Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Howard Cooper
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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#101 Post by Howard Cooper » September 12th, 2019, 4:27 am

IlkkaL wrote:
September 12th, 2019, 1:14 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 5:06 am
IlkkaL wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 4:54 am
That said this particular shop had very little to offer when it comes to any kind of known quantities.
I occasionally get a list of the wines that the Caveau has sent to me by email. The last time I got one (in June), it listed whites as being in stock from Bernard Moreau, Heitz-Lochardet, Joseph Colin, Marc Colin, Bruno Colin, Phillipe Colin, Pillot, and a number of other very well known wine producers. Look, I don't care if you go there again or if anyone else ever goes to Burgundy. I would be better off if fewer people on this board go to Burgundy as it would make it easier for me to get appointments and find wines to buy. But, your post is just silly on its face - they have no wines from "known quantities" yet you are able to buy wines from Lamy, an outstanding producer who is very well known.

Yes, I bought Ramonet. But, that was after I was told that they did not have any. When I bought other wines from them, all of a sudden they had some Ramonet to sell me. That is the way at stores in Burgundy. They do not jack up prices for wines from "revered names" as in the US. But, you don't get to cherry pick. They have no stock of "revered names" for people who only know a very few names and are only interested in them. On future trips to Burgundy, as I said above, I recommend you go to one of a few restaurants around where you can buy producers like Coche off the list and forget about going into wine stores. You will always be disappointed.
So a misunderstanding/-communication in other words. I would have been tremendously happy to find wines from the likes of Bernard Moreau or Heitz-Lochardet there but, alas, such names were nowhere to be found and therefore I found my visit to this shop disappointing as buying totally blindly is not my thing and the small tasting samples from the tiny glasses were of no help. For you to assume that I "only know a few names" and go around asking for them feels quite rude to be honest. I really don't understand why you managed to find my post so insulting. If you think that my comment was an attack against your recommendation that was by no means my intention.

Maybe my wording (revered) was less than perfect but by no means did I walk in there looking for something like PYCM or Coche which I know to be "dead at retail". For your information I've been going to Burgundy since 2013 and I am not one looking to cherry pick only the hottest items - I've enjoyed every visit tremendously and always found nice things (in shops) from many producers that I have learned about on this forum, while then enjoying the trophy stuff in the restaurants. On this last trip I happened to buy extremely happily wines from producers like Sylvie Esmonin, Pierre Gelin, the aforementioned Hubert Lamy and Bernard Dugat-Py. However as I did not find similar known-yet-not-trophy producers (besides Lamy, although only Saint Aubins, no Chassagne) in this particular shop I did find it disappointing - do you really think this is totally unfair of me? Had I had your experience I would not be complaining whatsoever. Maybe it's just that you don't see other people's experiences and views as valuable or important as your own?
I don't know you. I only know what you posted. Maybe your post was not what you meant. Maybe your post was not what you do. But, my comments accurately reflected what you wrote.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#102 Post by Howard Cooper » September 12th, 2019, 4:33 am

Matt Mauldin wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 8:29 pm
Good luck in your planning, Matt. Gus posted a link above to my recent trip post - there's some (hopefully valuable) info therein. I got a lot of my info and inspiration from some of Howard's posts in the past... lots of good info on this board.

Howard's post above is very true - I'd done Burgundy and the Rhone in the past but this go-round we truly carved out a lot of space for dining, and had some great experiences. I can't recommend La Lune in Beaune enough.

I email producers 2-3 months in advance. In Burgundy I shoot for 1 or 2 prized producers, a lot of underappreciated or emerging, and supplement with tours or experiences at larger houses (I've had good experiences with Drouhin, Bouchard and Olivier LeFlaive). In the Rhone it's a little easier to get appointments across the board. I've also used the Rue de Vignerons site - it is very convenient when you find a producer of interest on it. I work in the wine business, but don't call in favors for appointments - I'm DIY!

Looking forward to one day reading about your trip!
Excellent approach. My #1 recommendation is try to get visits to the producers whose wines one drinks the most. First, if you have experience with a producer's wines, you can let them know that (show them, don't tell them) when you contact them. But, perhaps more importantly, when you get to the winery, you will have much better interaction with the producer and a better understanding of what you are seeing if you have experience with the wines. Yes, try for a prized producer, see an emerging producer or two, but I think one is best off if the bulk of the visits are with producers whose wines you drink.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#103 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » September 12th, 2019, 5:26 am

Although I do most of my visiting in the Rhone, I would second what Howard said above. It's pretty easy to go to a domaine for a tasting. If you want to talk to the winemaker, it's better to email in advance and tell them how you know about them, why you appreciate their wines and that you'd like to learn more about them. If they receive visitors at all, they will probably respond to that.

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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#104 Post by Matt Mauldin » September 12th, 2019, 10:35 pm

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
September 12th, 2019, 5:26 am
Although I do most of my visiting in the Rhone, I would second what Howard said above. It's pretty easy to go to a domaine for a tasting. If you want to talk to the winemaker, it's better to email in advance and tell them how you know about them, why you appreciate their wines and that you'd like to learn more about them. If they receive visitors at all, they will probably respond to that.
Great points above. Definitely provide context in the emails.
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William Kelley
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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#105 Post by William Kelley » September 12th, 2019, 11:09 pm

IlkkaL wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 10:10 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 6:58 am
Finally, even to the extent you cannot get into smaller growers, you can taste and buy wines from smaller producers in the Caveaus in various towns. The Caveau de Chassagne Montrachet is esp. good. http://www.caveaudechassagne.com/
This was unfortunately a disappointment for us when we visited in July. They had zero bottles available from the revered names - not even any reds from Ramonet could be purchased. I took the four wine tasting and without any exaggeration all four were downright uninspiring efforts. Fortunately they had a couple of Saint Aubins from Hubert Lamy on the list so I could purchase those and have the tasting fee waived. Bad timing perhaps?
Is this the same shop where I recently bought some 1964s from the Posse d'Or?

For better or worse, it is not uncommon in French restaurants and cavistes to be given the access it is thought—accurately or inaccurately—that one deserves.
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IlkkaL
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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#106 Post by IlkkaL » September 13th, 2019, 1:07 am

William Kelley wrote:
September 12th, 2019, 11:09 pm
IlkkaL wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 10:10 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 6:58 am
Finally, even to the extent you cannot get into smaller growers, you can taste and buy wines from smaller producers in the Caveaus in various towns. The Caveau de Chassagne Montrachet is esp. good. http://www.caveaudechassagne.com/
This was unfortunately a disappointment for us when we visited in July. They had zero bottles available from the revered names - not even any reds from Ramonet could be purchased. I took the four wine tasting and without any exaggeration all four were downright uninspiring efforts. Fortunately they had a couple of Saint Aubins from Hubert Lamy on the list so I could purchase those and have the tasting fee waived. Bad timing perhaps?
Is this the same shop where I recently bought some 1964s from the Posse d'Or?

For better or worse, it is not uncommon in French restaurants and cavistes to be given the access it is thought—accurately or inaccurately—that one deserves.
Hard to say. Having said that I would like to repeat that I was most definitely not about to "cherry pick", even if some took my initial comment that way. I personally happen to think that there is some middle area between only wanting to buy the most prestigious names of the area and blindly buying 1) totally unknown producers or 2) the couple of premox posterchilds that they happened to have on the list. To also repeat myself, I've been traveling in France a lot since the beginning of the decade and as such I've certainly experienced what you say a few times when asking for something particular.

Now after this response to you I hope it does not give anyone else any more reason to throw more insults my way.
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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#107 Post by James Billy » September 13th, 2019, 2:13 am

For a business to refuse customers is to cut off their nose to spite their face.

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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#108 Post by IlkkaL » September 13th, 2019, 3:06 am

James Billy wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 2:13 am
For a business to refuse customers is to cut off their nose to spite their face.
Well, I kind of understand the thinking behind it but still it seems to be a very French phenomenon that they choose who can buy what. Not to say that it would not happen elsewhere, but to lesser extent.
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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#109 Post by Mattstolz » September 13th, 2019, 10:06 am

Has anyone ever had any luck stopping at any of the domaines just to buy wine? Or is it pretty commonly accepted that if you are hoping to buy something you should schedule a visit with them?

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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#110 Post by Alan Rath » September 13th, 2019, 11:45 am

My own experience, others may know differently: Most of the very top domaines (if you manage to arrange visits) will not have wine to sell (or only to their select list of direct customers). I almost never even ask at those kinds of places, since I know the answer, and don't want the embarrassment of making them have to give it to me. Once you're down a notch or two, there may be wine available, which can depend on their release cycle, if they've already sold out, etc., etc. One way I have approached this is to ask "where in town can I find some of your wine to buy". That opens the door to them telling you if they have anything to sell direct.
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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#111 Post by Greg K » September 13th, 2019, 12:30 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 10:06 am
Has anyone ever had any luck stopping at any of the domaines just to buy wine? Or is it pretty commonly accepted that if you are hoping to buy something you should schedule a visit with them?
I echo what Alan said (and even many of the below top level domains won't sell you wine), but will also add that without an appointment you simply won't get in to see most Domaines - there often won't be anyone there to sell you wine they have. I definitely visited some Domaines that I bought wine from, but they're not waiting around for people who might show up.

With that in mind, you can definitely buy plenty at places like Drouhin and Bouchard without appointments, and both make some good stuff. I picked up a bunch of 2014 1er Meursault at Drouhin because they still had some available.
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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#112 Post by Howard Cooper » September 13th, 2019, 12:47 pm

James Billy wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 2:13 am
For a business to refuse customers is to cut off their nose to spite their face.
American wine stores don’t allocate rare wines to their best customers? [scratch.gif]
Howard

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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#113 Post by Marcus Dean » September 13th, 2019, 1:15 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:47 pm
James Billy wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 2:13 am
For a business to refuse customers is to cut off their nose to spite their face.
American wine stores don’t allocate rare wines to their best customers? [scratch.gif]
Exactly how it worked in Sydney and exactly how it works in New Zealand

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Re: Tasting in Burgundy/Rhone

#114 Post by Mattstolz » September 13th, 2019, 3:06 pm

Greg K wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:30 pm

I echo what Alan said (and even many of the below top level domains won't sell you wine), but will also add that without an appointment you simply won't get in to see most Domaines - there often won't be anyone there to sell you wine they have. I definitely visited some Domaines that I bought wine from, but they're not waiting around for people who might show up.

With that in mind, you can definitely buy plenty at places like Drouhin and Bouchard without appointments, and both make some good stuff. I picked up a bunch of 2014 1er Meursault at Drouhin because they still had some available.
I guess that answered the question I didn't even ask the correct way, which probably should have been "is there actually someone there I could buy wine from if I just stopped into a domaine I like". haha but that makes sense, unless there is actually work in the cellar or something that day I'm guessing a lot of them will be in the fields, especially in the spring.
Howard Cooper wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 12:47 pm
James Billy wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 2:13 am
For a business to refuse customers is to cut off their nose to spite their face.
American wine stores don’t allocate rare wines to their best customers? [scratch.gif]
mini thread drift: I dont get into the DRC-level for even single purchases so I can only imagine, but in my experience this is so much worse for bourbon than wine. it got so frustrating that I just stopped buying bourbon altogether when I realized I was hanging out in liquor stores just to try and get the owner of some Podunk hole in the wall liquor store to call me if he ever got in Weller.

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