a corking saturday (tca, bonneau du martray & marc colin)

By billn on October 15, 2006 #degustation

corked bottlesWhat do these bottles have in common?

Well, they were opened 30 minutes apart and both were corked. I’d been looking forward to opening the Bonneau, so chose my birthday – the perfect example of Murphy’s Law, or as the Germans prefer to say; ‘Shit Happens’.

Anyway, post Corton-Charlemagne, I decided to cleanse my palate with Marc Morey’s 2002 Chassagne 1er Morgeots – what a mistake-a to make-a. This (red) Chassagne was even more heavily tainted than the white – in fact so much so I couldn’t even bear to describe how bad.

Fortunately two other bottles came to the rescue – one of which was really excellent, I’ll get to that tomorrow, but for the record, the Bonneau had some (slightly oxidised) potential:

1991 Bonneau du Martray, Corton-Charlemagnetry to find this wine...
Medium golden. Hints of oxidation – though mild – concentrated, nice texture, more oxidatative notes but acceptable, good acidity and heavily corked…

guyon, vosne-romanée

By billn on October 14, 2006 #degustation

2001 Domaine Guyon, Vosne-Romanéetry to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. The nose starts with deep and spicy, even rubbery oaky elements, slowly there are high-toned red fruit and floral aspects and eventually more plummy fruit added to the mix, the last drops in the glass smell fantastic. There’s a real kick when you first taste this, a burst of concentration and mouthwatering acidity. Initially there’s lots of spicy and slightly guyon vosne romaneebitter oak in the finish too – this takes quite a while to improve – but only a little, taking on a more licorice style. For me there’s still far too much oak marking this wine and I’m sure it will never be fully absorbed – great for those that like this style, but I find it a shame that good underlying material is ‘coloured’ in this way. Rebuy – No

Not to be confused with the domaine Antonin Guyon, this small domaine is based in Vosne, the latest bottles have the label Michel et Jean-Pierre Guyon, but the design remains the same. They typically make concentrated wines and use a lot of toasty oak but the results can be variable; the 2002 Vosne and Echézeaux took up the oak pretty well, but as you can see, this 2001 less so.

ringing the changes for the report

By billn on October 13, 2006 #site updates

comment picComing to the end of the 4th year of Burgundy Report, the format has essentially remained static since issue 1; there’s been the odd design tweak here and there but otherwise it’s the same. I’m constantly aware that this format could become rather stale; i.e. the (potentially mad) ramblings of one individual. To hopefully counter (or at least delay) that situation I’ve decided that a little democracy is called for.

From the last report of 2006 (in a little over a month) the considerable knowledge of the readership can be deployed – should they wish. Just like this update log, at the bottom of every, new content page will be your chance to comment, offer alternative views, or correct the patently false! Or even just comment on some-one else’s comment! There’s a depth of knowledge in the readership that no individual could replicate; winemakers, relatives of winemakers, sellers of wine and don’t let us forget – ‘enthusiasts’. Let’s see if some of that knowledge can be brought out with this change.

Typically just as I find what I believe to be the best technical solution I see something ‘even better’ on the horizon – but why wait(?), first let us see if it brings some value.

the last gevrey of the week (probably!)

By billn on October 12, 2006 #degustation

thierry mortet gevreyThe last Gevrey of the week is the deepest coloured, most juvenile and perhaps most concentrated; it also came from a producer that I don’t think I’ve tried before – Thierry Mortet is the younder brother of the late Denis Mortet and also based in Gevrey-Chambertin. His range when I last saw them listed is quite small, only 4 cuvées. Some of his bother’s skill is surely evident in this wine.
2001 Thierry Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertintry to find this wine...
Medium-plus red, still with a strong cherry-red hue. The nose starts quite masculine with a strong Gevrey-earth character supporting a melange of red and black berry fruit, slowly this becomes softer and a little higher toned if not better focused. The palate is full and concentrated and obviously started life with a real injection of oak, but the residual effect is more about soft, fat texture and a little bitterness in the finish. The bitterness doesn’t last long and is eventually replaced with a reasonable length and a more creamy aspect. The tannins have a little rasp right at the end, but this is a very accomplished wine, and quite concentrated for an 01. Really very good. Rebuy – Yes

one from laurent (no the other one!)

By billn on October 11, 2006 #degustation

2001 Domaine Ponsot, Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée l’Abeilletry to find this wine...
Medium ruby red. The nose starts with a little undergrowth then soil, both fade to reveal a diffuse red-fruit curtain – improvement is required and the patient are rewarded; first with a deeper plum fruit before a lovely high-toned and focused red fruit effect – very nice. The palate is much less ripe than the 01 Bachelet Gevrey that precedes it, providing a sour-cherry fruit which is not unattractive and mirrored by the balanced, mouth-watering yet somewhat tart acidity. The overall texture is excellent with understated velvet tannins. In the end this is a wine that even with food, is just a little too tart – I can enjoy it, but I wouldn’t rebuy it. Rebuy – No

chassagne from philippe colin

By billn on October 10, 2006 #degustation

philippe colin chassagne vergers2004 Philippe Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergerstry to find this wine...
Medium-pale lemon yellow. There’s a well-integrated nose of toasted bread and rich fruit. Very forward acidity is the initial impression. The acidity is very smooth and very mineral in aspect, initially rather dominating the linear fruit, but there’s no missing that sneaky and very creamy length. Once my palate adjusted (I don’t think the wine materially changed) I was able to see the extra kick of citrus edged fruit in the mid-palate and appreciate the super purity. Drink this today direct from the fridge or with a buttery sauced dish, alternatively store away for 5 years before revisiting. On day two there’s quite a honied aspect to this wine, and less intensity to the acidity. I preferred day 1. Rebuy – Yes

the golden age of burgundy

By billn on October 09, 2006 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!

the golden age of burgundySubtitled: The Magnificent Dukes and their Courts.
Let’s be clear about this at the outset – this is, despite its main title, a virtually wine-free book. Of-course, gifts by way of a few barrels here and a few barrels there pop-up from time to time but no more often than a prince of the realm has ‘his brains scattered in the mud’.

This book covers the dynasty of the Dukes of Burgundy, ‘princes of the blood, but owners of vast estates existing in their own right and over which France had no juristiction’; estates which made these Dukes and their vassals some of the richest of the ‘middle-ages’. It’s about the political intrigue of the time and kingdoms won and lost and like all the best history books – they really know how to kill a man.

Close to 300 pages, this is a scholarly work, in parts it’s also not always the easiest read, possibly because it’s been translated from the original French of its author – Joseph Calmette (d.1952 – it was his last work) but it certainly holds the attention. For history buffs this is recommended.

another bachelet

By billn on October 09, 2006 #degustation

bachelet's cork2001 Denis Bachelet, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignestry to find this wine...
Medium-plus ruby red, but still hinting at cherry-red at the rim. A really impressive nose that starts a little reduced – but only for a minute or two – then red fruit, edged with mint, becoming ever-more intense and deep – wow! Fresh presentation, very understated tannin, equally understated in the finish despite being long-lasting. This is not a fat wine, rather a wonderfully detailed one. Rebuy – Yes

This is superb quality for a villages and with respect to its appellation impressed me even more than the Bachelet Gevrey 1er of last week – it’s as good as Rousseau’s 2001 and even better value at a mere 39 S.Fr vs Rousseau’s 49 S.Fr – if you can still find either of them!

Luckily one more glass remains in the bottle for tonight!

a couple of weekend wines from 2004

By billn on October 08, 2006 #degustation

2004 Louis Carillon, Puligny-Montrachettry to find this wine...
Pale yellow. The nose launches forward with ripe, citrus edged fruit before settling into a more brioche dominated lime fruit. The palate retains the citrus edge to its sweet fruit, though the key attribute is the mouthwatering acidity. This wine exemplifies perfectly the vintage – lovely aromatics and fresh presentation – yet it also shows the achilles heel, just not quite enough density at the villages level for enjoying on its own – perfect with food though! One glass was left overnight in the open bottle in the refridgerator, it was as fresh as the night before. Rebuy – Yes

bichot savigny
2004 Albert Bichot, Savigny-Lès-Beaunetry to find this wine...
Medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose starts with a herby, minty element before high-toned raspberry fruit starts to make itself known – really a very nice blend – eventually it settles into a more mineral and herb expression. The palate is 2004 fresh coupled to sweet red fruit, though not quite enough to avoid the mid-palate showing a little hard. The finish, whilst not very long, is very tasty with a real creamy lift. Rebuy – Yes

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