Why Big Red Diary?

thomas-moillard’s 96 corton clos du roi


1996 Thomas-Moillard, Corton Clos du Roi
Deeply coloured. Ooh – diving into the aromas from the high-board. A faint graphite and deep, dark half plum/damson fruit that’s partly sweet-baked. Direct line of fresh flavour – much as I remember – but today there’s more padding and more weight of buffering flavour than 5+ years ago. The nose is becoming more rounded and complex. If you wish to hold this wine in your mouth, and despite the silk texture, the acid-intensity will slowly begin to assail your tongue – but why would you? Sharp wine, but becoming less dangerous with time. I think this still has plenty of upside, but I really enjoyed this over two nights…
Rebuy – Yes

2 (assorted) echézeaux…

1998 François Lamarche, Echézeaux
A fresh, intense nose with a very good fruit flavour but it quickly becomes ever-more herbal – borderline unpleasant. Plenty of modest rasp from the tannin – but the grain is clearly fading. A bit of bitter herb in the finish too – eventually a noticeable TCA flavour in the finish – hmm, a shame, corked.
Rebuy – who knows…

2001 Bouchard Père et Fils, Echézeaux
A deep, seemingly silky nose, yet still rather tight – slowly a very nice fruit note seeps through. Large in the mouth, more mineral than the 98, there’s growing intensity too. Much, much finer tannin – very obviously younger too. Real depth of flavour here – lovely, just an edge of salinity in the finish too. The last drops in the glass have a discreet tobacco note…
Rebuy – Yes

1998 clos napoleon…

What’s the old saying? – Buy in haste, repent at leisure – for a long time I had thoughts along those lines about this wine.

Of-course time is often a healer, and that seems to be the case even for Fixin in the most astringent (tannins) of vintages:

1998 Pierre Gelin, Fixin 1er Clos Napoleon
There’s one thing I still don’t like about this wine – the nose has a lactic note, one that I doubt will ever get better, but behind is a pretty strawberry fruit that implies ripeness, and for the first time I can ever remember, there’s a generosity about the aromas. In the mouth it’s still quite a big wine, but the sandpaper astringency is long gone, indeed it’s now a rather controlled and balanced structure. Good flavour and a pretty complexity. No shirking violet this, but from now-on, I think I can start harvesting some of the bottles from this case.
Rebuy – Maybe

yesterday was a rock day: solutré & vergisson

Hot work, followed a short storm, then a nice dinner. I thoroughly recommend the views from the top of Solutré – though I didn’t get too close to the edge 😉

Beaune: today is a cloud day…

[launch] üllo – wine purification?

ullo-1Or maybe better – ‘sulfite removal’!

I had some PR puff about this, and normally I avoid gizmos such as this, like the plague, but as a former research chemist I was interested in what the process might be.

From the website and the linked Kickstarter page it probably works like an ion-exchange resin – i.e. similar in mode to the standard filter that you may use to make your water a little more palatable, assuming you live in a hard-water area; here in Europe Brita water filters are one of major brands.

If the video is anything to go by, the filter works amazingly fast – so I expect it’s a mock-up – but I’d be really interested to see how ‘selective’ this ‘solution’ is, or whether it neuters the wine in any way. I also expect some blockage (blinding) due to the sediment in older wines – but maybe sulfites are not an issue with older bottles, so (in this case) the gizmo isn’t required. I’d also be interested to know how much volume, and of what type of wine, is required to ‘exhaust’ a filter – for instance sweet wines have much more sulfite to preserve them.

A fair question, though, is ‘how many people are really affected by this?’ I’m aware, anecdotally, that many are, and particularly for those who drink white wines, though in today’s market for ‘healthy living’ I’m sure this has great potential for sales, regardless of whether they drink Richebourg, Sauternes or Yellow Tail. Let’s see.

I assume though, that the company won’t be using the following data in their marketing campaigns, much as I know some people also have problems with dried fruit!


cooler and, at last, wet…

It hasn’t rained in Beaune since the 15th June, but today at 09h35:


today, mainly chassagne…

a bit of meursault yesterday evening…

harvesting – but will that be in september or august?

 Oïdium today in the Côte de Nuits…

The harvest date: Some people are mentioning the 5th of September as a potential harvesting date, which is entirely possible, but as of today, it’s still too early say whether the 5th of September will be the start date, or the finishing date!

We seem to have the potential for a record early vintage, or just a modestly early vintage – though there’s still time for even that to change.

The weather has been so dry that:

  1. The vineyards look resplendent…
  2. There is no rot to be found anywhere….
  3. But it’s becoming very stressful for the young vines – those suffering the most having yellow leaves nearest the ground, it’s really time that they were allowed to drink
  4. The humid conditions of 2014 allowed fruit flies to multiply late into the season – so-far it looks like that won’t be the case for suzuki and friends in 2015. Fingers crossed!
  5. The dry heat hasn’t stopped the oïdium though. Usually the pinot noir is more robust than the chardonnay to this problem, but not so in 2015, indeed, this year, the problem is currently most prevalent in the Côte de Nuits, mainly in the Nuits to Morey vines. Right now, this is the single-most important issue for most vigneron(ne)s in that area.

Of-course it’s been a hot year so-far, but as veraison (except a few outliners) is hardly underway, the weather has not yet decided if this will be a cool vintage or an année solaire – cooler weather and maybe storms are forecast for the weekend, but afterwards more hot weather is indicated. Any meaningful rain will be welcomed with open arms, particularly in the Beaujolais and Mâconnais where they didn’t get the same soaking in early and mid June as the Côte d’Or. But, a little welcome rain combined with the hot, but not too hot weather, could see the first chardonnay already being picked by 25th August!

Oïdium excepted, the vintage still looks on course for a good one. The potential yields, despite great flowering conditions, seem good, but not on the high level of 2009. Those vines heavily hailed in the last years, not surprisingly, have a poorer fruit-set, particularly the older vines. Many growers in the Pommard to Beaune axis are talking of possibly 20hl/ha – of-course if it rains a lot, then the grapes will expand and add weight (yield). But honestly, many of those growers will happily accept 20hl/ha!

Note: There are some roasted looking grapes to be seen (there was a photo in my diary yesterday) but look more closely, and they seem not to be the result of sun-burn, rather the result of chemical (sulfur) treatments in the heat of the day, rather than in early morning or late evening. Heat, direct sun and sulfur powder is a bad combination!

last sun in grands-echézeaux…

I’d planned to go for a run yesterday evening, but at the last minute there was an errand – so it was a run to the Côte de Nuits – in the car!

I took some pictures about 9:15pm with the last rays of the sun, mainly in Grands-Echézeaux – and despite all the images on the interweb, no sign of veraison yesterday – here anyway. One or two late sprayers were dosing their vines with sulfur and copper – I assume to avoid the peak heat of the day, these seemingly preferring to spray before bed, rather than at 5am!

only bottles, no writing…

1-Camera Roll

Yes, the house-moving has been a bit of a pain, but just to prove that I haven’t also been avoiding refreshments…

Page 1 of 20812345...102030...Last »