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

Conigliaro debuts cocktail bar in Cognac


Renowned drinks expert Tony Conigliaro has opened a new Cognac-focused cocktail bar in France, marking his first international venture outside of the UK.
The new bar, called Luciole, is located on the banks of River Charente in Cognac. Opening earlier this month, Luciole is housed in an historic building that was formerly a horse and carriage stables.
The bar has a vast and unique Cognac selection representing the whole of the Cognac category. Carefully curated by Conigliaro and his business partner Guillaume Le Dorner – who will manage the premises ­– the collection is displayed on the “Cognac Wall”, a signature feature of the bar.
The 50-cover bar offers an “all-encompassing Cognac experience”, where guests will be able to stay, dine and familiarise themselves with all of the leading Cognac houses. An accessible drinks menu allows visitors to discover Cognac through a variety of angles: age statement, vintages, terroirs, crus and brands.
The cocktail menu features 18 drinks, with a focus on Cognac. House creations include long refreshing drinks such as a Spitfire – Cognac VSOP, crème de pêche, lemon juice, sugar syrup and white wine, and Conigliaro’s twist on a classic New York Sour, which matches a Cognac sour with a peach liqueur.
Shorter, more “serious” drinks include Avignon, which combines Avignon incense, Cognac and Roman chamomile syrup – which is part of a drink series on meditation and religion named after the French city, also known as the “City of Popes”.
The kitchen, a partnership with a local chef, currently offers a simple menu of classic French bar food. Sharing plates include classic French charcuterie and saucission, as well as local cheeses and a tartlets menu.

An article from The Spirits Business by Nicola Carruthers

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

‘Little Pompeii’, the Roman neighbourhood discovered in France including a Bacchanalian House


French archaeologists have discovered a “little Pompeii” — the remarkably well preserved remains of an entire district of an ancient Roman town — in the east of the country.
Villas and public buildings have been unearthed in what Benjamin Clément, the archaeologist leading the dig, described as “undoubtedly the most exceptional excavation of a Roman site in 40 or 50 years.”
Many household objects are still where they were left by residents who fled fires. Some villas date from the 1st century AD and the district is believed to have inhabited for about 300 years until it was abandoned after a series of fires.
Like Pompeii, the ancient Roman site near Naples, much of it was buried under ash which helped to preserve it.
One villa has been dubbed the Bacchanalian House because its tiled floor depicts a procession of maenads, female followers of Bacchus – the Roman name for the god of wine known to the Ancient Greeks as Dionysus – and satyrs, male companions of the god with goat-like features.
Believed to have been the home of a wealthy merchant, it had marble tiling, extensive gardens and a water supply system.
“We’ll be able to restore this house from floor to ceiling,” Mr Clément said. “We’re incredibly lucky.”
In another villa, an exquisite mosaic shows a bare-bottomed Thalia, muse and patron of comedy, being abducted by lustful Pan, god of the satyrs.
The site is on the outskirts of the city of Vienne, less than 20 miles south of Lyon.
Located on the River Rhône, Vienne became a major urban centre under Julius Caesar and is known for its Roman theatre and temple.
Discovered on land where a housing complex is to be built, the excavation site covers an area of 75,000 square feet — an unusually large find in an urban area.

An article from The Telegraph by David Chazan

French Wine Executive Arrested for Allegedly Turning Cheap Wine Into Châteauneuf-du-Pape


Police claim that Guillaume Ryckwaert illegally labeled bulk wine with prestigious Rhône appellations for three years
On June 27, French police in Marseille took Guillaume Ryckwaert, the chairman of the giant bulk-wine merchant Raphaël Michel, and several company managers into custody in Marseille. They were held for 48 hours, and then Ryckwaert was indicted on criminal charges before a tribunal in Carpentras, accused of fraud and deception and violations of the consumer and tax codes.
It’s an investigation that has rocked the Rhône Valley. Ryckwaert stands accused of masterminding a massive fraud for more than three years, allegedly sourcing the equivalent of nearly 4 million cases of table wine and reselling it as premium wine from Rhône appellations, including Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Philippe Pellaton, president of the Syndicate of Vignerons of the Côtes du Rhône et Côtes du Rhône-Villages, told Wine Spectator that they had known the company was under investigation since last fall. “Investigators were asking the vignerons to confirm sales contracts, verifying information, and asking questions about Raphaël Michel,” said Pellaton. “Then in June, Ryckwaert was taken into custody, and we said, ‘Oh-laa, this is serious.'”
In response to the allegations, the French supermarket chain Carrefour has suspended all supply contracts with Raphaël Michel.
Most details of the investigation remain confidential, but what is known is that agents from the Marseille bureau of the powerful National Customs Judicial Service (SNDJ) noticed a great number of violations during routine audits at Raphaël Michel. It is not known whether the SNDJ investigators received a tip that set the investigation in motion. The fraud reportedly covers a period from October 2013 to March 2017.

An article from Wine Spectator by Suzanne Mustacich

Review of Orange wines from France (in French)

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Leurs robes troubles et leurs violentes notes racinaires choqueront nos lecteurs les plus orthodoxes. Mais les vins oranges sont en train de devenir un phénomène de mode. Il fallait essayer !
L’idée du vin orange est d’une simplicité confondante : il s’agit de vinifier des raisins blancs comme des rouges, avec un contact plus ou moins prolongé entre le moût en fermentation et les parties solides, peaux et parfois rafles. On parle alors de macération. Ici, c’est la peau des raisins qui apporte de la couleur. Du “noir de blanc” en quelque sorte…
Le principe est simple, mais sur le terrain, les modalités d’application de la théorie influencent le style du vin. La durée de macération modifie évidemment le goût du vin, comme sa couleur. Et puis la nature des échanges physico-chimiques évolue au fil de la macération, ce qui n’est pas sans conséquence. On peut d’ailleurs élever le vin orange dans toutes sortes de contenants : cuves, barriques ou jarres de terre cuite (particulièrement développées, en écho à la tradition millénaire géorgienne, lire La RVF n° 556, novembre 2011).
L’idée du vin orange est d’une simplicité confondante : il s’agit de vinifier des raisins blancs comme des rouges, avec un contact plus ou moins prolongé entre le moût en fermentation et les parties solides, peaux et parfois rafles. On parle alors de macération. Ici, c’est la peau des raisins qui apporte de la couleur.

From La Revue du Vin by Pierre Citerne,vin-orange-wines-rhone-languedoc-roussillon-jura-alsace-jarres-georgie-vins,4427699.asp

Brexit: business impact for French producers (article in French)


Le Brexit, entre augmentation des prix et inquiétudes pour la filière vin
Le Brexit, dont les négociations ont débuté le 19 juin, fait parler de lui jusqu’au salon international des vins Vinexpo Bordeaux, où les professionnels disent avoir ressenti diversement les premiers effets, entre maintien des ventes pour certains et baisse plus prononcée pour d’autres.
Depuis le référendum sur le Brexit il y a tout juste un an et la dévaluation de la livre qui s’ensuivit, le prix du vin a augmenté : plus 3% rien qu’au premier trimestre 2017 contre 1% les deux années précédentes. Le prix moyen d’une bouteille est passé en un an de 5,40 à 5,56 livres en raison du Brexit et de l’inflation au Royaume-Uni, deuxième plus grand marché de vins importés au monde et plaque tournante des exportations vers d’autres continents comme l’Asie.
Cette tendance n’est pas prête de s’arrêter, surtout avec une hausse des taxes sur les alcools de 3,9%, prédit l’Association britannique des distributeurs de vins et spiritueux (WSTA). À Bordeaux, pendant les primeurs, les grands crus ont augmenté en moyenne leur prix de 10 à 15%, soit au final une hausse pour les consommateurs britanniques de 25%, qui ne se fait pas nécessairement ressentir car certains négociants rognent sur leur marge par exemple pour vendre au même prix. Cela n’a pas empêché les acheteurs du Royaume-Uni, quatrième pays à exporter des vins bordelais, de se précipiter sur l’excellent millésime 2016. Le marchand de vin Berry Bros. & Rudd a ainsi acheté autant de volume qu’en 2015 tout en réalisant un meilleur chiffre d’affaires.

An article from La Revue du Vin de France,4541930.asp