this points nonsense is exactly that, nonsense – but don’t blame the wine…

By billn on June 25, 2019 #degustation#warning - opinion!

Or should I simply say ridiculous?

Let me get two things out of the way to start with:

  1. 2017 is a great vintage for white burgundy
  2. I also loved and highly recommended this wine in my December 2018 report for subscribers:
    2017 Ladoix
    A relatively new contract since 2015. It needed some work to sell to regular clients but now is starting to go very well. 30% new oak again.
    A vibrant nose – fresh, mineral and cut with citrus – yes! More density, more depth – ooh this great! Mineral, concentrated and beautifully pure – I could drink this every day – bravo!

But 98 points for a village? On the positive side, whoever reviewed this wine can indeed spot a great wine in its segment, but on the other hand, they render any scoring system completely meaningless – or perhaps, as Clive Coates once said, “Scores are in context!“…

vintage 2019 update

By billn on June 25, 2019 #vintage 2019

It’s going to get hot this week – 40° hot. Many are the domaines that are altering their work schedule to cope – starting their days in the vines between 5-6am and finishing at lunchtime – at least the outdoor portion of their duties!

I briefly saw Mark O’Connell in the vines on Sunday (right, in his Pommard 1er Grand Clos des Epenots) and he told me “The foliage looks great, it looks like I haven’t got very big yields, but compared to what I’ve had in most years – 2018 excepted – I’m happy. So far nothing to worry about in terms of maladies, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Last week saw many domaines starting work on both their palissage – that’s securing the growing shoots between the wires to guard against the wind – and their hedging/pruning – i.e. cutting the tops off the quickly growing vines. This hedging usually only starts when the flowering is done and is most quickly done with a tractor and a cutter to mow the tops of the vines, but more and more domaines are choosing to use the old method of multiple people using hand-shears. As one grower confided “I’ve got 10 workers in the vines – I’ve got to keep them busy doing something! But joking aside, I’m doing this more and more by hand as that’s one less visit in the vines with a heavy tractor, compacting the soil.

Flowering has been over for a while in some places, but Chablis and the Côte Chalonnaise were not yet over at the weekend – but it will be close to finished anytime now. I spoke with Eduard Parinet, who has vines in both Pouilly-Fuissé and in Moulin à Vent and he tells me that the vines, in both places, have recovered better than they could have hoped for following the frost of 05 April. The losses, however, are still estimated to be in the order of 25-30%.

Then there’s the question of the heat this week; The growth of the vines has been luxurious, despite not so much rain this year – another grower, Elodie Roy, told me yesterday “Thank god for the rain that we had on Friday night/Saturday morning – I’ve 1,200 new vines planted – I really didn’t want to be out in the heat with my watering can!” Of course, growth will slow if Burgundy touches 40°C – the plants tending to shut down to protect themselves from excess, but the weather pattern may cool a little and become stormy early next week – let’s see!

au revoir, auprès du clocher!

By billn on June 23, 2019 #sad losses...

I visited Aupres du Clocher this week, an institution for the last years in Pommard, but learned that it is closing in 3 weeks. Probably most famous for their ‘Mousse tiède d’époisses au pain d’épices et sa tartine‘ – or a cappuccino of epoises to you and me – a dish that’s been much copied in the last years.

There will be new owners in Pommard, so the village will still have its restaurant in the church square, but all is not lost for the cheese cappuccino lovers! Jean-Christophe Moutet’s restaurant is moving and changing its name – Au Fils du Clos is the new name and they expect to be opening towards the end of August – but in Meursault!

The new place will be just across the road from Domaine Roulot. I’m looking forward to it!

Burgundy’s Cave Prestige 2019

By billn on June 21, 2019 #annual laurels

BIVB Cave Prestige 2019

Yesterday (Thursday) evening was the annual announcement of Burgundy’s Cave de Prestige 2019 – the 48th presentation of these awards, and from the photo, it looks like everyone was a winner, but actually, that wasn’t the case this year!

The BIVB had a much harder time with growers this year – last year almost 20% of the samples entered for blind tasting were selected for the cave prestige, this year they decided that that was too much – as a consequence, only 12.5% were retained from this year’s tastings. That lower number had nothing to do with the vintage, rather that they set the bar higher, preferring not to have too many examples of the sam AOP. Consequently, a lot of time was spent on the phones with vignerons, explaining why their wine wasn’t selected this year!

Despite that higher bar to winning, 137 domaines had wines chosen – versus 218 last year – and the selected wines represent virtually all of Burgundy’s 84 AOPs. Many samples were on display, but I must say that I felt a little fatigued and after 33 whites, I decided it was better to have a sit down before heading home! I’ll publish my notes in the June report…

The BIVB hasn’t yet publicly released the official list of the winning wines, but I’ll publish it here when it’s available.

[EDIT] Here you go (right):

planned and unplanned runs plus craftmanship…

By billn on June 20, 2019 #travels in burgundy 2019

Two runs today – the first unplanned – I forgot my lunchtime appointment with a winemaker! He reminded me after about 30 minutes of lateness – shit!!! I strapped on my running shoes and made it from Place Carnot to Beaune’s train station (the restauarant in the Hotel de Beaune) in under 3 and a half minutes – and that was despite the cars on the Boulevard, oh and the sandwich that I’d eaten one hour earlier 😉

My second run was more planned – through the vines and hills of Beaune’s most southern hill and back. Underway I noted some construction in the vines – In Vignes Franches just under Clos des Mouches and next to Pertuisots. It’s probably Jadot here, near their Clos des Ursules (I’ll ask them), but what a great work of craftsmanship is underway, refurbishing the old stone cabotte here:

the good, the…

By billn on June 20, 2019 #degustation

2013 Arnaud Ente, Meursault
I tasted this blind. So fresh – both aromatically and in the mouth – like a spear of flavour. I decided it must be 2014 or 2017 from this profile, but there was also a twist of the spiced sun – could it be 2015? I’d already seen the big blue wax top so had Ente in mind, so really thought that he could produce a 15 like that – no I decided to stay with 2014 because I felt that there was a bit of age to this wine. It turned out to be 2013 – so young for that, but now that little extra ripeness makes sense even if it didn’t recall apricot – simply a great 2013!
Rebuy – Yes

2016 Georges Noellat, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Beaux Monts
Also tasted blind. A silky nose – with a bit of drive – yet also relatively compact. The last drops in the glass showing a volatile balsamic note. In the mouth, this is like the nose – drive to the flavour, relatively narrow – very good texture but no finish to write home about, not much oak showing though. My guess was 2016 – for the combination of concentration and depth of young colour – Côte de Nuits, quite well made – but probably a Bourgogne given the short finish. I was quite shocked when revealed.
Rebuy – No

Despite the hype over this domaine, I’ve not visited Maxime Cheurlin very often at Georges Noellat, despite liking both him and his dog! The main reasons are; 1) I find the wines in elevage too oaky for my palate and 2) given the very long elevage, my normal tasting time simply doesn’t suit evaluating the wines at that time – gas, oak, reduction – you name it. For those reasons I never found a lot of interest in the wines, though bottled wines tasted with him have always been lovely – but this wasn’t and it certainly didn’t warrant the tariff. I offered two different (good!) winemakers the chance to taste the wine – both thought a little volatile, one opined a Bourgogne, the other ‘possibly’ villages – both, like me, got the vintage.

Burgundy Report

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