I don't think the cheaper ones are too expensive, but there's no reason why one shouldn't prefer other things.I genuinely am not interested in drinking white burgundy, other than Chablis now.Too many crap bottles and far far too expensive . And as I have said before, I am not alone, as very few people bring burgundy to our lunches anymore .
No worries. Each to their own
Is this your opinion, TWS's official view or an official statement from the Burgundy Producers' Association? I really want to know what the latter says about the situation.It is warmer now so white Burgundy is less acid than before so producers have been reducing the oxygen the wines get during elevage by a number of factors: a move to vertical presses, more solids, reducing batonnage, larger barrels for less time even smaller bung holes in the barrel. They separate sulphuring and bottling, measure dissolved oxygen, and allow time to see if the sulphur is stable before bottling , and put more sulphur in before.
But at what age are you drinking them now? Leflaive's Clavaillons would have easily kept for 15-20 years and taste spectacular at that age? Do you still have any left to try in the next 10 years?Perhaps I’ve been lucky, but apart from s dire case of Leflaive Clavoillons 2006 I’ve had very few poxed bottles.
But at what age are you drinking them now? Leflaive's Clavaillons would have easily kept for 15-20 years and taste spectacular at that age? Do you still have any left to try in the next 10 years?
I know there’s evidence emerging that Diam-sealed wines may not be collapsing in the way their cork-sealed cousins were, but it’s a bit of a leap from there to deciding that grand white Burgundy is again an ageworthy prospect. As you say, the climate has changed and winemaking has changed too - I’m not at all sure Burgundy winemakers know what to do to craft wines that will age, even if they wanted to.Not with Diam corks!
Toby - thatnks for your excellent response, based on a lot of experience (and by the way, Scottish seafood and White Burgundy is what I expect to be served in heaven).
However it also raises a few questions.
Is this your opinion, TWS's official view or an official statement from the Burgundy Producers' Association? I really want to know what the latter says about the situation.
A lot of the wines you mention are often drunk within the first 5 years of life so I remain unconvinced they are a bar to set a rule by. I still drink Michel's wines fairly young and only leave a few for 10+ years (the magnums probably being an exception). One also has to ask why corks have suddenly become so bad? And why, with releasing obviously inferior wines have the producers decided to rip off the consumer by boosting prices (the cynic in me says that they are exploiting the reticence of customers complaining and returning wines that are faulty so it all goes by unnoticed without the whole sales chain's profits being impacted). Perhaps if even 50% of consumers returned faulty wines they may feel compelled to take action.
I also noticed that TWS (followed by others specialising in White Burgundy) dramatically revised drinking/maturity dates, while still not offering any real response to what has caused the issue of premox.
Sadly too little, too late has been done (actually I still believe nothing has been done) and, as Keith says, you must be bonkers to spend serious money on White Burgundy.
Thank you for your considered response. If I may butt in, as another who has abandoned all but the occasional white burgundy -
I've tried to follow the evolution of the arguments concerning premox (which does indeed affect other areas such as white Bordeaux, but is most acute in Burgundy). The sense I get is that it is a complex issue precisely because there are no single causative factors that can be isolated and addressed to cure the problem. Besides those mentioned already, there has been pressure to lower sulphur levels at some addresses, extended lees-stirring and other changes in vinification aimed at making the wines more accessible at the earliest opportunity. The cork is really the last gasp in all this - I applaud the way you have pressed for more wines under DIAM, but the reason I suspect that Keith and others such as myself remain wary is because the underlying vinification has changed wholesale. DIAM may well stop the wine falling over due to oxidation, but what is in the bottle has changed. That's fine if you like them young, but if your taste was for mature white burgundies, the question mark must remain.
(to add - written before but cross-posted with Nick Martin who also addresses some of these issues).
I have Chablis PC Vaulorent 2007 from Fèvre and its tasting very fresh. Diam was trill a trial at that stage but I think it was adopted from 2009 vintage at Fèvre/Bouchard. Jadot moved, for whites, in 2011 vintage, Domaine Lafon in 2013 and Domaine Leflaive in 2014.There was an article in Bourgogne aujourd'hui claiming 75% of white Burg producers had moved to DIAM or other solution.
I have no clue whether this solves the problem... but if it does, then this is good news...for the long term as we are talking ageing White Burgundy.
Of course, I agree that the answer will only come when Diamed bottles will be mature... but some may not be too far (when did they start?)
Thanks again Toby - I appreciate your input but it is very hard to hit the nail on the head until something comes from the growers themselves explaining what has happened and what steps they are taking to remedy it. Burying their head in the sand in the hope it will all go away is not an option, but seems to be all they have done so far.
I must admit that a wry smile came to my face when you said that they blamed global warming as having a potential impact on cork quality impact, then frost was to blame for the stupendous increases in prices. Warm weather for one and cold weather for the other!!! They really do seem to intermittently have their heads in the sand then up their rear ends.
I appreciate your thoughts on Domaine Michel and it is correct that in some hotter vintages, the alcohol levels could get very high. However that is more down to personal taste. I had heard that TWS did want to purchase a lot of wine from them but it was too many bottles that would leave them having to reduce allocations to existing customer. TWS did off their wines at least once in a bunch of 'small parcel' White Burgundy, but that was quite a few years ago. The 2016 Tradition that I opened last night was 'only' 13.5% and a lovely balanced wine that feels like a top vintage for them. However I have had vintages from them that had hit 16%, which were massively ripe wines but still managed to hid the alcohol level pretty well. However, Michel is not really the subject of this topic (I just brought him into the equation as one of the wee boys, with whom I have a lot of experience, and have still managed to make wines as they always have, still with 'normal' corks and yet not a pox'd bottle from them and not huge increases in price each year.
Interesting...It does feel like Diam or very high quality corks have ameliorated the problem, eg J-M Vincent, Benoit Ente. Jean-Marc bottles using Diam but will also bottle using traditional corks for those who want them, and he pays top euro for the best quality, samples up to 5% of each batch delivered, and won't shy away from returning an entire delivery if a cork in the batch isn't good enough. Same chez Benoit where the quality of cork is exceptional. In both instances the cost per cork is over €1.
But to what extent, Toby, do you feel that changes in when SO2 is applied helps, with increasing numbers of Burgundians only adding sulphur just before bottling to allow greater microbial activity (if that's the right language) through fermentation? I gather the feeling is that, counter-intuitively, this makes the wine more stable in bottle, as well as increasing aromatic complexity.