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               Why Big Red Diary?

Round-up of wines tasted

wine testing
No slurping or spitting!

This is a compendium of wines that were drunk with food, friends and family, between August 2008 and the end of November 2008.

A mere 52 bottles are listed here, but don’t forget that another 113 from this Autumn Report lie here – it didn’t make sense to list them all for a second time – but that’s still 165 wines from bottle in this issue. As is my usual custom, barrel tastings don’t get put either here or in the NoteFinder database, only in the relevent article.

REGIONAL WINES

2006 Vincent Girardin, Bourgogne Pinot Noir Les Vieilles Vignes try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red. The nose is fruity, a little gassy and smells like cheap Beaujolais. Sweetly ripe, quite well balanced with a small edge of dissolved gas. Good length. Tastes like Beaujolais. Rock-stable for 2 hours.
2006 Olivier Leflaive, Bourgogne Cuvée Margot try to find this wine...
Medium cherry-red. The nose started red and a little powdery, the powdery edge slowly lifted to reveal simple but nice enough red berry aromas. The palate had reasonable balance, likewise the concentration was not bad for an 06 bourgogne. It’s only a few hours since I drank more than one glass but I can tell you little more. It was okay, but in a forgetful sort of way. Even if it was very cheap I can think of no valid reason to try it again…
2005 Pierre Morey, Bourgogne Pinot Noir try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red. The nose is deep and heavily scented, darkly fruited, edged with a little cream and with something just a little more floral above – very impressive. The palate is a little more linear than the nose, medium density with good dark fruit, slightly forward acidity and a nice extra dimension in the mid-palate. The reasonably grained tannin is in the background.

Bourgogne Blancs

2006 Catherine et Claude Maréchal, Bourgogne Aligoté try to find this wine...
Apparently made in a ‘hyperoxigenated’ way. Medium yellow. The first aromas are high-toned over a base of fruit that reminds me of pinot blanc. In the mouth it starts a little spritzy but slowly became softer in the glass. Blind, I didn’t guess aligoté. Reasonably long, relatively light bodied but with good balance.

VILLAGE WINES

2006 Robert Arnoux, Nuits St.Georges try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour. High-toned, little obvious oak, clear, jellified red and black fruits. This has a lovely silky texture. Behind is understated acidity and a nice length. Far from the depth and complexity of the 2004 and just a hint less ripe. At a decent price it’s a nice buy and a very elegant version of Nuits.
2004 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos des Chézeaux try to find this wine...
Medium cherry-red. The nose starts with a dark oaky element intertwined with plenty of the 04 cedary green thing – after five minutes you have lost the dark part, it’s even eventually asparagus! In the mouth The fruit is sweet, but it’s really pushed into the background by the slightly mouth-puckering effect of the tannin/acidity. There’s plenty of that cedar thing in the mouth too. It may have a future, but it’s hard to see it.
2006 Philippe Charlopin, Gevrey-Chambertin try to find this wine...
Medium-plus colour. Slightly murky nose with a little vanilla and a faint mushroom – slowly fills out with deep and impressive primary red/black fruit to compliment the vanilla and eventually a little brioche. Some fat and plenty of mid-palate dimension. Balanced and long. This was both friendly and at the same time not a hint facile – I liked it very much
2006 François et Denis clair, Santenay try to find this wine...
Medium cherry-red colour. A very nice width of high-toned fruit on the nose, slowly it takes on a clear red berry complexion. Good depth and a furry texture on the palate. The acidity is nicely balanced and the medium-weight flavours last very well. A six-pack offered for 93 Swiss francs is a bit of a bargain for a wine with such personality.
1955 Camille Giroud, Volnay try to find this wine...
‘Found’ in a Swiss auction for the price of a 2004 1er cru. Drunk at the domaine – and why not – despite their cellar of old wines, even David Croix hadn’t tried a Giroud ‘55. The bottle, label and capsule were absolutely correct, and the level was only about 4cm from the cork which, by some miracle, I removed (about 1 hour before pouring) in only two pieces without dropping bits in the wine. The colour held a very nice core of deep salmon red. The nose was most intruiging; deep and apparently oaky over a few truffle notes. Slowly the ‘oak’ fades and reveals something much more like coffee – little fruit but clearly very alive – over about 1 hour (it was shared between 9 of us) it continued to change. In the mouth it was a soft entry and a rather metallic taste, the acidity seeming a little coarse before a long and very engaging finish. With food the coarsness faded almost into the background. Not a great wine by any means, but captivating to spend an hour with!
2005 Olivier Guyot, Marsannay La Montagne try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. Modest higher tones over a tight core of dark fruit, swirling releases a little more spicy, leathery notes. Rather linear but very good fine tannin and slightly forward acidity. The flavour is mainly confined to the mid-palate and finish, but it’s quite intense if slightly metallic tasting, the finish is today average. This gives the impression that it has already tightened for slumber. There’s not that much to see today, I would leave for 5 or 6 years.
2005 Louis Latour, Gevrey-Chambertin try to find this wine...
Medium-plus colour. The first sniff seems architypal Gevrey; dark fruit against an earthy, almost grainy nose. With open time it becomes higher toned with more red fruit, seems much softer if a little less interesting. Decent concentration and certainly it’s more red-fruited in the mouth. Good acidity and late appearing tannin with a little grain. Not the glossy fruit and concentration of many 2005 Gevreys, but at a decent price this is worth buying.
2004 Lignier-Michelot, Chambolle-Musigny Les Gammaires try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose is understated but shows good depth and there’s no ‘2004 character’. In the mouth it’s serious, with good mid-palate dimension and a good persistence of ripe flavour. Very nice – I bought some more.
2003 Lignier-Michelot, Morey St.Denis Vieilles Vignes try to find this wine...
Medium-plus colour. The nose is forward, maybe a hint porty and certainly very ripe but generally the fruit talks of pinot. Ripe, plenty of concentration and very well mannered tannin. The understated acidity provides good balance and just enough freshness. It’s riper than I prefer, but if the nose talks of pinot then fruit on the palate clearly says burgundy. A good effort.
2004 Nicolas Potel, Chambolle-Musigny try to find this wine...
A good, medium, medium-plus colour. The nose alas is a mix of cedary green and mushroom, there’s a pretty red fruit trying to peek through but frankly it’s drowned. In the mouth it’s nicely concentrated with good fat and a lovely red fruit base. The acidity is good but slides you into a finish where the green raises its head again. Such a shame.
2005 Jean Tardy, Chambolle-Musigny Les Athets try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour. A deep, slightly baked fruit impression intertwined with a dark oak note – I think the oak is influencing the fruit. In the mouth the texture’s okay but I have the impression there’s some dissolved gas here making the tannin a little forward and the acidity slightly prickly. There’s some extra dimension, but it’s clearly not showing its best. Day 2 and the nose starts less interesting, but slowly a red-currant note tries to assert itself. The ‘rasp’ that I associated with dissolved gas is still there on the palate, though the tannin seems less forward. Tight? For sure, but versus some other village chambolles I could mention there’s little here that demands a second look…

Villages Whites

2006 Louis Carillon, Puligny-Montrachet try to find this wine...
Pale yellow. The nose starts with a waft of oak that subsides to brioche over an understated but slightly volatile pear-drops note. Good texture and lovely acidity, the fruit has a similar, slightly lifted pear fruit, but it’s largely buried by the toasty, savoury flavours in the mid-palate and a really good, sweeter length. The fruit is better – the volatility is gone – on day two, but the aromatics are slightly less good.
2006 Lamblin et Fils, Chablis Vieilles Vignes try to find this wine...
Pale yellow. The nose is bright and forward with plenty of candied fruit; pineapple and grapefruit. Mouth-filling and quite fat, the texture is very silky/oily. Certainly very rich for a villages and a massive bargain at 86 francs for 6 bottles – provided you don’t want for a little more acidity – and I do! I’ll certainly look out for the 2007 though!
2006 Mischief and Mayhem, Puligny-Montrachet try to find this wine...
Just a little deeper yellow. Wide, fruit driven nose – still some brioche but of a lower order than the Carillon, a little toffee too. Similar pear-fruit but just a little fatter texture. Good texture and a more creamy fruit driven experience in the mid-palate. The finish is very good, but it would be easy to miss the reprise that brings it to another level. Less structured and today more ‘comely’.

1er CRU WINES

2005 Bertagna, Vougeot Clos des Perrières try to find this wine...
Deep cherry-red colour. The nose opens with fine, high-toned, red and black berry notes over a deeper, brooding core of fruit – eventually there’s a lovely pure redcurrant note in the emptying glass. In the mouth the acidity starts just a shade bright on the tongue though it contributes to a good, slowly lingering finish. Perhaps it was me, but 30 minutes in the acidity seemed okay. Tight, linear fruit with buried soft tannin and an understated, almost ethereal extra dimension of fruit on the mid-palate that follows also into the finish. Very excellent but other bottles should be left for at least 10 years.
2003 Albert Bichot, Beaune 1er Cru try to find this wine...
Medium red, still some hints of cherry. High tones that are reasonably fresh. The tannin is a little drying and the acid is a little sharp – certainly far from seamless.. Not a great balance here.
2003 Albert Bichot, Pommard Les Arvelets try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus red – again with just a hint of cherry-red. The nose is deeper with a savoury, meaty aspect. The acidity is just a little prickly, but this fades with time. The tannins are ripe and there’s decent length and balance.
2004 Bouchard Père, Monthélie Clos des Champs Fulliot try to find this wine...
A bright medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. High tones over red berry notes. Mouth-filling with plenty of fine tannin and very good acidity. As the wine lingers in the glass the red berry note of the nose comes through on the palate too. Good intensity and length, it’s a good wine. The price is rather ambitious for the appellation – about 40 Swiss Francs – but the wine clearly has quality.
2004 Bouchard Père, Volnay Caillerets Cuvée Carnot try to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. Depth and dimension on the nose – really grandstanding at the moment, and the oak is barely perceptible. Mouth-filling and concentrated, there’s good depth and plenty of tannin. There is a little oak flavour, but nothing compared to what its 05 and 06 cousins currently show. The finish is a little warm, but long. Very well balanced and has the sweet fruit which is the hallmark of the vintage. In a lovely place right now, but no need to rush.
2004 Pierre Bourée, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.Jacques try to find this wine...
A rare négoce bottle of Clos St.Jacques. A deep core of already ruby-red colour – quite deeply coloured for a Bourée. The nose is the usual interesting blend of smoky Bourée stems a faint undertow of cedar, earthy Gevrey notes and another faint undertow of mushroom – the last droops in the glass hold a lovely pure redcurrant note. In the mouth there’s good texture; the plentiful tannins are not so astringent and are very well covered. There’s clearly plenty of concentration here, though the acidity shows a little too tart for the first hour, hence, defining the wine and becoming the major aspect of a very long finish. Density and complexity on the mid-palate is very good. This is a very young wine that improved in the glass such that the acidity was much less forward (maybe I was just ‘used’ to it) after an hour or so, but it is also today, slightly compromised by low levels of the 2004 green but there’s is plenty of wine here so my remaining bottles will stay at least 10 years in the cellar – if the green fades into the background it will be an excellent wine.
2005 Pierre Bourée, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.Jacques try to find this wine...
Deeply coloured – purple at the rim. The nose starts with plenty of oak that has a hint of toast but no more – it’s very wide and covers dark-skinned fruit. It slowly evolves, but never shows the complexity and stems of the 2004. Mouth-filling, again there’s oak flavour and some well grained tannin too. The acidity starts a tiny bit forward, though only exacerbates the superb length – those flavours are a lot to do with oak and are eventually just a little bitter, but this is very impressive. Quite some concentration in the mid-palate and certainly it’s a little rustic, but it’s clearly full of wine – better than some GC’s! This will need several years for the wood to move into the background, but it’s a real quality effort that shows personality. I initially bought three, but am now going back for a couple more – clearly built for the long-haul. As a post-script, day two shows little obvious oak, still no stems and a better balance. All good signs – okay, maybe I’d have liked a little stems…
2006 Louis Chenu, Savigny-lès-Beaune Talmettes try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-pale cherry-red colour. The aromatics are wide, perhaps a little high-toned and alcoholic but over a denser slightly savoury fruit core. A little dissolved gas on the palate, good red fruits and young tannin – accentuated by the gas. There’s a nice burst of interest on the mid-palate and there’s good, if slightly prickly, acidity (gas again). This needs a year in the cellar, and the performance will be far better than described above if you decant an hour before serving.
2006 Chézeaux/Ponsot, Chambolle Les Charmes try to find this wine...
A relatively pale young wine – medium cherry-red colour. The nose is quite tight – some depth but little width, only slowly does a little definition and a pure red note start to build, eventually there’s also a floral aspect. Super texture, the tannin slowly builds in the mouth to give a little ripple of grain, astringency and also a little bitterness. Acidity is finely balanced and there is very good intensity to the fruit, fruit that seems to become sweeter with time. Not completely full of ‘charm’ at this stage, but everything is in place – wait at least 5 years before returning.
2005 Joseph Faiveley, Volnay Santenots try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose is not exactly effusive, but it has quite some depth of dark dried fruits and a more herbal top note. Very good texture then quickly a grainy tannin builds and the acidity seems just an afterthought – yet perfectly draws you into the finish. The mid-palate flavour and finish are cracking – intense and very long – chocolate and a little strawberry shaded oak tannin is the diminuendo. Not as typically brutal as the Lafon version, nor indeed what you might expect from Faiveley, but a super wine.
1976 Camille Giroud, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.Jacques try to find this wine...
A nice core of colour. The nose starts – just like a lot of older Giroud wines – like an Italian wine that’s spent a few years in a giant foudre – that ’sort of’ oxidised note. Very slowly there is a little funk, finally a very nice and clear red berry note. Smooth on the tongue with nice acidity – also a little ‘gout de foudre’ but a nice little sparkle of something extra on the mid-palate. Has reasonable length and it’s certainly quite interesting – but unless you’ve the patience to open 3-4 hours before consuming, it’s a long way from a typical burgundy experience.
2005 Louis Jadot, Beuane Clos des Ursules try to find this wine...
Medium-plus ruby-red colour with some purple still at the rim. The nose starts robustly, full with dark fruit – similar to the 2005 Pierre Morey Bourgogne – but offering a purer darker core of fruit – time in the glass gives this a narrower, more blueberry impression. Though well balanced, the palate seems rather tight, though the extra mid-palate dimension and corresponding length is on a super level, it really does linger. A super bottle.
2006 Domaine Lejeune, Pommard Les Argillières try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose starts with chalky, powdery fruit, slowly opening a deeper dimension thats edged with caramel. The tannin builds to a little grain but is ripe and mainly fine textured, it also attaches caramel flavours to your gums before they very slowly fade – good length. It’s certainly a little behind the concentration of the 2005, but its sweet fruit clearly shows premier cru complexity. Very well balanced, and whilst it gives the impression of being a little dilute to start, most of the flavour comes from the mid-palate onwards and it’s great flavour if a little barrel derived.
1998 Maison Leroy Volnay Clos des Chênes try to find this wine...Deep ruby-red colour. The nose is herbal and meaty with background sweetness and quite some sense of maturity. In the mouth there is the rasp of ‘98 tannins, but they are rather a background element. More to the fore is the sweet but freshly packaged fruit – quite some secondary flavour development again with some of that herbal element and lots of sweet and wide mid-palate flavour. Complex and very well balanced with plenty of time on it’s side it’s a world away from 2005/2006’s but that’s no negative. This is actually not bad value for a Leroy and I may indeed buy a couple more for 5-10 years down the line.
2006 Seguin-Manuel, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Lavières try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour. Deep red and black-skinned cherries under faint wood spice, the last drops provide a lovely reccurrant note. Lithe, lovely acidity, ripe fruit and good good mid-palate flavour. The tannin is relatively background. Not the density of a Bouchard Père or Tollot-Beaut Lavières, but this is a lovely middle-weight.
2005 Alain Michelot, Nuits St.Georges Les St.Georges try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose hangs with heavy mineral notes, a lovely pure cherry note and faint mushroom in the background. The entry texture is soft and smooth until a strong wall of grainy tannin raises its head. The acidity and the fruit extract are certainly up to the competition, providing a slight burst of complexity in the mid-palate and an oak-tinged lingering flavour. Showing mainly linearity and structure now and muscled structure at that. Tuck it away for a few years, it will need it…
1980 Les Perrières, Gevrey-Chambertin Petits Chapelles try to find this wine...
The cork comes out in one piece only with the intervention of an ‘Ah So’ two-pronged ‘corkscrew’ and is incredibly deeply coloured at the wine-facing side. This still has a high fill – only 1cm from the cork. Lots of fine sediment in the bottom of this bottle so it needs plenty of care pouring – it needed 4 days upright to clear. Medium mahogany-red/brown colour but red is still dominant. The nose – ah; sweaty socks, cheese, soil and maybe a hint of Madeira – I think it’s time to take a coffee and return at leisure. Okay, 3 hours later: if anything the nose is slightly worse with a dominant smell of sugary beef-stock. The palate is smoothly textured and shows some fat and good acidity – whatever’s in there has good concentration, but the nose is so overpowering that (whether the flavour is really in there or not) everything seems to be smothered by the beef-stock. Unusual, and not really what I might expect for heat damage. After 5 hours the nose is almost becoming bearable and the palate is rather fine – but that was as good as it got! Bottle number two was just the same.
2005 Nicolas Rossignol, Volnay Santenots try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus ruby-red colour with some purple still at the rim. The nose was overwhelmed by dark, slightly toasty oak for the first couple of minutes, wait and there’s a lovely width of beautiful fruit but it unfortunately still holds onto a slightly reductive-style oak base. Good intensity, and again the fruit is lovely, complex and occasionally shows a little creamy edge. Very well balanced but again with plenty of background reduction/oak – that said, it’s almost gone after about 90 minutes. This is lovely and if the oak fades further, it will be even better than that! For drinking now, open 2 hours before, or decant 20 minutes then pour.
2001 Sérafin Père et Fils, Chambolle-Musigny Les Baudes try to find this wine...
Medium-plus colour – still holding onto that cherry-red hue. The nose is deep with sweet, dark oak and just as dark cherry floating above. In the mouth there’s plenty of oak-derived sweetness, and it’s dark, well toasted oak that mirrors the nose – on the positive side, it’s so well done that I have no expectation that it will become ‘ashy’ with time. The mouth-feel is plush, and the acidity helps push the mid-palate’s burst of interest well into a long finish. Hedonistic, yet despite trying to discount my lack of favour for the style, I still can’t get over the fact that I feel the chambolle-ness has been lost. Expertly made, very tasty and I expect will have a good, long life. I only miss the sense of place, I suspect that others may disagree.
2006 des Varoilles, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos des Varoilles try to find this wine...
A slight update to the label for this vintage. Only just a little more than medium colour. Wide, quite high-toned floral, violet aromatics, underneath a more cherry-type fruit. The palate is soft, slightly fat and shows good fruit that’s edged with a little bitter chocolate / coffee. A reasonable amount of decently grained tannin – perhaps not 100% ripe given a trace of bitterness, but tannin fades. Good acidity and a very nice burst of interest in the mid-palate. Drunk over 3 days it was just a little better each day and the only thing lost was that bitter edge to the tannin. A very nice 2006.

Premier Cru Whites

2000 Camille Giroud, St.Aubin Les Charmois try to find this wine...
Medium golden. High tones over slightly creamy base – quite vibrant if not an integrated whole. Ripe fruit offset by slightly bright acidity. Quite long, and certainly very tasty.
2000 Camille Giroud, Meursault Les Perrières try to find this wine...
Medium golden. An understated nose that shows a little creamy wool. The palate is linear – perhaps (old) boney – but very smooth and rushes you into a reasonable – creamy again – finish just a little faster than you might wish for the appellation, but it’s probably the appellation that saves it given such an inauspicious year and a maker with little track-record for whites. Enough for a last glass was was left in the bottle overnight and it was even slightly better the next day – not a hint of oxidation. Will make even older bones!
2005 Louis latour, Meursault-Blagny Château de Blagny try to find this wine...
Medium-pale yellow. The nose is wide and dense, with deep with a concentrated core of chunky pineapple – you have to wait for quite some time before higher-toned, more floral aspects, eventually peek through. Fresh and ebullient on the tongue, starting narrow and widening on the mid-palate. ‘Just enough’ acidity comes late and there’s a nice extra edge of slightly chalky fruit flavour as you go into the finish. The texture is good and so is the flavour, but there’s far from exciting concentration. I would need a little more acid ‘cut’ before I could describe this as mineral. Tasty and clean but initially hard to get worked up about. Right until the bottle was drained, this wine continued to improve. It didn’t speak to me enough to make me want to re-buy, but the wine at the end (3 hours) was far better than the start.
2005 de Montille, Beaune 1er Blanc Les Aigrots try to find this wine...
Medium-pale yellow. Lot’s of high-toned, sherbet notes over stony fruit and occasional hints of brioche. Good freshness, and not too much of the plump fat you often get in white Beaune. Actually there seems a slight family resemblance to the domaine’s Puligny – though clearly the considerable depth of flavour in the mid-palate lack’s for the Puligny’s fineness. I’d like a little more focus on the nose, but there’s no doubting how tasty it is.
1919 Jules Regnier & Co, Clos Blanc de Vougeot try to find this wine...
Jules Regnier was a Dijon-based merchant, interesting then that there is some mainly illegible text referring to Vosne-Romanée on the label! Medium-pale amber colour. Depth and width to the aromas – mainly that wet wool / lanolin that you get with old whites over a creamy base, occasional meaty elements and a faint volatile lift. It’s intense and super despite the occasional hint of mustiness, but a quick swirl and that dissipates. The leading edge of the acidity has a slight tartness which over time became more obvious. Neither the nose nor the flavours show any oxidative notes – what an achievement! – and the wine offers a wonderful creamy length. You occasionally taste that musty element, but not with every sip. Despite a less than perfect wine, this is a stunning experience in a glass.

GRAND CRU WINES

1957 Berry Bros & Rudd, Bonnes-Mares try to find this wine...
Medium colour – both alive and interesting – looked super in the glass. The nose was fecund, with interesting if not all-encompassing depth and slowly became sweeter in the glass. A sweet entry, predominantly resolved tannin and just about middle-weight flavours. Slightly warming in the mid-palate with a length that just went on and on. Wonderful length – if not complexity. Not a phrase I would expect to associate with Bonnes-Mares – even one that was more than 50 years old – but this was rather a charmer.
1992 Dujac, Clos St.Denis try to find this wine...
A medium, quite mature colour. The nose starts deep, stemmy and interesting – over the next two hours it goes from strength to strength, with red berries, mineral notes of pencil lead, occasional caramel or cream etc., etc. – it was first class. In the mouth I expected it would have little chance of competing with the aromatics and so it turned out – but it was still a worthy choice. Not the density of of a grand cru from most (recent) vintages, medium bodied with very slightly elevated acidity, but as the wine developed and became sweeter this was hardly noticeable. The faintest hint of tannin remains and the wine never withered in 2 hours, rather it became more interesting and complex. This is mature, reasonably long and tasty. Nine from ten for the nose and more like seven for taste. Lovely.
2006 Chézeaux/Ponsot, Clos St.Denis Très Vieilles Vignes try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour. A wide nose of delicate red and black berries, some high-toned alcoholic notes and a little dried cranberry. The palate needed time in the glass – a little prickly – becoming ever-smoother and and longer, showing the silkiest of tannins. I have to say that it impressed but didn’t ‘wow’ – normally I am wowed by this cuvée.
2006 Chézeaux/Ponsot, Griotte-Chambertin try to find this wine...
The colour is just a little darker. Aromatically I started with some concerns; the cork had a bad, rancid, almost volatile smell to it, some of that showed up as ‘inner mouth perfume’ as Burghound would say – far from perfume though – but fortunately it was only very faint on the nose. Mouth-filling, plenty of very fine tannin and a width of fine red fruit that’s both sweet and lingering. It’s quite a long way from the stunning depth of the 05, but then there is enough of that strange taint that I won’t rate it and would certainly send it back in a restaurant. I didn’t open a second one right away to see if it was better…!
1998 Fougeray de Beauclair, Bonnes-Mares try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-pale ruy red. A nice, rather aged but still fruity nose edged with a little funk. In the mouth the fruit is okay, but the remnants of the tannin still show an astringent edge – this must have been close to undrinkable in its youth! It’s quite long and it’s a tasty length, but the fruit is way ahead of the tannin in termes of the age curve. I wouldn’t touch another for 5 years and I still think it will be a long way from silky.
2006 Camille Giroud, Corton Chaumes try to find this wine...
2 barrels, one new, made with 50% whole clusters from 90 year-old vines – sadly now ripped out and planted with chardonnay which may take the (more commercially attractive) Corton-Charlemagne appellation. Medium, medium-pale colour. The nose starts tight, slowly opening with red and blue-skinned fruit and an undertow of subtle stems – goes from strength to strength in the glass. In the mouth it starts with a little gas. It’s a narrow entry that suddenly widens into a very complex mid-palate and plenty of length – though much of that is still contributed to by the oak. A super ’sniffer’s’ wine that kept improving in the glass. A super mid-term wine.
2004 Pascal Lachaux, Clos St.Denis try to find this wine...
A little more than medium colour. The nose starts deep and oaky, slowly the aromas widen to a panorama of creamy oak, understated cedar and eventually red berry fruit. In the mouth there’s sweet fruit, background ripe tannin and nicely lingering acidity – very well balanced – maybe the finish could be a little longer. This is very moreish and is drinking very well at the moment.
1959 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Echézeaux try to find this wine...
Medium-plus colour, both deeper and younger looking than the Bonnes-Mares. The nose also has much more depth of an obvious oak note. Soft and concentrated with just a slight lift of the acidity. Apparently much more compact in the mid-palate than the Bonnes-Mares but with equal length. This is clearly a ‘younger’ and more powerful wine but just a little less enticing and balanced than the Bonnes-Mares today. Re-reading this sounds harsh, but it was a very good wine indeed that I’d be happy for you to open for me.
1991 Savour Club, Chapelle-Chambertin try to find this wine...
Differing from the label, the cork is actually printed with Chapelles-Chambertin – perhaps that means it comes from both parts – Chapelle and Gémeux – or maybe not! The colour is medium, medium-plus ruby red with just a little amber showing at the edge. The nose is a wonderfully soft, truffly, eventually mocha affair – swirling will bring out some soil and leaf notes. In the mouth it has sweetness, some fat and soft texture from still present, relatively fine tannin. There’s a nice extra edge of intensity in the mid-palate and ‘just right’ acidity to whisk you into a good, long finish – should it have a bit more grand cru density? – perhaps, but there is quite enough grand cru ‘flavour authority’. Still just a bit of tannic bitterness too. This might be well over 15 years old, and whilst it’s still a lovely drink now, it frankly needs another 3-5 years for full maturity. What a shame there were only 8 bottles of this in the ‘lot’…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?