1 by Jean-Marc Schwarz, Côte d'Or Office de Tourisme
2. Vincent Dauvissat
3 by Jean-Marc Schwarz, Côte d'Or Office de Tourisme
4. Statue de St Vincent a la Maison de Marsanny by Frank Lechenet
5 by Jean-Pierre Chantret, Côte d'Or Office de Tourisme
6 Jam making, by Sarah Marsh
7 Conté cheese by Sarah Marsh
8. Olivier Lamy by Sarah Marsh
9. Renaud d Vilette
10. by Christian Terre en Vues Bon
11 Philippe Latour by Sarah Marsh
12. Sarah Marsh
13 Cheese of the Abbay de Cîteaux by Sarah Marsh

About the Burgundy Briefing


The Burgundy Briefing provides an assessment of the current vintage - its style and quality. There are 'en primeur' tasting notes on wine from a wide range of producers. It is a lively and current insight into the region aimed at those who wish to keep informed about Burgundy's latest vintage and its people.

Issue 17 covers 2014 red and white wines from the Côte d'Or. As usual there are comprehensive vintage reports for both red and white wine, which covers not only the season, but how the vintage was handled in winery and a technical analysis of the wines.

Over the past few seasons I have expanded the section which focuses on the principal villages, assessing the performance of each village as a whole and the premier and grand crus within them. 

As ever the style and quality of the vintage are considered with plenty of contributions from the growers. Comparisons, where possible, are made with other vintages and advice on when to drink the wines.

The bulk of the report consists of tasting notes with introductions to each domaine.

Finally there are 'hit' lists of favourite wines and this year I have added a new section to the reds 'the Cellar Collection.' These are groupings of wines to serve with meals - from simple suppers to smart dinners and four collections, grouped by style, for putting away in the cellar.  

As usual I like to include some vertical flights of premier cru to consider how past vintages are developing and when it is best to drink them. The highlight for the reds this year was a tasting of Domaine Ghislaine Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny, Les Cras 1999 to 2008.

There is a vintage review of white wines from 1999-2013. This year the vertical tastings included Domaine Patrick Javillier, Meursault, Tete de Mergers 1999-2013; Domaine Jean-Claude Bachelet et Fils, Chassagne-Montrachet, Blanchot-Dessus 2002-2013; Domaine Ballot-Millot, Meursault - a combination of Perrieres and Genevrieres 2000-2013; and Remi-Rollin, Pernand-Vergelesses, Les Cloux.    

Issue 17 is £85. This price, which has has not risen for five years, reflects the costs of lengthy trips to Burgundy to individually visit the domains. The time I spend with each grower and negoce seems to get longer each year! This is reflected in the introductions to each of the producers where their impressions are recorded; for example the effect of the vintage on terroir and on techniques in the cellar. Growers seem to have more wines to taste each year, as many also make some negociant wines. Additionally it is useful to taste previous recent vintages for comparison and to keep an eye on their progress. I don't dash in and out of domaines to visit as many as possible, but take my time speaking with the growers and recording their thoughts to include in the Vintage Report.

The first issues of The Burgundy Briefing contained fewer tasting notes, but included a selection of the subjects in the box below. This list indicates areas which might be covered in any issue. However I must stress that the content has evolved since issue 1, the complimentary sample issue, to focus exclusively on tastings with a much more in depth analysis of the current vintage - style; quality; ageing capacity for both red and white wines and an individual overview of each principal village. I have expanded this village overview in the past four issues to help subscribers select wines from domaines I have not visited, as it is only possible to visit a small percentage of the total. The contents in the box should be considered therefore as examples of anything which might appear in an issue.





  • En primeur tasting (more below)
  • A hit list of my favourite wines of the vintage
  • Vintage reports
  • Topical issues (anything related to viticultural or vinification practices has been absorbed into the vintage report, at the end of which there is brief look at prices and the market) 
  • Grower Profiles 

I began the Burgundy Briefing with 2004, not an easy vintage with which to embark on comprehensive tastings from barrel. It was originally conceived to continue the work in Burgundy of my Master of Wine mentor Clive Coates (pictured right) in his publication The Vine, while being different. The early issues included profiles of growers, topical issues and sections on local foodie things, restaurant wine lists and travel with red and white en-primeur notes in separate issues. However by issue 9, the 2006 vintage, I settled on producing one issue a year. I abandoned the food/travel/news to focus in greater detail on the vintage. Anything related to viticultural or vinification has been absorbed into the vintage have the opinions of the growers. There is a section devoted to the market, which seems to expand year on year.  

Clive Coates,    'When the news spread in Burgundy that I was ending The Vine after 20 years, I was approached by several growers who urged me to find a way to continue my work. Sarah seemed an obvious successor given that she had just become an MW and that I acted as her MW mentor, particularly in tasting classed growth Burgundy and Bordeaux wine. Her love of Burgundy has been evident and she deepened her knowledge of the region and its growers through an extended research trip to Burgundy in 2004 to write her MW dissertation on Pinot Noir clones in the vineyards of the top producers of the Côte d'Or. Sarah knows Burgundy well and most importantly she has the confidence of the growers. I have absolutely no commercial interest in her venture, but I urge you to give it a go.' 



Approximate schedule: The new issue is released in November and contains the en primeur tasting notes for red and white wine of the previous vintage. This appears marginally before most UK merchants release their annual Burgundy offers in January.

Issue 9 (2006 vintage) onwards - everything for one vintage is contained in one issue.

 2006 vintage (issue 9); 2007 (issue 10), 2008 (issue 11), 2009 (issue 12), 2010 vintage (issue 13); 2011 vintage (issue 14). 2012 vintage (issue 15); 2013 vintage (issue 16); 2014 vintage (issue 17).


Older vintages: Issues 1 to 8: In the first years of The Burgundy Briefing I released several issues over a year. There were separate issues for the en primeur notes for Chablis, red Côte d'Or and white Côte d'Or which included some Côte Chalonnais. If you wish to view the contents of past issues go to the menu and select 'past issues/synopses of past issues.'


Format: Each issue can be purchased separately. Issue 1 is complimentary.

General tastings: These have included the annual 3-year-on tasting of Les Domaines Familiaux de Tradition. In the past there have been other tastings, for example a special focus on a specific village, such as Santenay in issue 4, or on a specific group of growers. Issue 5 featured the Artisans Vignerons de Bourgogne du Sud. Issue 11 features a tasting of wine from Domaine du Marquis d'Angerville. Now I focus on tasting past vintages when I visit the domains and the notes will be found together with the notes for the current vintage.



Length: This depends on the tasting notes. The first issue (September/October 2005) was designed to be a little longer than average, 50 to 60 pages, as it included all possibilities. however as each issue became longer and longer, I decided to make the newsletter less frequent. Issue 8, the red 2005s, consists only of tasting notes and a vintage report and has about 170 pages. Issue 9 which has 290 pages, is designed to cover the whole vintage. Issues 10, 11 and 12 were approximately 300 and issues 13 to 17 have approximately 350 pages. (Issue 16 was slightly shorter.)







Receiving your subscribed-for issues. The newsletter is sold online.  An email is sent out to everyone who has subscribed when each new issue is released. After purchasing you will be sent the issue by pdf.

The content is under strict copyright. In the past I have used passwords, but now prefer to send pdfs to subscribers on receipt of a paypal payment or a cheque. If you wish to send a cheque in Sterling drawn on a UK bank please contact me. I will also cash foreign cheques for the equivalent of £85, plus the bank charge.    
Vincent Dancer
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