Posts with the label "burgfest"


Le Marathon Bourguignon

Le Marathon Bourguignon

Monday 9th September 2019
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

The Hameau de Barboron was the perfect setting for two Burgundy marathons. 2016 White Burgfest and 2016 Red Burgfest proved to be an unexpectedly comprehensive pair of tastings.

The White tasting held in May, the red at the beginning of this month. A total of 218 white and 259 red samples were mustered, a show of great faith and generosity from growers given the tiny yields of this frost-ravaged vintage. A group of 12 wine merchants and journalists gathered to taste blind over 4 mornings each for the red and white wine marathons.  At white Burgfest there were 38 blind flights, at red Burgfest 43 blind flights, each organised by village and, where possible, vineyard.  The rabble, herded patiently by Jasper Morris, included myself, William Kelley (for the white tasting only) Jason Haynes (Flint), Catherine Petrie (Comte Armand), Matthew Hemming (Vinum), Adam Bruntlett (BBR) Toby Morhall (The Wine Society), Christopher Moestue (Moestue grape selections), Neil Beckett (World of Fine Wine), Luis Gutierrez who made a cameo appearance in the absence of Neal Martin for white Burgfest, and a well recovered Neal Martin himself who returned for the reds this month. A full, collective report of the Burgfest tastings will be published in the World of Fine Wine towards the end of this year. In the meantime find herewith my own personal thoughts: 

Burgfest: The 2015 Red Vintage

Burgfest: The 2015 Red Vintage

Tuesday 18th September 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

The prospect of four mornings spent blind tasting some of the finest reds in the Cote d’Or would be a mouth-watering one to any Burgundy lover... 

...though the reality of tasting 244 embryonic red burgundies from one of the most tannic and deeply coloured vintages on record was a more sobering thought - the daunting idea of trying to retain an unflinching concentration to give each wine its fair chance whilst endless batteries of between four to nine wine flights come in, wave after to wave, to assault the senses. Fuelled by enough restorative baskets of bread and gallons of water, I would just about make it to the end, palate intact, I thought to myself.  And yet….  The 2015 confounded this and many other tasters in the room.  I was surprised by the openness, joy and energy I found in the wines, tasting them was a sheer pleasure from start to finish.  Make no mistake, this is a powerful and concentrated vintage, but one with a sense of balance.  Only a few wines displayed alcohols that were out of kilter. Equally some wines from some producers will always have harsh tannins, but for the most part I found the wines had nice contours  - tannins were fine-grained, even seamless in some cases.  Acidities were not obvious but you could sense the role they played in supporting the wines’ big structures. This is without doubt a vintage “de garde” but a classy one.

A Burgundy Tasting: Burgfest 2015

A Burgundy Tasting: Burgfest 2015

Friday 15th June 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

At the end of May the Burgfest team, an 11-strong group comprising a mix of burgundy specialist journalists and merchants, gathered at the tranquil Hameau de Barboron in the forest above Savigny-Les-Beaune to taste the great white crus of Burgundy from the 2015 vintage.  

We braved our wild boar-infested surroundings and knuckled down to taste 235 white burgundies blind over four mornings. The wines were organised in flights by village and then by vineyard or vineyard style, ranging from four to nine wines each.  The line-up was pretty mouth-watering:  tranches of Grand Cru Chablis, Meursault Perrieres, Chassagne Caillerets and Puligny Folatieres were just a few courses on a very appetising menu that was to culminate with nine Chevalier Montrachets and four Montrachets at the end of the last morning.  This was an unparalleled and unmissable opportunity to taste the great whites of Burgundy side by side, and what a thrill it ended up being.  Herewith my own personal thoughts on the wines.

The Big Burgfest Blog: 2013 shines

The Big Burgfest Blog: 2013 shines

Monday 17th October 2016
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Over the four days and 244 wines of Red Burgfest 2013 vintage, there were plenty of tannin-stained smiles.  

Judging by all of these bottled samples from the Cote d’Or’s finest crus and producers,  2013 is what it always promised to be from cask:  Overall a very good vintage that, whilst uneven, is capable of hitting the heights. The odd stain on the largely rosy tasting notes was that a few wines appeared to be picked a tad too early.  At best, though, this is a racy, ethereal and pure vintage with good intensity levels, there may not be the overall consistency or concentration of 2010 but it offers more charm and approachability in its youth. 

White Burgfest 2012: An update on 2012 White Burgundies

White Burgfest 2012: An update on 2012 White Burgundies

Tuesday 9th June 2015
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

As wickets tumbled against New Zealand, at least the nine strong 2015 White Burgfest group proved their staying power.  

Over two and a half days the team tasted through the 2012 vintage of Chablis and the Cote d’Or’s top Premier and Grand Cru vineyards from growers and negociants alike.  In total 191 wines were tasted, all blind, by village and vineyard, across 28 flights.  75 of the region’s most famous, and infamous, producers were represented.  The tasting was a great privilege, presenting several rare opportunities such as the chance to compare Meursault Perrieres from eight of the village’s top growers side by side, or examine a six-strong flight of Chablis Les Clos, or even, on the last morning, indulge in the merits of five different Chevalier Montrachets.  But enough gloating, how are the 2012s looking?  Well my own personal thoughts are as follows:

2012 White Burgundy in bottle tastes every bit as concentrated as it did from barrel, hardly surprising given that this was one of the smallest ever crops (I recall Sauzet making 2 barrels of Folatieres instead of 10, the smallest since Gerard Boudot started in 1974!)  In some instances this made the wines difficult to taste, so much power and density left you wondering how long it was going to take for them to be at their best.  There were enough shining examples, though, to suggest this is a good to very good, if not all time great vintage.  In such extreme growing conditions, there was always going to be a degree of variability amongst the 2012s. As ever a grower either managed the conditions well or not, but particularly stark this year was how some terroirs generally performed better than others.  The concentration in this vintage has served to magnify a vineyard’s characteristics rather than mask them, but sometimes to the point of caricature.   

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