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 is a report which provides en primeur tasting notes on wine from a wide range of producers and is a lively and current insight into the region. It is aimed at those who wish to keep informed about Burgundy's latest vintage and its people.

Issue 16 covers 2013 red and white wines from the Côte d'Or. As usual there are comprehensive vintage reports for both red and whites, covering 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 the 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.

As usual I like to include some vertical flights of premier crus to consider how past vintages are developing and when it is best to drink them. The following wines were tasted for this report: Domaine Jacky Confuron-Coteditot, Vosne-Romanee, Les Suchots (many, but not all, vintages from 2012-1978. 1978 was the last vintage picked as late in the season as 2012); Domaine Michel Morey-Coffinet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Les Farendes (2012-1999 with some omissions); Domaine Jean-Louis Chavy, Puligny-Montrachet, La Folatieres, (2012-2004); Domaine Rene Lamy-Pilot, Chassagne-Montrachet, Morgeots (2012-1997 with some omissions); Domaine Jean-Claude Bachelet, Saint-Aubin, Chamois (2012-2002).   

Issue 16 is £85. This price, which has has not risen for four 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.

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 

En primeur notes The Burgundy Briefing will continue the work of Clive Coates MW in his publication The Vine.

For the past twenty years Clive Coates has reviewed wines from a comprehensive range of growers and negociants across the Côte d'Or in the year following each vintage. Many visitors to this site have been subscribers to The Vine which ceased publication in 2005 to allow Clive to focus on writing books, giving presentations and to enjoy a life in France.
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.' 

Clive was extraordinarily comprehensive in his visits, extending them over the years beyond the list of familiar producers. Initially I concentrated on well known producers, many of whom are now visited on an annual basis. The full list varies each year to include lesser known and, when possible, new producers.



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. 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.' The 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages are contained in single large reports (issues 9,10, 11, 12, 13 and 14) and for the current vintage, 2012, (issue 15) there will also be just one instalment. 




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. For the moment I am focusing on tasting past vintages when I visit the domains and the notes will be found together with the notes for the current vintage.



The Burgundy Briefing intentionally differs from The Vine in its regional focus on Burgundy. This is explored through tasting with the growers. The tasting notes include many views and opinions expressed in the introduction to each domaine or maison. There are detailed vintage reports, which encompass the experiences of individual growers. Some past issues have included a grower profile. The content is weighted according to the tastings with more editorial in issues which do not carry extensive en primeur tasting notes. The sample issue illustrates everything which could be included. As there was less interest from subscribers in the market reports and opinion slots, these areas have been discontinued. For the moment the news and diary and 'Burgundy Traveller' sections have also been dropped, in favour of a more detailed vintage overview, but may be included in future issues.



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, 14 and 15 have approximately 350 pages.


Format Varying number of issues annually. Each issue can be purchased separately. Issue 1 is complimentary.

The editorial format has already evolved to reflect subscribers' interests. Recent issues contain tastings of mature wine including many verticals of Chablis in issue 5 and in issue 7 some ten-year verticals of Meursault. Comments and suggestions, via email, from the Burgundy enthusiasts who choose to support this venture are welcome. Where possible I shall respond to requests such as an issue to be investigated, a grower to be interviewed or a great wine list to be reviewed.



Receiving your subscribed-for issues. The newsletter is sold online. The first issue is available on this site as a sample issue with no charge. An email is sent out to everyone who has subscribed when each new issue is released (this incudes a reminder of passwords to all previous issues which have been subscribed to). After purchasing you will be sent a pdf of relevant issue of the Burgundy Briefing.

The content is under strict copyright. I am concerned that this has been abused, I shall be individually sending out pdfs to subscribers on receipt of a paypal payment or a cheque.  
Vincent Dancer

Subscribers past issues. When notification is sent release of the new issue, subscribers will also receive a ‘reminder’ list of passwords to all their past issues. and
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