Why Big Red Diary?

Random ruminations…


Whilst doing a spot of research on Léonce Bocquet I came across the following interesting note in “Ridley & Co.’s Monthly Wine and Spirit Trade Circular” (of 1884), it seems that some things never change! :

Newton & Biviere, agents for Mr. Léonce Bocquet, of Beaune, write : — “The past season has been so unpropitious to the vines in Burgundy, owing to frost, hail-storms, and mildew, that an increase in values from £4 to £5 per hogshead has taken place on the 1883’s: whilst on account of the smallness of the vintage, the prices of the 1884’s are likely to be as high, if not higher.”

Bug notation…
I’ve had a number of private correspondences about 2011, pyrazines and ‘how bad can it be?’ This is all very nice, but I have to keep down a day-job too. The basic starting-point is how the pyrazines present themselves vs the 2004 vintage. I would say that is a hard question to answer now that I’m sensitised to them, but I have the impression that there is more now than there was then. Other correspondence points to the ‘fact’ that other people are not picking this up – my answer is simple – did they pick it up last time?

Finally, as the taint seems (more and more) the common denominator as we get further through the elevage, plus it being rather boring for me to write it each time, I’m using a simple notation at the start of each note P1->P10: P1-2 I would happily drink while noting the component, P9-10 I might not want to put in my mouth. Of-course there’s no point typing P0!

Just look for the number of notations – 45% of the reds and (maybe) an isolated white, between mid-November and mid-December. Other than the obvious caveat that our 2004 experience indicates the incidence of this ‘aroma’ will not peak until 6-12 months after bottling, I think I’ve no need to labour the point.

Well what an explosion of opinion, and posturing, and heresay, and angst, and bile last week!

I am of-course alluding to the ‘news’ that Robert Parker has boosted his pension-fund. Largely, this is of marginal consequence for people who read these pages, but it does seem to have put in a spin those who traditionally see ‘His’ ratings as their core marketing strategies…

It’s not rocket-science that businesses built upon one person’s expertise/renown, eventually must reposition or die – particularly this comes into focus when that person reaches 65… Clearly this transition is beginning, but once it becomes clear that the original USP is ‘time-limited’ the question of how easily the new business can differentiate itself in a mass-market becomes pre-eminent. People bought (and still buy) ‘Parker Points’, the fact that those points have largely come from other scribes in the last years has been overlooked because RMP remained the boss and now this is the start of the end for that positioning. So, can WA effectively reposition itself (reposition IS the correct word) in a saturated market where much comment is available for free?* Will Suckling go for the kill? Or will François Mauss or Quarin beat him to it?

I’m sure it will be interesting, but posturing, and heresay, and angst, and bile?

*I have privately been taken to task on the subject of ‘free content’ on a number of occasions.

Expansionist tendencies…(2)
I brought you some news last time about the potential for significant expansion of vine growing in Europe and noted that there was an important vote happening last week. Well, it turned out that there wasn’t a vote, rather the results of a working group – ‘the task force on high level planting rights‘.

It seems there is some consensus in favor of the need to continue to regulate potential volume of wine production. The liberalization of planting rights was planned to be effective January 1, 2016, but given that 15 European Member States representing 98% of (European) wine production, plus the European Parliament are opposed, I don’t think we need pay much attention to the potential of Besançon Burgundy for a while…

Lastly. I wish you all, the relaxing, exciting, interesting, fun, tasty end to the year that you are searching for. I think 2012 was a very interesting year, and hopefully, 2013 will bring even more!

One response to “Random ruminations…”

  1. antoine

    Time (like bugs?) is really flying by! I hope I won’t miss the winter review while on holidays…Great job! Thanks a lot!

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