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Random ruminations

beaune vignoble - july 2005
The Beaune Vignoble looking towards Corton, July 2005

Red Withdrawal #1:
It’s over 30°C and it’s hard to open a bottle of red – even one that’s spent a couple of hours in the refridgerator – my normally modest consumption of white is currently ‘immodest’ and being further augmented by Alsacienne and German wines. Talking for a second of whites, I’m pleased to have found a source for the wines of Domaine Leflaive; these are not just any old whites of course, particularly when there are still bottles of Le Montrachet available (2000 and 2001) despite (I heard) only about 300 bottles a year being produced – this is one I’ll be keeping secret! By the way, the 93 Bourgogne is very nice today.

Red Withdrawal #2:
You can easily overcome red withdrawal #1 if you make plenty of visits to producers; cool cellars and many barrels etc., I seem roughly on a par (if not slightly ahead) in terms of my visits to the Côtes this year, but timing has not been my forte, too many bubbling barrels and mouthfuls of spritz. Still as you read this, things will start turning around. Pre malo tastings indicate many highs but not much consistency in 2004.

Lock-up Everything:
It seems that there are a significant number of ‘trophy hunters’ in our midst – and some of them must be superhuman. I noted several chipped or missing stone-markers in the vineyards of the Hospices de Beaune and come to think of it they do look rather cool – and even I could lift one. But who would steal the large finials on the gate halfway up the side of the the Clos Saint Jacques? Corinne Rousseau told me that one man couldn’t lift one, and note, the top of the wall is 2.5 metres off the ground. Actually, Corinne confides, they’ve been stolen twice so
are now concreted in!

The market for 2003 Burgundy seems to be holding-up quite well despite currency, yields, typicité, etcetera. The reds have found homes relatively easily, though whites are finding it tougher. Interestingly the whites have improved aplenty since bottling – most seem to be much fresher than when tasted from barrel, but from a style perspective they still don’t quite make it for me, and it’s not a question of price.

So a little thin this issue and a little too ‘red’ – sorry – but too much work, not enough spare time. Anyway I hope you enjoy the Hospices article, next stop the Hospices de Nuits.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?