Why Big Red Diary?

The others tasted…

wine testing

No slurping or spitting!

This is a compendium of wines that were drunk with food, friends and family, between May and November 2010.


2008 Camille Giroud, Bourgogne Cuvée Lees
Stood up in the cellar for 4 days before opening – it wasn’t enough to make the wine shiny bright. Medium, medium-plus colour, The nose has a wild young-wine freshness and immediacy, given an hour or so there is a direct and perfect raspberry note. In the mouth this is wide, very complex, sweet and cushioned. The acidity has a a bit of a leading edge of sharpness (perhaps exacerbated by the suspended material?) but the padding largely covers it. Good length and very tasty right now, in fact in the right circumstances you might be forgiven for thinking it a much higher AOC. This bottle found many friends…

2008 A&R Olivier, Bourgogne Chardonnay
Using a ‘Diam’ seal. Medium yellow. The nose has the faintest creamyness which hints to brioche and sherbet, but majors on sweet green-yellow fruit. There is some fat and sweetness but also a stonyness at the core. Well balanced with medium length. This is very good indeed, it doesn’t topple my benchmark 08 bourgogne, but then this is a about 25% cheaper!


2007 Jean-Marc Bouley, Volnay Clos de la Cave
This is a wine that changed so much over 30 minutes that it almost requires two tasting notes. Drunk over a dinner in the Ermtage de Corton. It started medium colour and with quite a stemmy and not particularly attractive nose. The palate was a little lightweight and I didn’t percieve that much balance. Moving on. From about 30 minutes onwards, I had the impression that the colour had deepened (probably a little more wine in the glass!) and the nose was padding out with more red fruit aromas around the core of stems – not ‘gorgeous’ but now quite engaging. The palate had also transformed, delivering more padding and flavour so at the same time easing the acidity. The last drops were quite balanced and those of a very nice wine. I expect Thomas will be recommending that I get a bit more air into his cuvées!

2008 David Clark, Côte de Nuits Villages
Medium-plus cherry-red colour. Like many of David’s wines the aromas have a dark undertow that has a hint of reduction at its core but there a musky padding to it that makes it quite compelling. Cool, this has just enough padding to cover the acidity – as it warms in the glass the balance is more generous. Very good width to not especially deep fruit, but there’s a hint of creaminess to add to the crunchy dark fruit and a lovely length. I like this very much, and whilst I might prefer to drink it before the fruit fades and the acidity becomes pronounced, it might still be interesting to save a bottle or two. Very nice indeed.

2007 David Clark, Morey St.Denis Les Porroux
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is a lovely mix of dark berries and cherries, a suggestion of reduction but nothing like his bourgognes. Width, softly textured and super balance. There is a lovely sweetness to the dark fruit and it lingers very well in the finish. There’s even a suggestion of tannin in the mid-palate too – a surprise considering the ‘light-but-nice’ poise of the domaine’s 2006. This is a very, very above average 2007. Super – really!

1972 Félix Clerget, Volnay Crot Martin
Medium-pale, there’s a core of bright red colour but it’s more like old mahogany at the rim. Deep, slightly dark aromas of clean soil and baked red fruit, eventually there’s a nice, quite young acid cherry. This is very silky and shows lovely acidity. The broad mid-palate flavours are sweet enough and for some reason remind me of the complexity of old Maderia, but interestingly without any overt flavours (or aromas) that indicate oxidation. Slowly the finishing flavours develop a raisin character. I must say, this bottle performed well-beyond my modest (40 year-old villages) expectation. Very good.

2008 des Croix, Beaune
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is a lovely thing; it’s not overly effusive or very deep, but it’s a thing of detail and clarity – initially some whiffs of wood but an hour afterwards quite beguiling dark red fruit. In the mouth, like many 08s, it’s freshness personified and may not be to the taste of everyone, but like the nose there are middle-weight fruit flavours that are a clarion of clarity. The finish is, no surprise, driven by the acidity. For my taste there’s ‘just’ enough balance today, it’s precise and enjoyable, but it’s not for lovers of sweetly plush wines, it could be a tougher proposition in its ‘middle years’ though.

2004 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
Medium-plus colour. The nose starts a little, inky and earthy with plenty of background reduction – the reduction is a minor flavour component too – it neads to aerate a little, so I decant. An hour later and there’s a higher-toned red fruit note, faint alcohol too but the reduction is gone. The last drops have a lovely redcurrant lift. Decent impact, perhaps a little monolithic like some other Fourrier 04s, but the lingering flavours and the overall balance are very good. I don’t discern any vintage character, but I have the impression I’d probably rather drink a majority now than leave them all in the cellar.

2004 Fourrier, Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles-Vignes
Medium-plus colour. The nose shows herbal hints of mint and a faint cedar, but it’s hard to say if it’s part of the the 04 character, whatever, it’s on a very low level, overall a liitle floral and not too dense, eventually it delivers a nice acid cherry aroma. Fresh, with just a little astringency to the tannin. There is just enough sweetness to carry what would otherwise be mouth-puckering acidity. Not quite as clunky as the Clos St.Jacques currently shows and the good fruit flavour comes through well in the finish. Almost good.

1996 Jean Grivot, Nuits St.Georges Les Laviéres
Medium colour. The nose is wide and a little wild, perhaps a soup̤on of brett? Maybe not, a clearer fruit note does come through, but there is plenty here that suggests a measure of aromatic maturity. If the nose hints at maturity, the palate less so; excellent acidity is the base of a taught and wiry aspect to this wine Рquite narrow and primary in the mid-palate. I would say, despite the aromas, this needs at least another 3 years in the cellar for something equating to the first stage of marturity. That said Рit is quite drinkable now Рin this format.

1985 Guillemard-Dupont et Fils, Pommard
Medium colour with a touch of orange about it. The nose has width, if not depth, and showcases sweetly baked red fruit tarts. In the mouth this is very smooth though if you really search you might come up with a suggestion of tannin near the finish. The fruit in the mouth is also sweet and it’s quite enough to offset a slightly tart impression given by the acidity. This is mature and very drinkable – not significantly complex, but that’s the why its a village label.

1993 Louis Latour, Vosne-Romanée
Medium mature, slightly mahogany colour. A little warmth of sweet undergrowth and a subliminal suggestion of Vosne spice, the last drops have a pretty acid red-cherry note. In the mouth this is sweetly fruited and has excellent balancing acidity. Medium concentrated with fully resolved tannin. The finish is freshly and understatedly sweet. More than ‘competent’ but not significantly more, there’s no wow factor. Tasty if a little simple…

2007 L&A Lignier, Fixin Champs de Vosger
Medium yellow. The nose is of fresh, faintly spritzy, slightly unripe pineapple – which I find preferable to ripe pineapple! The acid is just a little forward but this has a nice kick of concentration and is very moreish in a kind of lemon sorbet vernacular. There’s good texture – the acidity ensuring that there is no obvious fat – and the merest hint of creaminess in the mid-palate. Not bad value and yum.

2007 L&A Lignier, Chambolle-Musigny Les Bussiéres
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose doesn’t have much width, but from top to bottom there’s plenty of depth with high floral tones and deeper dark red/black cherry in the basement, slowly a creamy width starts to fill out the nose. Silky texture, the flesh of the fruit is successfully hiding much of the acidity, then comes a really nice cream-edged fruit – this is very good. I’d drink it sooner or very much later, in-between I suspect the acidity might dominate for a few years. Enjoyed a lot today…

2007 L & A Lignier, Morey St.Denis Clos Les Sionniéres
This is rather a meaty and powerful villages – for a 2007 anyway. Good, frank, red fruit aromas. On the palate it shows a nice acid balance plus good impact in the mid-palate. The tannins seem a hint rustic but that’s just part of the party. On day two the package is smoother if not quite meriting the label ‘refined’ – but who is searching for refinement in villages Morey? Day three a cold intervenes, but it seems smoother still.

2007 L&A Lignier, Morey St.Denis Vieilles Vignes
Medium, medium-plus colour. Right from the start there are high, almost floral tones leaking from the glass – below is a redder fruit note. There’s plenty of acidity here but it’s suddenly consumed by a width of extract, slightly rustic finishing tannin and some creamy vanilla oak. The finish has that vanilla too and a slightly greeny/herbal element. Interesting, engaging almost but I’d personally be looking for a hint more composure if I was going to go long on this wine, that said, this was the perfect Burgundian food match – with Lasagna!

1999 J-F Mugnier, Chambolle-Musigny
Medium colour. The nose seems a tad volatile though below it could be described as quite pretty as its red fruit base slowly evolves. Nicely balanced, with very good acidity. Elegant rather than slight – though not a million miles from the latter – that would be forgiven if it had a beguiling touch too – today it doesn’t. Hopefully a phase, but in a half bottle this is quite ‘ready’ if far from engrossing. Less good than 18 months ago, that volatile hint being an exceptional bottle I hope…

2008 A&R Olivier, Santenay ‘Les Temps de C(e)rises’
Medium-plus, bright cherry red colour. The soft red fruit has width and impressive depth, a faint musty/stalky element to but it’s more complexity than a negative – it is anyway gone after 30 minutes of air. Full, bright, perhaps a hint petillant to start – I’ll let it settle for a while. Settle down it does; there is depth, impressive intensity and a clarity to the fruit that you don’t always find with Santenay. The acidity is just about covered, helped by quite some velvet texture, but still gives a lip-smacking effect – better than mouth puckering I suppose. I like this a lot for it’s ebullient ‘crunchy’ fruit, but when it loses some flesh it will be more challenging. Factor in a price of just over €10 and it is an absolute winner – bravo!

2002 Nicolas Potel, Aloxe-Corton Les Boutiéres
Bottle 7 from 12. On opening I hardly recognise this wine – the colour still has that young medium-plus cherry-red hue, but the nose has a slightly ashy, oaky aroma and the flavours are quite strident – what’s needed is a little aeration. Et voila: 3 minutes from opening this is aromatically singing, creamy deep redcurrant, indeed so creamy it’s faintly lactic but it is really wonderful. At the core there is a hint of something a little more mature, the ashy element has become a hint of leafy undergrowth, but just a hint. Clearly the acidity is a little ascendant now, but the mid-palate concentration remains enough that the wine is not mortally compromised and there is still an edge of tannin too. A long way from real maturity and still showing sufficient density and energy to keep me coming back for more.

1985 Tortochot, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos des Corvées
A beautiful, bright, medium-intensity colour. My that’s smooth! Getting ahead of myself, sorry. The nose on first pour is a little meaty, but only a few seconds are needed for that to clear and show a pretty and sweet strawberry over a slight undergrowth depth that eventually develops a jam tart (baked) fruit – it seems very clean. There is sweet depth, the (aforementioned) silky texture and there’s depth and intensity to the mid-palate that still shows more than a hint of a fine tannic spine. In a way I’m sad, but only because this wine deserves a wider audience than it’s getting tonight.

1976 Tortochot, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos des Corvées
It was twilight and we were outside, but the colour seemed medium – maybe a little more. On the nose, just like the 1990 and 1985 this was very nice indeed; just a little more baked fruit but fresh, clean and very moreish. In the mouth I initially thought the acidity was too spiky, but 15 minutes later it and I were more in harmony – still the acidity was slightly in advance but nothing to complain about, particularly given that it is a village wine approaching it’s 35th birthday. There was sweetness and no undue tannin. Almost certainly passed its best (unlike the 1985) but it certainly isn’t falling off a cliff either.

Premier Cru Whites:

2008 Roux Pére et Fils, St.Aubin La Pucelle
Medium yellow colour. There’s a faint savoury lift to the fresh nose, it’s more pleasantly mineral than fruity. I don’t think the 33°C weather is fooling me, it really does have decent concentration and a nice texture. Very good acidity offsets slightly mineral (again) flavours – I like this very much, and I’m sure I still would even if the weather were cooler!

1962 Maison Leroy Meursault
Some oxidation for sure but plenty of white-chocolate, truffles and lanolin in the mid-palate and finish – caught just in time – okay not just in time, still alive, just about some warmth in the body but lots of redeeming features!


1993 André Cathiard, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
Medium mature colour. The nose starts with a depth of soil, a slight tomato lift and then beautiful smooth and fresh red/purple cherry fruit – the cherry gets stronger and stronger in the glass. Silky, slightly fat texture yet perfectly fresh. There’s almost no tannin to find. Initially it’s linear in the mid-palate yet the fruit flavour persists well. Slowly the intensity and dimension of the mid-palate swells. A beautifuly clarity of fruit shines through this wine.

2008 des Chézeaux (Ponsot), Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
Ardea sealed. Shiny, bright medium-plus colour. The nose starts a little disjointed, then 5 minutes later – wow! Faintly vanilla-cream tinged very dark red fruit, maybe a little blue-skinned and certainly a little fresh peach with cream – the nose has an almost satin shimmer. In the mouth this has a smooth, slightly narrow entry before spreading wide and panoramic across the tongue. Beautiful balance with a depth of fruit that creeps up on you. Incredibly long and with completely buried tannin. Even as a big fan of Charmes I would have to call this ‘benchmark’ as the flavour stains your tongue. Charmes delivered with the focus and clarity that (maybe, only) 2008 can bring – wonderful.

1996 Château Chorey-lés-Beaune, Beaune 1er Les Teurons
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is wide, and reasonably deep – lovely warm red fruit aromas that are edged with a little green seasoning – eventually the nose fills with floral top-notes too, aromatically this gets better and better, peaking after about 90 minutes. In the mouth there’s good acidity and extra density, hence, texture too after the Mugnier. Much less ‘ephemeral’ than the Mugnier but here is much more flavour and dimension, indeed there’s a core of density that implies a few more years are required to fully unwind it. Lovely wine. Very drinkable in this format today, but clearly it’s still a baby.

2008 des Croix, Beaune 1er Pertuisots
Medium, medium-plus colour. There’s a hint of herb, but essentially the nose starts deeper and darker than the Cent Vignes, perhaps it’s that faint note of reduction, but this certainly has the classical 2008 darker fruit! As the wine opens it more clearly shows the family (cuverie) relationship to the Cent Vignes as the aromas become redder and an more floral – very nice indeed. This is much more about up-front intensity, a hint of oak and much more than a hint of acidity – this will need a little unwinding. I’d say about an hour of aeration is needed for a more balanced interpretation – it’s the Cent Vignes with more ‘bang’ – not necessarily better, just different. I have a slight preference for the CV but wouldn’t turn either of these down…

2008 des Croix, Beaune 1er Cent Vignes
Medium colour. Here’s a nose with something to say; faint spearmint above very, very pretty red fruit that’s eventually augmented by the perfume of violets – far from over the top, but captivating – the mint eventually becoming just a suggestion of herbs. In the mouth there’s a sorbet-edge to the acidity and understated red fruit – delicate and complex. It seems to fade relatively quickly but holds on well to a final mineral note. The tannin is only there if you search it out, very faintly astringent. This is an achingly pretty wine that blind, who’s to say it’s not from Volnay…

1982 René Engel, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Brulées
Medium, medium pale colour. Right from the start, there’s not a hint of leaf, soil or mustiness on the nose, just a frankly gorgeous blend of precise red berries, brown sugar and the finest ginger cake – wow! One hour on and the snose has lost some of those precise berries to a marzipan-type layer. To me this is a negative as I’m no fan of marzipan – to others, quite the reverse. The flavours deliver width, a plush texture, very fine acidity and an impressive density of sweet, slightly raisin-fruited flavour in the mid-palate. Approaching 30 years-old one might expect this to be described as an old grandmother of a wine – how very wrong that would be. It remains fresh, sensuous and complex. It is blisteringly good – thank-you Caves Baggli…

2004 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
The wine is quite darkly (medium-plus) coloured – though far from young in shade, most 02s still look younger. The nose starts in that awkward slightly toasty oak way that Fourriers (to my bemusement) often do – they don’t see that much new wood, particularly the toasted type – I think it is reduction that needs to blow off. Less than 5 minutes in the glass and the oaky character is gone, now we have a deep, quite dark impression and a hint of cream gone lactic – it’s a hint so it’s still nice – a slight suggestion of dry forest leaves before a fruit note builds from the core, the fruit becomes ever-more prettier. In the mouth this has a silken texture and a concentration that builds as you head into the mid-palate. Initially I find the acidity not quite seamless – I’ll wait a little, hoping for either my palate or the wine to come together. The almost absent tannin only starts to reveal itself as a late bitter component in the mineral finish. The balance improves with food but I find the mid-palate flavours a little lumpen – smells great though.

1996 Jean Grivot, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Ronciéres
Medium-plus colour. The nose has a junior version of what I thought a hint bretty in the villages wine, but to be honest, I do like it at this low level where it seems more mineral. Well behind is a very dark red and black fruit bubbling under the horizon. After the villages, this is a big mouthful of wine – plenty of furry tannin, very good acidity and even more impressive intensity. It remains a little linear at the core, but the finish lingers well. Not surprisingly this seems less mature than the villages, but frankly today it is quite exciting and just as drinkable as the Laviéres. I’m so glad that I have some ‘big’ bottles waiting too!

2001 Louis Jadot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
The nose had a slightly burning, alcoholic top-note, below is a diffuse but deep layer of red fruit, augmented by occasional leafy aromas. The palate, whilst silky smooth, only serves to move you along the conveyor to the mid-palate, there waiting for you is a shrill mid-palate that whilst intense is not all that nice. Long but bitter finishing. I remember this being much, much better last time, though admittedly that was 4 years ago. I can only assume that cork must have have been the culprit!

1998 Dominique Laurent, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
Medium colour – a hint of salmon pink at the rim. There is a little tilled earth and a wealth of warm and eventually sharp red berries. Initially I though a suggestion of cigarette ash too, but it was transient and replaced with violets, more time brings a little dried leaf. The palate is silky-smooth, softly balanced and still betrays a suggestion of the vintage tannin – but only a suggestion. The flavours build in the mid-palate rather in the manner of a decent Lambrays vintage -subtle yet still impressive – behind remains a depth of dark, oak derived flavour but at this stage of maturity I can deal with it, even if I find it slightly distracting. Overall this is a really great Clos St.Jacques – really great! The next bottle in 3-5 years.

2008 A&R Olivier, Santenay 1er Beaurepaire
Medium-plus colour. The nose starts almost too forward but slowly settles into a fine and deep expression of red and black fruits and something that almost touches on aniseed. Concentrated and certainly intense this has more padding than the villages Santenay so never hints at anything mouth-puckering. The texture is very good indeed. This premier cru essentially delivering more weight without any penalty in terms of fineness or focus. Really very accomplished.

1983 Pierre Ponnelle, Nuits St.Georges 1er Le Clos des Corvées
Some signs of seepage above the cork, but it comes out without major headaches and the wine seems fresh enough. Dark, fresh aromas of berries and bramble – it’s certainly at the darker end of the fruit-colour spectrum but there’s nothing cooked about it and there is no sense of decay – it’s very nice indeed. The palate is a bit of a surprise as there is a dryness from still obvious tannin – this must have been an absolute brute in its youth! Good acidity and likewise there’s energy too – the juxtaposition with the nose is that you expect more sweetness on the palate than this wine is prepared to give. Without sight of the vintage I’d have ventured to suggest leaving it in the cellar another 5 years or so – in some respects it reminds me of some 95s I’ve tasted!

2002 Nicolas Potel, Vosne-Romanée 1er Aux Malconsorts
Medium colour. This has limited aromatic width, but what depth! There’s a lot of Vosne about the nose; spice, ginger and warmer fruit at the base. In the mouth this has something in common with the nose – not really a grand cru impact, but absolutely a grand cru complexity, mid-palate dimension and finish – the acidity focusing and extending the length. This is seriously good and much more open than I had right to expect from a 2002. Lovely wine.

1978 Henri Royer-Lebon, Pommard 1er Pézerolles
Bright medium. medium-plus red mahogany colour. The nose is very clean, showing both width and depth, initially a depth of prune overlaid with strawberry preserve and a hint of chocolate – a great start. Lovely in the mouth, just slightly plush but borne on a carpet of fine acidity that really slides you through a mid-palate ‘pop’ of red fruit before prolonging a finish whose final note is of a bitter chocolate. Tannin can be found, but only if you chew long enough. Despite its silken grace this is a wine of minerality that is far from decline – it might still improve!

2007 Seigneurs de Bligny, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos du Chapitre
Medium colour, just. The aromatics are open sweet and just a little simple – though there is some oak derived (coconut/vanilla) complexity. Forunately there is none of the rubber oak and reduction that the 2006 eventually blew off. Here is a nice, slightly plush mouthfeel, transient sweet red (strawberry mainly) fruit before a finish that reflects the nose, plenty of vanilla flavour. Let’s be clear that this fulfills it’s primary purpose – it’s a tasty wine – I’m sure it will also improve with time, but given its position across the road from the Clos St.Jacques, I really expect a lot more. Even in 2007 and even in such relative youth!

2008 Seigneurs de Bligny, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Craipillots
Medium, medium-plus purple-edged colour. The aromas have a musky depth though the core of fruit shines through, above is a higher tone of faint cedar. Precociously sweet fruit has a little bitter tannin to balance, and balance it does. The acidity is very well judged too. Slowly mouth-watering in the good and mineral finish. Medium density but more than medium interest, I have to say it’s much nicer than I expected.

2007 Jomain, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Perriéres
A depth of aromas, slightly musky with hints of creme brulee. This is rather unctuous for an 07, lots of depth but very understated acidity – again lots of complexity, plenty of creamy vanilla from the barrels. The flavour grows in the mid-palate, before a long diminuendo in the finish – and there really is a lot of complexity – only here do you find the characteristic minerality of this vineyard. There is no overt toast shown by this concentrated and impressive wine, but all the same, I’d have preferred a little less barrel flavour in this relative youth.

Jomain 2005 Puligny Perriéres
Very young colour and flavour, just a little tight but quite fine.

1993 Joseph Voillot, Meursault 1er Les Cras
Medium, medium-plus golden. There are few black bits floating in the bottle, but they sink without problem. The nose is a blast of matchstick – I guess a bit more sulfur in those days! – underpinned with a soft spice-bread note. The palate is very 1993, taught, wiry, intense and with very good acidity – add that to the usual minerality of Cras and you have quite a combination. The flavours also seem to have plenty of the matchstick aromas and there is a super extra creamy dimension as you head into a decent, more savoury finish. Not a Meursault to wallow in, this one ‘instructs’.


1993 Daniel Bocquenet, Echézeaux
Medium-plus colour. The nose opens with a dense core of dark red/black fruit with a sweet coffee addition – relatively young aromas of pretty and sweet fruit dominate though. In the mouth this is all silk and linearity. Certainly it’s intense in the mid-palate and the linear flavours are borne long on the acidity but despite having to search hard for any overt tannin this is clearly a baby. Return in 5+ years…

2008 des Chézeaux (Ponsot), Clos St.Denis Trés Vieilles Vignes
Ardea sealed and these things are frankly a pain in the arse to remove. Medium-plus purple-rimmed colour. The nose starts dense and unyielding but very quickly develops a dark macerating fruit aroma, then slowly evolves, adding dimension with beautiful high-toned berries – they take on an exquisite almost jellied dimension. I think I am in the presence of greatness – but before getting carried away, let’s taste. Silky, but it’s pure sinew and muscle, there’s not an ounce of fat. There is plenty of acidity but the flavours it helps introduce are incredibly intense and long lasting – those flavours start as essence of fruit and end as rocks. I dare say that I could really bore you with a long list of adjectives if I follow it for a couple of hours – but I only need five minutes to confirm what the nose suggested: I’m in the presence of greatness.

2004 Rene Engel, Grands-Echézeaux
Medium ruby-red – I caught myself admiring the late-evening sun as it beautifully reflected through the glass. The nose is not immune to the vintage character; it starts at an encouragingly low level but disappointingly blooms in the glass – maybe to a 6/10 level. Below the mirepoix is a creamy, faintly lactic depth – and depth this wine certainly has. Wide in the mouth, the acidity has a slightly jarring, sharp leading edge – give it an hour of aeration and this mainly but not completely tones down. The texture is very fine and the width and depth are high-class indeed. The length, despite its persistence, currently holds onto some of that character. Today this isn’t a fitting tribute to Philippe, so take any of 99-2003 to toast him – they are all drinking well. I hope that my other bottles of this will come good in another 10 years or so…

2004 Fourrier, Griotte-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose starts with plenty of mushroom rather than the customary reduction, actually with swirling the reduction does make an appearance – a wine that needs a little air. Air dissolves the mushrooms and delivers a lovely pure red berry note, though this is also a transition to deeper, slightly darker red fruit aromas – rather primary though, as is the Griotte fashon. The well-padded palate starts quite silky though there is some bitterness to the finish, that said it’s in a bitter-chocolate style which is far from problematic. Like a number of 04s the acidity is a little elevated but that’s its position on the aging curve, nothing more. There is an interesting and very slowly emerging stony flavour in the finish. None of the disappointingly monolithic Clos St.Jacques proportions here. A very good wine that drinks quite well considering its age. Not a trace of the vintage malaise either.

2000 Lambrays, Clos des Lambrays
Medium, medium-pale colour. A little warmth of alcohol in the nostrils but chocolate, good stems and clean undergrowth too – it was very pretty. In the mouth there is sweetness, good balancing acidity and a tannin that just occasionally shows itself in the quite long finish. Dry stuff that description – often the problem with recollections – it doesn’t tell you that everyone around the table was oohing and ahing and saying the same word – ‘lovely’. Showing very well now but with the balance to last and last…

1978 Daniel Moine-Hudelot, Musigny
Medium mahogany colour. The nose is full but round, a deep core of baked fruit coated with herbs, the fruit just gets fresher and fresher, eventually having a distinct rose-petal aroma. Silky but still a lick of bitter tannin waits in the mid-palate. There’s a lot of fruit here and it’s a big wine in the mid-palate. Good finish. Rather primary to start with, but if you’d been told blind it was from the 90s you’d believe it. Not a life-changing Musigny, but impressive given no lack of power and such a youthful display and, okay, perhaps maybe just a little beguiling.

1994 JF Mugnier, Musigny
Well the cork is in great shape; long, flexible and not a hint of seepage. Medium garnet red. The nose is a little dense – there’s depth certainly, but it’s a little cooked and monolithic – not really the elegance or complexity of Musigny to start with, but slowly a more penetrating and pure red fruit nose comes centre-stage – after 2 hours it’s quite engaging. There is plenty of balance, understated slightly astringent tannin and a finishing note that is mineral with a hint of tannic bitterness – well one thing’s for sure; this is far from a mature wine. In the end I drank it whilst admiring certain aspects of it but without ever warming to it. The flavours are certainly more mineral than fruit influenced and it’s far from a thing of beauty right now – actually it’s still an ugly duckling – but if I had a second bottle in such good condition I wouldn’t open it for at least another 5 years.

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

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