The 2021 White Burgundy Vintage – A Very Modern Classic – Part 2

By billn on December 23, 2022 #reports

Online now for subscribers – I’ve only had time for this and a glass of Beaujolais today 🙂


Lapierre’s 2021 Le Beaujolais…

By billn on December 22, 2022 #degustation

M&C Lapierre 2021 Le Beaujolais

Out of (drinking) order – the rest of the bottles from this week are still to come – but as I have this in my glass now…

2021 M&C Lapierre, Le Beaujolais
I still don’t know what I was thinking when I so enthusiastically tasted this wine in February – it was so juicily delicious and I had to have some. All the bottles at home have, however, shown quite a high pyrazine content, though if you can get past that – or are not sensitive to it (80%+ of people) then this remains a delicious and juicily red-fruited thing of just enough textural cushioning and silk to balance the energy – so good in fact that I’m still drinking it myself – it’s still a great wine for, mainly, other people!!
Rebuy – No

The trophies for the ‘young vigneron(ne)s’ 2022…

By billn on December 18, 2022 #annual laurels#degustation

Starting with a first tasting in October and culminating with a final tasting in the days leading up to the Beaune wine-auction weekend, the winners were revealed at a dinner, this year held in Chassagne-Montrachet. This was the 34th such tasting and focused on wines from 20202. The official results were sent out last week – so enjoy – in French!

While I’m here – there was yesterday’s disappointment in the wine-department.

1996 Penfolds Bin 389
A wine that I’ve always been waiting to ‘come to me!’ When released, everyone said that this was a great 389 and I assembled half a dozen of them for the longer term. Pricing was £14-15 but you could often find them discounted for closer to £10 – I shudder to think what they would cost today. All the previous bottles were ‘okay’ but never singing, never special. This was this particular wine’s last chance from my cellar. A super cork – hard to extract but it came out in one piece with a satisfying ‘pop!’ Less than 1mm of wine colour had travelled the length of this cork – super! Except that this bottle was completely oxidised – I poured it down the sink. Apart from one (half) bottle that I remember finding a small crack in the glass, I have never had a red wine under 40 years old that was oxidised. I still have a tissue-wrapped 1996 Bin 707 – it’s maybe time to rid the cellar of that too!

(The 2018 Chablis that replaced the 389 was excellent – more on that tomorrow!)

this year’s last tasting week…

By billn on December 17, 2022 #degustation#travels in burgundy 2022

It’s the end of week 50 in 2022 – and how did this year go so quickly by? This was my final week of tasting in Burgundy – for this year – though January in Chablis and February in Beaujolais are already planned…

I started my tour of the domaines’ 2021s at the end of September and planned 150 visits. A heavy, coughing, cold at the end of October cost me a week of visits – though 3x negative tested. I’m becoming something of a rarity; never yet covid-positive that I’m aware of – but for more than 2 years now I have declined all large group tastings, sticking to vigneron(ne)’s cellars. It was out of respect for the producers that I wasn’t going to pretend that I could still taste their wines while coughing away…

So, nearly 130 domaines visited for the Mâconnais to Côte d’Or part of my ‘Tour de 21s‘ – lots of old faithfuls, though a few domaines drop off the list each year – preferring to no-longer show wines to ‘the press‘ now that their production is in such demand! I’ve only collected 4 domaines (who I’m aware of!) that won’t have me back based on what I’ve previously written.

Anyway – I must get to writing my report for the (mainly) white wine domaines of the Côte de Beaune, but in the meantime, here are a few images from week 22 – A week that started in the snow and icy temperatures of Switzerland. The theme continued with sub-zero temperatures in Beaune but yesterday we enjoyed 15°C and sunshine in the south of France – my base for a week of pre-Christmas writing. Our first evening’s wine:

2018 David Moreau, Santenay 1er Beaurepaire Blanc
White wax-topped. The aromatics are rather small in these (rubbish) air-BnB apartment wine glasses – an oversight on my part! But in the mouth this wine has a character that starts small and clean before widening over the palate and delivering an absorbing finish – for a 2018 there’s plenty of weight and persistence to this finish – it’s delicious too, what a lovely wine.
Rebuy – Yes

weekend stuff – week 49 2022…

By billn on December 12, 2022 #degustation

Going partly ‘off-piste’ for some of the bottles this weekend:

2020 Jacques Picq et ses Enfants, Chablis
A wine that depended on the moment that you caught it – sometimes with a little 2020 pyrazine but other times not. The fruit is fleshy and ripe but with the requisite drive and direction that puts the wine firmly in Chablis – and without the pyrazine, it’s delicious!
Rebuy – No

2018 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents du Chien
A nose that’s still cushioned by a little creamy barrel – but still a fine invitation. Open, structural, though like the nose, these fine citrus flavours have a bit too much padding from the oak today. I think I’ll wait a couple of years for the next one! Still a very good bottle.
Rebuy -Yes

2017 Dr Loosen, Riesling Kabinett Ürziger Würzgarten
Fresh, airy, yellow fruit invitation. What an easy, delicious energetic wine to drink – maybe the 8.0% alcohol is the reason – but this is damn good, just a bit too sweet!
Rebuy – Maybe

2019 François Labet, Pinot Noir Isle de Beauté
Yes, that Fran̤ois Labet Рbut from vines in Corsica that delivered just 12% alcohol.
Dark colour but a fine and energetic cherry-red pinot nose. Round in the mouth but with plenty of acidity to provide the direction. Good texture and vibrant energy. That was very tasty!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Möhr-Niggli, Pilgrim
Swiss pinot from Maienfeld.
Lighter colour – almost with a hint of age. The aromas are round and faintly smoky – round, warm, red fruit and occasional flashes of perfume that suggest some whole clusters. Round in the mouth too – but here is a wine with good balancing structure and a lot of middle and finishing complexity. For such a young wine it’s very approachable and the flavours, like the nose, occasionally suggest a little whole clusters too!
Rebuy – why not!

Lignier-Michelot – 2007 Chambolle-Musigny VV

By billn on December 08, 2022 #degustation

Lignier-Michelot 2007I wasn’t the biggest fan of this early (for those days) red vintage, because too many of the wines, whilst ripe, had a soupy quality to them – where was the clarity(?), I thought. Time has made the wines more interesting and complex – though not always with more clarity – but this one’s quite good now!

2007 Lignier-Michelot, Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles-Vignes
There’s plenty of colour development here – the wine tending to brown at the rim. The nose is wide-open with a broad bass-line that’s leafy and of dark, plummy, fruit, the high tones tending to a sweet and ripe floral – not classically pretty Chambolle flowers but still inviting. More time in the glass and the nose has more vibrancy and is starting to pick up on a more classical line of violet perfume – good! Like the supporting aspects of the nose, this is broad across the palate – a little mineral and still showing some faint, dark, bitters – maybe originating from the barrel – but there’s enough sweetness of fruit to balance these bitters without a problem. The finish is narrower – a more direct line of flavour – and mineral with more than a glimpse of salinity. It’s worth a second glass.
Rebuy – Maybe

2021, a very modern classic – part 1

By billn on December 07, 2022 #reports

Solutre in SeptemberThere’s a new Burgundy Report, online since yesterday; it’s the first part of my 2021 reporting: 22 domaines in the Mâconnais plus a vintage commentary for the region.

I’ve visited over 120 domaines for the 2021 reporting, so far, so there will be no let-up in the typing except whilst having to taste even more wine!

You can find the new report for subscribers, which I hope that you will enjoy, here.


2021, a very modern classic – part 2
The whites of the Côte de Beaune

– coming soon!

a couple more wines – weekend 48 2022

By billn on December 06, 2022 #degustation

a couple more weekend wines 48 2022

It’s good to get back to a four-bottle weekend 😉

2018 Alex Gambal, Aligoté
Yes! Fresh, clean lines and attractive purity, with an occasional glimpse of some creamy oak. More incisive and precise than any 2018 has right to be – that’s simply delicious stuff and was a steal at the initial price. The last flavours still accented by some faint barrel. A wine that was drunk far too fast – it is that good! Bravo Aligoté!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Antoine Sunier, Morgon
This nose starts in the low sulfur vernacular – a beefy, savoury style that, whilst not unpleasant, is still far from an invitation – yet there are also flashes of fine and attractive fruit. In the mouth this is altogether more pleasurable – broad, mouth-watering wine of fine fruit clarity and delicious energy. The nose is on-off – good-not so good – but the flavour is super. Half the bottle was left in the refrigerator for two days – the wine didn’t survive that – so drink it when you open it.
Rebuy – No

a couple of wines – weekend 48 2022

By billn on December 04, 2022 #degustation

week 48 2022 wines

2020 Beaune-Grandchamp, IGP Saint Marie la Blanche
The words ‘Burgundy’ or ‘Bourgogne’ are not allowed anywhere near the label!
They tell you that Melon de Bourgogne must be drunk young as it’s prone to age much faster than aligoté or chardonnay – but this wine, sealed with DIAM3 was fresh and pristine. The nose is attractive and slightly floral. In the mouth there’s a combination of attractive fruit and energy – the flavours clean and delicious – that floral of the nose haunting the tasty finishing flavours. Not better than a good aligoté but in itself a very tasty wine – yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 AF Gros, Vosne-Romanée Clos de la Fontaine
Now into the second half of this six-pack, bought en-primeur.
Lots of colour. A forward and powerful nose – dark and spiced – though possibly more of this spice comes from the barrel than from Vosne – darkly fruited too. In the mouth, the power of the nose is amplified – this is a wine of scale. The texture is good and there’s obviously still plenty of tannin supporting this wine but neither with grain nor astringency. The fruit is deep here but for drinkability today needs a little more energy and/or clarity. I’ll drink this no problem – but today a second glass is not invited – it’s still far from a wine of maturity. Today, I think I’ll take another glass of melon!
Rebuy – No

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