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Vinformation – Let’s Talk About Burgundy…Baby

Hello Vino Vultures and Happy New Year!

Well I don’t know about you but I’m preferring 2022 already to 2021 – there’s nothing like waking up on January 1st with a hazy memory of some dodgy dad dancing that’s been witnessed by others beyond the immediate family.

This first part of the year always offers exciting releases for us wine lovers, including the first taste and pricing of the latest Burgundy vintage so there is a major focus on this wonderful region in this newsletter. However, before we move on to this, I would like to begin with a short section for those who are partaking in Dry January –

Only 22 days left….

2020 Burgundy En Primeur

The wine merchants calendar always kicks off with this campaign and the 2020s offer mixed blessings. The wines (especially the whites) are delicious, however the yields are even lower than last year so prices have inevitably risen with many producers. Despite this, there is still value to be had and as Burgundy prices look likely to continue heading in just one direction for the foreseeable then securing a case or two en primeur certainly does pay dividends. Many wine drinkers can find the Burgundy classification system a bit confusing, so if this is you then take a read of my Burgundy In A Nutshell post from last year.

I’ll have the offer ready in the next couple of weeks but if you are interested in purchasing some 2020s, or would like more clarification of what en primeur is, then drop me a line and I’ll enlighten you.

…and whilst we’re talking Burgundy

Not all Burgundy is produced for long term cellaring and I am delighted to have discovered an exciting Domaine that produce a ‘pigeon pair’ generic white and red from the Cote Chalonnaise. Domaine Masse is a family owned winery run by Fabrice Masse, who took over from his father in 2000. Fabrice follows the traditions laid down by his father and grandfather but also has an eye on progress and adapting modern practices. Although not organic, the estate is certified as ‘High Environmental Value’ for its biodiversity and sustainability. Here are two wines from their stable that have just arrived at the Songbird’s cellars.`

2020 Bourgogne Chardonnay, Côte Chalonnaise Vieille Vignes, Domaine Masse @ £15.25 per bottle

From old vines that are situated around the communes of Givry and Buxy. The grapes undergo a rigorous selection process at the winery and after fermentation the wine is aged for 10 months, half in stainless steel and half in new oak. This is drinking well already with aromas of apple, citrus, honeysuckle and a hint of nuttiness which becomes more apparent with aeration. There’s nice finesse here with excellent balance and a steely structure.

2020 Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Côte Chalonnaise Vieille Vignes, Domaine Masse @ £15.25 per bottle

A lovely drop of red Burgundy from old vines which also experience the selection procerss at the winery. Once the best grapes are chosen they go through cold maceration before fermentation to give the extraction more finesse. The wine is aged in barrel for 12 months, 15% of which is new oak. This has aromas of ripe red cherry and strawberry with hints of dried mushroom. Quite luscious and smooth on the palate with soft tannins. It’s lovely now but there’s no rush to drink it – just to buy it – as there’s very little of this vintage around.

The above notes were written on the day the bottles were opened. I retasted the following day and both wines were even better so I would say both would benefit from decanting. I really do think these are the best value Burgundies I have tasted in a long time and for this week I’ll reduce the bottle price to £14.50 for a dozen (can be mixed) and you’ll save £9. Now that’s a ‘Burgundy Bargain’ if I ever heard one.

To order the above wines please email orders@songbirdwine.co.uk

From The Vaults

Here’s a couple of wines that were featured in newsletters last year that I tasted over the festive period.

2018 Vacqueyras ‘Les 2 Monardes’, Domaine Monardière, Organic Rhône @ £18.50

I first tasted this back in March last year and the nine months extra bottle age has done wonders for the wine. It still has the deep, dark fruits but the intensity has mellowed and the wine has taken on a silkiness that you do not always find with Vacqueyras. The tannins have softened and I’d say this is just starting to reach its peak which should continue for a couple of years at least. A very delicious wine.

2017 Carravalseca Organic Rioja Crianza, Bodegas Casa Primicia @ £16.75

Rioja lovers DO NOT miss out on the final few cases of this superb wine as I come to the final 60 bottles of the 2017. I showed this at a tasting in December and everyone attending bought a case – it was drinking beautifully. The grapes are from one of the finest vineyard sites in Rioja Alavesa and aged 50/50 in French and American oak. It has matured splendidly over the past few months and it is now showing flavours of ripe black cherry, soft vanilla along with touches of clove and cinnamon on the nose. On the palate it has a real intensity of dark fruit, more spice and softly grained tannins. Yes I know you can find Rioja Reserva for about a tenner in the Supermarkets but it won’t taste anywhere near as good as this – a wine that proves you get what you pay for. This is what quality Rioja is all about.

Happy drinking!


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