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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Hospices de Beaune 2018
    November 23rd, 2018
    Records tumbled at last Sunday’s Hospices de Beaune 2018 wine auction, with just over €14m of 2018 Burgundy passing under the hammer – money which will be used to fund the Hospital and its associated good works in the months and years to come. 'Great Wines for a Great Cause'...
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Fascinating Pinot from Japan
    November 5th, 2017
    Take a look on the Tastings page – I have written up the fascinating event I did in Tokyo earlier this year, tasting blind 40 different Japanese pinots, with several really decent wines especially from Hokkaido and Nagano. Can’t wait to get back to Nagano next year
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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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  • Pinot worldwide
    July 5th, 2017
    New Zealand My first visit to NZ was at least 20 years ago – by which time it was already clear that Pinot was going to be the number one red wine grape variety for this wonderful country. Since then I have visited at least half a dozen times and...
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  • News from North America
    July 5th, 2017
    California & Oregon The USA is easily the second largest Pinot producing country in the world, led by California, whose Pinot industry I have been following closely since the late 1980s. Oregon has caught the international imagination though volumes are far smaller than in California. The talking point at 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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