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Burgundy Wine News 2017

recipe inspiration from chablis

 

Chablis wine, matching food, festive recipes

We're all looking for inspiration over the festive season to give a treat to friends and family. The recipe blog from Chablis has appealing ideas which are reasonably simple to make with instruction in five languages. We liked the look of tomato and mozzarella capuchino, lobster in lemongrass broth and cod soufflé with Chablis and watercress sauce. Each dish comes with a wine recommendation. For more ideas from Chablis...

Also see: Our Chef's Recipes and Matching Food and Wine


The 2017 vintage, the epitome of Bourgogne elegance


2017 Harvest Burgundy France, photo BIVB armellephotographe.com

The BIVB report, December 2017: 'The 2017 vintage is the epitome of Bourgogne elegance, and after several years of harvests that suffered the whims of the weather, this year has provided volumes set to satisfy the market, with wines that are already promising great things to come from this elegant vintage.

After spending the winter building up their strength, the vines profited fully from a very warm spring, with budburst in early April ensuring a head start in terms of the growth cycle that was maintained right up to the harvest. The plants progressed from stage to stage free from hindrance, and by mid-June, were flowering before rapid fruit set. An early vintage was confirmed.

During the summer, a few spells of heatwave alternated with more mixed weather. However, ripening continued at a good pace and by the end of August, the first grapes were being picked, two weeks ahead of average. Harvesting continued until mid-September as each plot reached peak maturity. The grapes were in exceptional health and required virtually no sorting. Everyone was very enthusiastic about this fabulous fruit, its peak ripeness, and the volumes produced. The only downside was a few areas which were hit by spring frosts, where yields were below norms.

Vinification went without a hitch and the mood was one of serenity for this vintage when the Bourgogne winegrowing region returned to more habitual levels of quantity.

The excellent results of the recent Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction reinforced this initial impression. The stability of the result (up almost 9% after a 30% drop in 2016) confirmed buyers’ interest in this vintage, with its perfectly balanced white wines and reds with their intense colour and expressive bouquet'.

Three day immersion in the 33 Bourgogne Grand Crus


In June 2018, the Ecole des Vins de Bourgogne is offering a unique training program to explore the 33 Grand Cru wines of the Bourgogne region. With just a single session per year, the Ecole des Vins de Bourgogne is offering the opportunity to taste and understand the complexity of some of the world’s most iconic appellations. For the Grand Cru of Chablis, the seven Climats and the monopole of La Moutonne will be presented. These three special days make up a unique learning experience, conducted in English. Early registration is advised, since places are limited.

Dates: 14 to 16 June 2018 (with a welcome evening on 13 June)
The price is €2,350, including three days of training with two experts, two dinners and three lunches, visits to three estates, plus landscape readings.

 

A mine of information on global wine markets

 

Julia Harding MW, one of Jancis Robinson's team, highlights the work of Professor Kym Anderson and his colleagues from Adelaide University. There are thre publications and she says: 'The statistical companion is a mine of information for anyone who wants a historical perspective on diverse topics such as vineyard areas, consumption taxes, bilateral trade, and even British wine imports back to the 14thC.' Read her article

Recognition for Vezelay wine

Vézelay becomes a Village appellation This is a wonderful promotion for Vézelay, one of the smallest Bourgogne appellations (66 hectares).

Vezelay Wine Village Appelleation, photo BIVB

Vines were first grown in Vézelay during the Roman era, but unfortunately, they were almost completely destroyed by phylloxera in 1884. In 1875, they began a gradual comeback, and were granted the Bourgogne appellation in 1985. Then in 1998, the quality and uniqueness of this terroir were recognized and given a welcome boost when they were awarded the Bourgogne Vézelay Régionale appellation.

There are around 20 winegrowers currently producing the Vézelay appellation, including many newcomers to the industry, following in the footsteps of those who came before and working to translate the unique characteristics of the Vézelay terroir into wine. The INAO crowned this combined effort in June 2017, putting its signature on the specifications for this new Village appellation, the 44th in the Bourgogne winegrowing region. These new specifications are rigorous, as they should be for a new Village appellation, with yields restricted to a maximum of 55hl/ha. And Vézelay is determined to continue expanding. Although far from the 1,000 hectares under vine in the Napoleonic era, this little winegrowing area, which previously covered 66 hectares, now has an additional 150 hectares of AOC Village available for planting, which will certainly delight fans of this 100% Chardonnay white wine with its pale yellow gold colour. A smooth ride for this appellation whose name promises some exceptional heritage. See Marilyn Floyd's article: Getting in the Community Spirit.


from the BIVB - july 2017

Vineyards of Burgundy, photo Aurelian Benitez BIVB

There has been a lot of success in fighting Flavescence Dorée in the Bourgogne wine growing region. By  working together the wine growers reversed the spread of the disease while reducing the use of insecticides by 80% over three years. Continuing this cooperation between the BIVB and the Confederation of Bourgogne Appellations and Winegrowers (CAVB) the region has drawn up a charter to reduce the use of products for pest and disease control in the vineyards. The Charter includes an action plan, the feasibility of which will be tested in the vines over a year before being widened out.
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decanter wine awards 2017

Albert Bichot Criots Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru The Decanter Wine Awards 2017 have now been published. This year 17,200 entries from all over the world vied for the coveted recommendations and the wines from Burgundy scooped up a total of 293 gongs (excluding Commended) with Beaujolais getting 62 medals.  Jasper Morris MW was the Regional Chair for Burgundy with a team of 13 other experts judging the wines.


The Medal winners

Burgundy wines received  7 Platinum Best in Show; 32 Gold medals; 104 Silver; 157 Bronze, and 45 Commended. Beaujolais wines received 14 Silver medals; 48 Bronze and 25 Commended.

Here are the prestigious Platinum Best in Show winners:

Albert Bichot Criots Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2014 White
Château de Santenay Les Brunettes et Planchots Aloxe-Corton 2015 Red
Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2015 Red
Domaine de la Vougeraie Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot Vougeot 1er Cru 2014 White
Jean Loron La Crochette Mâcon-Villages 2015 White
La Chablisienne Côte de Léchet Chablis 1er Cru 2014 White
Vignerons des Terres Secrètes Croix-Jarrier Mâcon-Verzé 2015 White

See the full Burgundy results

A matter of taste

Wine tasting notes decoded by Decanter MagazineEarthy, cedar, strawberry, chalky... when you read the experts' wine tasting notes, all sorts of descriptions are applied. Now Decanter Magazine has come up with some notes of its own to help understand the reasoning behind the names. Apparently 'Honeysuckle' is often 'a typical expression of oaked Chardonnay from the Côte de Beaune. It can be found alongside other nutty and floral notes, such as Louis Latour Meursault 1998 or amongst the complex candied aromas of Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, Puligny-Montrachet 2015'. Flint, 'derived from the French phrase goût de pierre à fusil, which literally means tasting of flint stone,' denotes minerality which is found in wines from Chablis and Sancerre. See tasting notes decoded



A PRESTIGIOUS PURCHASE

Bonneau du Martray, photo 365 jours en bourgogne, Laurent Gotti 'Considered one of the most prestigious estates on Corton Hill, the owning family of Domaine Bonneau du Martray has announced the sale of the majority of its shares to American businessman Enos Stanley Kroenke' reports Decanter.com. Kroenke owns Screaming Eagle winery in Napa Valley and is the majority owner of Arsenal football club. Located on the hillsides of Aloxe-Corton and Pernand-Vergelesses, the 11 hectares produce only Grands Crus from Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.

The wine economy in Burgundy

The BIVB has bought out a pictorial pdf showing various aspects of the wine economy in the region - information on average production, varietal distribution, regional variations, distribution of appellations, markets, and surface areas – you can find all this and more in Key Figures for Bourgogne Wine which makes for interesting reading. From the poor reproduction below you can see the idea. PDF link



'A Highly Entertaining Uncorking of Counterfeit Wine Scandal'

Sour Grapes documentary, the story of Rudi KurniawanThe fascinating story of Rudi Kurniawan the wine forger unfolds in a new documentary aired on Neflix called 'Sour Grapes.' The scope of this scam instigated by the very convincing and charismatic Rudi will keep you enthralled as the Burgundy wine producer Laurent Ponsot, the auctioneers. the collectors, the ex CIA agent, the FBI and Kurniawan's new found friends account the scale of the counterfeiting and the one man induced price hype of the wine over recent years. Rudi has taken the rap and is serving a ten year prison
sentence but could one man really have done all this
alone? Read The Guardian review.

User friendly wineries to visit

Domaine Joliet Burgundy Domaine Quivy Burgundy

Domaine d'Arduy Burgundy

 

Domaine Joliet, Domaine Quivy, Domaine d'Ardhuy, three of the winegrowers offering tastings with Rue des Vignerons

In Burgundy the wine grower may be a one man band or a family affair. As Jancis Robinson points out in her article on visiting Burgundy's wineries, it is not easy to find them in their cellars to pay them a visit, usually they are out in the vineyard tending their plants. In Beaune and Chablis the tourist is well provided for with tastings on offer but drive out to Gevrey-Chambertin or Aloxe-Corton and where do you start? Now help is at hand. Rue des Vignerons is a website which tells you the user-friendly winegrowers offering tastings and cellar visits in Burgundy and Beaujolais, plus the other famous wine regions of France. The website is in English, there is no fee for their service and you book online, preferably ahead of time but a minimum of 30 minutes before you want to go. Some of the tastings are free of charge, and the website gives full details of the visits on offer and the prices plus a map and location details. You can buy wines at the cellars at reduced prices too. This certainly simplifies life and assures you of a warm welcome on arrival.

Putting over the passion

Discovering the vineyard climates of Burgundy Youri LebaultIf you need a reminder of why this wine region keeps beckoning you, take a look at Youri Lebault's book, 'Discovering the vineyard climates of Burgundy'. Concentrating on the Côte d'Or in the wake of its UNESCO ranking, Youri explains the 'climates' and origins of the vineyards leading up to the present day, he talks to some of the well-known growers such as Aubert de Villaine of Romanée Conti who has written the preface to the book, to Olivier Leflaive and Sylvain Pitiot. Lebault operates a luxury-end wine tour business and the final section of the book is devoted to tourist routes which he recommends. All this is presented with intoxicating pictures by Armelle photographe and good maps by Syvain Pitiot making you want to arrange your trip to the vineyards tout de suite. As one reviewer of Youri's trips says: he will 'enhance your experience beyond all your expectations'

The book is available in an English version and a French one, costing 25 euros, plus postage from Youri.

walk in the vineyards with a free app

A good looking app for walkers in the vineyards of Burgundy comes from the Côte d'Or Tourist Office. Packed with information and routes, it is entitled 'Bourgogne Rando Vignes, available in French, f.o.c. at the Apple Store or Google Play. GPS enabled for offline use.

Connoisseurs' Wine Tours

French Wine Explorers, an American based company, specialise in top end wine tours to France. Their Burgundy tour focuses on the Grand Cru wines and their related châteaux and domaines, or spend a few days in Champagne or Paris before heading on to Burgundy. In each case, these are trips for people who are short on time but who want to see and pack in the crème-de-la-crème of the region.

Tastings and Tours

Whether you want an introductory wine tasting or a more in-depth look, there is now a wide choice based around Beaune and Chablis. In our Gourment Tours section, we highlight some of the wine experiences - wine tours and tasting lunches.

The Marché aux Vins in the centre of Beaune, next to the Hotel-Dieu, is an excellent introduction to the best wines of the region. There you can taste the famous names from Meursault to Puligny-Montrachet at your leisure. The Marché aux Vins is open every day and the visit and tasting costs 10 € per person.

The Hôtel du Conseiller du Roy, is the impressive HQ of Bouchard Aîné & Fils on the ring road around Beaune. You can visit the age-old cellars and take a tasting tour for 10 € per person, lasting one hour. In one of the cellars there are pots of different scents from cinnamon to Lapsang Souchong tea to help you identify the personality of the wines you are sampling. Open daily from 9.30 - 12.30 and 14.00 - 19.00.

Wine Tours - Wherever you are in the world, so much more can come out of a trip when you have an experienced guide showing you the way. Robert and Joy Pygott, an English couple living in Burgundy, share their knowledge with you on their wine tours, visiting small independent vineyards and meeting the vignerons. About 20 wines are tasted throughout the day, and a three-course lunch is included in the price. There are one, two and three day tours to choose from with transport in their air-conditioned Land Rover Discovery. Prices for a day’s tour range from 150€ per person, and weekend trips can be planned to include accommodation. Their deep passion and boundless enthusiasm for Burgundy is infectious. robert@burgundydiscovery.com

Also see: Gourmet Tours

wine books

For more information on Burgundy Wine, see Wine Guidebooks

Pam Elson ©burgundytoday.com