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Showing posts from July, 2008

Visit to Burgundy, day I

As I wrote in my previous posting: last Thursday Jan and I left early in the morning, and before we arrived at our first date − Chenu at Savigny-lès-Beaune − we perched down on the heavenly terrace of La Miotte in Ladoix-Serrigny to refuel with an Andouillette sause moutarde à l'ancienne (chitlings) − which I washed down with a slightly cooled Ladoix 2005 from Capitain-Gagnerot. A mediocre wine, but fine for this honourable purpose.

AUBERGE DE LA MIOTTE IN LADOIX-SERRIGNY, THE ONLY UN-PEACEFUL THING ABOUT THIS PLACE IS THE PASSING TRAIN... BUT WELL, THAT'S OF COURSE QUITE A ROMANTIC NOISE

Domaine Louis Chenu et Filles, Savigny-lès-Beaune

Then off to our first visit in Savigny-lès-Beaune. Where the two daughters of Louis Chenu run the family domain: Caroline is the winemaker, and Juliette does the commercial part of the business.

The domain, like most serious domains these days, is transferring to organic viticulture. A process that takes about five years, and it is done step by st…

Trip to Burgundy!

Tomorrow at 05:00h in the morning I am leaving for a short trip to Burgundy, together with Jan van Roekel. At 14:00h we have our first visit in Savigny-lès-Beaune. After which another eight visits will follow the coming days. Exciting visits, a/o to "superstar" (quoting Serena Sutcliffe MW) Jean Thévenet. Tomorrow evening we will have dinner at Ma Cuisine, with David Clark, the magical winemaker from Morey-St-Denis. (And in the weekend we will certainly go to my favourite restaurant in Beaune: Caves Madeleine.) Enough to be thrilled about. It will just take some time before I publish my next posting − probably somewhere next week. Just for the feeling I post below the classic (or classy) label of Thévenet's stunning Tradition. The bottle was from 1995, and we opened it in 2008 − one of those unforgettable wine experiences...!


By the way, if you were looking for something to read, today Sophie Kevany happened to have published a short article about Burgundy on Wine Busines…

No one ever crashed a car after drinking too much Petrus

I have been gripped by the new, first ever, French anti-binge drinking campaign. I had to watch the TV spot, launched the day before yesterday (July 17th) at least four times. My god. The tagline is 'excess of alcohol results in comas, violence, accidents and sexual abuse'. There, but for the grace of my guardian angel, went I. And not on a tropical sandy beach either.

The thing was that in the roaring 90's in Dublin, the more money there was, the more we drank. Nights out. Weekends gone. Restaurant bills one couldn't quite remember paying. Tabs for champagne run up and forgotten until someone was kind enough to remind you.

I was not surprised in fact to read that 'drink related liver disease' as it is called – used to be cirrhosis – in Ireland was up 234% in the last seven years, which falls in nicely with the rise of the Celtic Tiger. Let's hope the fall does us all good.

The thing is, in Ireland you tended to drink the money in your pocket and since we neve…

Couhins 2007, Roquefort 2007 and some more white Bordeaux 2007

The 2007 vintage seems to have been more successful for the white wines than for the red wines. I am using the word "seems" because eventually time will tell. As Beverley Blanning MW comments in Decanter: "The wines certainly have lovely pure and delicate Sauvignon-dominant fruit - perfect for early drinking - but it's not clear if they have the acidity or fruit concentration to be long-lived."


This week I tasted four white 2007s, some meant to be drunk early (or at least not after a long period of cellaring), some also fit for the longer term. And yes, all four showed "Sauvignon-dominant fruit".

1. Château Roquefort 2007, Bordeaux blanc sec. Meant for early drinking (2008 - 2010). A very good continuation after the delicious Roquefort 2006. The 2007 (still) comes across lean and clean - especially compared to the somewhat broader 2006 - and with a little youthful sweetness in the nose. In the mouth the 2007 is very refreshing showing a little more acid…

No more Grand Cru Classés from Saint-Emilion...

Mainly because of the launch of my own wine import I was too busy last week to sit down and write a posting for the blog. That doesn't feel good, but sometimes one really has to leave the computer...

So I will restrict myself to mentioning one thing: the trashing of the Saint-Emilion classification (you will have heard about it by now). In November I could still write "Without doubt, many St Emilion châteaux will have heaved a deep sigh of relief: earlier this week the Conseil d'Etat abolished the temporary suspension of the 2006 St Emilion classification." But today no sighs of relief. Just horror. The classification died, it seems.

Many châteaux are about to bottle their 2006, but none of these wines can now be labeled "(Premier) Grand Cru Classé" (there is still the appellation Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, but that doesn't have any value).

If you listen to the reaction of various chateaux-owners, this decision will have a very negative impact on the right b…

Biodynamic opulence: Leflaive and L'esquisse

Others have said the same, but if you look at the ongoing improvement in quality of the wines from Giscours and Du Tertre, until today,− if you look at the enormous investments that have been made throughout the last 10-15 years,− if you take into account that Eric Albada Jelgersma had earned enough money to buy Giscours, and later Du Tertre, with the purpose and challenge to transform these potentially grand wines from mediocre crus to truly grand crus, it simply does not make sense to think that Mr Albada Jelgersma commanded to mix up some Haut-Médoc with wine from the Margaux appellation;− to make some minor short-term profit. On announced appeal yesterday's court judgement will probably − and hopefully − be reversed.

Then for something completely different: drinking great wines. Yesterday I enjoyed two beauties: first a Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru "Clavoillon" 1997 from Domaine Leflaive, and thereafter a L'esquisse de La Tour Figeac 2001. Two very different wines t…