Why Big Red Diary?

jean-noël gagnard’s 1999 chassagne caillerets


Actually, I drank this last week, but only now got around to typing the note. We started with two bottles, but the first showed a mild corkiness that was enough to spoil our enjoyment, particularly so, when we realised how good the second bottle was!

1999 Jean-Noël Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er les Caillerets
Lemon yellow. The nose is open and fresh though seems to close a little – for just a short time. The flavours are wide and mineral and there is a lovely energy to this wine. The flavour just grows more and more intense as you head into the mid-palate. This is very ‘Caillerets’ in that it is mainly about energy, texture and intensity – there is little fruit to comment on. Super wine!
Rebuy – Yes

leflaive’s 2008 chevalier-montrachet


2008 Leflaive, Chevalier-Montrachet
Wow – this is showing its wares: Beautiful aromas of fresh citrus fruit, and there’s a really gorgeous depth too – this is just so ‘open’. Intense – I’ll say that again – intense, beautiful flavours and again it’s just so open. A core of agrume fruit – it’s like summer dish of grapefruit and mandarin oranges – oof! Given how sullen, massive, and basically ‘not very tasty’ the 2005 was at the same age, I’m simply amazed. Beautiful, beautiful wine!
Rebuy – Yes

welcome back: c marey & comte liger-belair…


Louis-Michel Liger-Belair has been a busy boy.

Not only has he been re-designing the family Audi A3*, but he has been remodelling his affairs in Vosne-Romanée too.

The name of the business C.Marey was first recorded in Nuits St.Georges in 1720. In 1852, Guillaume-Félix Marey, together with the Comte Liger-Belair joined their business together to form the company, C.Marey et Comte Liger-Belair. On the death of Guillaume-Félix in 1869, the company passed solely into the hands of the Liger-Belairs. In the first half of the 1900s this company name was sold, eventually ending up in the hands of Maison Boisset of Nuits St.Georges.

Louis-Michel has come to an agreement with Boisset to recover this old name connected to his family in Vosne-Romanée, and will use this as the vehicle for selling multiple lots of wines he has been buying at the Hospices de Beaune.

*Nobody was seriously injured, but Louis-Michel’s wife, Constance, has a painful broken bone.

offer of the day – henri boillot 2012s…

In brackets, you will see the equivalent prices from the 2011 offer and then the 2010 offer:

BOURGOGNE Chardonnay 75cl 22.00 (20.00 20.00) Swiss francs
MEURSAULT 75cl 44.00 (39.00 39.00)
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 75cl 48.00 (42.00 42.00)

MEURSAULT Les Genevrières 75cl 89.50 (79.00 68.00)
MEURSAULT Les Perrières 75cl 98.00 (79.00 69.00)
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Clos de La Mouchère 75cl 89.50 (72.00 68.00)
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Les Pucelles 75cl 98.00 (78.00 72.00)

CORTON CHARLEMAGNE 75cl 138.00 (99.50 98.00)
CRIOTS BÂTARD MONTRACHET 75cl 249.00 (168.00 159.00)
BIENVENUES BÂTARD MONTRACHET 75cl 319.00 (189.00 178.00)
BÂTARD MONTRACHET 75cl 399.00 (249.00 235.00)
MONTRACHET 75cl 599.00 (448.00 399.00)

VOLNAY 75cl 44.00 (39.00 39.00)
VOLNAY Les Caillerets 75cl 85.00 (69.00 66.00)
POMMARD Les Rugiens 75cl 89.00 (69.00 69.00)

CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 139.00 (105.00 98.00)

A slightly reduced range on offer for 2012. Villages aside, that’s a very impressive run of pricing no…(?)

maison clavelier’s 2010 villages nuits st.georges…


You may remember, that I was more than just pleasantly surprised how good the wines from this ‘maison’ could be. I don’t hold out the same level of hope for some of the grander wines, as clearly Clavelier will have less and less input into the final product, but this is a simply brilliant villages. I think I may have given the ‘Villages Nuits of the Year’ to Potel’s Domaine de Bellene in 2010 and 2011, but this wine would be an interesting competitor for that 2010. It’s excellent.


2010 Maison Clavelier et Fils, Nuits St.Georges
Medium, medium-plus colour. Fresh, mineral width with a more modest but glossy dark-red fruit is also in attendance. Hmmm, this is really silky and fresh, and shows a brilliant depth of dark-fruited flavour – slowly becoming higher-toned and ever-more impressive. There are a few added barrel flavours for complexity too – they take about 30 minutes to fade into the background – long, long, long. This wine is more pleasurable and interesting than about 50% of all the Nuits 1er Crus I’ve tasted in the vintage – and you know how good a vintage it is! Still, at about €30, it is not much cheaper than some of those – you sometimes get what you pay for. Class!
Rebuy – Yes

louis max’s 2010 savigny 1er fourneaux


I guess this could have turned out to be a faux-pas: I know that I consider the winemaking here to be very good, but I should probably have drunk this one before the excellent wine of Nico Rossignol – but c’est la vie! Mind-you, it’s good test!

2010 Louis Max, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Fourneaux
Here the colour is a shade paler than the Rossignol, but still medium, medium-plus. The nose is higher toned at the outset but has a beautiful and clean dark-red fruit note – this is very pretty wine too! Less padded that the last wine and perhaps with just a hint more acidity and a similar hint less tannin, but I also find real depth and concentration to the flavour. Here lies the travesty of points for wines: I would probably have to score this wine one point less than the Rossignol, but there is no gap in pleasure. Another great Fourneaux in 2010!
Rebuy – Yes

nico rossignol’s 2010 savigny 1er fourneaux


2010 Nicolas Rossignol, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Fourneaux
Medium-plus colour. The nose starts and ends with faintly toasted bread, but in the middle is dark-red fruit with a faint spice element – it begs you to take a sip. Here is an uncommon density and padded texture for a Savigny, but with quite enough freshness. There is tannin, it brings a slightly velvet-texture, but you will have to search it out. Mouth-watering and red-fruited, perhaps faintly plummy flavours. Just a very, very, very tasty wine. Excellent Savigny…
Rebuy – Yes

françois mikulski’s 2010 meursault perrières


Although you (I) might expect this to have been the best wine in the cellar chez Mikulski, it wasn’t quite on the same level as François’ other premier crus when I tasted the 10s at the domaine – afterwards he explained to me why: To complete his range, he actually buys these grapes. Still, as part of a mixed case that I bought, and without other ‘benchmarks’ to compare it to, this tastes damn fine today…

2010 François Mikulski, Meursault 1er Perrières
Medium-pale, lemon-yellow colour. The nose has impressive depth, there’s some minerality for sure, and the fruit that shows itself is yellow and citrusy. In the mouth there’s a faint suggestion of tannin, width and a fine depth of mineral / ripe lemon flavour. A good extra dimension of flavour forms a reprise in the finish too. It perhaps could be improved by a hint more acidity to sharpen its focus, but not being picky, this is very tasty indeed. I am savouring it!
Rebuy – Yes

see the ownerships within the vineyards…

I initially thought it would be fun to do something like this, but it was very hard to do with French data protection rules etcetera. Anyway, it seems that Christophe Tupinier at Bourgogne Aujourd’hui has got around all that. There are 3 or 4 vineyards treated in this way in his latest (#116) issue.

Well done them, I’m really looking forward to many more of these…


wines from prince merode – for a bonne (e)chère(?)


Want to stock up on the fore-runner of DRC Corton? – actually not so easy as it sounds, as there’s no Corton for sale! But anyway (details…) potentially some well priced bottles here:


PS – Thanks to Jon Wyand for the tip-off!

douhin’s 2006 red clos des mouches


2006 Drouhin, Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches
The nose starts wide, ripe and welcoming, indeed the red fruit seems just a little baked, but slowly, slowly it becomes finer and more focused. Very pretty indeed. The palate is very silky and fresh though there is a little astringency in the finish. Just a little haughty this wine, the flavours are not quite as welcoming as the nose. But there’s a good, long finish. A wine that would be better left in the cellar for now…
Rebuy – Maybe

jadot’s remarkable 2003 corton-charlemagne…


So, 90 years on since they bought the vineyard – I assume that none of the original vines contributed to this wine ;-)

2003 Louis Jadot, Corton-Charlemagne
Medium-plus yellow. The first sniff shows an obvious note of oxidation – it’s not on a high-level, but it’s obvious all the same. Here’s one of those wines that just gets better the longer it is open, so everything that follows is 90 minutes after opening: Depth, ripe lemons, a little honey in the middle and a mineral, flighty top-note – there’s not a hint of oxidation in the aromas anymore! Wide, concentrated and silky, with a clear mineral centre-line that has a trace of saltiness too. That line of flavour moves slowly through to the finish where there’s even a little smooth tannin and a more mouth-watering finishing flavour! Not super-fresh but certainly with adequate balance. Very good wine indeed, if not great; unless you want to describe it in the context of the vintage, at which point, I thing ‘great’ is fair comment…
Rebuy – Yes and for 2003 white too!

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