Posts with the label "volnay"


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 memorable vertical of Clos des Ducs

A memorable vertical of Clos des Ducs

Wednesday 22nd May 2019
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

When an invitation to a 29 wine vertical of Marquis d’Angerville’s Monopole Clos des Ducs landed on my e-doorstep, I did not think twice.  Invites like this don’t come round very often, in fact it may be the only chance I ever get to taste this wine so extensively, I thought to myself.  

Guillaume d’Angerville had hosted such a tasting on only two previous occasions, one at the estate and one in the US. As the small group of importers and journalists sat there in d’Angerville’s cellars, a collective and very palpable sense of excitement was building. By the end of both an enjoyable and educational tasting, there was a sense we had all partaken in something very special. A feeling exuded by Guillaume as much as anyone else, for whom tasting pre 2003 vintages must have brought back vivid recollections of his father. Great wine should not only be a highly pleasurable sensory experience but an evocative and emotional one that creates memories, and as such is all the better for being shared. The Clos des Ducs tasting proved this as much as any I have been to. 

A Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy Dinner

A Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy Dinner

Friday 2nd November 2018
by Alex Turnbull

Two weeks ago a very special dinner took place at 61 St James’s Street celebrating the wines of Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy and others. 

It was a magical evening, made all the better by exceptional food from Simpkin and Roses. All of the Bize-Leroy wines, including the Romanee Conti’s, came from the Justerini & Brooks Cellar, where they have been sitting since shipping from the respective Domaines on release. These are my notes.

Kicking off the evening with a glass of fizz and a canapé, we tried two vintages of iconic Champagne Salon from Les Mesnil Sur Oger. Easily one of the most instantly recognisable Champagne houses, it was fascinating to try the 1999 and 1996 in quick succession. Some wines have the remarkable ability to transport you back in time, and the 1999 did just that. Orchard and citrus fruits of apples and lemons, with a lovely creamy texture and a perfumed finish, I am pleased to report that the 1999 has barely developed since the last time I tried it and shows all of the signs that it will continue to age at a snail-like pace. The 1996 which we drunk next was marginally more evolved but no less delicious, and definitely entering its drinking window now.

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.

An evening at Glamis castle with Dominique Lafon

An evening at Glamis castle with Dominique Lafon

Monday 22nd May 2017
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Every now and again there are moments that pause the whir of busy modern life, occasions to savour.  One I particularly relished recently was an unforgettable evening at Glamis castle with Dominique Lafon, who presented his sophisticated wines, most effortlessly, to a keen audience of thirty six well-heeled epicureans.

When I first learnt of the inspired idea, last year, and despite thoughts of all of the huge amount of work involved (above all for our quite brilliant Events Manager, Catriona Palmer) I knew it was something I did not want to miss. All concerns of logistics, timings, menus and jobs on the night dissipated into Forfar’s fresh air the minute the car turned into a long tree-lined drive, at the end of which Glamis castle sat proudly in all its splendour.  The evening promised to be a special one indeed.   

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