After almost two years of enforced isolation three of our sales team made a whistle-stop trip to Burgundy last week to sample some new bottlings, secure some much needed stock and catch up with developments at diverse domaines. We based ourselves in Beaune for our three night séjourn due to its proximity to the vineyards of the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits as well as its lively bar and bistro offerings. We stayed in the Hôtel Belle Époque which is traditional, comfortable and central and has served us well historically. Happily, there is a great wine bar a few steps down the same street called 'La Dilettante' where the knowledgeable and well-connected patrons serve simple food and some terrific wines by the glass.
Over the ensuing three days we visited some wonderful wineries in Morey-Saint-Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin, Beaune and Vougeot before making a pit stop in Beaujolais en route to Saint-Exupéry airport.
If there was a common theme to our visits it was that the 2021 vintage was dramatically depleted by frost throughout Burgundy and that wine is currently in short supply. That said, we sampled some outstanding wines and terrific cuisine. As we were in Burgundy we felt compelled to order some snails which were one of the gastronomic highlights of our travels and paired perfectly with a bottle of Bourgogne Blanc 2017 from Domaine Roulot.
Vignerons throughout the Côte d'Or are currently praying that this spring they will avoid the ravages of the frost that decimated budding flowers last year. At the time of writing the outlook is promising but it won't be until mid-May that we can be certain of a favourable outcome.
Whatever the weather and however vintages vary what is undisputable is that Burgundy is an exciting, evolving and wonderfully hospitable vine area where you can eat well and wine lovers will always find some brilliant bottles to capture their interest.