Côte d’Or are rare but here’s one I can wholeheartedly recommend…

2019 St.Aubin 1er Les Murgers des Dents du Chiens Red
Have the monopole of red from here – in this vintage
Broad, airy above, slightly heavier in the depth. Silkier and much more impressive in the mouth than the nose suggests. Saline – wide, and lots of layers to this flavour. That’s a very good wine…

2020 Pommard 1er Clos des Poutures
The domaine’s monopole made with 50% whole clusters with about 20% new barrels
The whole clusters are more visible here but it’s still a very good invitation. Supple, silky, layered wine. I love the energy and growing intensity. That’s a really top villages – bravo!

2020 Volnay 1er Les Santenots
A négoce wine.
A nose of airy width and finely growing perfume. More structural and open in the mouth – that’s very classy – I love the energy here. Depth of flavour too. You could drink it now but better in 3-5 years!

2020 Pommard 1er Rugiens
From ‘haut’.
Spiced, perfumed aromatics from the whole clusters. Rounder but nothing over-generous or fat here. Wide, seamless finishing – great, great finish – and simply excellent wine.

Les Whites:

2019 Meursault
A négoce wine that’s a blend of more than one parcel.
A nicely direct nose, not so deep or high-toned but attractive all the same. Hmm, there’s a relaxed style to this that does make me think of Meursault, layers, mouth-watering and even vibrant finish – what a great finish again.

2019 St.Aubin 1er Les Murgers des Dents du Chien
Wider, a fine intensity to this riper fruit. Vibrant and mineral counterbalanced with some ripeness of fruit but never too much. Holding a strong, long finish. More than very good wine…

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
From Petit Clos, there Tête de Clos is bottled separately under that name.
There is power here but it is delivered with restraint. Wide, extra mineral, fine texture. Here is a quality wine, the finish extended by slow-moving waves of finishing flavour – very impressive…

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er 1er Maltroie
That’s a super nose – cushioned, more airy and fine perfumed – personally I like this more. Gorgeous, seamless wine – apart from the mouth-perfume I could see this as Meursault-Perrières. It’s a beautiful wine – bravo!

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