Posts with the label "burgundy"


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.

Domaine Bruno Clair: Our Man in Marsannay

Domaine Bruno Clair: Our Man in Marsannay

Thursday 13th September 2018
by Mark Dearing

Domaine Bruno Clair today concludes its grape harvest, one of the earliest in living memory. Like the rest of Europe, Burgundy has sweltered in the hot and dry summer of 2018. 

Reports suggest that less than a millimetre of rain has fallen since early June. Hot weather has really been the only concern though, coming soon after a series of complicated vintages marked by frost and hailstorms which posed far greater challenges for Burgundy’s vignerons. Nevertheless, thirty-three degrees centigrade in mid-September poses problems and the need to keep the freshly picked grapes as cool as possible is a concern. In Bruno Clair’s words though, “better too hot than wet.” 

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.

A Wine Grower Dinner with Drouhin’s Christophe Thomas

A Wine Grower Dinner with Drouhin’s Christophe Thomas

Tuesday 22nd May 2018
by Alasdair Lawson-Dick

Fifty eight Burgundy fans descended on top St Andrews restaurant The Adamson for our recent Joseph Drouhin Wine Dinner.

As the early evening sun went down guests enjoyed a glass of Justerini & Brooks Sarcey Brut Private Cuvee, while our speaker from Drouhin, Christophe Thomas, was introduced. Two white wines accompanied East Neuk Crab: a surprisingly rich and textured St Aubin and a more stately and complex Puligny Montrachet – both from the attractive 2014 vintage.

A rare rack of lamb followed and many guests proclaimed the fourth wine, a Chambolle Musigny 2014, as the wine of the evening.  Proceeded by a delicious, fresh Cote de Beaune 2013, the Chambolle was dark in colour and long on the palate and matched the black olive and caper and red wine sauce, beautifully.

The Wonderful Women of Wine

The Wonderful Women of Wine

Thursday 8th March 2018
by Justerini & Brooks

We all have our romantic image of ‘Winemaker’ – stood proud on rolling hillside, in worn Timberland boots, jeans, slightly crumpled shirt and hardy jacket – and most of the time that image is male. 

As the riddle goes, a boy and his father are out for a drive when they are involved in a car accident. The father dies at the scene, his son is alive but in critical condition, and is rushed to hospital for surgery. When the boy arrives in A&E, the doctor takes one look at him and says, “I can’t operate on my son.” How is this possible? Of course, the doctor is his mother. 

We are all guilty of our assumptions, our “single stories” and gender biases, and it doesn’t stop at doctors, firefighters, and military pilots. When I show customers our portfolio, they will often stop at a winery and exclaim, “Oh, I love his wines!” leaving me to gently agree that yes, her wines are indeed fantastic. 

Historically this may ring true. Wine-making is a gruelling, physical job – crushing grapes is hard work! There are many winemaking regions where land ownership would have been passed to the sons and not the daughters. But there are electric crushers, and laws have changed. However, as any woman in wine will tell you, changes in technology and law are only the beginning. Attitudes too must change. Here are some of our favourite winemakers who are doing just that.

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