Picture above: Whither Beaune; whither Pernand? A confusing pair of signs near a church in Aloxe.
I didn't want to wake up this morning, a wakeful hour between 6 and 7am resulting in a lethargic reaction to my alarm call.
But what a day! The sun has shone bright through blue skies from dawn till dusk, the initial frost melted from the car and quickly gave way to unseasonably warm temperatures. The weather suits the wines: bright; clear, and quite crisp!
It's been a day of terroir comparison. How better to start a day of study into the effect of place on wine than a tasting of 8 wines from Nuits-St-Georges, 7 of them Premiers Crus, in the cellars of Jean Chauvenet, wine maker Christophe Drag present to answer all questions. What a fabulous, representative range, too. One or more will certainly be appearing on our offer.
We lunched at La Cabotte in Nuits: evidently a place for visiting merchants as well as negoçiants to punctuate their tastings. Several well-known faces were present. Good food, in a slightly fancy way (the bread rolls were excellent and were presented in a paper bag sealed with a miniature plastic clothes peg). Recommended.
We finally returned to the hotel at 19h30 all tasted out. Looking forward to wandering into centre ville and finding somewhere that serves absorbent food.
Wineries visited: Jean Chauvenet; Patrice Rion, Bertrand Ambroise; Château de Chorey; Camille-Giroud.
Still very upbeat about this vintage, but where are the journalists?? Asking the producers, they have hardly seen a soul from the UK wine trade - or the US for that matter - this year. Being the greatest wine producing region in the world, one would have thought that wine writers would take time every year to come here and explore the latest vintage. Alas, I suspect that they hear about rain during the growing season and, as a result, cannot be bothered, preferring instead the highly unsatisfactory route of attending tastings of barrel samples in London. Is that any way to make a definitive judgment about the wines, I ask you? 2006 has produced some scintillating wines of great style, energy and concentration. But if no one writes about it in the press, collectors will be uninclined to buy the wines. Come on, journalists. Give a helping hand to merchants trying to bring these wines to a wider audience!