Why Big Red Diary?

debray 2011 hautes côtes de beaune…

2011 Domaine Debray, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
Hardly more than rosé colour – let’s see if that matters: The nose has width and shows good red fruit with a little P. A little fat with pretty red fruit flavours – this is very tasty. See, the colour didn’t matter, and this is something of a bargain if you don’t mind the pyrazine note.
Rebuy – No

a few weekend bottles…

Standing tall – just before visiting the glass recycling!

2010 Camille-Giroud, Beaune 1er Aux Cras
On first opening, I’m surprised by how much whole-cluster character is showing – sort of cotton-wool / powdery / smoky / floral. These anecdotes gradually fade into the background, offering red fruits and occasional hints of balsamic. The palate is wide and has good concentration of flavour that really holds, indeed reprises, into the finish. The tannin has a little sticky-grab just now, but the flavour is just lovely.
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Michel Lafarge, Beaune 1er Les Grèves
Both the nose and palate start with slightly green-shaded herbal references. Time in glass helps to develop much more interest; aromas of dark-red fruit though not especially focused. In the mouth, there’s plenty of structure on display but just as much mouth-watering flavour too – indeed, quite stony flavour in the finish – an extra-long finish. When you don’t see the vintage, you will be impressed, sight of the label, however, redefines my expectations. This is a very lovely wine, but not one that currently shows what 2005 is capable of.
Rebuy – Yes

1995 Gerard Mugneret, Chambolle-Musigny 1er, Les Charmes
Wax-topped. Still pretty deeply coloured. The first few sniffs are of quite nice dark-red fruit but it’s disturbed by a little sulfite – air and 30 minutes cures the problem. The dark-red fruit remains and it plumbs fine depth – above high tones and a faint spice. Here is a wine that did an about-face with food: To start, the entry was lithe and narrow, lively acidity and still plenty of grainy tannin – though not astringent. With my first mouthful of food, this seemed to gain a little fat and the impression left by the tannin was much finer! Super extra dimension of high-toned red-fruit flavour in the mid-palate too – this is still showing a little masculinity but the flavours are really super. I would say that this is still a relative baby, needing at least 5 more years to lessen the impact of the wine’s structure – but there’s already sweet, beguiling, cool fruit for the intrepid!
Rebuy – Yes



It takes bad news to get wine on the front pages (okay, near the front pages!) of many periodicals – but here is such a case. In this selection of reports you will note that many of those periodicals are important US news-gatherers-disseminators – but then the trial is in New York and has the odd NY billionaire testifying! It makes a great angle for newspapers that a billionaire can be defrauded by a young, foreigner, illegally living in the US.

Actually, far from bad news, I think this is great news. Forgers have had an easy a life in wine circles. It really should be time for some payback! Anyone can get away with forging Bordeaux it seems, but eventually it is Burgundy that trips people up. Hopefully Kurniawan will eventually sing like a canary, because most of the producers involved don’t believe he had the knowledge to work alone…

Whilst its 160 pages (plus…) length, its breadth and its meanderings now make it largely un-navigable, you should know that the mother-thread for all that is Kurniawan, is housed here on WineBerserkers. Doubtless, you can add half a dozen other reports to those bulleted above, but Don Cornwell’s occasional (and quite full) reports from the trial, are to be found (towards the end) of the linked WineBerserkers thread – like this – they are not to be missed.

just a perfect day…


three fine chassagne blanc 1ers from 2011…


First ski days of the new season with friends – I brought three bottles – one per night, right? Oh dear! Well at least there were three of us, so it was ‘only’ one bottle each. Brilliant opportunity to properly compare and contrast though!

2011 Morey-Coffinet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Romanée
Medium-plus yellow colour. The nose starts mainly with toasty bread, however, it blows away relatively quickly to leave behind a mix of high-tones that include white flower blossom. It’s now really quite pretty. There’s a little rasp to to texture (CO2 I suppose) but there’s fine depth and a wide panorama of flavour – I’m very-much enjoying this! As the glass warms the effect becomes (dare I say it) a little flabby, but keep it max.14°C and all is very well. Overall it has energy and focus with just a little minerality as you reach the finish. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2011 Vincent Dancer, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Tête du Clos
The nose on this, also starts rather toasty – and in this case with a faint reductive note too. The palate is just a little fatter and shows a rubber ‘flavour’ – there’s the reduction for you – luckily it soon goes – and the nose blossoms as it goes, showing more green-skinned fruit and herbs. Round, with a concentrated core of fruit, the acidity provides almost a crispy halo around the dense fruit. Sweetly finishing, those flavours tenaciously hold onto your tongue. Very, very nice indeed. Tossing a metaphorical coin, I have a very slight preference for the minerality of the Morey-Coffinet.
Rebuy – Yes

2011 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Ruchottes
The nose starts not quite so wide but there is an (auto?) suggestion of faint mint – no toast. The nose slowly builds density yet remains airy and fine. The palate has more density than the previous two wines, the acidity slowly, slowly making its presence felt and holding a good line into the finish. Clearly this has the most density and dimension of these three wines. I go back to the Morey-Coffinet for it’s minerality but it seems a little mean now in comparison. Very, very tasty wine.
Rebuy – Yes

These are classic 2011s – very very tasty, if not with the pure focus of the 2010s, and they need a closer eye on temperature than the 2010s too – if you want to avoid them getting a little out of shape…

’2012 Burgundy Vintage – The new normal?’

Beautiful words…

1999 faiveley nuits 1er aux chaignots…


A domaine wine, yet the combination of producer, vintage and village make for something potentially daunting – fear not, this was a willing party to my glass.

1999 Domaine Faiveley, Nuits St.Georges 1er Aux Chaignots
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose has a deep core of dark, faintly roast fruit – the rest is more subtle and understated, but for at least an hour there’s a little coconut-style oak in the mix. In the mouth there’s a clear base of grainy tannin but it is ripe enough – that said, it must have been quite a mouthful 10 years ago. The quality of the fruit is very good and has quite high-toned notes too. The flavours really widen-out as you head into the finish, and whilst there’s a bit of coconut flavour here too, it is very long indeed – grand cru length I would say. Whilst a relative youngster, this can drunk today, no problem…
Rebuy – Yes

offer of the day – Leflaive 2012…

DOMAINE LEFLAIVE 2012 – Puligny-Montrachet (En Primeur)
Just for reflection, you will see the same offer prices of their (very, very good!) 2011s in brackets…

Bourgogne 2012 75cl 35.00 Swiss Francs (34.00)
Puligny-Montrachet 2012 75cl 65.00 (59.00)

Puligny-Montrachet Les Clavoillons 2012 75cl 85.00 (79.50)
Meursault Sous Le Dos d’Âne 2012 75cl 96.00 (89.50)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 2012 75cl 139.00 (129.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 2012 75cl 149.00 (138.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2012 75cl 175.00 (158.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2012 150cl 355.00 (321.00)

Bienvenues Batard Montrachet 2012 75cl 289.00 (259.00)
Batard Montrachet 2012 75cl 310.00 (279.00)
Chevalier-Montrachet 2012 75cl 395.00 (348.00)

Well, the increases start modestly!

If money was no option, I’d buy Pucelles in mags every year – I’ve never yet met, or even heard of a p.oxed magnum, from anyone – even in ‘off vintages’ at Leflaive this wine excels.

It’s hard to draw conclusions on Leflaive pricing as it goes up and down like a fiddler’s elbow, but these 2012 prices are only very slighly more than was asked for their 2007s, and note that production in 2012 was about 50% of a usual year; I’m feeling that it might be churlish to complain (excessively!)…

hudelot-noellat’s 2005 chambolle-musigny…


2005 Hudelot-Noellat, Chambolle-Musigny
Medium-plus colour. The nose is now carrying a suggestion of turned leaves – a H-N classic – and some herbs over a relatively dense yet brilliantly transparent dark fruit. It’s still just a little tight. In the mouth this has just a modest impression of cushioned texture, but as much as anything that’s probably down to the significant concentration of what’s before us, that aside, it’s very silky. Deep red-fruit flavour with more than a hint of florals in the mix too, excellent acidity and a faint fur to the tannin. There are certainly more communicative 05s just now, but this is no shame to drink – at all. Impressive stuff…
Rebuy – Yes

domaine bart’s 2011 chambolle veroilles…


2011 Bart, Chambolle-Musigny Les Veroilles
Deeply coloured. Frankly this starts with way too much CO2 – you can smell (sense) it and taste (feel) it – it’s probably also responsible for a hint (not too much!) of reduction. I gave this bottle several shakes, releasing a lot of gas, and placed it in the fridge door – returning about 2 hours later. Okay, let’s try again; despite being rather tight, the nose has good depth and a fine high-toned top-note, there seems no obvious reduction, yet it is still a little deep and burly. The grainy texture of the palate tells me that probably there’s still some gas to lose here, but there are flashes of energy and fruit that I find quite impressive. I think, to be fair to the wine, if not the bottling decisions, I have to give this wine even longer to show itself. Oops – what a mistake – what shows on day 2 is a clear and dominating P note, one that is now reflected in the flavour too. For what it’s worth, the texture is much finer now and there is delicate, elegant and precise fruit flavour too. The acidity nicely supports the whole. Unfortunately, it’s no-longer to the taste of this taster. Shame, there’s a nice wine under there..
Rebuy – No

verget’s 2011 meursault les clous…


2011 Verget, Meursault Les Clous
What a brilliant wine! The nose is of ginger-cake and nougat – but with plenty of freshness – nice! Lithe and mineral, indeed I’d say muscular too – this wine is doing a great impression of a premier cru. Despite all those muscles and rocks, it’s a pretty wine too. Yum – be warned – the glass empties very quickly!
Rebuy – Yes

pierre amiot’s 2011 gevrey les combottes…


2011 Pierre Amiot et Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er, Les Combottes
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose begins very impressively – concentrated dark red fruit that’s more redcurrant than cherry – just joyous. I really should have drunk faster because after about 20 minutes there was a clear P note at centre-stage. What was unctuous and lovely on the palate became a little more spiky and gradually less appealing as the P note on the nose grew, eventually it was discernible on the palate too. What a shame! I suggest you get 6-8 friends together and pour each a glass – the bottle will be gone in 15 minutes, and you will have all loved this! The last half of this bottle seemed to do an amazing turnaround; the ‘P’ faded and there was a little floral note – the palate came back together too – I haven’t seen such a change-around before, probably I am the weak-link in this chain, but it finished as it started – incredibly drinkable…
Rebuy – No

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