News from the Côte de Beaune

A quick scamper round the Côte de Beaune this afternoon (Thursday August 24) suggests that things are about to get under way very quickly. Arnaud Ente has already picked a plot of young vines in Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts, and will start in earnest on Saturday. The Hospices de Beaune will bring in their Pouilly-Fuissé – others have already begun there – over the weekend and the Domaine des Comtes Lafon will start on Monday.

There is a respectable white crop in volume, though quite a lot of coulure, especially in vineyards which escaped the frost last year. However last year’s frost victims in both colours have bounced back with generous crops this year.

I toured the Clos des Château des Ducs in Volnay with Frédéric Lafarge, nibbling at the grapes: they already have an encouraging degree of sugar, and the pips are maturing nicely. One very happy Fred!

2 thoughts on “News from the Côte de Beaune

  1. Jasper
    I am pleased you will be writing full time and look forward to a revised book. You need to pick up the mantle from our old friend Clive now that he is “semi” retired. Would you consider including Regis Forey in your new edition? As you know a real character from a long Burgundian tradition-who makes wonderful and interesting wines.

  2. Peter
    We were able to add Regis Forey to the electronic edition of Inside Burgundy ( I like what he does. This is what was added:

    Domaine Forey Père & Fils
    For many people, Régis Forey has slipped somewhat under the radar. He cares very much about his wine, but is less interested in making a splash in overseas markets that like to make a cult of the winemaker. Régis is fourth-generation in Vosne-Romanée (though some of the vineyards come through his mother, who came from Premeaux) and has been bottling his own wines since 1983, encouraged by American importer Neal Rosenthal. The vines are managed with as much reference to the moon as possible, but according to lutte raisonnée rather than organic principles.
    The wines are made in a modern cuvérie (1999) on the flat land below the main road. The bunches are destalked, though Régis adds back in a small percentage of the stalks, selected from the sorting-table, for the benefit of their physical presence in the vat. There is the usual short cool soak, punching down up to fermentation then pumping over for a maximum of once a day thereafter, with a total of five weeks in vat. The lesser wines are frequently then matured in 500-litre demi-muids, with a little bit of lees-stirring before the malolactic fermentation. Bottling happens between December and February, usually unfiltered.
    Vosne-Romanée Les Gaudichots 1er Cru Forey has owned a small slice at the top of the appellation for years, but now has a worthwhile amount since taking over the plot next door. The original piece dates back to 1930, the addition from the 1950s, so these are properly old vines. Fifty per cent new wood is used. This can be a fabulous wine, chiselled and graceful, yet with really impressive intensity of fruit.
    Vosne-Romanée Les Petits Monts 1er Cru A small lot planted in 1970, just above DRC’s Richebourg. The limestone has been broken down almost into chalky sand on top of  a band of hard rock. This makes a wine of marvellous tension, very fine indeed. 
    Morey St Denis 1er cru From one plot which overlaps between Blanchards and Clos Baule. When Régis arrived the wine tended to be rather monolithic, but with ploughing of the vineyard it has opened up well. Now he extracts much less than he did, or indeed does for Nuits-St-Georges, and makes a compelling, attractive wine.
    Vosne-Romanée Made from 14 plots, all on the north side, from vineyards such as Violettes, Chalandins and Maizières, to provide a lifted and complex village Vosne.
    Domaine Forey Père & Fils                            Ha
    Clos Vougeot Grand Cru                                0.30
    Echezeaux Grand Cru                                   0.30
    Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Gaudichots             0.30
    Vosne-Romanée 1er CruPetits Monts             0.19
    Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Les St Georges      0.19
    Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Perrières                0.42
    Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru                                 0.09
    Vosne-Romanée                                           1.20
    Nuits-St-Georges                                           1.30
    Morey-St-Denis                                             1.20
     — Jasper

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *