This year Johnny and I decided to let the train take the strain and plumped for the Eurostar (while Jamie and David flew from Luton). This was a mistake. Our Eurostar broke down at Ashford International and the rest of the journey was a rush to catch the last train from Paris to Dijon, which we made with minutes to spare.
We started day one, of what is one of the most enjoyable wine trips every year, at Emmanuel Rouget. Not a bad way to kick off. The wines were great but the cellar was worryingly under stocked, as Rouget is one of the many domaines affected by the catastrophic frost in April 2016.
We then went to taste with Louis Boillot and his partner Ghislaine Barthod. Again the cellars were half full and Ghislaine said she had only half a normal crop overall. Some cuvées were not made at all, namely Les Chatelots and Les Combottes, and others like Les Cras were down 70%. We left there feeling a bit depressed about how little 2016 there was.
A quick lunch in Chambolle was washed down with a bottle of Domaine J-F Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny 2013, which was lovely and continued evidence of the high quality of that underrated vintage.
We then went to Vosne-Romanée for a couple of fabulous visits, first up Méo-Camuzet, who called 2016 ‘un millésime du soleil avec fraîcheur‘ and likened the wines to 2006.
At Domaine Jean Grivot we tasted their excellent range of 2016s with Mathilde Grivot. Sadly the cellar was again emptier than normal and she explained many cuvées were down 50% including Suchots, Brulées and Echezeaux. Overall production was down from 270 barrels to 190. We then tasted a beguiling Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Beaux Monts 2013 and an impressive Clos Vougeot 2015.
Our last visit and tasting was with Laurent Ponsot at his new facility. This was his first ever tasting of his full range of 2016s and his wines were as brilliant as expected. He has added five new Meursaults to the range which showed really well, including a lovely 1er Cru Charmes.
We then headed into Beaune with Laurent for a quick dinner at La Maison de Colombier, washed down with a Domaine Roulot Meursault 2013 and a Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru Clos Baulet 2010 from Domaine Hubert Lignier.