Why Big Red Diary?

mark’s harvest: 14+15 sept…

Bonjour! Tres fantastic day – wow the weather, phew what a scorcher and the grape quality and quantity ? Maybe the best in quality terms I’ve ever seen at Arlaud and Cyprien’s quietly happy I think.

Arrived 16.00 hrs Sunday so had a quick photo session between the Aralud cuverie and the village accommodation. Got talking firstly to Regis Forey and crew in Morey village and then, later, Pierre Amiot and gang in Gevrey 1er Combottes.

Didnt take any this afternoon as we spent most of it (until 17.00 hrs) in Morey village below the RN 74 where the grapes, in my rows at least were just amazing – 2009 all over again ?

For the record today we did, in order :-
Morey 1er Millandes (just by Odoul-Coquard)
Morey ‘Clos Solon’ – Cyprien has bottled it as Clos Solon since 2012 – I want some !!!
Charmes-Chambertin (the best bit, high up, across the road from Latricieres) – super grapes here as well
Lunch – grated carrot thing starter, nice pieces of pork steaks and pasta, tarte au pomme, fromage selection
Morey Village as above
Gevrey 1er Combottes – started at 17.00 hrs – to finish.


Monday. First 3 pics are just scenes . Next three are grape shots from a plot just up-slope very close to the cemetery wall in Rue Tres Girard:

2012 côte de beaune blanc – drouhin…

I can summarise with ‘yum!’

2012 Domaine Joseph Drouhin, Côte de Beaune (Blanc)
Medium-pale, lemon-yellow. High-toned but with an undertow of fresh but ripe fruit – enticing! Full in the mouth, quite broad but with both freshness and an interesting density – a performance that easily surpasses the label. Excellent stuff with a nicely mouth-watering finish.
Rebuy – Yes

Burgundy Harvest 15 September 2014…

A perfect pic by Caroline l’Estimé of Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard: Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Caillerets today.

Typically, for my first day ‘on the job,’ today there are no grapes at the home domaine!

They started with Volnay Lurets yesterday, harvested under the same benign 22°C and sunshine as we’ve enjoyed for about a week – the weather is set fair for the rest of this week too. One thing I’ve noticed today, though, is a strong acetic waft and lots of small fruit flies when you pass many open (producer) doors. Chilled delivery vans are worth their weight in gold this vintage!

Whilst yields are miserly, I’ve heard nothing but good news from those that have harvested their hailed vineyards – the vibrating tables seem to be taking away all that is dried out, and in the few vineyards in Beaune and Volnay already harvested, there is no rot to worry about – the hail made sure of that – so triage has been very simple. Triage has been harder in Meursault (for those that didn’t machine pick!) with as much as 40% of the crop rejected, but the grapes that remain are delivering smiles all-round.

Finally, for avid students of the vintage, the harvest newsletters of Domaine de la Vougeraie are now online, here.

harvest 2014 – wednesday 10th sept…

The last bottles in Switzerland with Team NZ; who are now safely awaiting the first grapes in Beaune.

I made a bit of a booboo on Wednesday afternoon.

I took some really brilliant pictures of the few harvesters who were busying themselves, mainly around Meursault – so much-so that I couldn’t wait to review them – OOPS – the SD card from my camera was still in my laptop. No pics! Dumb, dumb, dumb…

I snapped a few with my phone afterwards, but…

Anyway… Virtually nobody in Volnay and Pommard on Wednesday afternoon – actually one lot in each. Meursault seemed the main focus, though that was also eerily free of white vans. Lafon and Roulot had been in the vines – Meursault Perrières, mainly. Also, of the half-dozen teams who were harvesting, were two harvesting machines, and both were in the 1er Crus! There are producers who, faced with not so brilliant grapes (don’t forget that Meursault was also hailed), would rather harvest by machine than pay for pickers. Although white grapes tolerate machine much better than reds, this might suggest larger quality gaps then usual between the best producers and the others…

Yesterday (Thursday) there were more people in the vines but not massively more than the day before. Temperatures were 4-5°C cooler, but still dry and sunny with about 22° in the afternoon. I left Burgundy in the afternoon, but will be back for triage, first thing on Monday morning. Daily reports will, of-course, follow.

the contenders start their harvests…

Almost, but not quite, the last of the bottles drunk with Team NZ in Switzerland.

Jasper has a few of the starters:

Amongst others, also starting Wednesday (today!) is Jean-Marc Roulot and Vougeraie in their white grand crus.
Thursday there’s Domaine des Croix and Dubreuil-Fontaine
Friday it’s JF Fichet, Benjamin Leroux (whites) + + +
Domaine Dublère and Camille Giroud start at the weekend and Bonneau du Martray next week, as do the first of the Côte de Nuits – but some of those Côte de Nuits domaines have no plans to start before the 20th.

There’s been a little rain yesterday and overnight, but the sun is out this afternoon – let’s hope there’s nothing to cajoule the botrytis into action!

getting ready for the harvest blastoff….

A few more from the weekend…

The outriders this week will be the Mâconnais – they will will probably be first in the vines. Later this week, probably from Wednesday onwards, the first of the Côte de Beaune whites will be harvested, though a significant proportion of that will also wait for the weekend or even Monday. Reds will really start from Monday onwards, for 10 days, or even more. Chablis will also largely harvest between 15-20th September – so it looks like I’ll be too busing in Beaune to pay them a visit…

The weather changed last week in the Côtes; July and August were cool and often wet, but almost always with a steady (cold feeling!) breeze – this wind has been reason we’ve seen no rot, only an occasional bout of oïdium in the whites. Last week the breeze stopped and the sun shone – Friday was a perfect 28°C day and so was the weekend that followed. The threat of botrytis still lies within every bunch – but only of we suddenly get rain together with high temperatures. We are currently set fair for the next week, though with temperatures more modestly around 22°C. It looks like we should do well – though triage will be taxing for the hail-hit vines…

I’ll be making daily harvest reports from Monday 15th, here – naturally ;-)

Last Friday in the Côtes:


A common business finance route – though rather rarer for wine producers…

offer of the day – domaine raveneau 2012…


CHABLIS 75cl 49.50 Swiss Francs

CHABLIS 1er Cru Montée-de-Tonnerre 75cl 98.00
CHABLIS 1er Cru Butteaux 75cl 98.00

CHABLIS Grand Cru Valmur 75cl 198.00
CHABLIS Grand Cru Le Clos 75cl Price on application!

Hmm. Chablis the poorer cousin of the Côte d’Or? Not here.

more bottles, more hills…


One advantage of having a house full of Kiwis – pre vintage – is that there are plenty of bottles to be opened and sights to see.

summer holidays are over…


I had a few nice wines whilst in the mountains last week, but it seems that the holidays are now over. I’ve a snowball of articles to publish over the next six weeks – oh, and there’s a harvest coming too! It seems that a number of domaines will be be starting with their whites around the 10th September, but reds won’t really start, in earnest, until the 15th. The weather is warming after a cool, often wet, August – hopefully this weather will stay around for the harvest…

fizzy chablis and fine volnay for the weekend…


I really can’t recommend Collet’s first vintage of Cremant de Bourgogne enough. Romain Collet made this from ‘Petit Chablis’ grapes, noting “We don’t have a lot of Petit Chablis, and we like bubbles!”. The clincher is that you can buy it from the domaine, including tax for just €8.40! It’s very yum!

Then onto this. I don’t know much about this domaine, but the few examples I’ve tasted from them have been very good:

2006 Poulleau Père et Fils, Volnay 1er Cru
Good depth of colour. The nose starts a little brusque, but aeration brings a smoother impression, and in short-order there’s a really gorgeous red-fruited aroma that’s completely captivating. In the mouth it changes very little; it’s concentrated, smooth, well-balanced but just a little tight. The flavour is fine and you have the impression of density, but it’s not yet at the stage where the experience is ‘involving.’ Still, this is pretty impressive wine…
Rebuy – Yes

bart’s 2006 marsannay les champs salomon


2006 Domaine Bart, Marsannay Les Champs Salomon
The nose was a little unappetising to start – oldish toasty oak – it took over an hour, but the aromatics slowly cleared and became more attractive: Very pretty red fruit, dark-shaded with a nice acid bite – I like! Wide, with good acidity this wine attaches lots of flavour to your gums. Still some tannin and it’s also a little unruly – but it’s also lots of fun. I’m very much enjoying this now – it was just the first hour that wasn’t so yum…
Rebuy – Yes

Page 4 of 195« First...23456...102030...Last »