laroche – chablis cuvée O (oh!)

By billn on April 01, 2019 #degustation

Tasted with the wine-maker – so of-course I didn’t buy this – not yet! O as in zero. Just 500 bottles, practically experimental – a natural wine chez Domaine Laroche from vines above Vaudesir – I’m the first to taste 🙂 – a no sulfur wine:

2018 Domaine Laroche, Chablis Cuvée O
Not perfectly bright – tasted just a few days before bottling. The nose has a width of aroma that implies low sulfur with none of the occasional negatives that that can bring. Bright, round, but with direction and that rare thing from a zero sulfur wine – clarity! Delicious! with acidity and a real salinity in the finish. For what it is, no question – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

some weekend wines – week 13 2019

By billn on April 01, 2019 #degustation

4 wines – 4 different seals!

2014 Dampt Frères, Bourgogne Tonnerre Le Clos du Chateau
The cork proudly proclaims (translated) ‘Natural cork, matured 18 months, washed without peroxides or solvents’ – okay we can quibble about what constitutes a solvent, because if something dissolves in water, then water is a solvent in this case – lets just call this marketing. But to the point, the last bottle of this had a strange aromatic component that took well over one hour to blow-off – this is perfect right from the start – so natural cork, no peroxides and no solvents or not, the last had some minor problem associated with the cork – just saying!
That’s a long intro, but enough to say that this wine is perfect in all dimensions – you wont spend a better €12-13 (less than 10 at the domaine!) on white burgundy. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2012 Chezeaux/Ponsot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
There are many 2012s that are tight as a drum – here’s one that most definitely isn’t!
Plenty of colour. Ooh – what a nose – a perfect flower, porcelain-like in its fine clarity and beautiful perfume – ravishing wine! In the mouth, here’s a wave of fresh fruit flavour – a wave that you can surf into the mid and finishing mouth-watering flavours. So good, just so good. Enjoy – I did!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 Louis Jadot, Bourgogne Chardonnay
DIAM sealed.
A perfectly clean nose of ripe citrus and a modest but present creamy oak note. Wide over the palate with a lovely intensity of driving acidity – no hard edges – the acidity is cushioned and the flavour delicious. A judicious touch of oak, just enough that you should guess that it’s Burgundy without site of the label. Simply delicious – the best of this cuvée since the 2014. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

And the riesling? – whilst I’m normally a big fan of Alsace riesling, this was too perfumed/aromatic for me – I would hardly be surprised if there was some gewurz in the mix!

Plus – some pics from the old (Swiss) town of Biel and the lake of Biel on Saturday:

‘tran-scend-ent’ prices

By billn on April 01, 2019 #the market

‘The sale was led by Romanée Conti 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, with three 12-bottle lots selling for HK$2,728,000 / US$347,520 each’

I first mentioned this three-day sale at the end of January – it completed over the weekend, and, as expected, lots of dollars were spent.

Coche-Dury was the largest domaine represented with over 600 individual lots, and whilst they hardly feature in the headlines of the sale, the prices for their wines also far exceeded the pre-sale estimates. To quote Sotheby’s:

“…three-day sale of Tran-scend-ent Wines concluded with a grand total of HK$233,582,518 / US$29,756,077, far surpassing its pre-sale low estimate of HK$147 million / US$19 million, and with 98% of lots sold.”

Too late! I bet you forgot to put it in your agenda – eh?

a wine diet…

By billn on March 29, 2019 #degustation

But only because one of these was completely corked!

2014 Nicolas Maillet, Mâcon-Verzé
Another from this case – and just as good as the first!
A full, ripe, but fresh yellow citrus nose. Fuller of energy and flavour too – such a great balance to these 2014s – Love, and too quickly drunk!
Rebuy – Yes!

2009 David Clark, Bourgogne Au Pelson
A great looking cork, but…
What is this dirty nose, growing in dirty power – it is TCA – I won’t be drinking that then! I think a few more lay in the cellar, but it was easier to find this:

2012 des Varoilles, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos des Varoilles
Bang! What a great nose – I needn’t have worried about whether this wine was closed or not! Still some aromatic oak spice but beautiful fruit – even a little blue-skinned fruit in the mix – yes! In the mouth there’s decent acidity to balance layers of fine flavour – the oak still subtly present but it’s almost closed the door behind itself! Delicious wine, like that of Nicolas Maillet – too easy to drink. Excellent!
Rebuy – Yes


By billn on March 26, 2019 #seals (not the furry kind)#warning - opinion!

I tasted a lot of Beaujolais Blanc last week, and I must say that I feel fortunate to have been tasting this wine from the 2017 vintage – as, all-over Burgundy, the wines are more approachable in this vintage – and for both colours – because of that I found some good ones! But a large proportion of the wines were sealed with Nomacorc and my experience of these has been truly awful – dead wines in less than 1 year kind-of awful. I understand that there may have been some improvements to the ‘current model’ but I still remain quite shocked by the level of use.

They will have to go to some extreme lengths to prove to me that wines sealed this way are something I should buy! I also note, in what seems like a stroke of marketing genius, they are changing the name of their Nomacorc website – – to something that you could never, ever, guess:

My petite whinge du jour is now over…

the visits – week 12 2019…

By billn on March 25, 2019 #reports#travels in burgundy 2019

Above the ‘lucky’ winemakers I managed to visit last week on a whirlwind tour of practically the whole of (greater) Burgundy – I missed a little Mâcon, but there were representatives from the Auxerrois, Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte de Chalonnais and the Beaujolais. 100 wines tasted blind too.

Included were some well-known faces that I couldn’t fit in at the end of last year, 8 new domaines – first visits – for me, plus blind tastings of Vézelay, Irancy and Beaujolais Blanc. Hyper interesting, and as a partner-piece to my tasting, last year, of 2017-2006 Chablis with DIAM seals, last week I did similar with screw-caps – in this case comparing with their cork-sealed analogues – most intriguing results too! All in the March Report…

offer of the day – the market for 2017s

By billn on March 25, 2019 #the market

This offer came around once again – 6 months later from the same source.

It’s interesting to see how the market, at least for this vintage/producer and in this geographical location, is working:

  • All the reds are still available.
  • The Bourgogne Blanc and all the Meursaults are still available.
  • Half of the Pulignys are gone – there remains just the villages, the Perrières and the Clos de la Mouchère
  • Corton-Charlemagne is still available
  • All the Hyphen-Montrachets, and the Montrachet, are gone…

Interesting that only the most expensive whites are gone – though maybe this reflects that only a tiny quantity of wines that were available at this level…(?)

more pictures…

By billn on March 21, 2019 #travels in burgundy 2019

Views from the Côtes of Chalonnais, Beaune and Nuits today:

Burgundy Report

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