Inside Burgundy

  • Hospices de Beaune 2018
    November 1st, 2018
    The Hospices de Beaune Auction is coming up on the 3rd Sunday of November as ever, which falls on the 18th this year. I have just spent a fascinating long week in Asia – every day a new city – and it is clear there is going to be a...
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  • Not Making Land Anymore?
    November 1st, 2018
    It has been a truism for a while that there’s no more vineyard land to be had in Burgundy. However several new initiatives suggest that a few more hectares may become available for certain appellations. There is a plan to promote 80ha of Bourgogne vines in Couchey, Marsannay and Chenove...
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  • Going, Going, Gone
    November 1st, 2018
    I am slightly sceptical of the idea that Burgundy is disappearing into foreign hands. It is true there have been some very high-profile cases of late, notably Clos de Tart and Domaine Bonneau du Martray, where in each case some family members would have preferred not to sell. The fame of...
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  • Tasting 2017
    November 1st, 2018
    First we are all caught up in the current harvest, then everybody’s attention turns to tasting the previous vintage in barrel, ready for the flurry of Opening Offers in January. It is a tough call to cram in tastings at all the key domaines while sniffing out some new names,...
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  • The 2018 Harvest
    November 1st, 2018
    Certain vintages get a reputation for greatness almost before they are picked and 2018 looks like joining that elite group. The frost risk was minimal after two tricky years, though a deluge of rain in the spring caused worries in the first part of the season. However apart from a...
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  • Busy Months
    May 30th, 2018
    Retirement from the commercial world of wine has left me busier than ever visiting vignerons and vineyards and in between writing up what I have gleaned – plus starting work on a second edition of Inside Burgundy. We are also gearing up for the launch later this year of the...
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  • Bien Boire en Beaujolais
    May 30th, 2018
    Bien Boire en Beaujolais This wine tasting event happens every year in April, uniting five groups of Beaujolais producers, individual domaines with a certain bias towards the wild side – I tend to be one of the few clean-shaven males in the room. It is a great opportunity to catch...
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  • Mâconnais thoughts
    May 30th, 2018
    For many years it has frustrated me that Burgundy enthusiasts don’t show a little more love to the wines of the Mâconnais. Smart restaurants may have a page of different wines from Chablis and then a token Mâcon Villages. There is so much more going on here at the moment,...
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  • Chablis 2017
    May 30th, 2018
    Whereas the Côte d’Or more or less escaped the frost in 2017, more northerly Chablis suffered colder temperatures in April and noticeably more damage. The worst hit sectors were the northern part of Chablis, around Lignorelles and Maligny, and then the top vineyards, premier and grand cru, on the Right...
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  • Grands Jours de Bourgogne 2018 Highlights
    March 23rd, 2018
    Burgundy welcomed many thousand visitors during the week beginning 12th March for the 14thedition of the Grands Jours de Bourgogne. I have attended pretty much every day of all those events since the first edition in 1992, This year’s version was probably the most stimulating to date, and allowing for...
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  • January Wines
    February 1st, 2018
    Friday 5th January Dinner at la Tour d’Argent featuring a range of Dujac wines between 1972 and 1990. Best wines at each level? Village Morey 1978, 1er cru Gevrey-Chambertin Combottes 1990 and Grand Cru Bonnes Mares 1972. There were also some sublime white wines of which Pierre Morey’s 1979 Meursault...
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  • Mature Volnay
    October 30th, 2017
    I have just returned from a 10 day visit promoting the Hospices de Beaune wines in various markets in Asia. Before the main work got underway I caught up with some old friends to enjoy a Volnay dinner. I have been singing the praises of Volnay for many years, and...
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  • 1957 !
    October 13th, 2017
    The idea has been brewing for a while… my birth vintage, 1957, is not a great year anywhere in France, but the high acid wines of this very cold year have often survived surprisingly well. Accordingly a group of us of whom at least three were genuine ‘57ers and the...
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  • Burgundy 2016: Overview
    January 2nd, 2017
    Review of the 2016 Vintage in the Côte d’Or What to Expect from this Report My aim is to give a relatively comprehensive guide to the 2016 vintage in Burgundy. I have visited around 100 producers and completed notes on around 1350 wines. In future years I hope to add...
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  • Côte de Nuits
    January 1st, 2017
    Read about the villages of the Côte de Nuits each with Jasper's pick of the best vineyards and producers including: Chambolle-Musigny Fixin Gevrey-Chambertin Marsannay Morey-St-Denis Nuits-St-Georges Vosne-Romanée Vougeot  
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  • Côte de Beaune
    January 1st, 2017
    Read about the villages of the Côte de Beaune each with Jasper's pick of the best vineyards and producers including: Aloxe-Corton Auxey-Duresses Beaune Chassagne-Montrachet Chorey-lès-Beaune Ladoix Maranges Monthelie Meursault Pernand-Vergelesses Pommard Puligny-Montrachet St-Aubin St-Romain Santenay Savigny-lès-Beaune Volnay
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  • Pernand-Vergelesses
    January 1st, 2017
    Probably the most characterful of the three villages which share Corton. The whites have some Corton-Charlemagne stony character while the reds have a delicious freshness and purity of fruit, though with less body or tannin than Aloxe-Corton. Grands Cru: Corton-Charlemagne (white) Other Vineyards: Ile de Vergelesses (red), Clos Berthet (red),...
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  • Vougeot
    January 1st, 2017
    Best known for its grand cru Clos de Vougeot, with some good 1ers crus alongside, especially Le Clos Blanc in white. The reds are sturdy wines with power and tannins, but individual character takes a decade or more to show. Grand Cru: Clos de Vougeot Other Vineyards: Cras, Clos de...
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  • Vosne-Romanée
    January 1st, 2017
    Including Flagey-Echezeaux. The grandest appellation of all, marrying finesse and power. Noble wines at all levels, not just the greatest of the grands crus. There are not many underperforming producers either, but they know their own worth and usually charge accordingly. Grands crus: Echezeaux, Grands Echezeaux, Grande Rue, Richebourg, Romanée,...
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  • Nuits-St-Georges
    January 1st, 2017
    Three appellations in one. Lighter, fine-boned reds to the south; deeply coloured powerful wines with sturdy tannins in the centre, and a thrilling concentration of Nuits St Georges weight and some of the heady qualities of Vosne-Romanée to the north. Nuits deserves more love and can be excellent value. Vineyards:...
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  • Morey-St-Denis
    January 1st, 2017
    Too often described as intermediary between the structure of Gevrey and the grace of Chambolle, Morey deserves more recognition in its own right. The wines have a raw rather than refined silk thread to them, middleweight but with excellent structure. Some interesting whites too. Grands Crus: Clos des Lambrays, Clos...
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  • Chambolle-Musigny
    January 1st, 2017
    There is more limestone than clay in the soil, giving wines of exceptional grace as well as depth of flavour. They should be attractively perfumed, sometimes offering violets, and have a dense rich fruit on the palate. Grands Crus: Musigny, Bonnes Mares Other Vineyards: Amoureuses, Cras and Fuées Producers: Roumier,...
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  • Marsannay
    January 1st, 2017
    Promoted to village status (for all three colours) in 1988, Marsannay is discussing adding some 1ers crus. The reds are affordable and accessible while the best wines have the structure and ageing potential to merit more interest. The rosé needs a year or two of bottle age, and requires food....
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  • Gevrey-Chambertin
    January 1st, 2017
    There is something of everything in Gevrey-Chambertin. These are mostly red-fruited wines with a savoury character, delivering softer fruit or more rustic tannins depending on location. There are also various schools of winemaking here, some seeking darker colours and more concentration. In any case the wines should age extremely well....
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  • Fixin
    January 1st, 2017
    Fixin and Marsannay used to sell most of their wine to customers in Dijon, and ran their businesses accordingly. Now there are some more adventurous names interesting the international market. Skilful winemakers can avoid the former rustic tannins and deliver fruit of weight and velvet texture. Vineyards: Clos de la...
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  • Volnay
    January 1st, 2017
    The hallmark is elegance. Floral notes, refined fruit, balanced acidity, few tannins from soil types favouring limestone more than clay. Once considered lighter and shorter-lived Volnay, has a tensile strength to deliver wines which not only last but develop the haunting qualities of the Côte de Nuits with age. Vineyards:...
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  • Savigny-lès-Beaune
    January 1st, 2017
    Sitting a little back from the main Côte, the vineyards of Savigny are unnecessarily under the radar. The reds can have juicy red fruit along with a savoury character, and good ageing ability. Occasional exceptional whites but mostly stick with the red wines. Vineyards: Dominode, Lavières, Vergelesses Producers: Simon Bize,...
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  • Santenay
    January 1st, 2017
    From the southern end of the Côte, these vineyards were more famous in the past and could become so again. The best red wines have a depth of fruit and a velvet texture which bears comparison with the Côte de Nuits, and they can age well. Occasional whites can be...
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  • St-Romain
    January 1st, 2017
    Situated at higher altitude than the other villages and tucked away behind the main line of the Côte d’Or, St-Romain produces fresh medium-bodied whites usually best drunk in their youth and slightly angular reds. There are no 1ers crus at this stage, though the subject is under discussion. Vineyards: Sous...
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  • St-Aubin
    January 1st, 2017
    Since the millennium, St-Aubin has come to be considered as the fourth major white wine village of the Côte d’Or, not just the best of the lesser names. The style is pure and linear, similar to Puligny-Montrachet and the limestone parts of Chassagne. Some attractive lighter reds too. Vineyards: En...
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  • Puligny-Montrachet
    January 1st, 2017
    Great wines but few producers. These are the most perfumed of the great white wines with a firm, steely backbone to support the fruit. Lighter wines from 1ers crus at the top of the slope, and it is rare to see single vineyard village wines. Grands Crus: Bâtard-Montrachet (part), Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet,...
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  • Pommard
    January 1st, 2017
    Volnay’s gruff neighbour with little in common. Complex clay soils, often iron rich, deliver powerful wines with depth of colour, firm fruit and fairly substantial tannins which require time. The Gevrey of the south? Rugiens has most power, Epenots is more graceful. Vineyards: Rugiens, Epeneaux,Epenots, Producers: Comte Armand, de Courcel,...
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  • Monthelie
    January 1st, 2017
    Located behind Volnay and Meursault, a red Monthelie is similar to a mini-Volnay but a little bit more rustic, mostly for drinking in the first ten years. Expect a little more flesh on the bones than from neighbouring Auxey-Duresses. Whites are rarely interesting except in youth. Vineyards: Les Duresses Producers:...
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  • Chorey-lès-Beaune
    January 1st, 2017
    Beaune’s neighbour on flat land mostly below the main road. But it is good earth for easily accessible red wines and occasional whites. Look for pleasure in the fruit more than complexity. Vineyards: Individual vineyards are rarely specified Producers: Tollot-Beaut For further information and tasting notes on the top producers...
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  • Meursault
    January 1st, 2017
    Fine 1ers crus, but also the best source of single vineyard village level white Burgundy. Rarely as buttery and nutty as in the past, but offering satisfying weight if grown on the lower slopes, or a tingling mineral character at the top of the hill. See also Blagny. Vineyards: Perrières,...
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  • Maranges
    January 1st, 2017
    The end of the line as the Côte turns from east-facing to the south. Tannins can be on the firm side but there is usually good red fruit concentration. A good choice when looking for value. Occasional whites. Vineyards: Le Croix Moines, La Fussière Producers: Bachelet-Monnot, Chevrot For further information...
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  • Chassagne-Montrachet
    January 1st, 2017
    A handful of often intermarried families furnish many quality growers, each with a raft of 1ers crus which range in style depending on location- racier up the hillside, weight and staying power from Morgeot. The reds have the potential to be better than they have been. Grands Crus: Bâtard-Montrachet (part),...
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  • Ladoix
    January 1st, 2017
    The least known of the Corton villages but they have had the sense to specify one colour only for some of their newer 1ers crus. The reds are succulent and lively, without the tannins of Aloxe-Corton. Whites have character, sometimes mineral, sometimes more exotic. Grands Crus: Corton (mostly red); Corton-Charlemagne...
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  • Blagny
    January 1st, 2017
    A hamlet between Puligny and Meursault, using its own name for reds (mostly 1er cru) in an austere but pleasing style, or sold as Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru for the whites which show weight and character in warmer vintages. Vineyards: La Genelotte, La Pièce sous le Bois Producers: Comtesse de Cherisey,...
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  • Beaune
    January 1st, 2017
    The capital of the region, undervalued for its own vineyards and wines. The large producers often make a 1er Cru blend. Elegance and suppleness are the hallmarks, though with more muscle and tannin in and around Grèves. Some good whites (especially Clos des Mouches) but others lack character. Vineyards: Grèves,...
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  • Auxey-Duresses
    January 1st, 2017
    This side valley may be benefitting from global warming as the wines become less austere, eschewing the hard edge which Duresses might imply. The best reds are on the south-facing slopes while lovely fresh whites can be found near Meursault where the slope turns north, or at the far end...
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  • Aloxe-Corton
    January 1st, 2017
    Best known for its grands crus Corton & Corton-Charlemagne. The village and 1er Cru wines have an earthy character with evident tannins in youth. They are best drunk with traditional hearty Burgundian dishes of the Coq au Vin type. Grands Crus: Corton (mostly red); Corton-Charlemagne (white) Other Vineyards: Clos du...
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