JMIB September Newsletter September 18th, 2023

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Dear all,


Since last month’s newsletter we have published just two reports, but both very substantial – 2019 White Burgfest by virtue of the 200+ tasting notes, and the 2020 vintage from Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, in which I took the opportunity to dive deep into Charles Lachaux’s philosophy and techniques. It is well worth a read even if his wines may not be easily accessible.

Early September saw a dozen of us hard at work tasting 240 samples of 2019 red 1er and Grand Cru Burgundies in our annual Burgfest tasting. The report will follow shortly on this lush, sunny vintage.

Otherwise, I have been actively following the exciting 2023 harvest in Burgundy, details below.

The 2023 Harvest

September has been all about the Heatwave Harvest, which in fact began in the last days of August. The first pickers were seen on Monday August 28th, so many did not start for another 10 days. An anti-cyclone was blocked across central France, with day after day of cloudless skies, and temperatures in the vineyards in the low 30s Celsius. The Côte de Beaune harvest is now almost finished, and the Côte de Nuits well under way – some just starting, others already finished.

The whites will be almost uniformly delicious whether you picked earlier (which would be my choice) or later – I cannot remember grapes coming into the wineries having such a delicious taste. Acidity is relatively low, though, so the wines will be accessible earlier. 1992 springs to mind as a comparison.

The reds look more complicated but with the potential to be lovely as well. There may be parallels with 2017 here and there will certainly be quite a range of quality between the ‘good old boy’ producers and those who really take care in the vineyards. To find out more, please join us on 26th September at 6pm (BST) when I will be talking about the harvest and other current talking points in Burgundy, along with Steve Pritchard who will be bringing his expertise on Champagne to the party. Click here for details.

Forthcoming Activity

During the coming month I will be attending some interesting tastings – verticals of Domaine David Clark and of Comte Georges de Vogue’s Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses, along with a thorough horizontal of 2019 Corton-Charlemagne.

More importantly, the start of October sees the opening of the autumn tasting season. I shall present myself at 8.00 am on Monday morning, 2nd October, chez Jacques Carillon for the kick off. Through October and November I shall visit and taste the 2022 vintage at 200+ domaines in the Côte d’Or, with reports to be published in late December or early January.

As well as my Burgundian reports over the next few weeks, we can also look forward to Steve Pritchard on the 2009 vintage from Champagne – last year he offered us his thoughts and tasting notes on 2008 and plans to catch up over the next year or two with more recent vintages. We also welcome Jane Skilton MW’s first report from New Zealand – a review of the 2023 vintage along with a briefing on the principal regions for the production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Enjoy, and drink well as summer shades towards the autumn here in Burgundy.

Click here to join the Zoom webinar at 6pm (BST) on 26th September.

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