Why Big Red Diary?

petit and cold – chablis day 4 (updated!)


Well, that’s blown out the cobwebs!

A quote from the manager of an important estate this morning:

Last night, -2°C down to nearly -3°C in some places. Frightening !

Another grower, this afternoon, showed me the ‘burned’ dead shoots he’d removed from some vines in Les Clos, but said

It’s inconsequential, there’s so little of this – but only because it’s so dry here. It may rain tomorrow though, and then we may have to worry.

Tonight, depsite the forecast of rain, it seems we’ve turned a corner in the season – the wind is still there, but today it was cooling rather than chilling – the first cicadas are singing tonight too, and I also saw the first swallow-tail butterfly of the year too!

A small collection of images from today:

the chablis shuffle, part (day) 3

chablis 2014 – to heat, or not to heat


There were many producers holding their breath last night, and will probably be doing the same tonight – it reached -2.2°C at 05h30 this morning.

The fact that it is dry gives a little more latitude, so the vines can better resist the cold, but still at -3°C the new leaves and shoots on those vines will be damaged. If the vineyard was more damp, they can really only tolerate -1.5°C! The forecast is for similar tonight. Apparently two nights last week were also equally worrisome.

It’s actually unusually dry in the vineyards, in one of the pictures below, you can see the workers of William Fevre having to water the new vines they planted last week in Grand Cru Bougros – otherwise they would die – pretty-much unheard of in April. On the other hand, lucky for them that they didn’t yet have to heat the vineyards or spray water to protect the vines. Spraying water is a double-edged sword; it’s effective, but once you start spraying you may have to do it more often…

the chablis shuffle, part (day) 2

just shuffling around Chablis – day 1

Oh, and for those of you who missed the news:

lovely: mikulski’s 2010 goutte d’or…

Am drinking a hauntingly lovely 2010 Mikulski Meursault Goutte d’Or tonight whilst trying not to take notice of the golf on TV as I need to be up-and-away early tomorrow – first appointment in Chablis at 11:00am – and I’ll be there all week. Reports will follow in the April BR Extra. The March issue comes first, also with lots of Chablis, and is due out in about 10 days…

2010 François Mikulski, Meursault 1er Goutte d’Or
Still pale in colour. The nose has depth, a certain density but freshness too. Lithe, muscle but with a wonderfully growing intensity of flavour and match fresh acidity – a little citrus style – yet it can’t hide the solid minerality in the mid-palate and finish. Lovely, lovely wine…
Rebuy – Yes

sun, ski and amiot’s 2006 morey les ruchots

Hard to believe, but the lull here was due to skiing, curtailed today by too much snow! Back home this afternoon, it was 22°C in the garden, no-wonder:

But following my evening jog – replacing one kind of (leg) ache with another – time for a little MSD 1er Cru action!


2006 Pierre Amiot, Morey St.Denis 1er Les Rochots
Medium, medium-plus colour. It starts modestly, but it’s still a nose to sink into; a classic Morey nose of herbs, backed with dark fruit and maybe a little blood-iron for good measure too. Just an ounce of padding below the silky texture and flavours that are detailed, fresh and focused. Not a powerful wine this – you will find a number of villages wines with the same heft – but long and very interesting. And note, it costs less than most ‘name’ Vosne villages these days! Very tasty!
Rebuy – Yes

And a little Austrian action too:

the fuzz, a little chambolle and a lot of morey…

A perfect Sunday for getting the earth under your feet – after breakfast in Le Montrachet of-course!

Oh, and yes, that was Beaune this morning!

a little chalonnaise distraction…

Early start from Beaune, breakfast, 20km on a bike, tasting Givry 2012, lunch, 20km on a bike, apero, late back to Beaune…

rain and shine…

Saharan rain in Beaune this morning, but the wines shined in this overlooked cellar!

Yes, the wines shined in the (late) afternoon too!

other sources…

côte d’or today…

My car is very dirty – apparently it’s sand from the Sahara.
Actually, I never wash my car, so today nobody is commenting ;-)

Warm during the day, warm during the evening too. Depending upon who you ask, the vines are anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks in advance of the average. Some growers seem relaxed about the situation, other much less so, but let’s see…

Lunch included two 76s and a 71 from Thomas-Bassot. My previous experience of these wines was bullet-proof, but today, two were oxidised beyond redemption, despite modest ullage. The last bottle was worth the price of entry though – especially when drunk with somebody who worked with T-B until 1951!

Tonight a nice jambon persillé and some 2012 Chablis in Les Dilletantes, followed by organic eggs and a peanut tart in Maison du Colombiere, washed down with espresso, oh and 2011 Thibault Liger-Belair Bourgogne Pinot Noir!

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