2011 bottling is under way, though off to a slow start

Happy Holidays everyone!

We are closing out the end of year activities here at Maison Ilan. We have had a full 2013. Why not close it out with bottling the 2011s? The wines are tasting, well, as they should be. The extra time in barrel has given the wines more time to settle. Prior to the extended aging, while there were a few barrels which were somewhat reduced, we were terribly happy with all of them. I personally don’t view reduction at lower levels to be of concern. However, these reductions are best to be resolved inside of the barrel than inside of the bottle. You never know when someone might have the thought to open a one year old Grand Cru after all. 😉 As it turned out, the reductions passed without racking them, adding copper or anything else. Time sorted it for us.


Of course I’d prefer a wine free of reduction, I’d rather have a slightly reduced wine in bottle than to eliminate some of the wine’s freshness by racking for the benefit of early drinking. I made the decision for extended aging for the reasons which I stated some several posts earlier. In short, our wines are for drinking, with a wish that they be enjoyed with ample maturity. Speeding things up isn’t why we moved from (the San Francisco Bay Area in) California nearly four years ago. We are trying to do things to the best of our ability, not only for our clients or for ourselves but to honor Burgundy and its history. Part of what makes Maison Ilan special is that we see and do things differently at every step of the process based upon our unique and specific view.


Nothing is done to speed up or slow down a wine’s development. It goes along with this philosophy that we don’t rush elevage, one of the most important steps in the a wine’s life cycle. We have considered the importance of each of these steps enough to make sure that each barrel is topped up (correcting the level of wine inside of a barrel due to evaporation) using only marbles instead of wine from other vintages, vineyards…or regions). Thinking on level of this detail encourages us to look at things differently from what the modern ‘norm’ may be. This is an essential part of Maison Ilan. We trust that our clients value this about our winery.


Furthermore, I am less interested in having wines that may be the subject of attempted critical encapsulation than I am in having wines that speak of a vineyard and vintage, both goals that I personally feel are made difficult by many prevailing modern practices, philosophies and timelines.


2010 Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Les Corbeaux’ has been bottled and is awaiting shipping. We will inform clients of the status of 2011 bottling as news becomes available.


We do things differently here at Maison Ilan. Our goal is not to do things ‘the right way’,  but to always respect and honor the history and our vision of how we fit into it.


Thank you again for supporting us, you are essential to our foundation and future!

We will be closing our home office during the Holidays. We appreciate your patience with our response to your emails.

Have a Happy Holiday Season!



3 thoughts on “2011 bottling is under way, though off to a slow start

  1. Ray,
    I just finished reading your great book. I recently started a wine website http://www.thewineosaur.net and would like to interview you for the site. So far Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis has been interviewed for the site and I’ve been in contact with Kevin Zraly and he is interested as well. I could e-mail you the questions and you could answer them at your own leisure and send them back to me.

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