Why Big Red Diary?

pavelot 1999 savigny la dominode

pavelot 1999 savigny les beaune la dominode

1999 Jean-Marc Pavelot, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er, La Dominode try to find this wine...
Still deeply coloured. A nose of coal and dark blackberry jam. Plenty of wine here; intense, lingering acidity and decent length. The tannin is present but it’s well-kept and the fruit at its core remains fresh, dark and primary, at the edge I sense some secondary flavours making an entrance. Very drinkable but still at least 5 years from the leading edge of maturity.
Rebuy – Yes

offer of the day, henri boillot 2007…

Ouch.  Much more expensive than Bouchard Père 07 (same merchant) – they are good, but they are not that good.  There are too many clouds around white burgundy to justify dipping my toes for anything other than an ‘early tester’ at these prices.  Boillot’s Corton-Charlemagne can be class leading, but given the poor aging of the 2001′s in my cellar…

MEURSAULT 2007 37,5cl 29.00 swiss francs
MEURSAULT 2007 75cl 54.00
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 2007 37,5cl 30.00
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 2007 75cl 56.00
MEURSAULT Les Charmes 2007 75cl 85.00
MEURSAULT Les Genevrières 2007 75cl 89.50
MEURSAULT Les Perrières 2007 75cl 95.00
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Les Perrières 2007 75cl 89.50
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Clos de La Mouchère 2007 75cl 89.50
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Les Caillerets 2007 75cl 89.50
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Les Pucelles 2007 75cl 95.00
CORTON CHARLEMAGNE 2007 75cl 149.00
BATARD MONTRACHET 2007 75cl 295.00
MONTRACHET 2007 75cl 499.00
BEAUNE Clos du Roi 2007 75cl 59.50
VOLNAY Les Chevrets 2007 75cl 75.00
VOLNAY Les Caillerets 2007 75cl 79.00


It seems that many of you had the hots for my little graphic the other day.

wordle burgundy name cloud

Try it yourself – here – hours of endless fun! My thanks to Jonathan Feinberg.

2005 jacques prieur, beaune 1er greves

jacques prieur beaune greves

Despite the weight of their bottles and the quality of the packaging, for years I’ve found the wines of Domaine Jacques Prieur far from the brightest pennies in the box, but sufficient people have told me to take another look that it’s perhaps time to try a bottle or two…
2005 Jacques Prieur, Beaune 1er Greves try to find this wine...
Medium-plus colour, with flashes of purple. A super, super young nose of faint, creamy creme brulée over dark, almost jellied fruit – it’s rather exciting. In the mouth it’s superbly intense, balanced by gushing, but super acidity. The one down-side (for me) is that the dominant flavours are mainly dark, bitter-chocolate oak. Certainly plenty of power, and the lingering flavours end with fruit rather than oak, so I expect time will suck up most of the wood – if not all those toasted flavours – it might (one day) even taste like Beaune! I’m quite impressed by the gusto here and may add a couple to the cellar.
Rebuy – Yes

2,100 wine notes in one picture…

2100 notes in one picture

The whole content of of my tasting-note database in one picture!  It impressed me, though some might say that’s not hard! :-)

bertagna 2005 bourgogne les dames huguettes

bertagna dames huguettes

2005 Bertagna, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Les Dames Huguettes try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry red. Frankly I don’t like the nose – it’s quite forward, but it’s mainly the bubble-gum notes of a less than satisfying Beaujolais. In the mouth the acidity is quite bright and the flavours are metallic. As it stands, it’s a big NO! I have to give it a chance, so most waits for day 2:  Another day and the bubble-gum is on a slightly lower order, but aromatically the wine is far from interesting.  Perhaps not so metallic tasting, but the acidity remains very tart – I don’t mind high acidity, but this is tart high acidity.  If represenative (and why shouldn’t it be?) a startling failure for the vintage.
Rebuy – No

offer of the day, bouchard père 2007…

2007 Burgundies from Bouchard Père et Fils
I’ve seen worse. The whites are not bad value considering the current impression of the quality – I last bought the 2002 Meursault Perrières for 59 francs per, but that’s an average 5% increase per year!

MEURSAULT Genevrières 375 36.50 (Swiss Francs)
MEURSAULT Genevrières 750 69.00
MEURSAULT Les Perrières 750 75.00
MONTRACHET 750 429.00

CLOS DE VOUGEOT 750 139.00
ECHEZEAUX 750 129.00
CHAMBERTIN Clos de Bèze 750 169.00

nicolas potel 1997 volnay

nicolas potel 1997 volnay

My last Potel (99 Volnay 1er Mitans) was horribly corked so it would be hard not to improve! Very highly rated by Perry Mason from barrel, this is a wine that has been sullen virtually since release – every couple of years I pull one out for a test, the last was about the best showing. So…
1997 Nicolas Potel, Volnay try to find this wine...
Quite deeply coloured ruby-red and starting to gain a shade of amber at the rim. Wide, slightly ethereal aromatics with a submerged but dense core of darker fruit – very interesting. The full palate shows plenty of fine background tannin that’s edged with a little bitterness. There’s just enough acidity and the flavour lingers very well, hinting to cream – there was a slightly green cedary phase but then it was gone. A very fine 97 and a better drink than the d’Angerville 99 from yesterday.
Rebuy – Yes (at 97 prices!)

d’angerville 1999 volnay 1er fremiet

marquis d'angerville 1999 volnay fremiet

1999 Marquis d’Angerville, Volnay 1er Fremiet try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus ruby-red core. The nose is dense, and just now will win no prizes for elegance – heavy plum notes dominate a nice dark confiture. Intense and nicely fresh, more mature flavours and a lingering liquid length. Tannin is only found if you roll the wine around in your mouth – it has some grain, but it’s rather anonymous. I finished every drop, but it’s far from in a lovable place today.
Rebuy – Maybe

…probably not dishwasher friendly…

Young London-based designer Kacper Hamilton has created a set of seven wine glasses inspired by the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.

Brilliant stuff – but probably not dishwasher friendly!!!

greed !!!

2005 heresztyn, gevrey-chambertin vieilles vignes

heresztyn gevrey chambertin

2005 Heresztyn, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. Width and dark cherry fruit with faint white pepper and a softer, warmer core. The palate has a soft texture, currently rather bright acidity but a very nice depth of fruit in the mid-palate and finish. It’s another 2005 that’s not an easy drink right now, but the quality behind will eventually repay the wait – though I expect it won’t be short wait.
Rebuy – Yes

the billionaire’s vinegar, benjamin wallace (2008)

1787 - the billionaire's vinegarBillionaire’s Vinegar is first and foremost a book that I really enjoyed – in the manner of well-researched fiction – perhaps not a thriller, but certainly a who-dunnit.  Secondly, it’s a book from which you can learn much of the auction market machinations and importantly if you are tempted to buy old wine, it will ensure that those rose-tinted spectacles will be left at home – oh and we are supposed to believe that it’s all true!

For those that may have lived in a cupboard for the last year or so, it is a story that starts with a bottle of wine with the initials Th.J. dated 1787.  Actually there may have been as many as 30 “Thomas Jefferson” bottles purportedly found in a Paris cellar, the first of which being famously sold by Christies for a world record price.

Despite multiple pages of reference and source materials, Christies (Decanter) claim there to be many ‘inaccuracies’ in the book, though as Mandy Rice-Davies would say – ‘they would say that wouldn’t they’. Of course Christies were not the source of those bottles, one Hardy Rodenstock is the primary target of the book, though from the narrative it’s clear that the author sees Christies in general and Christies’ Maître dit Michael Broadbent in particular as willing dupes at best.

Despite some of those bottles clearly containing excellent old wine, they were faked – analysis showed one of them to contain wine from 1962 – as they all came from the same cellar, undisturbed for maybe 100 years or more, if one falls they all fall.

I highly recommended this well-written book, but one thing disappoints; it’s still only a partly told story. Hardy Rodenstock is still being pursued, both by private detectives and through the courts – mainly by one very deep-pocketed owner of a number of questionable bottles, some with the initials Th.J.  Rodenstock’s hunter is playing a long game which the hunter appears to be both enjoying and expects to win. Perhaps the author of this book also felt hunted and needed to be sure hist book was published first. I expect the second or third edition may have one or two more chapters and a real conclusion.

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