monday, so it must be the clos de vougeot

By billn on March 11, 2019 #degustation#events

Well, it could have been April given the variability of the weather – except that it was colder – the heavy bursts of rain often contained hail but they were punctuated by a beautiful blue sky. I saw 0.5°C as the lowest temperature on my early-morning trek over the Jura from Switzerland. One cloudburst of small hailstones had the effect of depositing 4-5cm of what looked like snow onto the autoroute – cars pirouetted, lorries jacknifed – not many people have winter tyres in France!

The 4-wheel drive, winter-booted Scooby danced through it all – but still had to beware of what others might do! Anyway today was the Trilogie en Côte de Nuits and my destination was the Clos de Vougeot to taste 2017 wines from 3 villages – Morey, Chambolle and Vosne – though there was also ‘Mini Me’ in the form of a small contribution from Vougeot too – I did have the impression that there wasn’t a lot of Chambolle on display. The first of these ‘Trilogies’ I attended was in a small cellar in Vosne to taste 2007s – some producers really haven’t improved since then – yes I’m looking at you Gros Frère et Soeur!

The rain was lashing when I arrived in Vougeot, and, of-course, cars were parked (abandoned!) everywhere – so a long hike with an umbrella was my choice. 1,000 people had registered for the tasting, so in circumstances like this you cannot taste everything – my choice was to taste all the Vosne-Suchots, Chambolle-Charmes, Echézeaux and Clos de la Roche that I could find in the room – there were surprisingly few of the 1er crus! Fortunately, a small, tasty, buffet lunch was included – necessary as, following my very early departure from Switzerland, my low sugar levels demanded action in the late morning.

Lots of old-faces to renew acquaintances and some good wines too – notes will follow-up in the reports section!

offer of the day – comte georges de vogüé 2017

By billn on March 08, 2019 #the market

Here you go – a long time since I saw a local offer for these – given the pricing, perhaps no surprise! These 2017s offered by my usual Swiss merchant.

DOMAINE COMTE GEORGES DE VOGÜÉ 2017 – En Primeur

2017 Chambolle-Musigny 75cl 149.00 *Swiss francs
2017 Bonnes-Mares 75cl 489.00
2017 Bonnes-Mares 150cl 998.00
2017 Musigny Vieilles Vignes 75cl 699.00
2017 Musigny Vieilles Vignes 150cl 1,418.00

*8% Swiss purchase tax to be added, but these are delivered prices. I remember buying my first bottles here in Switzerland (the Musigny) for 230 chf – but those were the 1998 and 1999s – of which I still have a few bottles. Whilst I won’t be jumping at these, just for comparison the recent (2016) vintage from DRC was sold out with the Corton at 410 chf and the RSV at 1,300 chf (both with a further 20% UK purchase tax to add) – so from this domaine’s perspective, perhaps their wines are too cheap!

three reds: average age 25 – including the 2014…

By billn on March 07, 2019 #degustation

1991 Vaudoisey-Creusefond Pommard 1er Epenots
A great year of the Côte de Nuits – in my experience – but less-so in the Côte de Beaune. My last couple of these – a few years back – were bacterially unstable – so I was flipping a coin here.
This smelled open, fresh and very clean – just a freshness over dried cranberry/raisin fruit. Hmm – the same on the palate – freshness – quite clean, cranberry-raisin – a dried but quite pure fruit. Wide, good depth. Long and tasty. A result! After 30 minutes the nose is developing some balsamic overtones but this wine stays quite stable – even the last third on day two was pretty good.
Rebuy – Maybe

1976 Tollot-Beaut, Aloxe-Corton
Clearly not the best seal as this cork starts to sink in the neck when pushed with the ah-so, but I still managed to get it out in one piece, so that was an achievement!
Brown wine, no doubt. The nose hovers between beef soup and balsamic though not directly of sherry. Mouth-filling, silky, despite the renown of the tannins of the vintage, and with a saline accent. The flavours, like the nose, certainly on the savoury side. Actually the shape and structure remain fine here – but flavour that only a mother could love. The remaining two-thirds will go for the beef bourguignone – I have 8-9 more of these, maybe 10 – so at worst, I’ll have plenty of beef bourguignone!
Rebuy – No

2014 Leclerc/Chézeaux, Griotte-Chambertin
Hmm, big, simmering cherry fruit – gives the impression of a little gas behind the aroma – subtle and interesting it is not – at least to start with. Ooh – but in the mouth: A narrow entry here, but a wine that grows and fills the palate with impressive speed. The acidity is fine and the the width and energy ramp up as you head into the finish – of-course it’s far too young – but it’s getting better and better with air… The nose over 3 hours, never really finds a nice place – in fact I almost have the impression of a little of this other 2014 from them – though, nose apart, that Chambolle has much more depth and dimension – it’s a far better wine.
Rebuy – No

offer of the day – clos des lambrays 2017

By billn on March 06, 2019 #the market

In the wake of all the winemaker changes, it’s almost possible to forget that there is also some wine that they wish to sell! So here you go – the 2017 for you from the usual Swiss merchant. Only the grand cru is offered, so no 1er cru and no whites. Like in 2016, almost full yields here in 2017.

In the brackets, you can see the price comparison with the last three vintages, in the format 2017 (2016, 2015, 2014). – – means ‘not offered.’

DOMAINE DES LAMBRAYS 2017 – En Primeur

GRAND CRU
2017 Clos des Lambrays 75cl 238.00 (225.00, 199.00, 159.00) *Swiss francs
2017 Clos des Lambrays 150cl 481.00 (455.00, 403.00, – -)
2017 Clos des Lambrays 300cl 1,012.00 (960.00, 856.00, – -)

*8% Swiss purchase tax to be added, but these are delivered prices. Slowly creeping up, but only slowly…

some weekend wines – week 9 2019

By billn on March 04, 2019 #degustation

A couple of ‘grand’ but ‘ordinary’ wines before their bigger brothers and sisters. Those bigger brothers and sisters had more of everything, but were not necessarily more delicious – there is much value to be found in Burgundy – still!

2017 Céline & Frédéric Gueguen, Sacy ‘Cépage Confidential’ Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire
Already in bottle for a year now. Sealed with a DIAM-style ‘cork’ but from Trescases…
Big, wide, saline nose – a little more pungent impression below – very attractive, even compared to the Meursault. More open, more saline, less intense but a fine fresh width. Less long too but a delicious thing – like a salted agrumes. A hard cepage to find, but worth a little searching!
Rebuy – Yes

2010 François Gaunoux, Meursault 1er Gouttes d’Or
Not the longest cork here – but in perfect shape.
Hmm – an intense lemon yellow. The nose starts almost a little structural and angular, but aeration brings some cushion and a rounder impression – a little more flesh too. Wide, citrus, intense citrus, mouth-watering, holding a long line. A little custard style to the flavour. Long finishing in a lemon-custard style. Something of baby that starts angular and becomes ever-more welcoming with air, ever-more delicious too though I’m not sure that I would have guessed Meursault.
Rebuy – Maybe

2010 Joseph Roty, Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire
Since 2012 this wine is labeled Côteaux Bourguignone – it’s 100% pinot. A perfect cork of modest dimensions.
What a wine! Drunk over three nights as a chaser for the other bottles – it started aromatically dumb on the first night, was beautiful on the second and even more beautifully perfumed on the third. Mouth-filling, fresh, nice energy, still quite young with an ever-growing depth and tension to the flavour. Simpler, for sure, but no less delicious than the following wine – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2000 Vougeraie, Clos de Vougeot
The most impressively long and young looking cork.
Ooh – exciting, deep, leafy, sweet with a touch of white mushroom. Fresh, very wide over the palate, ingraining the tongue with flavour, so mouth-watering and with super length. Not necessarily more delicious than the Roty, but certainly with a much longer list of available adjectives – if that’s your penchant! Gorgeous, gorgeous wine – narrow finishing, but also very long finishing.
Rebuy – Yes

jean-marc & hughes pavelot’s 2000 savigny dominode

By billn on March 01, 2019 #degustation

2000 Jean-Marc & Hughes Pavelot, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Dominode
Plenty of colour. The nose settles with some slightly balsamic notes in an otherwise attractive width of mature red fruit – faintly spiced. Nice lines, and despite plenty of earthy rubble that has formed in the base of this bottle there’s more than a lick of tannin that remains. Still, whilst a charcterful wine, it’s never rustic. It’s a fine and broad width of middle and finishing flavour, though after an hour I can sense some developing brett. The conclusion is clear – take less than 1 hour to drink this wine – bring in friends if you have to. It’s a robust wine, and apart from the brett there remain many youthful aspects. This wine was at its best between 05-15 years of age – it’s still very drinkable, but not on the same level.
Rebuy – No

‘bourgogne vs. burgundy – what’s in a name?’

By billn on February 28, 2019 #site updates#warning - opinion!

I dismissed the BIVB‘s press release about this last year, probably because I had better things to do around the time of the harvest – actually it was the 12th September, so I’m sure I’d probably finished by then – but I digress!

In essence, they want to change the way that others speak:

“To re-affirm its identity as one of the most iconic vineyard of France, the region and its producers are reverting back to the original French iteration of its name: Bourgogne.”

They say that if we all revert to ‘Bourgogne’ then it will aid them in “maintaining one true identity.” It’s not just a swipe at Anglo-Saxons like me, but also Germans and any number of other ‘non-French translations’ of Bourgogne. It sounds like the first step on the road to ‘Frexit’ to me!

To be honest, I’d completely forgotten about this, until last week, when a stalwart of the BIVB asked me why I don’t ‘change to using the word Bourgogne instead?’ Whilst not fully prepared for an in-depth rebuttal, I did manage to muster that when the French officially stop referring to Angleterre or États-Unis d’Amérique or Londres, and adopt local usage, I would begin to think about it!

It seems to me a silly thing to spend time on, particularly in a region where many of its rules and classifications derive from what are described as traditions that are ‘loyaux et constants‘ i.e. they are trustworthy, established practice.

I know that I’m going through a site update – online, hopefully, by the first week in April – but I’m still not planning to rename the site to Bourgogne Reportage! Not yet, anyway 😉

old, but not past it* bourgogne blanc

By billn on February 28, 2019 #degustation

*Past it – informal British:
Too old to be of any use or any good at anything!

But it seems that the ‘good luck lightningcan still strike twice in the same place!

1996 Patrick Javillier, Bourgogne Cuvée Forgets
A nose of some weight, freshness and faint truffle. Round, vibrant but with very balanced acidity – none of uncomfortable intensity of some 1996s. Long. You would never guess Bourgogne – super-wine! A second bottle of this (yes, there was more!) was more tired – so – not in my glass, thank-you 🙂
Rebuy – No Chance!

1996 Michelot, Bourgogne Blanc
More bright and floral aromatics – less what I’m expecting – but still quite the invitation to drink. Also vibrant in the mouth. More intense flavour, delicious and showing a little extra floral complexity, slightly less round than the Forgets.
Rebuy – No Chance!

Both completely delicious, but the Javillier (bottle number 1!) edged it for me.

tart > devauges < lambrays

By billn on February 27, 2019 #producer update#the market

Well, that didn’t take long, did it(?)

I alluded to it yesterday, and the same evening, LVMH (via Reuters) and La Revue du Vin de France, chose to make it official within 10 minutes of each-other:

Jacques Devauges has left the Clos de Tart, to take a short walk through the village, to take over from Boris Champy as the new head at Domaine des Lambrays – paint me shocked!

Burgundy Report

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