Inside Burgundy: Mid-Summer Newsletter July 13th, 2023

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The first half of 2023 has been an exceptionally busy time. In January I completed the final reports on the 2021 barrel tastings and visited London for the usual round of En primeur tastings, as well as a somewhat daunting presentation over a black tie dinner for 120 people at the Athenaeum Club on International Pinot Noir).

March saw a two week trip to the USA, with events in New York and a first visit to Texas (Houston and Austin). This was followed in April with visits to Singapore (report already published) and Hong Kong (some reports published, others still to come).

Back in Burgundy, tastings have mainly been in Chablis, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais, with more of each of these to come with a view to completing reports by the end if September, before attacking the main Côte d’Or tastings. To be delivered shortly will be reports on the 2020 vintage from Domaine Arnoux Lachaux and the 2021 vintage from Domaine Leflaive. I am also in the middle of a retrospective of the 40 year career of Dominique Lafon, scheduled over several sessions.

Other days out have included a presentation for IAFOR on the intriguing theme of Wine, Culture and Diplomacy, a lovely evening to enjoy the ‘Elegance de Volnay’, a quick trip to London to help celebrate the 325th anniversary of Berry Bros & Rudd, a visit to the Northern Rhône courtesy of the Académie Internationale du Vin, and another International pinot panel at the 10th Institute of Masters of Wine Symposium, held in Wiesbaden in Germany at the end of June.

Upcoming Inside Burgundy reports


  • 2019 White Burgfest Report
  • 2013 Vintage : 10 Years On
  • 2003 Vintage : 20 Years On
  • 1991 Grand Cru Retrospective (Hong Kong)


  • Domaine du Celleir Aux Moines
  • Domaine Leflaive 2021
  • Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux 2020
  • Domaine des Comtes Lafon : 40 years with Dominique Lafon

Miscellaneous Tastings

  • Magical moments at Epure Restaurant (Hong Kong)
  • Charmes-Chambertin masterclass (Hong Kong)


Inside Burgundy develops Outside Burgundy!

Now that our site is fully established, it is time to spread our wings! Not to all parts though – we are not planning on becoming a platform to cover all forms of wine from all round the globe.

Nonetheless, it was always our intention to report on wines made from pinot or chardonnay from regions outside Burgundy, in so far as we could find the time and space. Clearly more resources are needed and we are thrilled to announce the inauguration of a new program of External Contributors from key regions. First to be announced is Steve Pritchard, on Champagne.

Steve Pritchard has a proper job as an IT Project manager, but for many years now has been developing his expertise in the wines of Champagne. His frequent contributions to boards such as Tom Cannavan’s have shown the depth of his understanding of this subject. Steve’s scientific background means that he understands why a given champagne tastes as it does from a technical point of view – as well as being able to tell us what it tastes like, and what is his prognosis for the future! We look forward to his profiles of Champagne vintages past and present, vertical assessments of some of the great Champagne marques, and some thematic reports on current and future trends in Champagne.

Two years ago Steve presented us with a review of the lauded 2008 vintage (link) in Champagne. He now kicks off his role as our first External Contributor with a report on vintages of Dom Pérignon from 1990 to 2013.


The 2023 Growing Season

Frost was avoided and after a cool damp first half of May, which complicated work I the vines, the following month was hot and dry, before the return of more mixed weather in late June. The flowering happened rapidly and mostly successfully, around 10th June.

Activity in the vineyard is beginning to calm down now, and the vines are mostly looking very healthy despite disease pressure for both mildew and, especially in the white wine areas, oidium. It means a lot of work, but at this stage vignerons seem optimistic that they will be able to pull through without significant damage to the substantial cop, some of which will need to be dropped – another job to complete later this month!

Harvest dates, initially imagined for mid-September, have been advancing steadily. The Côte de Beaune might begin – unless ripening is blocked by excessive heat or drought – at the start of the month, followed by the Côte de Nuits and Chablis a week or so later.

STOP PRESS! Hail in the early evening of Tuesday 11th July is likely to have done some of the necessary crop thinning. I have not yet heard detailed reports but have seen images of large hailstones in Meursault and Nuits St-Georges.

Developments in Burgundy

Local politicians and marketing consultants have been enthusing about the opening of a Cité du Vin in three locations, Chablis, Mâcon and Beaune. All the information about the three sites can be found here Cité des Climats et vins de Bourgogne (

Since the merger between Artemis Domaines and the Henriot Group, in September 2022, the future of the various estates has begun recently to be more clearly defined. It is clear that the Artemis led group wishes to concentrate solely on domaines which own their own vineyards outright. Champagne Henriot has been sold off and Champagne Jacquesson, where Artemis formerly had a stake, acquired in full. In Chablis, William Fèvre, where most of the vineyards were leased rather than owned, is in the act of being sold to Domaines Baron de Rothschild Lafite.

Meanwhile, what of Bouchard Père & Fils? It was known that negociant activities would be discontinued, and that less famous vineyards might well be sold off or exchanged. This appears to be happening, though the details of any deals remain under wraps. I would expect that at the end of it, Bouchard will emerge with holdings considerably smaller in overall acreage, but further enhanced in prestige.



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