September means harvest – maybe!

By billn on September 01, 2006 #vintage 2006

We move into the business-end of the year – the ripening season – after a strange growing season. There was tons and tons of rain early in the year.

June brought perfect, even flowering conditions. This, together with the earlier rain caused dense, lush foliage growth.

July made everyone think of 2003 – it was hotter than that year with record temperatures across the whole of Europe – already some were thinking that late August holidays could (again) be a mistake. It seems that the early season rain was very-much needed

August was cold and dark – double the normal amount of rain too. However advanced the vines had been in July, by the end of August we were back to the average – but only by mixing the highs and lows.

September is upon us and every year this makes the vintage – or not. It has started with clear skies and ‘okay’ temperatures (~25°C). Now is the time to watch closely!


Weekly Roundup

By billn on August 27, 2006 #site updates

Last week was an interesting week, one where the world of wine critics lost a great writer. I was never a fan of Pierre’s blanket positions on vintages – he of all people should have known that a vintage is a shade of gray, not a black or white thing – but where Pierre excelled was in the enthusiastic communication of the facets of the land and the people. He’s returning to the commerce side of the wine business and I wish him well.

Nothing visible on the website in terms of new pages, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no pedalling below the surface! A profile of Tollot-Beaut is 98% complete for the November issue and I’m deep into the research aspects (bottles!) of a profile of the village, Vosne-Romanee. This week I will add another 30 or-so notes to the NoteFinder – I plan to do this monthly, but will still keep the roundup in each issue.

September is fast approaching; with it a nice dinner with a dozen wines from Leroy – going back to some ‘new’ releases of wines from 1966 as well as the ‘declassified 2004’s. While I think about it, there will also be the small matter of a harvest…

Clos Goillotte…

By billn on August 24, 2006 #other sites

the clos goillotte

Hard to find this wine as it’s such a small (monopole) vineyard in Vosne-Romanee – it’s attached to the old hunting lodge of the Dukes of Burgundy and at 0.55 hectares, barely big enough to have been their kitchen garden, but Dave Brookes has managed to get hold of a bottle! – Looks (overly) pricy, but it is a ’99 I suppose, and it did sound rather nice…

jamie goode’s new-found friend

By billn on August 23, 2006 #other sites

Our German cousins call it schadenfreude, basically it means taking a little enjoyment out of someone-else’s misfortune. The word sprang to mind when I read the post on Jamie’s blog. I’m frankly amazed that: a)this Master of Wine has no idea of the CV of his target, and b)that he would choose such uninformed rudeness (I can’t think of an alternative word – though perhaps arrogance could be substituted) for a public forum. Clearly Jamie was scathing about the scientific basis of this ‘gadget’ – but let’s be honest, there is none – but he was not rude. Perhaps Jamie should invite a few ‘more senior’ MW’s to roadtest the gadget vs other ‘aeration’ devices, as this seems to be the mode of action – assuming there is one.
My smile widened when the errant MW mentioned that he had tested the device ‘several’ times – ah, at last, some scientific rigour!


By billn on August 15, 2006 #travel

matterhornJust back from 5 days without electronic communication – and no withdrawal symptoms either!

I think I managed to find just about the only part of Europe that had (a little) sunshine.

Thursday and Friday 1,000 metres up and 1,000 metres down, Saturday 800 metres up, Sunday 600 metres up and down.

Zermatt is very picturesque too, shame the main street is like a busy shopping arcade, but turn any corner and your in another world. Plus if there is blue sky, there’s always the Matterhorn to look at!

Because of the steady growth of the Burgundy-Report site, I’m working hard trying to get wordpress up and running as I feel that I need to better ‘manage’ the content – and hard work I’m finding it too! It’s great if you just want to use the default template, but (of-course) I don’t.

I’m quite happy with HTML, but this is another ballgame…

NoteFinder Update

By billn on August 09, 2006 #site updates

I was reasonably happy with the first implementation, but three things were apparent:
1. The lists of producers and wines were cumbersome to navigate – at least with the solution provided.
2. The text entry for a text search was not so elegant.
3. The database has spelling in (typically) the correct French – e.g. Chézeaux, not Chezeaux. Anyone typing in the latter will not get the 30+ notes from the former!

Well 1 & 2 are fixed, but I still don’t have a solution for 3. Any ideas will be gratefully accepted.

Label Info.

By billn on July 26, 2006 #site updates

This took a little longer to finish than I expected; as what worked in firefox didn’t always work with internet explorer. Anyway here is a semi-interactive explanantion of the info you will find on a bottle-label.

a reading backlog

By billn on July 21, 2006 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!

Heading for the Côtes for a couple of days next week but there’s not much additional on the site this month – it must be that hot weather holiday feeling – however, I have had chance to catch up on a little reading, specifically a collection of older books on wine. It’s fascinating to see the same discussions about new vs old-style winemaking and the lottery of finding good bottles – where have I heard that before? – but it’s interesting to read it from the perspective of people writing in the 1920’s-1960’s. The style of prose may have changed, but little else!

I have a couple more books on the way, but the last two weeks have been filled with unfamiliar author’s names such as; H.Warner Allen, Morton Shand, Youngman Carter, Yoxall and Schoonmaker. Great fun

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