Why Big Red Diary?

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!

1955 pommard grands epenots


I rarely drink more than a couple of glasses per evening, but sometimes you have to suffer for your art – no? Of-course it could have been oh-so different!

The wine in question was a 1955 Tastevinage, and given my experience of the Tastevinage, I have a positive impression of the quality today – I can’t vouch for before I was born though! Anyway, whilst it had less than a couple of inches of ullage, after removing the top of the capsule, the cork looked pretty damp. Usually this (supposedly dry) end stinks of oxidised wine when so wet – but I could detect none. With screwpull-worm and ah-so in tandem I slowly began to pull (twist) the cork out. It nearly, nearly made it one piece too, but the cork was longer than the ah-so and left a small chunk behind. Fortunately it could be removed without dropping into the wine. Impressively for such an age, you could still even make out some of the wording on the cork; Grands Epenots…

1955 Tastevinage, Pommard Grands Epenots
No mention of 1er Cru – in those days you were supposed to know that the Village name followed by a vineyard name, on the same line with the same size of letters, was indeed a 1er Cru! The producer was Henri Gaunoux (et ses Fils), and it was bottled for Mövenpick, Switzerland who have/had, wineshops, restaurants and hotels.
This is rather dark and seems rather browner than might be palatable, but the core is still of something that looks red. Ooh – what a pretty and sweet nose. It’s showing a little earth and some soy sauce but wrapped in a sort of clean sweetness. In the mouth it’s not super concentrated but it’s clean, quite fresh and silky too – unless you chew – and here are grainy tannins that (blind) could be only 5 or 6 years old; but – such is the balance here – you have to look for them. The finish is not super-long, but has a sweet, almost spiced, pears poached in wine impression. I simply love the nose and appreciate all the rest.
Rebuy – No Chance! – so I’m luckily that I have a few more ;-)

Out of interest, I thought I’d have quick look at what was happening in 1955:
Mercedes’ 190SL was launched
James Dean died – but in a Porsche!
Albert Einstein also died – not car-related
West Germany becomes a recognised country and joins NATO
The last occupying Soviet troops leave Austria (I’d no idea it was so late…)
The Warsaw Pact was signed

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