Why Big Red Diary?

two red 2009 ramonets

ramonet-2009-rouge2009 Ramonet, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
A plastic ‘Nomacork’. This has a fresh but forward nose of dark red cherries. The flavour is also quite forward and shows a sour cherry impression – certainly not sweet but refreshingly moreish. This has a very decent intensity and I absolutely love it.
Rebuy – Yes

2009 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Boudriotte
Cork, quite a long cork. Aromas of herbs and pure red fruits, eventually with a warm edge; there’s also the typical 09 top notes that are close alcoholic. Rather silky though the intensity grows quickly delivering a little texture in the finish – this is beautifully detailed but rather boisterous, delivering a whack of mid-palate flavour that couldn’t really be described as elegant, despite the lovely texture – but today I don’t need elegant, excellent will do and this fits the bill.
Rebuy – Yes

alain burguet 2009 gevrey mes favourites


2009 Alain Burguet, Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Favourites Vieilles Vignes
There’s spice on the nose, over soil – eventually a core of fruit, dark fruit, builds from the glass, accented with coconut. In the mouth this is pretty wide, there’s a decent amount of tannin too, but in form that offers cushioning rather than abrasion. There’s plenty of extraction in this. The finish is fine enough. I find it a chewy mouthful rather than a wine to contemplate – but there is a place for that too.
Rebuy – Yes

pierre damoy 2008 clos de bèze


2008 Pierre Damoy, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
Medium, medium-plus colour. Lovely precise dark fruits on the nose, partly shaded to black, hints of minerals too before a beautiful note of violets takes centre-stage – just lovely. Cool in the mouth with initially understated impact, yet there is a wonderful complexity of fruit flavours. Just about perfect acidity finally meets tannin with a little hard grain to it. Long and very fine indeed – a clear winner!
Rebuy – Yes

wine-map of france…

Mine was just delivered – brilliant. I have not yet managed to convince domestic management that it would fit in our living-room. Still, there’s plenty of space in the office ;-)

syndicat de gevrey tasting; part 3 – the grands…

The Grand Crus

The market is the market – there were 27 grand crus on the table – in today’s money, that’s probably 5-6,000 Euros if you wanted each bottle in you cellar – silly isn’t it(?)

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annual update – burgundy vintage chart – now includes 2010 view…

There are few movers, just the worst of 2008 and 2009 plus the average 2009 go down one point. 2010 is added but in brackets as the wines are not finished and delivered – those points awarded will be unchanged until this time next year.

As always – the broadest of brushes…


syndicat de gevrey tasting; part 2 – the premiers…


The Premier Crus
Tasted Friday 18th November 2011. The obvious difference when you move to these premiers (from the villages) is the extra sweetness and more intensity. I only found one of the wines a little austere – there were more in the grand crus. The average quality here is excellent though.

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syndicat de gevrey tasting; part 1 – the villages…

This was a very good showing indeed – occasional wines were a little out of sorts, some a little austere and others were stylistically marked by oak. Despite all that, I found the average presentation much better than is normally the case for big en-primeur tastings in London, despite this tasting being about 2 months earlier in the calendar; I assume the ‘mere’ fifteen mile trip from Gevrey to Beaune allowed the wines to be fresher and probably not require additional doses of sulfur.

Part 1: The Villages

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ex domaine wine sale…

Click on the image to get a (slightly) better view.

Domaine Ballorin have had some good press but I’ve no first-hand experience of the wines. It seems surprising, but the domaine seem to be having a ‘fire-sale’ – no they weren’t on fire – (at least I don’t think they were!). The only information I have is that ‘all the 2009s must go

I can’t be Morey for the sale next weekend, but maybe some of you can…
(if you can’t quite read the email address, it’s domaineballorin@orange.fr)

the low-down; hospices de beaune auction…


For those that are interested; some a little up, some a little down

Gevrey-Chambertin and polemic…

First the polemic: what value have the established wine-press versus the ‘blogosphere’? And just for the record I hate the word blog, so blogosphere hardly floats my boat either – web-based journalism seems a better description – if it wasn’t so ‘wordy’ and self-important…!

Anyway, I’d seen that there was to be a press tasting of the Gevrey 2010 vintage in Beaune to coincide with the weekend of the Hospices auction; I immediately asked if it would be possible to get a place; eventually I received an email from the Syndicat Viticole de Gevrey-Chambertin asking me to register and also enquiring who I would be writing for. I turned up on the day (Friday 18th November) and I was on the list!

There were three tasting tables; villages, premiers and grands – around 90 wines, all from 2010 – there were plenty of well known vignerons too who would join us for a nice lunch whilst pouring some of their 2000s (10 years on if you like). Unfortunately, where were the press? Michel Bettane arrived, and floated around the room, shaking hands, but how many wines did he taste, and will he post notes? Actually Michel Bettane did more than most: I sneaked a look at the list of ‘attendees’ – four pages of spreadsheet with about 30 names per page – many in the list were from the UK, US, Nordic (etc.) MWs and press – and let’s not forget the French, there were many French names too; people who apparently took the time to request a place – yet only about half a dozen bothered to attend and actually test all the bottles. There were more vignerons than press.

I started this entry with the word polemic. Myself, Patrick Essa and Patrick Maclart worked each table and every wine, I’m pretty sure you will get three different but equally valid impressions, but these three people put the time in for their audience – and for anyone that doesn’t understand what that means, that’s the best part of one hundred thousand visitors per month. But what value are the traditional press when they don’t have the time or inclination to attend after registering? John Gilman, to his credit, arrived with about an hour of official tasting time left and was working the three tables hard – probably not enough time to complete the set, but chapeau!

My notes will follow in the next couple of days, but in the meantime my congratulations are due to the Syndicat Viticole de Gevrey; despite an apparent lack of ‘traditional interest’ their 2010s shone like beacons and I hope that they will not be disheartened – it was clearly an investment on their part, but at least they have a potential audience of one hundred thousand visitors per month – I anyway suspect that’s more than the traditional press can muster. It seems that ‘tradition’ will continue to whither – it’s just surprising how much it’s driven by the indifference of those traditionalists…!

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make your own beaujolais…

A fun read

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