Posts with the label "domaine du comte liger-belair"


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: 

A Spotlight on Burgundy

A Spotlight on Burgundy

Wednesday 17th April 2019
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Since our inception in St James’s in 1749, Justerini & Brooks has always looked to push boundaries and explore new territories in the world of fine wine. Before it found such popularity over the last decade or so, Burgundy had long been at the heart of our illustrious portfolio.  

In 1992 Hew Blair pioneered the introduction of Burgundy En Primeur tastings by becoming the first British merchant to showcase barrel samples from family-owned Burgundy domaines to private customers, fundamentally altering the way the UK bought its Burgundy.  Hew would go on to become our Chairman in 2008, a position he still holds to this day, and served as President of the Royal Warrant Holders Association in 2011. During his 45 years of service to the company Hew has watched the wine world blossom, seeing Burgundy go from the point of near commercial irrelevance to its current position as one of the most coveted wine-producing regions in the world. We now buy from over fifty producers and are immensely proud to be one of the largest domaine-bottled Burgundy importers in the UK.

Vintage Report: Burgundy 2017 - Beguiling Burgundian Elegance

Vintage Report: Burgundy 2017 - Beguiling Burgundian Elegance

Thursday 3rd January 2019
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

The 2017 vintage is already being lauded as a great year for whites, but make no mistake this is a superb red vintage, too. When producers like Freddy Mugnier say “I think these were the best, most healthy, grapes I have ever picked” you sit up and take notice. For the Pinots display a beguiling mix of ripe, sensual fruit, delicacy, elegance and freshness. What’s more they offer vivid terroir characteristics - this is a red burgundy lover’s vintage par excellence.

The season started early and resulted in a precocious harvest (taking place between 3rd and 13th September for Pinot Noir). Based on readings taken throughout the calendar year, 2017 was the warmest on record. However the summer was remarkably well-balanced without any extremes in temperature. After a successful flowering, drought was the only potential danger, but rainfall at the end of August put paid to that. Conditions for harvest were perfect with sunny, warm days and cooler nights. There was one notable day of rain within the first two weeks of September otherwise growers could pick when they liked. All of this sounds rather easy, and largely it was, but there were two key factors for making really great, rather than merely “good” Pinots in 2017: Yields and élévage. In the words of Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, who has made a stunning range of 2017s “there was time to pick and to get ripe fruit, even with high yields, but if you did not control yields the wines will be a little diluted.” The second factor was to make sure the beautifully ripe, seductive fruit of the vintage was captured and not allowed to dry out, many of the growers we visited in November had already begun racking their wines in preparation for a slightly earlier bottling than usual. Early in the season green harvests were seen by many as crucial elements in controlling yields. By harvest time, grapes were uniformly ripe and very healthy, almost all producers we spoke to made it clear that tables de tries were largely redundant. Despite this fruit ripeness, sugars were in perfect balance, alcohols ranging between a balanced 13 to 13.5%. Such was the maturity of the stalks and grapes that those who practice whole bunch fermentations often included a greater percentage than usual in their fermenters, which seems to have been a successful approach, adding nerve and complexity to the wines. Whether whole-bunch or de-stalked though, the wines commonly display ripe, pliable fruit textures and, despite it not being a particularly high acid vintage, a distinct energy and freshness.

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.

Justerini & Brooks' Portfolio Tasting

Justerini & Brooks' Portfolio Tasting

Friday 2nd February 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Since 1749 we have been supplying the very finest wines and spirits to our customers in Great Britain and beyond.  

Portfolio has always sat at the very heart of Justerini & Brooks. This is why we invest so much and take such pride in how and what we source.  Our six Buyers spend half of the year travelling and tasting in cellars around the globe. Their aim is to track down the world’s finest wines, those that speak of their origins and that our customers will delight in drinking. We directly import from over 300 producers, including the greatest, scarcest names such as Pétrus, Château Lafleur, Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair and Domaine Armand Rousseau. But at Justerini & Brooks we have always valued the undiscovered gem just as much as the famous label.  It is why we have always extolled the virtues of German wine, why we were championing red Burgundy over twenty five years ago before anyone was interested and why we have been banging the drum for Piedmont since the mid-nineties.

Older Posts >