offer of the day – thibault liger-belair’s 2020s

By billn on January 19, 2022 #the market

Thibault Liger-Belair 2021Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair
2020 EP/Pre-Arrivals

Prices from my Swiss merchant. When offered, the prices of the 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015s (from the same source in previous years) are in brackets for comparison. Not offered is indicated by —
And still no Beaujolais!

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 75 cl La Charmotte 75cl 59.00* (55.00, 55.00, 52.00, 55.00, 49.50) (Swiss Francs)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Belles Croix 75cl 59.00 (55.00)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 1er Les Saint-Georges 75cl 148.00 (135.00, 125.00, 119.00, 118.00, 109.00)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 1er Les Saint-Georges 150cl 318.00 (285.00, 260.00, 248.00, 256.00, – )
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Aux Beaux Bruns 75cl 84.00 (75.00)
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Fouchères 75cl 84.00 (75.00)
VOSNE-ROMANEE Aux Réas 75cl 79.00 (75.00, 75.00, 69.50, 76.00, 69.50)

CORTON CLOS DU ROI 75cl 174.00 (159.00, 159.00, 159.00, 159.00, — )
CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 174.00 (165.00, 165.00, 159.00, 169.50, 158.00)
CHARMES-CHAMBERTIN 75cl 205.00 (175.00, 175.00, 169.00, — , — )
RICHEBOURG 75cl 550.00 (445.00, 425.00, 398.00, — , 395.00)
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 75cl 245.00 (—, 189.00, 189.00, 198.00, — )

*As always, these wines are without the 7.7% Swiss purchase tax but include the cost of delivery…
So, rises, but really of a modest level versus a number of producers’ 2020s…

There was wine over the weekend!

By billn on January 18, 2022 #degustation

Gambal 2005 Chambolle 1er Charmes & Gautheron 2019 Chablis Emeraude

But only a modest couple of bottles!

2019 Gautheron, Chablis Emeraude
A house wine since last April that has slowly taken on more precision – I like it much more now than 6 months ago – it’s all that I could wish for – except that most of the bottles have been drunk. I suppose I’d best replenish with some 2020s before they are all sold out – many in Chablis already are – even the ones not yet bottled!!!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
This cork was robust but soaked/stained red – almost the full length to the capsule – it looks like my timing was right for this one – not that anything was amiss with the contents!
Hmm – now that’s a nose! Not yet a fully mature nose of sous bois – but more than hinting at it – with round, generous and still deeply fruited aromas – it was a great invitation. The palate doubled-down on the nose; rich, sensuous, layered and completely delicious. What a wine! I guess I’m getting closer to the time to open the first of his 05 Amoureuses! Chambolle was the very epicentre of greatness in 2005!
Rebuy – Yes

2020 Red Burgundy – report now online…

By billn on January 17, 2022 #reports

2020 Beaune 1er BelissandNew online today for subscribers.

So that’s:
– My 2020 red vintage summary plus
– 67 new red domaines and their 2020s to add to
– 15 red domaines’ 2020s that were already online, plus
– 65 white domaines’ 2020s that were already online
There are a few 2020s from Beaujolais too – so that’s over 150 domaines and their 2020s now online.

In this 2020s tasting season, I may not match the 344 domaines’ 2019s that I’ve done over the last 12 months – there was one month less tasting time after the late harvest in 2021 – but I’m sure that I’ll still manage over 300 this year – open borders and good health permitting.

The new report is here – enjoy!

“Burgundy is always too hard or too soft – that there is no in between…”

By billn on January 12, 2022 #other sites

…this is the result of the flawed configuration of its unequal and disproportionate parts, which tear up the pores of the organ when they are not yet dulled; and which, becoming dulled afterwards, suddenly cease to make a sensory impression.

And of course, to counter:

The wine of Reims is thin, not quite wine-flavored, and acid, which, like most other white wines, has the strength to make urine, but very little to nourish and to warm.

Found today, and worth 15 minutes of your time…

Chablis week 2, trace-heating and other news:

By billn on January 11, 2022 #travels in burgundy 2022

Chablis - (near) Lignorelles
Chablis – (near) Lignorelles

It’s much colder in Chablis this week – and it’s supposed to be sunny too – but I’ve not seen much of that yet – maybe this afternoon! Anyway, this week I got here without recourse to any new car-parts – that will come next week when it’s service time!

And the 2020 vintage in Chablis after my first 30 domaine visits? Well, there are great wines – as I had expected – but there are also significant complications which I hadn’t anticipated. This will be an interesting report to write!

Water and cables…
What’s clear in Chablis is: the floodplains are doing their job! The river is high and the low-lying fields are underwater. The reservoirs are looking full and ready, should they be required to combat the frost in April/May. Some areas – particularly in Maligny – are starting to invest in trace-heating. These electric cables are quite expensive to install but the maintenance is low – certainly lower than the plumbing required for the aspiration. The environmental impact is lower than for aspiration too, and clearly, they can be used where there are no reservoirs. Maybe that’s also a way forward in the Côte d’Or; considering that Corton-Charlemagne in many places produced 1 barrel per hectare in 2021 and likewise, Bouchard’s Chevalier-Montrachet produced 2 barrels from 2.5 hectares of vines – that’s multiples of millions of euros lost in a single frost event…

Saint Vincent(s)
Last Monday, the Chablis Saint Vincent in Fleys was, once more, postponed due to covid. This event, originally planned for 2021, is now postponed for a second time but they don’t yet have a new date. This info automatically last week put the spotlight on Puligny, Blagny, Corpeau who were in exactly the same position, having also postponed from 2021. The team has put in a tremendous amount of work but admitted, last week, that the decision had been taken out of their hands as to whether the event transpired or not. Late on Friday, as anticipated by most of us, a postponement was announced. The new date is for the weekend at the end of the Grands Jours de Bourgogne – itself postponed from last year! Because of covid I haven’t registered for the Grands Jours so am also unlikely to be going to the Saint Vincent – and will either of them actually take place? I’m pessimistic. Just look at the rampant covid-positives from that famous super-spreader event in November – otherwise known as the Paulée de Meaursault. I will say no more on that subject!

I should also, probably, mention a wine or two:
There were a couple that I finished 2021 with:

1996 Darviot-Perrin, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Blanchots Dessus
A wine that Marko de Morey had kindly gifted me which I’d planned to open last Christmas – but last Christmas was a quarantine time (negative, but…) so I left it another year.
Like the earlier (1993) François Jobard, this was in great shape but it was a wine that needed aeration. It started very clean, direct, faintly of lanolin but was a bit austere and unforgiving. 4-5 hours in a decanter – required because the cork crumbled into dozens of bits and 40% of it never made it out the bottle – plop! – brought a broadening of the flavour and highlighted more the fruit. A sweeping, complex but still slightly austere thing which I liked a lot but had very little to do with young Blanchots!
Rebuy – Maybe

2001 Frederic Esmonin, Ruchottes-Chambertin
Easily the best red wine of Christmas – in the classic sense – ie everybody loved Stéphanie Colinot’s Irancy the most!
Deep and impressively aromatic – still clean but adding a depth of sous-bois notes – it’s maturing well. I was most impressed by the combination of concentration but also brilliant finishing energy – this was not just tasty wine, it was dynamic wine – bravo!
Rebuy – Absolutely!

And from last weekend, I won’t bore you with a note on the Thivin – my wife’s favourite label and a house wine of 2021 chez nous – this was just as good as all the other bottles – it’s also, I think, the penultimate of this case!

2010 Jean-Marc Bouley, Volnay 1er Caillerets
Am I allowed to be disappointed by one of Thomas’s wines? Well, what on earth could be amiss with the combination of 2010 and Caillerets in the hands of Thomas?
Well it’s obvious isn’t it – it just smells of vanilla – it tastes of vanilla too – and I really don’t like vanilla. I have nothing further to add…
Rebuy – No

A happy new year – from Chablis!

By billn on January 04, 2022 #travels in burgundy 2022

Peugeot - wonder wheels!
The short-term replacement steed of Burgundy Report – don’t ask me why Citroen provided a Peugeot 206 – but what a magnificent motor – just look at that paintwork! As a diesel, hardly run-in, with a mere 325,000km on the odometer…

My ‘working’ year – in terms of being out and about and as opposed to typing – started early on Monday. This was the small matter of 465km from Bern to Chablis via a quick stop in Beaune. 66 domaines are lined-up to visit in 3 weeks.

The first 445km of that seemed unremarkable; the usual lack of traffic on the Swiss A16, followed by the almost similarly quiet French A36 to Beaune. A parking space in Beaune’s Place Carnot was already waiting for me when I arrived – which tells you all you need to know about how busy Beaune was on the 3rd of January!

Having watered some plants and bought a sandwich in Beaune, it was time for the A6 to Chablis. There was more traffic on this road and closer to lunchtime the services were packed with people – perhaps this was a late wave of people heading back to Paris and their first working week of 2022…

The day got a bit more exciting when I exited the autoroute at Nitry. Whilst at the peage, I noted an unusual sound coming from her-Subaru-ness – and it seemed to be becoming more insistent! I parked, stopped the motor and quickly checked under the hood and under that car – all seemed secure. I restarted and the noise was still plain. It’s another 20km to Chablis – largely on easy straight roads – I decided to take a chance – cruise control set to 80km/h – which is modest by my standards – as there are a few garages in Chablis and clearly none in Nitry!

So then came the garage story – of course, you knew that all the garages would be closed on Monday – didn’t you(?) So given the resounding lack of help from both Renault and Peugeot, as luck would have it, Citroen were open – you just had to find them – because Google Maps has them at completely the wrong end of Rue d’Auxerre – and that road is quite long! Having finally found them, and limped into their parking, I only had to wait another 20 minutes for them to come back from lunch (it’s France, deal with it…) It was now time for the diagnosis: Ta-da! It was the alternator that was grinding away! Typical that this should happen 2 weeks before my next service – did I mention(?), the 500,000km service. On the other hand, this could have easily still happened the week after my 500,000km service – and that would doubtless have made me much more pissed!

But what nice people at Citroen, Chablis – not sponsored – as I actually had to pay nearly €500 for a replacement part to be fitted. Not only that, they lent me a trusty steed to get to all my appointments – and I was only 30 minutes late for the first one. This afternoon, I reluctantly returned their magnificent carriage as the Scooby-do was again raring to go.

So far, 7 of 8 scheduled appointments made and only 1 covid-cancellation… Hopefully, that cancellation percentage improves over the coming days. Onwards…

offer of the day – louis jadot 2020

By billn on December 30, 2021 #the market


As always, from my local, Swiss merchant. The 2019s, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 offer prices follow in the brackets to compare, and — means not offered…

Beaune Clos des Ursules Monopole 1er Cru 2020 75cl 64.00* (59.00, 64.00, 59.00, 59.00, 55.00) *(Swiss Francs)
Beaune Clos des Ursules Monopole 1er Cru 2020 150cl 133.00 (123.00, 133.00, 123.00)

Corton Grèves Grand Cru 2020 75cl 89.00 (85.00, 85.00, 79.50, 79.50, 79.00)
Corton Grèves Grand Cru 2020 150cl 183.00 (175.00, 175.00, 164.00)
Corton Pougets Grand Cru 2020 75cl 89.00 (85.00, 85.00, 79.50, 79.50, 79.00)
Corton Pougets Grand Cru 2020 150cl 183.00 (175.00, 175.00, 164.00)

Chambolle-Musigny Fuées 1er Cru 2020 75cl — (89.00, 89.00, 85.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Baudes 1er Cru 2020 75cl — (89.00, 89.00, 85.00)

Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er Cru 2020 75cl 175.00 (149.00, 155.00, 149.00, 145.00, 138.00)

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2020 75cl 149.00 (—, 149.00, 139.00, 138.00, 128.00)
Echézeaux Grand Cru 2020 75cl — (—, 209.00, 159.00)

Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2020 75cl 229.00 (209.00, 209.00, —, 188.00, 169.00)
Clos Saint Denis Grand Cru 2020 75cl 295.00 (288.00, 288.00, —, 269.00, 259.00)
Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2020 75cl 369.00 (328.00, 328.00, —)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 2020 75cl 369.00 (349.00, 349.00, 339.00)
Musigny Grand Cru 2020 75cl 895.00 (798.00, 798.00, 795.00)

Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1er Cru 2020 75cl 96.00 (85.00, 89.00, 89.00, 89.00, 88.00)
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2020 75cl 184.00 (165.00, 158.00, 148.00, 139.50, 119.00)
Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2020 75cl 359.00 (318.00, 298.00, 285.00)
Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles Grand Cru 2020 75cl 448.00 (389.00, 376.00, 348.00)
Montrachet Grand Cru 2020 75cl 649.00 (559.00, 549.00, —, 499.00, 428.00)

*Prices delivered, but without the 7.7% Swiss purchase tax…
Increases a little higher for the whites – but these are the aspirational bottles. Versus the similar reds, the increases are comparable – so they are not obviously trying to soften the blow for the 2021 prices – it’s just business!

a few festive wines – so far…

By billn on December 29, 2021 #degustation

Beaune 14 December 2021

Just from memory:
2019 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett
The name longer than the note! Low alcohol, sweet but so moreish – delicious wine…
2018 Laurent Martray, Brouilly Corentin
This is why I love this producer – so involving, beautiful fruit and suddenly the bottle is empty!
2010 JC Boisset, Aloxe-Corton 1er Les Valozières
Ooh – aromas and flavours almost so great – there’s just something in the background – brett? I think not as the wine gets better and better over three days and brett usually gets worse. Strange but still 90% of a great wine.
2019 Stéphanie Colinot, Irancy Les Cailles
Deeply coloured. What a nose of cassis! The palate powerful, concentrated – a fraternal friend of the Laurent Martray. A great, great Irancy!
1993 François Jobard, Meursault 1er Poruzots
Wow! A zing, a line of intensity – mineral and acid. More than a certain austerity! This wine needed air – 6 hours later it’s another wine – broad, concentrated yellow citrus and it’s a beauty – certainly stricter than the 93 Meursault-Charmes of a couple of years ago but a great wine!
1993 Ponsot, Griotte-Chambertin
Direct, very earthy, Vibrant energy – and acidity. Completely stable in this style. Honestly, considering the trilogy of place, maker and vintage a bit of a disappointment.
Thillardon, Pet Nat
Almost pink. Lightly petillant. Hmm, I like – it’s not sweet, like many a pet-nat, and leaves me with the impression of a cider. I found it very tasty – a winner!
1999 Vincent Girardin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
I bought 2 bottles a long time ago – the first was far too oaky – not my thing. Here we are 20 years later. Actually, there’s still quite a bit of coconut oak – in fact generally too much for me – but here is a wine of proper grand cru depth, energy and flavour complexity. They spoiled it to an extent but it was still good enough that every drop was drunk!

Of course, we are not yet done – enjoy your bottles too!

The 2020 white burgundy report (part 2) now online

By billn on December 23, 2021 #reports

Beautiful 2020 Corton-CharlemagneBeautiful 2020 Corton-Charlemagne…

Just a heads-up to let you know that this report is now online.

Together with part one which covered domaines from the Mâconnais to Bouzeron, that’s now 61 white (mainly) domaines published. Last year at this time I’d managed a dozen more but that was with an extra month of visiting time to play with – as the harvest was so early in 2020 – no such luxury this year!

Okay, onwards with the reds – probably not online before the 10th of January – but let’s see!


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