The closest link between the people that make wine and the people that drink it
Today we were lucky enough to be able to taste Olivier Bernstein‘s line up of 2011 wines. Below are tasting notes from various members of our Fine Wine team.
2011 Chambertin Clos de Beze, Grand Cru
Gentle, but building, fragrant black fruit on the nose, restrained and regal. Fabulously lush black berry-fruit on the palate with the finest of tannins framing the fruit perfectly, while a lick of crisp acidity freshens the finish. A very serious wine indeed. (Chris Pollington)
2011 Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru
Dark, rich spicy and fragrant fruit on the nose, beginning to open up nicely. Savoury dark fruit in the mouth with a full, yet in-balance structure, this is a very big, deep wine and is built for the long term. This will be an amazing wine in 5-10 years time. (Chris Pollington)
2011 Corton Charlemagne, Grand Cru
Big, rich and toasty on the nose, which is reflected on the palate, where notes of butter and rich and ripe (but not overripe) citrus fruit are added into the mix. This is more savoury and serious than many a Corton Charlemagne and is a much better wine for it, in my opinion. Both richness and finesse are the hallmarks of this excellent wine, which is balanced by well-judged, mouth-watering acidity. (Chris Pollington)
2011 Chambolle-Musigny, Les Lavrottes, 1er Cru
A characteristically full throttle Chambolle from Bernstein; full and dark, laden with bright blueberry, and black cherry fruits. Well maintained acidity, lovely balance. (Martyn Rolph)
Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Cazetiers, 1er Cru
Good density with a solid core of fruit dark fruit, supported by ripe but firm tannins. There’s attractive bramble spice throughout, and well balanced and so a silky, svelte feel on show here. (Martyn Rolph)
Puligny-Montrachet, Champ Gain, 1er Cru
You’ll be treated to an exuberant nose of apple, melon and toasty oak, but this leads to a more restrained and focussed palate, very typical of Puligny. Fine acidity provides the energy that drives the flavours along, well balance with an attractive finish. There is more texture here than you’ll find in many a Puligny, it will mature beautifully over the coming 3-5 years. (Martyn Rolph)
2011 Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru
Simon Staples in a glass! Big, bold , flashy with finesse, in about 15 years’ time. Lots of dark fruit on the nose. Palate was not the easiest to taste but I’d hope the abundance of red and blue fruits will mature to give one a spectacular glass of wine and with this will come the finesse that was hiding around of many complex corners of this wine. (Ben Upjohn)
2011 Meursault, Les Charmes, 1er Cru
What a wine! Fresh, zingy complex and well structured. Perfectly balanced and although could do with a bit of aging surprisingly approachable now. Would give some of the more well know Charmes a run for their money! (Ben Upjohn)
2011 Gevrey Chambertin
This is very serious village wine, no doubt about it. Laden with fennel and fresh liquorice notes, this is already showing a complex, pure palate. With the trademark Bernstein elegance this is one to enjoy now or over the coming 3 to 4 years. (Gary Owen)
2011 Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Champeaux, 1er Cru
70 year old wines contribute hugely to a precise, very well made Champeaux. The combination of rich oak and round tannins coat the mouth elegantly and this delivers a weighty finish. Detailed throughout with layer upon layer of fruit and sweet spice. (Gary Owen)
2011 Mazis-Chambertin, Grand Cru
First things first – this is top draw, textbook Mazis. Persistent, detailed, & balanced structure yet with lacy sweet red, and almost meaty fruit. There is a distinct sweet ‘Game Larder’ nuance to this most intriguing of wines. Refined, supple yet wonderfully powerful. (Gary Owen)
Charmes-Chambertin, Grand Cru
This was the first of the Grand Cru’s I tasted and the step up was impressive. Oozing the sexy opulent fruit that you would expect from Charmes and the class comes on the finish where everything focusses in with the cherry fruit being joined by spice and texture. (Matt Tipping)
Bonnes Mares, Grand Cru
Dark brooding, very Bonnes Mares nose, palate is laden with sappy dark brambly fruit, lots of layers and this is a big wine that fills the mouth and lasts on the finish for an impressive amount of time. (Matt Tipping)
Look out for our offer of these fantastic Bernstein wines on Friday.
After a very successful campaign in January introducing the 2011 Burgundy vintage we are now preparing for the next round featuring our impressive friend Olivier Bernstein. We look forward to welcoming him to Basingstoke shortly to talk the Fine Wine team through his brilliant line-up, which we will be launching in mid march.
Olivier has come a long way since he first showed me his awesome array of wines in his debut vintage of 2007. He attracted top scores from the international wine press from the outset but that doesn’t mean that there was no room for progress. In subsequent vintages he has fine tuned his methods, searching for more elegance alongside the undoubted power and concentration of his wines.
He has also managed to get closer to his vineyard sources. He now manages the vineyard work for all but one of his sources and – a wonderful opportunity – has managed to buy two of the vineyards he has worked with since the start: Gevrey-Chambertin Les Champeaux and Mazis Chambertin. It is pretty rare for grand cru vineyards to change hands so this is a major coup.
These vineyards follow the common thread of old vines – more than 80 years old in the case of the Mazis – which enables Olivier to work with excellent raw material. During vinification the wines are very lightly handled, with a good proportion of stems included to maintain a lively thread throughout, while the barrels are made to order by master cooper Stéphane Chassin, who comes to taste the new vintage before deciding what type of toasting will suit each individual wine.
The range now consists of six Grands Crus, of which the Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Mazis-Chambertin and increasingly the Bonnes Mares sell through very rapidly, three premiers crus (outstanding Cazetiers and Champeaux from Gevrey-Chambertin and a lovely, lacy, Chambolle Lavrottes, a village Gevrey) and small amounts of white wine – one each from Meursault, Puligny and Corton-Charlemagne.
Mr Bernstein is going places – not least to visit our teams in Hong Kong and Japan, as well as beautiful Basingstoke – and we are excited to be sharing the journey with him. He’s already come a long way from making his wines in a garage in Gevrey-Chambertin to delightful cellars in a classic Beaune town house, which he moved into last year. Congratulations Olivier!
Look out for our live tweets from the upcoming Olivier Bernstein tasting on 12th March and the new wines will be available from 15th March.
The weather forecast for Burgundy was sunny and warm….a nice surprise as I usually pack my thermal underwear otherwise reserved for skiing trips. At Berry Bros. & Rudd we are extremely lucky that out entire Fine Wine sales-team has the opportunity to taste the new vintage before a new release allowing us to speak with authority and personal understanding to our clients about the wines. Burgundy with its complex appellation controlee system and fragmentation of vineyards can be daunting to understand, but ultimately it is about three things; terroir, people and vintage. The individual soil, vineyard aspect and microclimate are as much responsible for the final product as the producer. Tasting Mugnier’s Amoureuses is as much about charm of top Chambolle as the sparkling character of Frederic Mugnier…..tasting Domaine Eugenie’s Clos Vougeot is tasting the richness of the terroir and the precision that only Frederic Engerer can bring to the domaine. The weather in each individual vintage makes each wine unique.
Inside Burgundy is starting to show signs of repainting the Forth Bridge syndrome. No sooner, it seemed, was the text for the hardback book finally signed off than work on revisions began – firstly amendments for the Japanese edition which was published last month, and now for the electronic version of which the first two units have just appeared in Apple’s iBookstore.
656 hardback pages translated into an iBook with pictures and videos added would be impossible to download onto your iPad, so the book will be delivered region by region, starting with the Côte de Beaune.
Revising has been stimulating as well as time-consuming. Firstly we needed to incorporate amendments of various minor errors – and nobody was better at identifying inconsistencies than our four Japanese translators! Then there were the amendments to take into account factual developments since the hardback edition, as growers have added or lost vineyards, or changed locations. I also wanted to develop more detail for certain appellations, most notably Corton Charlemagne. There is now a chart identifying whose holdings are in which lieu-dit within the grands crus.
I am hugely grateful to Chris Foulkes and Carrie Segrave for their publishing nous and for their time spent developing the iBook concept, along with our brilliant designer Lizzie Ballantyne. Also to Michel Joly for his brilliant photographs, ably supported by Jon Wyand. Then there are the videos – I am easily recognisable: windswept hair and shirt not always completely tucked in….
At the same time, we have produced a slightly simpler (no videos) iBook to cover the Vintages section of the book, along with notes on Appreciating Burgundy. There are also tasting notes on the Three Year On tastings I attend each summer (2009 vintage) and the Ten Year On tasting (2002 and some 1992s). The good news is that this inaugural edition of the Inside Burgundy Annual Report is free this year! We plan to release a new edition every year, incorporating more tasting notes, verticals, commentaries and a new essay on some major topical theme in future.
Now to start work on the Côte de Nuits. I have already been doing some sleuthing work, tracking down the different parcels of Richebourg by walking the vineyards and identifying different styles of viticulture. Watch out for some detailed vineyard maps in the next edition. It is amazingly stimulating, but the Forth Bridge seems to be stretching way into the far distance!
For your chance to win one of two copies of this fascinating new iBook, simply tell us via the comments below what interests you most about Burgundian Wines.
The weather is changing so it must be time to start picking, after a wretched start to the season, a proper August and a beautiful, hot, first ten days of September, the weather has turned notably autumnal starting with yet another storm over Santenay and Puligny on Tuesday night. The forecast is ok for the next week or so, with quite a lot of cloud and maybe some drizzle but nothing ugly. It could get worse from the 22nd onwards though.
Arnaud Ente and Dominique Lafon are starting tomorrow, Friday, their samples showing ripe grapes rather than in response to less favourable weather further ahead. Others will follow shortly and there’s no reason why the crop should not be of very decent quality. The problem is that there will be hardly any of it after the dreadful start to the season.
Before you dive into the bargains in our White Burgundy Sale, it might be useful to brush up on your knowledge of the White Burgundy appellations.
I have written a quick guide for each appellation below, I hope they prove useful when hunting for Burgundian gems!
It is one of Burgundy’s best-value white wine regions. Its wines used to be unremarkable and simple, rarely lasting more than a year or two after the vintage, but since the late 1990s most growers have been making oak aged, complex and reasonably concentrated wines which will develop well in bottle. The appellations that stand out:
Few wines from the Côte Chalonnaise are designed for long ageing, but there are many attractive white wines at very affordable prices for drinking within 2-3 years from the vintage date. The best white wines come from the village-appellations of
Côte de Beaune Whites
The heartland for white burgundy is the Côte de Beaune with its three great villages, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. Here the vineyard classification system really comes into its own.
On the flattest land, the wines will be classed only as generic Bourgogne Blanc; as the slope begins to rise the wines are designated by the name of their village.At mid-slope the finest vineyards, whose wines will be bottled separately, are categorised as Premier Cru (e.g. Meursault Charmes) or Grand Cru (e.g. Le Montrachet).
White wines produced under the AOC Bourgogne make up the vast proportion of Burgundy’s output. These are best enjoyed within 3 or so years, and are very reasonably priced compared to their higher-end counterparts.
Its wines are typically rich and savoury with nutty, honeyed hints and buttery, vanilla spice from the oak. Even though it is considerably larger than its southerly neighbours Chassagne and Puligny, Meursault contains no Grand Crus. Its three best Premier Crus, however – Les Perrières, Les Genevrières and Les Charmes – produce some of the region’s greatest whites: they are full, round, powerful and age very well. Perrières in particular can produce wines of Grand Cru quality, a fact that is often reflected in its price.
Many of the vineyards below Premier Cru, known as ‘village’ wines, are also well worth looking at. Many growers vinify their different vineyard holdings separately, which rarely happens in Puligny or Chassagne. Such wines can be labeled with the ‘lieu-dit’ vineyard alongside, although in smaller type to, the Meursault name.
Premier Cru Meursault should be drunk from 5 to 15 years of age, although top examples can last even longer. Village wines are normally at their best from 3 to 10 years.
When it comes to the world’s greatest white wines, the border between Chassagne and Puligny is the x that marks the spot, the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Within a few hundred metres lie five wonderful Grand Crus, 3 of which are in Chassagne. They are led by the luscious, perfumed, but variable, Le Montrachet, to which Chassagne gained permission in 1879, along with Puligny, to hyphenate its name.
Both Montrachet and the rich, nutty, honeyed Bâtard Montrachet are shared between Chassagne and Puligny. The fragrant, very fine and rare Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet however, lies entirely within Chassagne’s borders. The Grand Crus have their own appellations which is why Chassagne (or Puligny) does not appear on the label.
Chassagne’s style is often described as lying between that of Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault: less fine than Puligny, less rich than Meursault but containing elements of both. Chassagne is minerally yet succulent, often floral with hints of hazelnuts.
Despite a bevy of very good Premier Crus, it is not as good or famous, overall, as Meursault and Puligny, but it is usually extremely good value. Grand Crus should not be opened before 8 years of age and can last for 20 or more. Premier Crus are at their best from 5 to 15 years of age; village wines from 3 to 8.
Sandwiched between the larger Chassagne and Meursault, Puligny produces wines that are more striking than any in the Côte d’Or, portraying a floral elegance alongside a stylish, steely concentration. They are very different to Meursault: more refined and delicate, and less rich.
Village level Puligny-Montrachet from top growers can be very good indeed. The reputation of Puligny-Montrachet is based around its four Grand Crus. Many considering Montrachet to be the greatest white wine in the world. At its best it has an intensity, complexity and elegance that make you wonder how such a wine could be made from mere grapes.
The luxurious and explosive Chevalier-Montrachet is not quite as deep although it is probably the next best. Only marginally less impressive, and rather more consistent than Montrachet is the richly textured Bâtard-Montrachet (also shared with Chassagne). Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet is equally good, with the focus on honeyed finesse and exquisite balance rather than richness.
A host of fabulous Premier Cru vineyards can reach Grand Cru quality. Brimming with flavour and intensity, Le Cailleret and Les Pucelles, which both lie across the road from Le Montrachet, are prime candidates, along with Les Demoiselles, Les Combettes and Folatières.
Berrys‘ White Burgundy Sale is now on, please visit bbr.com/sale
Olivier Bernstein came to Basingstoke for the day to present his superb range of 2010s: an early Eurostar, cross London by tube, and then a quick jaunt by SouthWest trains to sunny Basingstoke, and an hour or two with the Fine Wine team, tasting the range of 13 wines – one village Gevrey-Chambertin, four red premiers crus, five red grands crus and three white wines.
Olivier’s confidence has grown noticeably over the four years we have been dealing with him and his wines, and with good reason. He knows that he has filled his boots with a superlative range of wines in 2010, with his usual hallmarks of seductive rich fruit nonetheless faithful to each terroir, but now with an extra degree of refinement. As well as his own confidence – and mine – in the wines, he is happy too with the reaction of the international press, notably Allen Meadows, Steve Tanzer and Jancis Robinson.
The sad news has just come through that Maria Thun died on February 9th, two months before her 90th birthday. While many of us who have become interested in biodynamics in agriculture, gardening or viticulture might feel doubts when confronted with the evangelical fervour and contorted texts of Rudolf Steiner, Maria Thun provided a much more credible path to understanding.
On her farmland in Germany, Maria Thun conducted many trials comparing the same product being planted on fruit or flower or leaf or root days. Were there consistent differences? Evidently so. While this sort of experiment does nothing to indicate what scientific truths there may or may not be behind the seemingly fanciful approach of biodynamic practices, it is very welcome to see proponents conducting field trials with proper rigour.
She also, latterly with her son Matthias, produced the admirable annual biodynamic gardening calendar, celebrating the 50th edition this year. This is an invaluable tool for its daily information, as well as for the various essays detailing recent trials and new thoughts about biodynamics.
We are currently revising our management of organic and biodynamic wines on our website. On the organic front, we have decided only to flag up those who are certified as organic, or in conversion towards certification (a three-year process). For biodynamic farming we take a slightly different view as we regard biodynamism as a philosophy more than a regime. We therefore plan to highlight both those who are certified biodynamic, and those who are comfortable in being described as ‘broadly biodynamic’.
More and more of our Burgundy producers are tending towards the biodynamic – and I am sure they are all aware how much they owe to Maria Thun.
During a happy week in Japan I was able to acclimatise myself for the subsequent freezing conditions back in the UK. I missed the snow which fell in Tokyo while I was enjoying dinners in Hiroshima and Fukuoka, several stops down the bullet train line to the southwest, but the clear, crisp, weather conditions made this beautiful country even more special.
Immediately after landing we met the Japanese translators of Inside Burgundy over a cheerful meal. They have already pretty much done the translating and were full of questions, having ferreted out any inconsistencies in the text with impressive attention to detail. There are also some fascinating insights into language: did you know that in Japanese there are no single words for brother or sister – you have to specify elder brother, younger brother et cetera. So now I have lots of homework checking whether Denis is older than Jean-Pierre and so on.
Food throughout the visit was always very good and often magical – particularly a great sushi meal washed down with Krug Grande Cuvée and Puligny-Montrachet Combettes 2002 from Leflaive. Now at last I have learned that the slivers of ginger are to cleanse the palate between different bites of sushi rather than to act as another condiment. Congratulations also to l’Alliance restaurant for brilliant wine and food pairings over a dinner based around lafon Meursaults and a trio of 2006 Clos de Vougeot.
Among the high spots were the ‘Long Lunch’, a sort of mini Paulée held at the Hong Kong Cricket Club, who supplied a match to watch to boot. However we spent more time concentrating on the wines than on the cricket, generous guests bringing bottles from Lafon, Blain-Gagnard, Vougeraie, Roumier, Grivot, de Montille, Rossignol-Trapet, Perrot-Minot, Cathiard, Rémy, Fourrier, Dugat-Py and more.
The key will be to encourage appreciation right across the range and this should be possible. Wines such as Sylvain Loichet’s Ladoix Bois de Gréchon have found favour already, and good quality Bourgogne Rouge is being snapped up. As we expected, the learning curve develops frighteningly quickly.
We did many more wine events this year with Cantonese food which is a stimulating development. I like the idea of having lots of bottles open on the table so you can grab a sip of whichever one might please you with whichever nibble of dim sum or peking duck catches your fancy. Dishes which I really enjoyed this week included braised pomelo skins and some baby roast pigeon. Apparently I was just too late for seasonal snake soup.
I have just emerged from under the cosh of preparing January’s Grand Burgundy Offer unveiling the 2010 vintage. This time of year is always very high pressure – firstly we need to taste the whole range of wines – around 500 of them – and prepare tasting notes; then there is the frantic whipping in of prices and allocations form producers who promise to let us know the news by the end of November but rarely do. I should look up the French word for Deadlines.
Too late now, the offer has gone to the printers and will land on doorsteps throughout the land in time for the new campaign to kick off on Wednesday 4th January. Then the fur will fly because the wines are exceptional in 2010 but there is very little volume compared to last year. Delicious reds in a classic style, with excellent balance between fruit, acidity and tannins. The whites are also mostly very impressive, generous wines with good acidity, while Chablis is superb.
Jasper Morris MW
The harvest in the Côte d’Or is now pretty much over and the growers are happier than expected. Though the weather forecasts indicated that there would be rain at any moment during the fortnight of the harvest, in fact it stayed dry until some storms passed through on Sunday 11th, by which time virtually everything was picked.
Clearly it is not even across the board – this is definitely a year which required all due care and attention throughout the growing season – but the good guys are thoroughly pleased with the final results. The general consensus seems to be:
Halfway through the season we knew it would be an early harvest, almost certainly kicking off in August, but the character of the year was yet to be defined with the beautiful spring weather tailing off somewhat as June replaced May. However the sun came back with a vengeance at the end of June, flirting with 40°C , and causing some grilling of the grapes. The first week in July was dry too, bringing thoughts of 1976 back into view. When it rained, solidly and evenly without stormy side effects, on Thursday 7th July the growers were thrilled – it’s a present from the gods, its like gold, they said!
But further rain over the next few days was less welcome and the whole month of July proved cooler and wetter than usual. Having started to talk about bringing forward the harvest from the initially suggested 25th August, producers were now pushing back towards the beginning of September. Indeed veraison was by no means complete at the end of July, and the grapes are usually ripe for harvest one month after colour change.
Of all vintages in my 30 years of experience with Burgundy, 2001 is the year I have found the most difficult to pin down. The growing season was a touch anonymous with good weather in late May, late August and thankfully during the harvest in late September, but otherwise too many cool, grey and somewhat rainy periods, including the all important first three weeks of September. For whatever reason, to date, I have never been able to put my finger on the particular character associated with the wines of this vintage.
A moderately severe winter, though without the deep freeze of the previous year, ended early and a fine spring was ushered in from the middle of March. The wind patterns were unusual, blowing mainly from the north (the benchmark wind on Palm Sunday), cool and dry, or veering right round to the south, warm and dry. Normally a south wind then swings to the south-west and brings rain, but not this year. (more…)
Tuesday April 5th is a great day to remember for me. During the afternoon we had a very constructive meeting to develop plans for e-publishing Inside Burgundy. Exactly how ambitious we can be with the electronic version is still work in progress, but watch this space!
Then we went en masse – Simon Berry as publisher, our publishing colleagues Chris Foulkes and Carrie Segrave, and our wonderful designer Lizzie Ballantyne – to the Goring Hotel for the André Simon Food & Wine Book Awards. It was a strong field this year among the wine books so we were very nervous, definitely hopeful but no more than that. Sarah-Jane Evans MW was presiding over the wine book and I got less and less hopeful as she sang the praises of all four short listed books –
Waking up in Kyoto to a cloudless sky……I could not have enjoyed my visit to Kyoto more. At dinner on the night I arrived, the first guest introduced himself to me with the words ‘I read modern history at Oxford in the late 1970s’ which had a certain familiarity. The title of his recent article “Even a sardine’s head becomes holy: the role of household encyclopedias in sustaining civilisation in pre-industrial Japan” has a classic tongue-in-academic-cheek ring to it.
Kyoto sits in a bowl surrounded by mountains, giving a skyline resembling the Cloudy Bay label whichever way you look. We had an 8.00am start the following morning, not to begin the days tasting, but to visit various temples and gardens: the Kiyomizu temple and the golden Kinkakuji temple, along with the rock garden at Ryoanji stand out. Then the Bullet Train back to Tokyo, keeping time despite a blizzard of snow.
Other highlights included a press lunch accompanied by the exquisite food of Pierre Gagnaire. I suppose this cuisine could be called fusion but it was so brilliantly perceived and executed that it was hard to imagine that France and Japan were not eternally fused in culinary harmony.
There were so many fabulous wine dinners that I am quite glad to have returned in one piece. Dinners at Mosaique and Bulgari stand out, along with a finale at La Belle Epoque in the Hotel Okura where I was staying. I was brilliantly looked after at this lovely Hotel. Sommelier Egawa-san presided over our superb wine dinner on the final night.
This year’s trip was coloured by the incipient Chinese New Year, a festival of much greater magnitude here than 31st December/1st January is in Europe. Mind you it is rash to offer any generalities about Hong Kong because this city changes so fast. I really enjoy seeing so many different phases of life in such a short space of time, and place. One minute was a grand western-style meal in a sought after location with views high over the city – Café Gray for example, or Amuse Bouche, where we had a brilliant dinner with biodynamic wines, the next a street meal – Dai Pai Dong – though we did cheat a bit by washing down our immaculate dumplings with a bottle of Corton-Charlemagne.
Wherever you go in Hong Kong you bump into old friends, also just passing through – Sylvain Pitiot of Clos de Tart broke his journey from Paris tio Auckland with half a day in Hong Kong, nipping in to the city centre to have lunch at Alfie’s.
Appreciation of Burgundy has changed so rapidly in Hong Kong. This is a material city and five years ago the only question seemed to be ‘how does this wine compare to DRC?’ The investment angle is certainly still there, but now there are so many more people who want to find out the story behind, and who appreciate the subtleties of the wines. Burgundy has a great future here.
Burgundy 2009 season is now in full swing. The main events have already taken place in London and I am about to travel to Japan and Hong Kong to talk Burgundy with our enthusiastic teams there. This will be work rather than play, but I shall get a chance to do both when I go to New York in February.
I will be taking part in La Paulée de New York for the first time, leading a panel tasting with Becky and Peter Wasserman (my neighbours in Burgundy) as part of the three days of festivities which make up La Paulée. The Paulée is a traditional Burgundian celebration held at the end of each harvest and, nowadays, the New York event each February is held in very high regard, with some of Burgundy’s most respect winemakers on attendance, as well as many leading American wine collectors. I have heard so much about this event and look forward to taking part.
This will also be my opportunity to launch Inside Burgundy in the USA with a signing session during La Paulée – I am delighted to be working with Sotheby’s who will be distributing the book in the US market.
I have been too busy to blog of late: not just launching Inside Burgundy, but also preparing January’s Grand Burgundy Offer which is heading off to the printers even as I type. Several weeks of intense tasting, hard work but enjoyable, then the writing up of the tasting notes which soon drives home the paucity of my vocabulary compared to the subtle distinctions between one wine and another.
I have been trying to find the right balance between enthusiasm for the new vintage and not going over the top in ‘hype’. The rich, ripe soft fruit might easily have reminded me of 1959 had I been old enough to taste them at the same stage. Like ’59 I think 2009 is really exciting in both colours. After all this in depth immersion in Burgundy I am going to take a break and enjoy some old Bordeaux in the next few days. Among the treats tonight will be a Danish bottling of Château Pavie Macquin 1947, discovered while I was signing books in Copenhagen last month!
|Splitting his time between Basingstoke and Burgundy, Berrys' own Burgundian expert finds time to report direct from the vineyards.|
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