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billn

a change is afoot!

a change is afoot!

Just back from a largely wine-free weekend away. Despite the sci-fi cloud image from Manchester Airport on Friday (a quick and painless immigration check by the way!), I have the impression that the jet stream might finally be heading Northwards: Whilst the 2012 harvest volumes will be modest (or lower!), the final quality of those bottles is far from written – it looks like a period of good weather is on the way – we just need that humidity to reduce a little – and maybe a north-wind too…

Reading Between The Wines, Terry Theise (2010)

Reading Between The Wines, Terry Theise (2010)

Published by UCP. I finally get the time to place my fingers on the keyboard, about two weeks after I’ve actually finished this book – I’m already a third of the way through a follow-up volume… ‘Reading Between The Wines’ (with the addition of a little, but not too much, writing) sounds just like my current existence – so this must be a book written for me – and largely it is. Terry Theise (that would be pronounced ‘Thizer’ if his German connections follow through…), or TT, as I will from now-on refer to him, certainly has a gift for writing; though his American roots shout out from the pages as he ‘kibitzes, schvitzes and schmaltzes (and many other words with ‘zeds’ (zees) in them [....]

vintage 2012 – côte de nuits style…

And to add a little balance to the 2012 vintage commentary, let’s not forget that the major hail ‘events’ have been in the Côte de Beaune, and perhaps the largest rot pressures too. Jeremy Seysses, today, shows a cracking row of vines… Through much hard work, vyds still looking pretty great. 2012 is still a long way from being a write off. #fatlady twitter.com/JeremySeysses/… — Jeremy Seysses (@JeremySeysses) Juli 19, 2012

andre nudant 1980 corton-charlemagne

I bought a bunch of the 1979 and wasn’t going to buy any 1980 (advice came that 79 was a good vintage, 80 not) but it turned out that a friend had 1980 as their birth-year. As we so often see, Burgundy is a wine that confounds – particularly as the wines age, and before the p.ox was invented, even more so for whites. The phrase was coined for reds, but it used to fit equally well to whites: “In a good vintage you should wait at least 10 years to drink the wines, in bad vintage you NEED to wait at least 10 years to drink.” 1980 Andre Nudant, Corton-Charlemagne Golden. Old oak notes that bring to mind the 1979 but they blow off [....]

2012 veraison!

2012 veraison!

As far as I know, the first sighting of veraison in the Côte d’Or is this picture – taken today – by Thomas Bouley from Volnay. Thomas also has a picture of the same, taken today, in Beaune 1er Les Reversées. A cluster of grapes from the Volnay 1er cru of Les Carelles – so we can also see that there are still some grapes that have the chance to make it to harvest You can see, how irregular the bunches are; mainly a function of the rain and cold at flowering time.

a new owner of the nsg clos des grandes vignes…

a new owner of the nsg clos des grandes vignes…

Part of the de Montille disposals to fund the purchase of the Château de Puligny; unofficially, we’ve known about the new owner for the last couple of weeks, but as the words finally trip from his own mouth, I think I’m safe enough to broadcast it Based on the numbers in the SAFER website, we can assume that with all taxes and fees paid, the final bill was about €3 million, for the only premier cru on the ‘wrong side’ of the RN74… Just bought the 2,2 hectares of the Monopoly Nuits Saint Georges 1er cru “Clos des Grandes Vignes”. A new Monopoly for the Estate (the 3rd…after Clos du Chateau and La Romanée) and a new challenge for myself…try to make some “drinkable” white [....]

bertrand machard de gramont 2008 nsg les terrasses de vallerots

bertrand machard de gramont 2008 nsg les terrasses de vallerots

2008 Bertrand Machard de Gramont, Nuits St.Georges Les Terrasses de Vallerots Medium colour. Very pretty, transparent, crunchy red fruit aromas with just a suggestion of spice – very pretty indeed – almost a strong impression of biting into a nectarine! Plenty of acidity but with a balancing sweetness. This is an achingly pretty wine that I’d never guess Nuits blind. Super! Rebuy – Yes

louis jadot (gagey) beaune 2010 bressandes blanc

louis jadot (gagey) beaune 2010 bressandes blanc

I tasted this and a white Grèves (2006) with Jacques Lardière back in January – and was smitten. I placed my order right afterwards! Jadot’s reputation for whites has suffered due to oxidation, but it won’t make a difference to me because all of these bottles will be drunk over the next 3 years… 2010 Louis Jadot (Gagey), Beaune 1er Bressandes Blanc Medium-pale, lemon-yellow. The nose is full and round, padded with spicy bread and soft, sweet oak notes – eventually a little citrus fruit joins the party – it’s a pastry delight. In the mouth this is oh-so direct; mineral and with very good acidity – you might, with hindsight, say the nose is redolent of Beaune – but never the flavour! Time in [....]

2009 chandon de briailles volnay caillerets

2009 Chandon de Briailles, Volnay 1er Caillerets On first opening, this is a lithe, tight, linear and slightly glossy thing – supermodel proportions – though in a ‘look but don’t touch’ vernacular (typical for the genre!). Time in a decanter will help you get to know this supermodel; the sulking, pouting approach to communication is replaced by confidence and complexity – it’s simply super. Finally we have just a stunning array of precise berries on the nose, the occasional suggestion of a flower-petal and even some dried currants as bass notes. For a 2009 this is rather linear with a crystalline minerality – whatever else I’m drinking, I’m drawn back to this wine. Pop-and-pour and you will never the meet the personality behind the wine, [....]

a walk through the aftermath

a walk through the aftermath

It was the start of the apero at the ‘Elegance de Volnay’ the other Saturday as the hail began its assault. The room went deathly quiet as the assembled tasters and vignerons held their breath. Of-course, most of the Côte d’Or avoided hail, the epicentre being Volnay and Pommard. Walking through Volnay Taillepieds today, some vines without grapes, many stems damaged – of-course the leaves too – some fine clusters remain but a majority show some damage. There’s not too much pressure from rot on the hillside here but yields may still only be 20%, or less. But better to have hail in June – to give scarred grapes the chance to drop off – than close to harvesting…

in the côtes

in the côtes

…the last few days have been cool and largely dry – though it has to be said not particularly sunny – cue the pictures of sullen skies! – then plenty of rain arrived on Friday evening. But today we have sun I’m heading to a tasting in a few minutes, but the wines will have to work hard to match a few rare beauties from this week: 1976 Beaune Vignes-Franches from Rebourgeon-Mure and 1990 Savigny Lavières from Chandon de Briailles – both were bottled fabulousness! Also of interest was the rare, potentially extinct, appellation pictured above…

helicopters and cayennes

Watching a helicopter in Nuits of all places – witty producer nods, saying ‘you can’t get a Porsche Cayenne up there’ ;-)) — bill nanson (@billnanson) Juli 12, 2012

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