pommard & côte d’or

By billn on November 01, 2006 #degustation#travel

ardhuy pommard lambotsOnly a tenuous link in the post title – despite what it might look like! Tomorrow I head for a few days in the Côte d’Or, possibly for the last time this year, but with some good visits (I hope!) arranged. The weather has finally turned colder and we could have freezing overnight in the next days, but hopefully my camera is to be greeted with plenty of blue sky.

Pommard; I’m slowly embarking on a profile of the village and the degustatory research starts this week with 2004 which had a trying time due to hail:
2004 d’Ardhuy, Pommard Les Lambotstry to find this wine...
A shiny medium cherry-red. The nose is pure pine-needles and cedar – slowly a more fruit-driven effect comes into the mix but over about 20 minutes it is never more than a secondary characteristic. The palate is acid forward, seemingly it needs just an edge more ripeness. The best part of this wine is its texture – very nice finely grained tannins – the finish is not too bad and seems riper than the rest of the wine. Works reasonably well with food, but the borderline ripeness means it would be challenge on its own. Rebuy – No
[EDIT: This was picked at a natural 11.9°, though the pH is not too low at around 3.5]

a new critic at large

By billn on November 01, 2006 #other sites

neal plus admirerIt is with great pleasure I hear today, that long time correspondent and occasional partner to lunches and bottle openings Neal Martin has finally sold-out. He is appointed (over Michel Bettane no less) to be the ‘critic at large’ for Robert Parker’s online empire.

I say sold-out, not because he is moving to eRP but because he will no-longer be providing ‘album (that’s CD for younger readers!!!) of the month’ for his readers – though in-truth it was becoming every second month of recent. It seems I will have to return to Baccarat and René & Renata without his youth perspective.

STOP PRESS – Neal Martin has officially not sold out – he confirms to me in writing that it’s not the end for this seminal work – my kipper ties can stay in the closet a little longer…

[EDIT1] – How it happenedPart 1
[EDIT2] – How it happenedPart 2

alex gambal chambolle

By billn on November 01, 2006 #degustation

gambal chambolleVersus tasting from barrel I’ve had occasional reds from Gambal that seemed rather subdued – I’ve come to believe that they need a good deal more aeration than I was allowing, but this was excellent right from the bottle and way more interesting than the recent bottle from Fourrier:
2001 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Gruencherstry to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. The nose has some oaky depth overlayed by dense, though initially not so intense, creamy black cherry; with time the oak fades and the creamy fruit comes more to the fore. Understated entry – apparently only moderately concentrated to start with – but this very well textured wine builds intensity in the mouth. The overal picture is of black-shaded fruit just edged with a little oak texture, but this will fade (the oak!) – the finish is a reasonably long one. I enjoyed this a lot.
Rebuy – Yes

bourgogne agenda for november

By billn on November 01, 2006 #diary dates

Dates for your diary in November:

  • 11-12 November – “Fête des vins du Grand Auxerrois”, Saint-Bris-le-Vineux. Tastings and cooking demonstrations. Tel. +33 (0)3 86 53 66 76
  • 17 November – “Grumage de Santenay” in Santenay. Tastings of new wine. Tel. +33 (0)3 80 20 67 77
  • 17-18 November – “Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction”, Beaune. A weekend of activities to mark the Hospices wine auction, includes tastings of Hospices wines, and also in merchants’ cellars http://www.ot-beaune.fr Tel. +33 (0)3 80 26 21 30
  • 17-18 November – 134th “Exposition générale des vins de Bourgogne”, Palais des Congrès, Beaune. Tastings of new-vintage. Tel. +33 (0)3 80 62 30 61
  • 18 November – Le Roi Chambertin, Domaine Marchand-Grillot, Geverey-Chambertin. Growers association tasting (€5) and wine auction in aid of cancer charity Tel. +33 (0)3 80 58 54 98
  • 26 November – Fundraising Dinner for the Abbey of Saint-Vivant in the Château du Clos de Vougeot. Lecture, recital by a sextet from the Berlin Philharmonic followed by ‘prestige’ dinner. Further info. on the association’s website http://www.saint-vivant.net or direct to PDF info en Français

magnum report pt.5 (last)

By billn on October 31, 2006 #degustation

clerget chambolle charmes
1999 Christian Clerget, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Charmestry to find this wine...
(From magnum) Medium-plus ruby-red colour. The nose starts very-much in a coffee/mocha vein, but bit-by-bit plums ever-more depth. Time takes the nose into a lovely core of tight, focused red fruit that eventually widens to give a redcurrant aspect – always my favourite. This has depth, intensity and an obvious extra level of tannin vs the older wines. A lovely wine. Rebuy – Yes
1999 Sylvie Esmonin, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacquestry to find this wine...
(From magnum) Medium ruby-red colour. It’s a wide and mineral nose with an almost corky element. With time the corky element takes over – I never found it on the palate though – still, a shame.
1990 Lafon, Volnay 1er Santenots de Milieutry to find this wine...
(From magnum) Very deep colour – close to black. No obvious oak on the nose, but it’s so dense and unforgiving – perhaps this is a harsh adjective, but this wine is so fresh, linear and dense that it could be 2002 in presentation. The only clue to its age, is that the tannins have started to melt, but super concentration remains – it’s a tour-de-force – but wait for 2015. If there is one criticism, the wine doesn’t seem so long and is unlikely to gain length with extra age – but I’m still very, very impressed. Versus the Clerget Chambolle this has twice the depth & concentration, but the Clerget is significantly more refined – the choice is yours. Rebuy – Yes

a new manager at domaine bertagna

By billn on October 30, 2006 #the market

christophe vial bertagnaChristophe Vial is the new estate manager at Domaine Bertagna in Vougeot, he will be assisted by the new vineyard manager Arnaud Lecoeur and cellarman Denis Rozat.

For the last five years, Christophe Vial was cellar-master at Domaine de Montille in Volnay. He now takes over from Claire Forestier who left the domain in March and is now to be found at Domaine Denis Mortet. Christophe’s replacement at de Montille is Gaétan Marchand who was a cellar-master at the Domaine de la Vougeraie in Premeaux.

Swings and roundabouts!

magnum report pt.4

By billn on October 30, 2006 #degustation

geantet pansiot
1993 Géantet-Pansiot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Poissenotstry to find this wine...
(From magnum) Deep ruby-red colour. Even at 13 years-old the nose still has some fall-out from the toasty oak of its youth; mixed with sweet, predominantly black shaded fruit and a little coffee – it takes some time in the glass to lose the oak, but it becomes ever-more primary with a strawberry/raspberry impression. Instant impressions are of concentration and very good acidity but only average length. Despite the length, this very youngly presented wine is certainly the most interesting Géantet-Pansiot I’ve ever had, all that I tasted from 2000-2002 seemed too soft in the middle. Expanding well in the mid-palate I even get the impression that the length improves with time, but following the hights of the ’93 Rousseau Clos St.Jacques this is very-much on a lower level. Rebuy – Maybe
1993 Bertrand Ambroise, Nuits St.Georges 1er Rue de Chauxtry to find this wine...
(From magnum) Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is quite estery, masking any real depth – at least at the start – very slowly this lifts giving a 20 minute window of nice red fruit and the start of a cedar note, but later becomes very high-toned again. The palate has a fresh yet concentrated stance with a heavy emphasis of nice black fruit. The finish is understated but long. An interesting wine that for me – apart from that 20 minute window – was spoiled by the aromatics. Rebuy – No.

magnum report pt.3

By billn on October 29, 2006 #degustation

1997 Mugneret-Gibourg, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Feuselottestry to find this wine...
(From magnum) Medium-plus colour. The nose is surprisingly meaty and spicy, opening ever-wider and at the same time denser red fruit and a more mineral, cedar note comes through. The palate is very fresh and interesting for a 1997 – no dodgy acidity here – though perhaps only medium-plus length. Like the nose, the red fruit on the palate is rather dense and wall-like (like some ’95’s) – little in the way of delicacy is available and I’m not sure if more time will bring it, but this is quite young and almost impossible to pick blind as 1997. It’s still a fine young wine. Rebuy – Yes
1993 Armand Rousseau, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacquestry to find this wine...
(From magnum) Medium-plus ruby-red colour. A deep, intense, meaty nose that starts with a slightly diffuse width. There is also a faint oaky component to the depth, but it’s mainly consumed now – with time the fruit really tightens and focuses. In the mouth this wine is still immensely youthful – 10 extra years would provide ample benefit – the acidity is like a roller-coaster into the finish, and a very impressive and intense finish it is too. Bravo, but still a baby. Rebuy – Yes

icon bashing

By billn on October 29, 2006 #other sites

It appears quite a strange hijack of a posting.

I suppose it’s his house, so RMP can say what he likes, but it seems as if he’s undermining his new staffer David Schildknecht even before he starts, who will now (possibly) have to review the 2002 wines of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti with one arm tied behind his back – it wouldn’t do to disagree with his new boss – or would it(?)!

PS I have no concerns about the wines I bought AFTER I tasted!

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