It's a very exciting time at Honest Grapes as we once again gear up for Burgundy En Primeur, and founders Tom & Nathan are fresh back from the Cote d'Or having tasted their way across the vintage with our favourite growers. We will have plenty to share in due course about the upcoming 2022 vintage (here's a clue ... it's excellent), though in the meantime here are some notes from our trip!
Lunch at Le Train Bleu in Paris with Jean-Baptiste Prevost of Champagne Pol Couronne. He showed us his first vintage of his single vineyard ‘Les Vignes de Village’ 2017. 100% Pinot Meunier.
First visit today with members of our Burgundy Barrel Syndicates was to Domaine de Montille, who is completing the élévage of our 2022 Hospices wines.
"Stand-out" and "stunning" crop up repeatedly in our descriptions but are well deserved - those who took shares in any of our three cuvées (Meursault Goureau, Floquet Beaune Gréves 1er Cru, and Dom Goblet Pommard 1er Cru) will be delighted with the end product. Even 3-6 months away from bottling these are delicious wines!
Thank you Manon for hosting us today and Ludivine and Brian for crafting such stellar Burgundies.
Followed by a delicious lunch with at the Hungry Cyclist with special guest Jane Eyre accompanied by a range of her recent vintages...
Line-up included our 2021 Hospices de Beaune 1er cru Savigny Les Beaune and bottle no. 1 of her Pommard 1er Cru Arvelets 2022 - bottled exclusively for our Club Members.
Thanks Tom for wonderful, relaxed hospitality as always and Jane for some amazing wines. Was hard to drag ourselves away!
Then back to Beaune for a walk round the Hotel Dieu.
Tasting at Delaunay with our special barrel of single vineyard Bourgogne Aligoté (only £23.40/bottle DP), then Paulée Dinner in Beaune.
The Clos de la Roche 2013 from Pousse d’Or and the Corton Charlemagne 2020 from Rapet were stunning.
An action packed day, tasting at:
Domaine de la Pousse d'Or - wow!
Domaine du Clos Frantin - lush
Domaine du Pavillon - elegance (wonderful Meursault Criots)
Domaine de Rochgrès - juicy
Pierre Meurgey - bags of fruit
Hospices de Beaune - wow
Domaine Alain Chavy - fantastic Pulignys this year after last year's wipeout
Pousse d'Or 2022 is uniformly wonderful. The Santenay 1er Cru Clos des Tavannes and Chambolle-Musigny village wine are scrummy entry points. Of the Volnays, all were great with the Caillerets emphasising delicacy, the Bousse d'Or having the biggest burst of perfume and red fruit, with the Clos des 60 Oevrees and Clos d'Audignac being more profound and a little austere at this stage in their evolution.
More significant is the choice between amphora and barrique. The Volnays in barrique are lush, perfumed with rounded tannins and slighty sweet fruit, whereas those in amphora show crunchier fruit and more tannic structure.
Tasting the Hospices de Beaune 2023 wines at the cuverie with winemaker Ludivine Griveau. For Laurent Delaunay this is the domaine's best vintage in the last decade - and certainly there are are some lovely elegant, fresh, spicy and nuanced reds and some impressively rich, textured whites.
The Piece des Présidents is extra special this year as the barrel is made from the same oak tree being used to restore the spire of Notre Dame in Paris, and will be sold in aid of the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (FRM) and the Initiative de Recherche pour une Longévité en Bonne Santé (IRLB). Will it break the €1 million barrier??? We shall see...
An action packed day!
Philippe Pacalet - always need more time here, especially with some new cuvées on show, including first barrels of Vosne Romanèe Haut Maizeres - a vineyard that those who know Philippe's history will know has a special resonance.
Jean-Claude Ramonet - an amazing tasting concluding with 2019 Bienvenues Batard and Batard Montrachet and 2020 Montrachet 🤯 - thanks Christine.
Frederic Magnien - more eggs and amphorae than anyone else in Côte d'Or!
Henri Magnien - Charles demonstrating that making first class Gevrey is pretty easy compared to the concentration required to wax capsule a magnum.
Domaine des Lambrays - Jacques and barrels of Vosne Romanèe Les Beaux Monts, just one of the new vineyards the estate now numbers amongst its growing holdings. 2022 and first vintage 2021 will be released together next year...
Taupenot-Merme - Romain explaining once again why his top cuvée really should be labelled Mazoyeres-Saint-Denis.
Jean Tardy - get ready... Guillaume has joined Instagram, next stop - TikTok sensation! (Hopefully he'll still have time to make a bit of wine inbetween posts)
A stunning display for 2022 and 2021 wines from Pierre Gros, dashing scion of Domaine Michel Gros in Vosne-Romanée. We tasted several wines we're not allowed to mention, plus: Fontaine Saint Martin rouge, Vosne Romanée, Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Aux Brûlées, Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Clos de Reas, Fontaine St Martin blanc.
The 2021s (in bottle) are in a lovely place, with bright spices, crunchy red fruit and very elegant. The 2022s (in barrel) have more intense perfume, somewhat deeper fruit but till red/blue - a solar year but bright and elegant wines.
Wonderful Pernand-Vergelesses with Vincent and Robin Rapet. The soil makes all the difference on the huge hill of Corton. We always love their Premier Cru ‘Sous Fretille’.
Marianne Duroché led us through the domaine's ever sought after Gevrey cuvées - and hinted at some exciting new negociant cuvées on the horizon.
A masterclass in Chassagne-Montrachet by Celine Fontaine of Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard, pointing out family's various Chassagne vineyards in the cellars.
Charles Cacheux (brother of Marianne Duroché) at Jaques Cacheux in Vosne, which owns some very juicy parcels, including 0.16ha in Le Croix Rameau, the mythical 0.6ha 1er cru surrounded by Romanèe-Saint-Vivant...
A trip to Impasse des Crêts, to taste Philippe Colin's wines, the domaine's holdings having been split last year with a significant portion of the vineyards going to son Simon, who is also now based in the winery on the outskirts of town.
2022 is Charles'' second vintage at the family domaine - Eric Boigelot, in Meursault, one of most prized discoveries last year. Definitely one to watch...
Our last visit was back at Domaine de Montille with Etienne, Brian and Jacques - where we began our trip over a week ago with our Hospices barrels syndicate members! A great place to finish and some excellent expressions of the vintage.
Thanks to all those who hosted us and sorry to those we couldn't squeeze in to the itinerary - just gives us a good excuse to return soon!
It was a tremendous trip, and make sure to join our Burgundy Briefing for our view on the vintage!