2020 Beaujolais Report – online…

By billn on April 21, 2022 #reports

Moulin à Vent - February 202068 domaines visited in February – all the reports plus my summation are now online. There are also another 14 from Beaujolais which will come in the March Report.

As of the end of February, that’s the wines and thoughts of over 290 domaines that have been published since beginning my tour of Burgundy’s 2020 vintage – and you can be sure that I didn’t stop in March!

One or two domaines, during bottling for instance, are preferring (already!) to show their 2021s – but for now, they remain rare – the normal changeover to the new vintage comes around July. I’ve another 43 domaines already visited so will easily pass 350 domaines before the 21s start to dominate.

Anyway, enjoy the 2020 Beaujolais Report – there is much to enjoy in this vintage, despite higher than average alcohols…

early april visits…

By billn on April 19, 2022 #reports#travels in burgundy 2022

Early April 2022 visits

Okay, that was a nice week’s holiday, I’ll put some images of the places visited online tomorrow. But now it’s time to get the site back in order.

Later this week the Beaujolais 2020 report will be online, but first a peek at the visits that I started this month with. See how many you can name – enjoy!

offer of the day – william fevre 2020

By billn on April 15, 2022 #the market

From my usual Swiss importer source. The prices of the 2019s, 2018s, 2017s, 2016s and 2015s from previous years are in brackets for you to compare (— means not offered).

CHABLIS Village 75cl 24.00 (—, 22.00, 22.00, 22.00, 19.00) Swiss Francs*
CHABLIS Vaillons 75cl 42.00 (39.50, —)
CHABLIS Montmains 75cl 42.00 (—)
CHABLIS Montée de Tonnerre 75cl 54.00 (49.50, 48.00, 48.00, 45.00, 42.00)
CHABLIS Preuses 75cl 79.50 (79.50, 78.00, 78.00, 75.00, 65.00)
CHABLIS Preuses 150cl — (—, 161.00, —)
CHABLIS Bougros Côtes de Bouquerots 75cl 84.00 (84.00, 79.00, 79.50, 79.00, 65.00)
CHABLIS Les Clos 75cl 105.00 (98.00, 94.00, 89.00, 89.00, 75.00)
CHABLIS Les Clos 150cl 225.00 (211.00, 193.00, —)

The first two grand crus holding (price) station – but not the Clos! Considering that 2020 at all the Chablis domaines is sold out, and that most of the (short-vintage) 2021s are already reserved, these prices seem to exhibit quite some restraint!
*The prices are ‘delivered’ but will attract another 7.7% Swiss purchase tax.

largely, weekend wines – week 14 2022…

By billn on April 14, 2022 #degustation

Travelling in Burgundy this week – but to places such as southern Beaujolais, Châteauneuf, Château Commarin, Flavigny and others – rather than domaine visits – but there will be some images posted over the weekend. Also, a week, largely, away from the keyboard – but there have still been some wines:

As you may note from one of the images, an important birthday for one of us – the other of us has the same milestone in a few more months!

2008 Marc Roy, Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Prieur
The colour shows plenty of maturity – the nose likewise – but the aromas are of attractive sous-bois and none of the occasional herbacity of this vintage – it’s a fine invitation. In the mouth – yes – nothing acidic or strident about this 2008; here we have a roundness of fine flavour, modestly cushioned. Delicious, beautifully packaged wine – indeed, almost a voluptuous wine – yet completely balanced. Blind, I think I may have been guessing a 2006!
Rebuy – Yes!

2019 Les Pinot Blacks, Irancy
Subscribers will have known for a long time that I really rate this wine. It’s very early to say, but this is, by some distance, the greatest young Irancy that I ever tasted. I’m sure that it has the change to be the greatest oldest too – but time is not on my side to confirm that 🙂 Made in, perfectly judged, whole-cluster style – Bravo.
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Bessin-Tremblay, Chablis 1er Montmains
Note the label-change (from Jean-Claude Bessin) for this vintage.
In a vintage with many problem wines from the region, here is an assuredly great wine – fabulous stuff! Bravo again!
rebuy – Yes

1962 Servin, Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
I worry; the cork – although it comes out in one piece – doesn’t smell at all nice. But I pour a sample to better appraise.
Plenty of colour but still properly golden – despite my worries, the smell is very nice, the wine is clearly fine. Growing with lanolin, creamy notes then beeswax and slowly honey too. In the mouth ripe lemon, a suggestion of oxidative style but no real oxidation. Lovely acidity and a generosity of middle and finishing flavour. Great old wine – blind (or blond suggests google), I wouldn’t for a moment think ‚Chablis‘ but bravo – clearly a rare treat! Not just stable for the 2 hours we take to drink all of it – it grows larger and more interesting in every direction!
Rebuy – No Chance!

2017 Louis Latour, Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles
The ‘backup’ birthday wine!
Here’s a fine and incisive nose – impressively floral perfumed too – not just acacia but almost a faint lilac too. In the mouth the first impression is also incisive and mineral – the texture more impressive than the Chablis. Slowly an extra barrel-derived cushioning becomes apparent too. This is a wine that’s clearly being drunk a little on the young side – but what clarity and purity despite the padded cushioning of the barrels. Clearly a great wine – which in an ideal world I might start to drink in another 3 to 5 years when the oak is less visible.
Rebuy – Yes

Some days in Chablis…

By billn on April 09, 2022 #travels in burgundy 2022

There was a mix of sun and rain this week in Chablis – and, of course, starting with the frosty Sunday-Monday.

More on the frost after tonight’s brush with 0°C – or lower. More later, too, on the moon-scapes of herbicide treated vines – but that’s not just a Chablis problem – you’re almost as likely to find herbicide in the grand crus of the Côte d’Or, as you are to find it in the grand crus of Chablis, sad to say…

‘frostwatch’ – 2022 part 2

By billn on April 04, 2022 #vintage 2022

Vine caterpillar
Blagny – last Wednesday – they were everywhere.

Less than one week ago, it was munching caterpillars that were the main cause of ire for vigneron(ne)s – of course, for the moment, they have been forgotten.

Looking at things from afar, it doesn’t look good: Part of the départment of Champagne (Marne) registered the lowest (non-alpine) April temperature since 1947 when French records began: -9°C, with more than 90% of France being touched by the frost of Sunday into Monday – seemingly it was only Paris that escaped it.

Look closer – at least in (greater) Burgundy – and I’m more optimistic:

  1. Although the frost has arrived at the same time as in 2021, the vines in 2022 are generally a few days behind their position in 2021 – the buds are mainly in their ‘cotton’ stage and few of them are open – just a few in the most precocious locations and/or very young vines – and, as ever, it’s the chardonnay that is the most precocious.
  2. Although it makes for dramatic photos (see the tweet below) there are generally fewer candles in the vines right now than was the case in 2021.
  3. Unlike the black, Winter, frost of 2021, we have seen a more classically Spring-frost this time – so the wind turbines have some utility this year.
  4. The frost lasted multiple (7-10) days in 2021 – it looks like no more than 2-3 days this year.
  5. The lowest temperature on Sunday/Monday in Chablis (which was slightly colder than the Côte d’Or) was around -6.5°C – though one domaine has told me -9°C also in Vaillons – more generally -3° to -5°C. The positive for the growers was that it was quite dry in the vines (except where they have been using water-sprays!). They have a little more concern for Friday and Saturday night where temperatures were closer to -2°C but the buds were wet from snow and rain. Today there was zero evidence of snow on the hills of Chablis – I arrived at lunchtime to a sunny Spring day.
  6. I have heard, however, that Courgis may have fared less well than the rest of Chablis – let’s see – I’ll be there on Thursday!

So losses for sure – the fertility of even the unopened buds can be affected by low temperatures. Other than a potentially cold night next Saturday, the worst seems now to be over and certainly no frost is forecast for the next days except for the caveat for Saturday.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.

weekend wines, week 13 2022…

By billn on April 03, 2022 #degustation

weekend wines - week 13 2022

To accompany the heaviest snow of this winter at home:

2018 Auvigue, Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles-Vignes
The nose reflects the palate – round, a certain richness, but somehow still inviting. The palate is fleshy and quite delicious but the generosity of this wine would be taken to a, more interesting, higher level with a touch more energy and/or acidity. Tasty for sure, but my eye is starting to wander before the first glass is drained…
Rebuy – No

2019 Dr Loosen, Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
Of- course, there is sweetness but the deliciousness, more importantly, the moreishness, that was lacking in the last can be found here 10x over. The 9% means that you can drink more of it too! The tiniest fault is only one brought about by my lack of patience – a faint extra whisp of SO2 at the end of the, otherwise super, nose. A treat!
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Bouchard Père, Volnay 1er Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot
What a great cork – hardly a mm of wine ingress. The wine has depth of colour and weight of aroma – good aroma – that’s showing some signs of development but still of power. The palate is concentrated yet beautifully balanced. Day 1 showing a little young but very drinkable, indeed enjoyable. Day 2 and the wine is more sullen, less open but has not moved in the direction of any faults – it’s just tighter. A fine bottle whose best time is certainly still to come.
Rebuy – Yes

The 109th edition of the Tastevinage tasting

By billn on April 01, 2022 #degustation

And as I have the theme of Clos de Vougeot (yesterday) what better than the results of the twice-yearly Tastevinage, held by Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, which was held in the château just a week ago?

This tasting was on Friday 25th March and included 442 wines that were assessed, blind, by the tasters.

Of the 442, 147 of these wines were assessed as meriting the Tastevinage label, of which 50 wear a Bourgogne label, 61 villages, 33 premier cru and, finally, 3 grand crus – there seem to be relatively fewer and fewer grand crus, and even 1er crus, presented these days. There are lots of new names on this list that I hope to discover this year; Galopière, Desertaux-Ferrand, Ponsard-Chevalier and others.

If you click on this link, you can find the list of successful producers and their wines.

the charity clos de vougeot for the abbaye de cîteaux

By billn on March 31, 2022 #degustation#events

Chateau du Clos de Vougeot in November 21...

In just over one week – Friday April 8th 2022 – Sotheby’s will commence an online charity auction of wines from Burgundy. The final recipient of these funds will be the Cistercian Abbey of Cîteaux, established in 1098.

The syndicate of producers of Clos de Vougeot and the Fondation du Patrimoine – so a group of domaines in addition to the syndicate – are coming together for this event in order to aid the restoration and conservation of the Définitoire of Cîteaux Abbey in Burgundy. Those additional domaines from up and down the Côte d’Or donating wines (red and white) as additional lots for the auction.

Twenty four* of the syndicate of producers of Clos de Vougeot have donated wine from their 2020 vintage. The elevage of this assembly has been entrusted to Château de la Tour with a planned bottling time in September 2022. There is a little over 2-barrels worth of wine – 570-litres – that has been set aside for this auction.

*Clos de Vougeot Contributors: Domaine d’Ardhuy, Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils, Domaine Capitain-Gagnerot, Domaine Charlopin-Parizot, Domaine du Clos Frantin (Albert Bichot), Domaine Drouhin-Laroze, Maison Dufouleur Frères, Domaine d’Eugenie, Domaine Faiveley, Domaine François Lamarche, Domaine Jacques Prieur, Maison Joseph Drouhin, Maison Louis-Jadot, Domaine Méo-Camuzet, Domaine Michel Noëllat, Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg, Château Philippe le Hardi, Domaine H. Rebourseau, Maison Remoissenet, Domaine René Dubois, Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Château de la Tour, Domaine de la Vougeraie.
Contributors of other lots: Domaine Marquis d’Angerville, Domaine du Comte Armand, Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur, Domaine Henri Boillot, Domaine Bonneau du Martray, Domaine Dujac, Domaine des Hospices de Beaune, Domaine Kloster Eberbach, Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Domaine des Lambrays, Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Leroy, Château de Vosne Romanée – Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, Domaine Jacques Frédéric Mugnier, Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Domaine Emmanuel Rouget, Domaine Georges Roumier, Domaine Armand Rousseau, Domaine Taupenot-Merme, Domaine Comte George de Vogüé.

In addition, on Saturday, April 23rd 2022, there will be a charity dinner in the Château du Clos de Vougeot – which includes a tour of the Abbaye de Cîteaux – tickets for this 5-course charity dinner are available online and cost €228 per person. The internet auction will close during this dinner. Honourary guests will include the Abbot of Cîteaux, Father Pierre-André Burton, Aubert de Villaine, and Guillaume Poitrinal who is the president of the Fondation du Patrimoine – plus, of course, multiple winegrowers who are supporting this project. Arnaud Orsel of the Tastevinage, headquartered in the Château du Clos de Vougeot makes the following comment “Seat of the Climats de Bourgogne World Heritage Site, the Château du Clos de Vougeot was owned and occupied by the monks for more than seven hundred years. It was only natural then to put our savoir-faire at the service of Cîteaux Abbey by conceiving, organizing and hosting this charity auction which will take place in the Great Cistercian Cellar.

The wine…

A label has been designed for this cuvée that amply highlights the link to the Abbey of Cîteaux – done with pure-gold elements that are redolent of the old texts and manuscripts of the monks. The label is the work of artisan caligrapher Christelle Sordel – and took her over 80 hours to complete the original artwork.

Clos de Vougeot 2020 Cuvée Cîteaux

2020 Clos de Vougeot, Cuvée de l’Abbaye de Cîteaux
Tasted today. Only 13.5°, which is modest for 2020, likewise there’s plenty of colour but this is far from saturated. Hmm, that‘s a sophisticated nose – wide, faintly oak-spiced and saline with some implied silk to the aroma – still, it’s a little tighter in the higher tones as there’s no obvious floral component here – today. In the recent run of warmer vintages, you can forget the old chestnut of ‘austere Clos de Vougeot;‘ this wine is framed by the most modest of tannin – über-fine-grained – and whilst this tannin modifies the texture so that it becomes more velvet in textural style, this tannin has no dryness. Balanced, with fine width of flavour, delivered in layers – some oak complexity here for sure. A wine that’s neither overtly vibrant nor mineral but soothing, complex and certainly well-concentrated, like the nose, there remains impressive sophistication. Not an obviously grand vin today but with more elevage to come, it is still a very good, potentially excellent, grand cru – and with zero faults. Almost too tasty for young CV!

In French you may see some of the scope of the rennovation:

Burgundy Report

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