Tell me your Chinese Zodiac sign, I will tell you your Bourgogne wines


Chinese Zodiac Sign - The rat The Rat

The Rat is the smallest of the 12 animals featured in the Zodiac cycle. It is nocturnal, acute, charming and versatile. The Petit Chablis is most appropriate to be likened to the Rat. Petit Chablis charms the nose with aromas of white blossom, citrus fruit and sometimes peach, and delights the palate with zesty and light sensation, while a roundedness balances the vibrant acidity, leaving the palate with a lasting impression. This may be Chablis’s ‘baby’ sister appellation, but it is not a ‘petit’ wine at all.

  The Ox

The Ox symbolizes diligence, dependability, strength and determination. It is treasured for its honest and steadfast nature. The red wine from Mercureyone of the five Village appellations of the Côte Chalonnaise, aptly embodies these bovine characters in its rich, sturdy and meaty style, showing sometimes unyielding tannins in youth and rewarding lengthy cellaring allowing the tannins to become more rounded.

 The Tiger

The Tiger is brave, competitive, unpredictable, and self-confident. What better to compare with the Tiger than the Pernand-Vergelesses Village appellation from the Côte de Beaune. The white wine of Pernand-Vergelesses displays confident upbringing, sharing some of the noble traits of neighbouring Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, with linear tension in youth, developing mineral-laden complexity with age. In red, Pernand-Vergelesses is fleshy and robust, confident in its balance, freshness and well-groomed structure, making it a fine and earlier-drinking alternative to nearby Corton Grand Cru that typically takes patience to reach its pinnacle.

 The Rabbit

Tame and gentle it may be, the Rabbit is a popular animal. People born in the year of the Rabbit display compassionate and sincere characters, and they thrive in the company of friends and family. Pouilly-Fuissé, a Village appellation from the Mâconnais is the most convivial of Bourgogne’s appellations. Elegant and full of charm, Pouilly-Fuissé entices with layered notes of hazelnut, almond, citrus, acacia, buttered brioche and honey, and an opulent texture and full-bodied structure. It is a straightforward, yet rich and complex wine, to accompany a diversity of cuisines and dishes.

 The Dragon

The Dragon is the most powerful animal in the Zodiac range. The village of Morey-Saint-Denis in the Côte de Nuits could easily earn the enviable nickname of “Crête du Dragon” or the Dragon’s crest by counting 20 Premier Cru Climats and five Grand Cru appellations in the hillside above the village: Clos de la Roche, Clos Saint-Denis, Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays and sharing the Bonnes Mares appellation with Chambolle-Musigny. Stylistically, the red Morey-Saint-Denis Village appellation forms the bridge between Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny, it is masculine, full and powerful in the mouth and marries well with game and meat dishes with intense flavours.

 The Snake

The Snake is enigmatic, intelligent and wise. Being the only Village appellation in Bourgogne that can appear in three colours – white, red and rosé, Marsannay delivers diversity and quality. It shares the sturdiness of neighbouring Fixin and the regal structure of Gevrey-Chambertin in the Côte de Nuits. Red Marsannay is powerful and generous on the palate, leading to a long meaty finish.

 The Horse

The free-roaming Horse is self-sufficient and energetic. The Chablis Premier Cru encompasses 40 different Climats across the two banks of River Serein, each with its unique typicity, depending on exposure and soil. Chablis Premier Cru can be tight and mineral or flowery and opulent in youth, depending on the Climat. It beguiles the wine-lover with its multitude of personalities.

 The Goat

The Goat treasures solitary moments to develop its creative thoughts. Similarly, Saint-Véran does not overwhelm the taster with opulent notes. This white wine appellation from the Mâconnais is fresh, full-bodied and luscious but dry and well-fruited, with good concentration backed by sufficient acidity. Perfect as an aperitif drink, but it can also stand up to pairing with creamy poultry or seafood dishes, thanks to its lively acidity.

 The Monkey

The Monkey is witty, energetic and active, if sometimes lacking a little discipline. The Chablis Grand Cru is a worthy pairing companion with the Monkey. Jewel in the Crown for the Chablis range, the Chablis Grand Cru is a single appellation with seven different Climats emcompassing its multiple personalities. It can be firm and powerful like Les Clos or soft and rounded like Les Preuses.

The Rooster

The Rooster is observant, resourceful, honest and conservative. The Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru appellation from the Hill of Corton does not reveal all its promises in youth. It waits and takes a long and measured pace to achieve maturity, delivering its full power, complexity and long finish. It rewards the taster with the perfect balance between rounded opulence and remarkable acidity. Corton-Charlemagne is an astonishing demonstration of what the Chardonnay grape is capable of in terms of richness, power, concentration, distinction and balance. It epitomizes the perfect synthesis between grape variety and terroir which is so unique in Bourgogne.

 The Dog

The Dog is man’s best friend. It is loyal and honest, amiable and kind, cautious and prudent. Chablis is the perfect accompaniment to any form of gathering or dish. A good Chablis is never overpowering but lends its freshness, subtle complexity and structure to accompany dishes from international cuisines. Who doesn’t love Chablis and Oysters?  And why not try dim sums or sushi with Chablis? The Chablis brandname alone stands for honesty, reliability and quality.  In the hands of Chablis’s capable producers who have worked relentlessly to promote this world-famous brand, it never fails to deliver a readily recognizable style.

The Pig

Finally, the Pig is diligent, generous and compassionate. People born in the Year of the Pig enjoy finer things but are never perceived as snobs. They are diligent, always in search of more knowledge. Beaune Premiers Crus are generous and fleshy, showing great aromatic power and solid texture, in both red and white colours, making them very respectable dinner companions.

An article from Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB),2536,10366.html?&args=Y29tcF9pZD0xODY3JmFjdGlvbj12aWV3RGV0YWlsJmlkPTE0NiZ8

Key figures for the Bourgogne winegrowing region




An article from Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB),2536,10366.html?&args=Y29tcF9pZD0xODY3JmFjdGlvbj12aWV3RGV0YWlsJmlkPTg4Jnw%3D

Burgundy 2017 : an early vintage ?


No two years are the same in the Bourgogne winegrowing region. After fast flowering, which was over by mid-June, even in those areas that tend to tardiness, any fears about springtime frosts were soon a distant memory. Now hopes are high for a fabulous harvest.
Even the Chablis region, which suffered the effects of frost at the end of April, is in a much better place than it was at this time in 2016.
Flowering is finished across the Bourgogne region, with only a few days required for the vines to move from first flowers to producing fruit.
With favorable weather conditions, sunshine and heat alternating with short spring showers, the vines were left to follow their growth cycle at a good pace, without hindrance.
On average, flowering reached mid-point by the first week in June. On the Côte de Beaune, flowering started on 31 May for the Chardonnay and 1 June for the Pinot Noir, soon followed by all other regions. The further north the vines, the earlier they flowered, compared to the average for the period 1994-2016.
In the Mâconnais, flowering mid-point was reached between 3-5 days earlier, while in the
Grand Auxerrois and Chablis, it was eight days.
The 2017 vintage is therefore gradually emerging as an early one. It is ranked among the top three earliest years on the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, similar to the 2009 vintage. The nascent grapes are already between 3-5mm across and the bunches should be closed by early July if the weather continues to be fine.
With optimum weather conditions keeping the grapes healthy, the Bourgogne winegrowing region is thus heading for a lovely harvest. In Chablis, things are more mixed. Although globally, things are looking promising, there are a few areas where the grapes are lacking, mainly in the Petit Chablis appellation, and on a few plots of Chablis.
But despite the reigning optimism, it is preferable to be prudent until harvesting is complete, with picking predicted to start in early September.

An article from Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB),2536,10366.html?&args=Y29tcF9pZD0xODY3JmFjdGlvbj12aWV3RGV0YWlsJmlkPTE1OCZ8

The billionaire André Hoffmann buys Jayer-Gilles estate in Burgundy (in French)


Encore un nom de la Bourgogne viticole racheté par un étranger. Héritier du laboratoire pharmaceutique suisse Hoffmann-La-Roche, André Hoffmann a acquis ce mois d’août la majorité du domaine bourguignon Jayer-Gilles.
André Hoffmann se présente comme un amoureux de la Bourgogne et de ses vins. Familier du sud de la France, le Suisse, vice-président du groupe pharmaceutique familial Hoffmann-La-Roche, a réalisé son rêve de gosse en acquérant un domaine viticole bourguignon.
Son béguin s’est porté sur le domaine Jayer-Gilles, une maison “synonyme d’une vinification rigoureuse, de vins de grande tenue”, juge-t-il au lendemain de la vente.
La communauté des amateurs et les lecteurs de La RVF se souviennent que ce domaine d’une dizaine d’hectares situé à Magny-lès-Villers, à un kilomètre au nord de Ladoix-Serrigny et d’Aloxe-Corton, a connu une certaine notoriété dans les années 1990 en signant des vins en rupture avec la tradition bourguignonne de l’époque.

Le vigneron Gilles Jayer-Gilles, aux commandes du domaine depuis 1982, restera quelques temps encore le chef d’orchestre, avant de céder la place à deux jeunes vignerons, Julien Gros (domaine Christian Gros), qui a œuvré aux châteaux de Beaucastel (Rhône) et Miraval (Provence), et Alexandre Vernet (domaines Gilbert, Philippe Germain et Manuel Olive).
D’après la dernière liste des plus riches familles d’Europe publiée par l’excellent magazine suisse Bilan, la fortune professionnelle de la famille Hoffmann s’élèverait à près de 26 milliards de francs suisses, soit 23 milliards d’euros, ce qui la place au quinzième rang en Europe.
Désormais à la tête des crus Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Hauts Poirêts, Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru les Damodes et du grand cru Echezeaux du Dessus, André Hoffmann, entend poursuivre en Bourgogne ses efforts de conservation de la nature. Passionné par l’écologie et spécialiste des oiseaux sauvages de Camargue, M. Hoffmann est en effet vice-président du World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF International).

An article from La Revue du Vin de France by Geoffrey Avé,4556402.asp



Rumours are circulating that Saint-Estèphe property Château Phélan-Ségur has been sold to the owner of a leading shipping company.
According to a tweet by Jancis Robinson MW that the drinks business has not, so far, been able to absolutely confirm, the Gardinier family has apparently sold the ‘cru bourgeois exceptionnel’ to Philippe Van de Vyvere, the owner of one of Europe’s largest shipping firms, Sea-Invest.
Details of the sale remain unknown although the château was reportedly put up for sale with minimal fanfare some two months ago.
Neither the château nor the office of Van de Vyvere have so far confirmed the sale although both have been contacted by the drinks business.
It is thought the family has sold the estate in its entirety and have not retained any shares although the technical team will remain in place, at least for the time being.
The Gardinier family has been at the helm of the château since 1985 and the three brothers, Thierry, Laurent and Stéphane (pictured) have been in charge since the late 1990s.
As well as Phélan-Ségur, the Gadiniers own the famous Paris restaurant Taillevent, which also has an outlet in London now, Les 110 de Taillevent and one of Champagne’s leading hotels, Les Crayères in Reims.
Why they might have decided to sell the property is not known. It is conceivable they wish to focus more on the hotel and restaurant trade and have thus divested themselves of what would otherwise be an expensive asset.
On the other hand, they have also poured huge investment into the estate over recent years and critics and merchants alike are in agreement that the quality and consistency of the wines has improved dramatically, with the recent 2016 vintage being one of the ‘best ever’ wines from the property.
It is widely admired as a brand and certainly punches above its weight for a cru bourgeois with many people no doubting believing it to be a cru classé on the basis of its renown, quality and price.
Asking prices certainly have risen at the estate, though certainly not out of step with other properties in the region. Phélan-Ségur is a large estate though, covering some 70 hectares and produces a lot of wine in an average year.
Is it possible that in a bid to raise the profile of Phélan-Ségur and price it as a cru classé, the owners have found it harder to shift stocks? Or perhaps they found they’d hit a price ceiling and weren’t able to take the label any further?
Another high profile château, Troplong-Mondot, was sold last month to a French insurance firm.

An article from The Drink Business by Rupert Millar

Demand for Wine and Spirit education ‘higher than ever’, says WSET


New figures from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) reveal that demand for wine and spirits education is higher than ever, as more businesses recognise the return on investment in educated staff.
WSET, the largest global provider of qualifications in the field of wines and spirits, is reporting a record 85,487 candidates globally in the academic year finishing 31 July 2017, an increase of 19% on last year, marking 15 years of growth. The UK continued to lead the global table with candidate numbers up 14% to 19,401. However, Mainland China and USA followed closely behind both seeing impressive growth with candidates up 41% to 12,813 and 48% to 11,487 respectively.
Top 10 WSET Markets for the Academic Year 2016/17 (growth from previous year):
UK (+14%)
Mainland China (+41%)
USA (+48%)
Canada (+4%)
Hong Kong (+16%)
France (+32%)
Australia (+27%)
Taiwan (+5%)
South Korea (+13%)
Switzerland (+11%)
Trends behind the UK Growth
According to Wine Intelligence UK Landscapes 2016 Report (released June 2017) the number of regular wine consumers in the UK has dropped from 29 million two years ago to 28 million today. The silver lining for the trade is that wine consumers are showing higher spend per bottle and greater product interest when choosing wine to drink both at home and in restaurants.
The report notes that supermarkets are seeing consumers focus less on discount multi-buy offers and more on region of origin, brand awareness and recommendations, and generally becoming more adventurous with their choices. Evidence from a new study by Franklin & Sons has revealed similar behaviour for spirits purchasing, with consumers favouring more premium brands.
The need for more knowledgeable staff is therefore greater than ever, encouraging businesses to prioritise formal training and accredited qualifications for staff to cater to customers’ discerning tastes and drive profits.
Looking Ahead
In the last year, WSET expanded its global reach with the opening of its first international office in Hong Kong and launching courses in new markets including Czech Republic and Montenegro. WSET welcomed over 100 new Approved Programme Providers and there are now 750 Providers offering WSET courses to wine, spirits and sake trade professionals and consumer enthusiasts in over 70 countries. In the UK, a total of 243 Approved Programme Providers now offer WSET courses.
This year, as the USA remains a strong region for growth across the wine, spirits and sake arenas, WSET will be cementing its presence in the market with the appointment of a dedicated team on-territory that will nurture the future potential.
The new academic year will also see the release of the freshly updated Level 2 Award in Spirits and the availability of a full suite of printed materials for the Level 3 Award in Sake.
Ian Harris, WSET Chief Executive, says, “I am delighted to see that more and more businesses are recognising that education and well-trained staff are the foundations to better customer service and stronger profits. After another successful year for WSET we’re now setting out strategies to take our progress to the next level.”
Karen Douglas, WSET Director of Education, adds, “The new academic year will also see the release of an improved Level 2 Award in Spirits following the hard work of our Global Education team to make sure WSET offers the most up-to-date and best-in-class education through its network of Approved Programme Providers worldwide.”

An article from WSET Global

Colares, Where the Vineyards Snake Through the Sand


COLARES, Portugal — The vineyards in this small wine region west of Lisbon on the Atlantic coast look like something that slithered up from the sea.
Trained low to avoid the biting wind that blows incessantly off the ocean, the vines resemble green serpents snaking along the sand. It’s as if vines from a more conventional region had come to the beach on vacation and had collapsed in a deep slumber.
Colares, one of the world’s most singular wine regions, emits a sleepy timelessness. The grapes are grown today just as they have been for centuries, except far fewer of them can be found. As recently as the 1940s, vines covered almost 2,500 acres of these sandy soils.
Only about 50 acres remain, spread over a narrow swatch west of the Sintra area, where the royal families of Portugal escaped the steamy Lisbon summers for colorful wind-cooled palaces. Much of the vineyard territory was lost in the 1960s and ’70s to suburban expansion.
Yet Colares produces what may well be Portugal’s most distinctive still wines. The reds, made of the ramisco grape, are high in acid and powerfully tannic, so much so that they are aged for years in the cellars before they are released. The current vintage on the market is 2007.
For all their initial intensity, the wines soften after 10 years of aging, revealing a graceful complexity, with savory kaleidoscopic flavors: herbal, balsam and saline. The wines are low in alcohol, too, seldom reaching 12.5 percent.
The white wines — made from the malvasia de Colares grape, which is genetically distinct from other grapes called malvasia — are fresh, rich and likewise herbal and saline with depth and character. They do not require quite as much aging as the reds; the current vintage is 2012.

An article from The New York Times by Eric Asimov