The latest winners in Chablis…

By billn on January 25, 2021 #annual laurels

Chablis today - 16h51...
Chablis today – 16h51…

I’m in Chablis this week to complete my tour of 66 domaines’ 2019s and a blind-tasting today of 66 (a coincidence!) 2019 Petit Chablis – and not a single one was corked!

From what better place to bring you the results of the Annual Concourse de Chablis which took place over the weekend. I am most-kindly invited to take part each year, but I equally kindly decline each year too – three weeks away from home in January is enough, without taking an additional weekend too – much as I enjoy what I do.

Anyway, from 321 samples, tasted by 46 jurors came 27 medalists in this 35th year of the tasting. The medals were mainly for wines from the 2019 vintage, except that the grand crus were from 2018 – so here you go – click the image for the results.

a new site

By billn on January 24, 2021 #other sites

I would say from a friend, certainly a co-taster at many a domaine. Guillaume Baroin, late of the RvF and since last year going it alone.

Here’s his new site – en Français – bien sûr! Enjoy if you’re interested.

well kept – weekend 4 2021

By billn on January 23, 2021 #degustation

drinks - weekend 4 2021

I often joke with winemakers that I’ve an ‘English palate’ i.e. I drink wine too young or too old – at least compared to them! For the latter category, how about 25 years for (an almost ready) villages and 8 years for a Côteaux Bourguignons? Actually, I’m still drinking some super Roty 2010 CB – though it had a Passetougrains label at that time…

1995 Grivot, Nuits St.Georges Les Lavières
Still very much a hit or a miss vintage. Grivot’s 1995 Nuits 1ers are drinking very well now, but this wine – which I could still enjoy – is still somewhat short of ‘charming.’ This nose is timid but clean – the palate still a little burly in that typical 1995 style. I’m sure I’ve 3 or 4 more of these, so no rush!
Rebuy – No because life is too short…

2012 Henry Fessy, Côteaux Bourguignons
A DIAM5 seal, the underside of which is full of dark, tartrate crystal – that’s the first time I remember seeing that on a DIAM! This wine, given the source, is almost certainly 100% gamay, and I think was bottled/labelled to celebrate the ne AOC of Côteaux Bourguignons
The nose is clean and young – there’s no real development here – indeed it’s sweetly inviting. The palate carries the merest suggestion of oak but is also super-silky. Strongly dark-red fruited. I find this disarmingly delicious. Great bang for the buck!
Rebuy – Yes

2012 Dampt Frères, Chablis Les Preuses
From magnum
Ohh, that’s a nose of chalky but inviting depth. Clean lines, freshness, padded citrus and than such an unfolding, wonderful, finish. A wine that drank superbly for two days – no problem! A great price and a great wine. Still a baby, but with none of the modest austerity I found in other 1er and grand cru 2012s this week.
Rebuy – Yes

wine conversations podcast – Anthony Hanson

By billn on January 21, 2021 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!

Much as I devoured the content of Clive Coates, it was Anthony Hanson who initially cemented my lust for writings about Burgundy. I began with a copy of his original Faber book, and then bought the reprint too.

I occasionally bump into him at a domaine when tasting – the last one being at Roulot – but not when tasting 2019s. As he points out – those of us who managed to keep up with the tasting schedule in France’s second ‘confinement‘ were pretty rare…

Whilst properly ‘playing the role’ of the wine-merchant, there’s not too much to argue with in his 2019 vintage analysis, simplified as it must be for less than 14 minutes of talking time. Worth your time, I think:

Anthony Hanson on 2019 Burgundy

offer of the day – olivier bernstein 2019…

By billn on January 21, 2021 #the market

A different Swiss merchant to my usual ‘offers.’ Very much a higher-end range!


Domaine Gevrey-Chambertin Les Champeaux 2019 75cl 286.00 Swiss Francs*

Clos de Vougeot 2019 75cl 528.00
Clos de Vougeot 2019 150cl 1,120
Charmes-Chambertin 2019 75cl 528.00
Charmes-Chambertin 2019 150cl 1,120
Clos deal Roche 2019 75cl 654.00
Clos deal Roche 2019 150cl 1,360
Bonnes-Mares 2019 75cl 795.00
Bonnes-Mares 2019 150cl 1,650
Mazis-Chambertin 2019 75cl 795.00
Mazis-Chambertin 2019 150cl 1,650
Chambertin 2019 75cl 1,200
Chambertin 2019 150cl 2,450
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2019 75cl 1,200
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2019 150cl 2,450

Or how about 1 each of the grand crus – a 7-pack mixed case? Yours for just 5,700 Swiss Francs

*Swiss tax included on these prices.
I did say ‘high-end!‘ It’s a long time since I visited OB; I found the wines superlative, but with prices, like chez Leroy, that are generally out of reach for easy to find AOCs. I contrast that to a domaine like DRC where you can, fairly, argue the same about prices – but for wines that are harder to find, or only available from that domaine, hence, my more regular visits there.

offer of the day – faiveley 2019…

By billn on January 20, 2021 #the market

I missed the 2014s, but here you can see the ‘progression’ of the prices (in Switzerland) for the 12s, 13s, 15s, 16s, 17s 18s and now the 2019s from the same Swiss merchant. The format here for the prices is simple: 2019 (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012) and — if not previously offered…

DOMAINE FAIVELEY 2019 – En Primeur

Pommard Rugiens 2019 75cl — (82.00, 75.00, 86.00, —)
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Issarts 2019 75cl 89.00 (—) Swiss Francs*
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 2019 75cl — (85.00, 79.00, 84.00, 78.00, 72.50, 69.80)
Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint-Georges 2019 75cl 115.00 (105.00, 99.00, 115.00, 98.00, 98.00, 98.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées 2019 75cl 139.00 (139.00, 125.00, 135.00, 128.00, 119.00, 119.00)
Chambolle-Musigny la Combe d’Orveau 2019 75cl 135.00 (135.00, 119.00, 132.00, 124.00, 119.00, 119.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 2019 319.00 (—)

Corton Clos des Cortons 2019 75cl 169.00 (169.00, 149.00, 169.00, 149.00, 139.00, 139)
Corton Clos des Cortons 2019 150cl 343.00 (343.00, 303.00, 343.00, 303.00, 283.00, 283)
Corton Clos des Cortons 2019 300cl 736.00 (736.00, 656.00, 736.00, 656.00, —, —)
Echezeaux 2019 75cl 178.00 (169.00, —, 165.00, 149.00, —, —)
Mazis-Chambertin 2019 75cl 209.00 (198.00, 178.00, 198.00, 179.00, 167.00, 169)
Mazis-Chambertin 2019 150cl 423.00 (401.00, 361.00, 401.00, 363.00, —, —)
Mazis-Chambertin 2019 300cl 896.00 (852.00,776.00, 852.00, 776.00, —, —)
Grands Echezeaux 2019 75cl 229.00 (198.00, 188.00, 208.00, 198.00, 198.00, —)
Latricières-Chambertin 2019 75cl 198.00 (189.00, 165.00, 189.00, —)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2019 75cl 299.00 (285.00, 249.00, 299.00, 278.00, 249.00, 235)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2019 150cl 603.00 (575.00, 503.00, 603.00, 561.00, 503.00, 475)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2019 300cl 1,256.00 (1,200.00, 1,056.00, 1,256.00, 1,172.00, —, —)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Les Ouvrées Rodin 2019 75cl 895.00 (875.00, 698.00, 745.00, 659.00, 598.00, 598)

Corton Charlemagne 2019 75cl 198.00 (189.00, 189.00, 189.00, 169.00, 169.00, 159)

*There is 7.7% Tax to add in Switzerland, but then these are delivered prices
For a long time, peak pricing chez Faiveley has been the frosted 2016 vintage – we have now returned to, sometimes exceeded, those price levels. Of course, 2019 is a lower volume red vintage with the 2020 following of similar or lower quantities – so don’t expect any respite… I could stop, if I wanted to…

a week at home – and finally the chance for some wine!

By billn on January 19, 2021 #degustation#travels in burgundy 2021

Chablis January 2021
Plenty of rain – Chablis 14 January 2021 – I didn’t fancy a dip in the Serein on this day…

My own version of dry January is down to my tasting schedule – three weeks of, and in, Chablis. Sometimes 80 wines in a day, but nothing in the evening – the number of domains with 20 or more samples is rare in this region but I did have three in a row one afternoon last week. I’m not the type to drink alone – so it’s good to get home for the weekend to share some glasses.

My 2019 house white – almost 3 cases drunk with friends over not just the summer months that year – was the Julien Brocard’s 2017 Biodynamic Chablis Boissoneuse so time to try a newer one:

2018 Julien Brocard, Chablis Boissonneuse
As with all this range, DIAM-sealed and topped with an orange wax.
Attractive though not a particularly saline nose. In the mouth there’s a fleshy depth to this texture but an undertow of minerality that would definitely have me thinking of Chablis, despite some textural comfort – more than the 2018 Fevre for instance. This has super clarity and a long and delicious finish. Very enjoyable
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Volnay
A high proportion of 1er cru juice included in this cuvée. This wine was a poster-child for that sub-set of 2005s that were tight and unyielding. I noted a slight easing of that situation 2 years ago and I’d say that the transformation is now complete – far from mature but it’s now drinking well.
A nose that’s open, has plenty of red-fruited depth and, shock, even the impression of a little textural comfort! The aspect of textural comfort is reflected in the flavour too – rounder than ever before, still with concentrated young fruit but of clarity, energy and depth. This has become a very attractive wine and one that also holds up very well after opening – I finished the last glass on the third day after opening and it was almost as delicious as the first two days. Now a very fine 2005 that you can drink – oh, and way back when, this cost less than the wine that follows!
Rebuy Yes

2016 Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Zaccharie
Hmm – that’s a nicely cushioned aroma of darker red fruit – very inviting. I love the texture here, the depth of fruit too – a young wine that’s drinking beautifully already. Nothing tertiary – all is pure fruit and much, much enjoyment. Bravo!
Rebuy Yes

3rd weekend of 2021, wines

2019 Red Burgundy – part 2 – Côte de Nuits

By billn on January 18, 2021 #reports

2019 Red Burgundy – part 2 – Côte de Nuits

The fourth in my series of 2019 Burgundy Reports is now online. To recap:
1. The whites part 1 – Mâconnais, followed by
2. The whites part 2 – Côte de Beaune
3. The reds part 1 – Côte de Beaune

Now my latest report, covering the reds of the Côte de Nuits is now online – here. This is Part 2 of my two 2019 Red Burgundy Reports.

This report covers the visits to taste 2019s at domaines #114 – #150 plus there others visited in July. It, naturally, includes and what and who I like, and rather than ‘just’ scores, actually recommends which wines to buy!

I hope that you enjoy this in-depth look. I’m also underway in Chablis tasting 2019s to start my white Burgundy Report – Part 3! – 44 domaines already visited and another 18 are planned for the last week of January – if I’m allowed to travel – fingers crossed!

Faiveley joins with Williams Selyem

By billn on January 14, 2021 #the market

There’s not that much news that’s really worth categorising as such these days, but hot into my inbox this morning, I think this is – a new tie-up between Nuits St.Georges and the Russian River Valley:

Faiveley - Williams-SelyemThe Faiveley family has purchased an important minority holding in Williams Selyem Winery, partnering with the Dyson family to ensure the winery continues to thrive for decades to come… …After 23 years running Williams Selyem, John and Kathe Dyson have decided to partner with the Faiveley Family to write the next chapter of Williams Selyem.

Click the linked image (right) for the full info/press release.

Burgundy Report

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