Archive for 2019

  • The Christmas Season: 2018 Reports
    December 22nd, 2019
    We are coming to the end of the year and in theory it is time to wind down for Christmas – but I do still have some work to do! Having been tasting the 2018 vintage so intensely over the last six weeks I now have to fine tune my...
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  • Auction preview: Hospices de Beaune 2019 barrel tasting notes
    November 13th, 2019
    We are gearing up for action for the 2019 Hospices de Beaune auction – number 159 in all - which takes place in Beaune this Sunday. Feel free to buy a barrel or two, or just enjoy my tasting notes on the 50 different cuvées of this superlative 2019 vintage....
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  • Harvest 2019: Picking begins
    September 17th, 2019
    So what happened to the rain? For once the vignerons were desperately hoping for some instead of praying for it to stay away. At one point the remnants of the Caribbean hurricanes were expected to reach France and Burgundy early in the week. But, the weather has stayed resolutely rainless...
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  • Enjoying Burgundy in Iceland
    August 29th, 2019
    I have just returned from a week on the north coast of Iceland where they have magical scenery, magnificent horses and some great natural geothermal hot tubs. But no vineyards, and I did not expect to find much Burgundy in this rural idyll, so I brought a few things with...
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  • Listen: Jasper on his life with Burgundy wine
    July 19th, 2019
    Listen below to Jasper's talk on I'll Drink To That! Wine Podcast giving both an overview of his own career as a wine importer and Burgundy specialist and of the vineyards of Burgundy. As published on Levi Dalton's 'Live opens wine' soundcloud profile 'Jasper goes from north to south along the Côte...
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  • Healthy looking vines ahead of summer heat
    July 19th, 2019
    I have just been touring some of the Hospices de Beaune vineyards in Volnay and Meursault with Ludivine Griveau (pictured below), and the good news is that the vines are looking particularly healthy. There has been some pressure from oidium this year, but the organic treatments employed at the Hospices...
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  • Testing tasting times
    May 28th, 2019
    The Spring tasting season is in full swing with visits to the Beaujolais and Chablis, as well as keeping in touch with what’s going on in the Côte d’Or. We could do with the weather warming up a bit as the vines, though mostly saved from the frost events of...
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  • Remembering René Lafon
    May 27th, 2019
    Several of those who had been there to share the happy lunch with Becky Wasserman on Saturday 18th alas found themselves again together for the funeral of René Lafon in Meursault a few days later. One of my very first visits was to the Domaine des Comtes Lafon back in...
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  • Honouring Becky Wasserman
    May 27th, 2019
    I attended a lunch at the excellent Caves de la Madeleine restaurant in Beaune to honour my neighbour, Becky Wasserman, who has been elected to Decanter Magazine’s Hall of Fame – what was previously known as Man or Woman of the Year – for 2019. Two former honourands, Jancis Robinson...
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  • Frost patrol: Sunday April 14th
    April 15th, 2019
    On Friday 5th April Burgundy suffered a frost episode which has certainly caused some damage in spots all the way up from Beaujolais to Chablis. The cool north wind returned over the weekend of 13th/14th April but this time the vignerons were prepared. I set out in the early hours...
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  • Bien boire en Beaujolais
    April 11th, 2019
    Every year there is a wonderful tasting of Beaujolais wines mostly from the smaller producers – I think there were about 200 in all (plus 21 guests from other regions) showing across three venues, the Châteaux de Corcelles, Pizay and Ravatys. No way that anybody can get to every stand...
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  • Frost latest
    April 11th, 2019
    Mixed reports are coming in about the damage from the frost last Friday, 5th April. Caroline Gagnard reports that the lower part of Chassagne-Montrachet, especially Morgeot, was definitely affected. Several growers in Moulin-à-Vent reported damage too. And now the wind has swung round to the north, with temperatures expected to drop...
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  • Frost alarm in Burgundy
    April 7th, 2019
    The cold night and early morning of April 5th was at least fairly well forecast, enabling producers to light their chaufferettes and groups of vignerons to set fire to their piles of straw at daybreak. The former warm the air around the foot of the vines, by 1.5 to 2 degrees, while the...
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  • Management changes in Morey-St-Denis
    March 24th, 2019
    I have mixed feelings about the news from Morey-St-Denis. Happy for Jacques Devauges who recently left Clos de Tart and has now been appointed to manage Clos des Lambrays next door. Sad for Boris Champy who has left after just one year in charge. I have not yet had a...
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  • Wine industry honour for Becky Wasserman
    March 24th, 2019
    One piece of wholly good news is this year’s selection by Decanter for their Hall of Fame (previously known as Man or Woman of the Year). My neighbour, Becky Wasserman is the honoured person and I am thrilled for her: she has done so much to benefit the region as...
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  • Henri-Frédéric Roch’s replacement revealed at DRC
    March 24th, 2019
    News from Burgundy: DRC has announced a new co-gérant alongside Aubert de Villaine to replace the late Henri-Frédéric Roch. It is to be Perrine Fenay, née Leroy. And from just down the road, we hear that Jacques Devauges has left Clos de Tart to be replaced by Alessandro Noli, who...
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  • Hospices de Nuits auction results 2019
    March 20th, 2019
    The Hospices de Nuits auction on Sunday 10th March, a more local affair than the internationally supported Hospices de Beaune, showed a distinct drop in prices for the much heralded 2018 vintage: down 15.7% in total takings and 20.7% in the average price per barrel. This may very well be...
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  • Starting 2019: London, Hong Kong and New Zealand
    February 6th, 2019
    I have just got back from an extended tour away from Burgundy: a week in London for the January tastings and a few dinners, 10 days in Hong Kong and Shanghai – many tastings and even more dinners – then a beautiful week in New Zealand, catching up with the...
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  • Generous Burgundy 2017 vintage with consistent and delicious whites
    January 18th, 2019
    2017 is set to be a consistent and delicious vintage for white Burgundy. There are many lovely reds in 2017 offering a lighter, fresher style It is a very uniform vintage, with wines of middling intensity, accessible fruit, enough acidity and lightish tannins, reflecting their individual terroirs well. Sweet spots...
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  • Burgundy 2017 vintage: full report now live
    January 8th, 2019
    The first key fact about 2017 is the return to normal, even quite generous volumes. This matters in general in terms of the market-place, but it really matters in particular for those vignerons in the Côte de Beaune especially, whose crops were so badly damaged by hail for three years...
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