Why Big Red Diary?

puligny-blagny-meursault-puligny – cross-country…

Looking down on Puligny from La Garenne

I might have started at 5pm, the but the temperature was never lower than 26°C for my 7km of cross-country – I’ve not yet adjusted to the temperature – so it could have been easier! Starting at Hotel Le Montrachet, through the vines and up past Chevalier-Montrachet, through the brush, higher through St.Aubin Dents du Chien, taking the right-turn between Le Trezin and La Garenne to Blagny and then the route separating Meursault Charmes and Puligny Combettes. Finally right-turn back to Puligny and a cold drink back at Hotel Le Montrachet.

the sun has got his hat on…

Breakfast pictures in Beaune, and some ‘whilst jogging’ shots from this afternoon:

henri jayer – the last hurrah?

Auction catalogue screenshot 12 April 2018

On June 17 2018, there will be an auction of burgundy wines that has very little (recent) equal. It will take place in Geneva under the auspices of Baghera Wines.

Whilst incredulous of a number of lots in this auction house’s first couple of auctions – the catalogues were certainly sumptuous, fabulous things – keepsakes – the auction in June has, however, a provenance that seems irrefutable:

“855 bottles and 209 magnums! That’s how many bottles there were in Domaine Henri Jayer’s cellar. A handful of people knew of the treasures that were lying dormant at the Domaine, even though many bottles had been opened and shared these past few years. The anecdote about one last Richebourg 1959 opened by the family last Christmas shows how much Henri Jayer’s descendants enjoy tasting their father and grandfather’s wine.”
Baghera Wines

Whilst I like Burgundy Report to be inclusive, indeed egalitarian, sometimes you cannot escape from the rarest of the rare – and today that’s unquestionably Henri Jayer. Domaines Romanée-Conti and Leroy command similar prices, but their supplies are replenished with a new vintage each year – but for the wines of Henri Jayer that’s not the case – and it’s no joke that more wines bearing his label have already been drunk, than he ever produced – and yet ever-more come to the market.

Henri, born in 1922, died in 2006. I never met him, though I have (allegedly) had his wine in my glass twice – once it was an awful, bretty abomination and probably not genuine, the other time it hinted at the sublime and was maybe genuine – both were villages wines of the 1980s, drunk in the early 2000s.

Jayer was the vigneron(ne)s’ vigneron, working his vines for upwards of 60 years and his influence on the region is as strong as that from today’s benchmarks like the aforementioned Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Domaine Leroy – but he took a different path – decrying the use of whole clusters, choosing to destem all his grapes. Even when faced with great wines made with their stems, he remained resolute in his conviction. His wines remain highly sought-after, the problem is that his labels are also the most falsified and fabricated that you could imagine.

History is sometimes told with rose-tinted spectacles; it is said that Jayer was one of the first to reject fertilisers and reduce yields, but he began cultivation in the war years – there were no chemicals available so yields were inevitably low, though it’s true that, later, he never resorted to chemistry even when could – he used only his hands and his horse for his hard labour. And much hard labour was indeed required for his most famous of crus – Vosne-Romanée 1er Cros Parentoux – so small at 1.01 hectares that it is completely ignored in René Engel’s book Vosne-Romanée despite its position on the border of Richebourg and Petits Monts. When Jayer began his work, the whole of this unplanted plot was owned by Madame Noirot-Camuzet. Rented by Jayer, planting, dynamiting and even growing vegetables in the plot, he became not just the largest owner, after the family sold him 0.72 hectares in 1957, he continued to farm the vines retained by the Camuzet family. So Cros Parentoux, for so long bottled only as a villages wine, became for a time his monopole – though it was only in in 1978, that Jayer marketed Cros Parentoux for the first time under his own label.

In 1995, having officially retired, Jayer passed the management of 0.43 hectares of Cros to his nephew, Emmanuel Rouget, but he retained the balance of these vines as he ‘hobby vinified’ until the end of 2001 – from 2002 all of his vines were entrusted to Rouget.

The ‘Cros’ is by a long way the most populous wine in this sale and whilst, at first, it’s amazing that so many bottles remained at the domaine, given my recent experience of moving 800 bottles of my own wine, such a number can fit in a relatively small space, indeed could almost be lost in a, once, functioning cuverie. Once more the catalogue is a wonderful thing and full of detail – where else will you learn and see pictures of Jayer with his trusty horse Pilote and read the commentaries of Aubert de Villaine and Emmanuel Rouget?

We might not be able to afford such bottles, but we can always learn from them

[EDIT]: Here’s the PressRelease-Bagherawines-ENG-20180417

beaujolais – bbb – easy-pizay…

Looking towards the Côte de Brouilly from Pizay (Morgon)

Tasted today at Bien-Boire-en-Beaujolais A quick-fire 43 bottles, starting with a section of new stuff from domaines that I largely don’t know, followed by some ‘old stuff’ from a mix of known and unknown domaines. I see that Jamie, who was there the day before, has also made a short film – I keep thinking abut doing the same – but editing time is not to be underestimated! Enjoy:

2015 Domaine Chignard, Fleurie Les Moriers
A nose with a dark depth and a brighter, almost floral top. Modest concentration, but a really fine texture and, still, depth of flavour. Waves of finishing flavour containing a little licorice and graphite – fine…
2016 Laurent Guillet, Domaine de la Chaponne, Morgon Côte du Py
Higher toned, more floral freshness. Much more floral and open on the palate. Long, graphitic, mineral finish – again. This is excellent!
2015 Cedric Vincent, Moulin à Vent les Merizes
Magnum – Vibrant, almost sweet raspberry nose. Depth of flavour, concentrated too, with unfolding layers, subtly accented with vanilla but at a level where I can’t (won’t!) complain. Excellent, indeed profound wine.

2016 Domaine de Milhomme, Beaujolais Vigne Centenaire
A pretty nose, modest of impact but with an engaging floral character. Bright, fresh, super concentration and complexity. A little herb complexity. But such delicious fun – for the label, great wine.

2017 Domaine Bertrand, Beaujolais Villages Super Canon
A pretty freshness, accented with attractive red fruit. Really mouth-filling, silky textured wine. Overt Beaujolais fruit style – but such fun – with layers of finishing flavour – excellent!
2016 Château Grange Cochard, Morgon Vieilles-Vignes
A narrow nose but with a top note of fresh fruit – slowly it widens, and deliciously! Ooh – a wine of comely sweet fruit, concentrated in the middle, but with a delicious finish. Tightly concentrated in the middle – delicious at all the edges – this just needs a little time, but it’s super!
2015 Domaine de la Bouronière, Fleurie
A modest nose but it gives the impression of silk. Direct, a little structured and muscular – not a Fleurie archetype – but there’s good density of mid-palate flavour that augers well.
2015 Pizay Morgon
Magnum – Almost black! A nose that initially lacks depth and seems a little volatile above. The flavours also hint at volatility, but there’s concentration and not a little tannin too. I’d avoid.
2015 Domaine Joncy, Côte de Brouilly
A width of sweet fruit, with more interest. Fresh, round in the middle, quite tasty fruit. Delicious!
2016 Domaine Joncy, Morgon
A relatively tight nose, but one with a very attractive floral component. A little accent of high-toned, almost volatile fruit. But very fine mouth-watering balance. The mid-palate into the finish are just lovely.
2016 Domaine de Fa, Fleurie Roche Guillon
A modest nose, very faintly floral. Good width of flavour and great texture. A fresh salinity and alround deliciousness. Yum!
2015 domaine Baron de l‘Evuse, Côte de Brouilly
Magnum – A wide and fresh nose, though a little herbed. Bigger and sweeter in the mouth than the nose suggested. A little fresh saline complexity abetting the weight of mid-palate flavour. Good wine.
2015 Domaine des Marrans, Fleurie
The nose offers A direct pyrazine note. Fresh, wide, open and tasty wine. Yum.
2016 Nicolas Chemarin, Beaujolais Villages Les Vignes de Jeannot
A deep, slightly brooding nose, sweetness and whole clusters – rather attractive, actually. Ooh, supple, concentrated in the middle, complex, and with lots of energy. Super wine, with a great finish!
2016 Domaine Clos du Fief, Juliénas Cuvée Prestige
A relatively tight nose. Fresh, layered wine, rather different in style to all that have come before. A strong saline accent in the finish. Tasty!
2017 Steeve Charvet, Chiroubles
A top and bottom style of nose, not so wide, but very attractive. Round, fine balance, supple and sweet – such a delicious thing. A modest accent of tannin in the finish. Super wine!

2016 Laurent Martray, Brouilly Corentin
An impression of aromatic weight at the base of this wine, otherwise the nose is again rather tight. Round, mouth-watering sweetness of flavour, beautiful fruit – really a super wine – bravo!

2015 Christophe Savoye, Chiroubles cuvée Loïc
An implied florality and depth, but quite a tight nose all the same. Bright, fresh, energy and concentration. This is really super, with lovely finishing layers of flavour.
2015 Romuald Petit, Morgon Pur Sang
Pur sang? Pur vanilla more like. Big, concentrated, vibrant wine – but not for me…
2016 Hirsch, Moulin à Vent
A modest nose some fresh complexity, a mix of herb and flowers. Volume and a nice fresh and sweet complexity in the mouth – much tastier than the nose suggests. Yum!
2015 Domaine de la Madone, Fleurie Dame de la Pétoche
A narrow nose but one that keeps adding more floral perfume. Round, a wine of freshness and sweetness of fruit. I like finish a lot – plenty of good parts here.
2014 Domaine Ruet, Brouilly Vieilles-Vignes
A narrow nose, but still a deep nose – lowly adding some floral interest too. Not as big as many on the mouth, but a wine that’s full of fresh energy – a dynamic wine – it’s delicious too!
2014 Jean Berard, Beaujolais Villages le Perreon Madone Bio
This nose is a little evolved, not so interesting. In the mouth its more alive, but also a little volatile. Not a great bottle…
2013 Chateau des Moriers Moulin à Vent Vieilles-Vignes
Hmm, less full-power than many, but here’s a nose still with lots of aromatic interest – perhaps a faint suggestion of vanilla too(?) Round, silky, nice concentration, yes some vanilla, but a 2013 that’s coming into a good place to drink. Tasty, with a little tannin in the finish too.
2013 Chateau des Ravatys, Côte de Brouilly R
Also an open if not full-power nose with hints of oak, pyrazine and fruit too. Round, fresh, good energy – a little vanilla in the complexity. But another 2013 that’s starting to show well.

2015 Domaine des Arbins Beaujolais Villages Terroir Thevenet
Not so wide but a really good depth of aroma. Intense, but not over extracted, complex and layered – what a wine – for the label a bravo wine!
2015 Clos de Mez, Fleurie La Dot
Deep colour. A faint but interesting nose, growing with floral notes. Round, but still direct intensity – oof! – this is turned into quite something – bravo!
2015 Domaine des Sochons, Morgon Côte du Py
Also deep colour, fresh, dark fruit, growing a lovely floral note too. Bright, transparent, open, fruit of intensity and freshness – ooh – great wine!

Now some old stuff:

1988 Pizay Morgon
Magnum – A sweet, chocolatey width of aroma. Bright, fresh, still a rasp of tannin, but no oxidative aspects. A super surprise!
2003 Clos du Fief, Juliénas
A sweetness of turned leaves and old fruit. Extra sweet on the palate, intense, wide, almost too much sweetness in all directions, but in great shape!
2009 Julien Duport, Côte de Brouilly
A slightly tighter nose. In the mouth direct and fresh after the 2003! A tasty wine of lots of fresh energy – yum!
2005 Baron de l’Ecuse, Côte de Brouilly
A less attractive nose – almost a little rubber. The palate is better, with direction and intensity, a little chocolate complexity too.

2013 Raphael Chopin, Gaïa
Not a super-large nose but fresh complex and attractive. Large-scaled, fresh, structured and oh-so complex. This is very young, but great wine, particularly for the vintage!

2006 Clos du Fief, Juliénas Cuvée Prestige
Quite a brown colour. A bit bretty. Soft, simple, round, oxidised. Worst wine of the day…
2007 Domaine des Sochons, Morgon Les Climats
A brighter nose – it doesn’t take much! Round, good freshness a modest oxidative character but an interesting wine none-the-less.

2007 Chateau Bonnet, Chénas Confidence de l‘Echevin
Deep, leafy, more vanilla than I’d like for the age, but still an attractively complex nose. Wide, silky, complex and fresh – I’d find it even greater if there was less vanilla!
2009 Clos de Hautes Combes, Juliénas
Magnum – Ooh – now that’s a big, bright, floral, super-attractive nose – it has my attention! Lots of complexity, freshness and indeed youth here – this is simply great stuff!

2009 Chateau Thivin, Côte de Brouilly cuvée Godefroy
Magnum – Actually a little tight, but some lovely floral notes start to come through. Hmm, lots of sweetness but sleekness of line too with such fine texture. Beautiful wine – no surprise.
2009 Domaine Ruet, Brouilly Vieilles-Vignes
Deep, a little extracted and stewed. Lots of volume and good freshness, the flavour profile seemingly also a little stewed too.
2009 Domaine Bertrand, Brouilly
Magnum – A modest intensity nose – just a little sweetness showing. Lots of volume, quite some energy too, this is super – it finishes a little quickly, but it’s super in the mouth!
2009 Domaine de la Madonne, Fleurie 1889
Ooh – volatile and stewed – in the mouth very high-toned though less obviously volatile. Actually quite tasty here, but I don’t like the nose…
2009 Domaine de la Bouronière, Fleurie
A narrow nose with some freshness. Nice volume with mouth-watering flavour. The finish is the best part, mineral, mouth-watering and showing some complexity.
2010 Chateau des Moriers Mouilin à Vent
Wide, floral and vanilla. Volume, freshness nicely open, good in the mouth despite the vanilla.

alsace ausflug…

The weather was set fair on Saturday – so it’s been too long that we were absent from Alsace.

A little time in Colmar for tarte flambé was deemed appropriate, likewise cakes and Kugelhopf buying in Ribeauville. Our evening was set-fair with said (actually a little dry) salted-Kugelhopf, some chunks of sbrinz and something old and appropriate from the cellar. The latter, despite being caramel-coloured and relatively dry, showed no sherry-style oxidative notes. Lovely!

weekend part 1 – week 14 2018

2005 Marchand-Grillot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Perrières
Hmm, drunk directly following the Chenu there’s more concentration, intensity and vibrancy of flavour. The nose starts with some old oak notes that quickly fade, then there are flashes of pure-fruited brilliance but also an intermittent Brett note. The latter only ever gets slowly worse. So I drank this quite quickly. A curate’s egg – but a good one if such a thing exists! I have two more – given the brett I probably won’t wait too long to attack those – and then there’s a couple of other 2005 cuvées from this producer – always there’s work to be done 🙂 Note, lots and lots of heavy sediment – the glasses needed a rinse before…
Rebuy – Maybe

2000 Vougeraie, Vougeot 1er Les Cras
When younger, this wine was a dead-ringer for a 2004 with its bright and forward pyrazine. Today it starts with a herby, vegetal, vegetable garden nose – which fortunately doesn’t last long – and what remains is floral fruit of good distinction – no pyrazine. The nose slowly adds a fresh and clean dried leaves aspect too. Unlike the palate where, whilst modest, it is an ever-present. That said, this wine has freshness and complexity – a certain joie-de-vivre before a little, slightly rustic, tannin. Very tasty wine indeed – it took two nights to finish, but it was very good all the same.
Rebuy – Yes

‘foreign’ wines that have passed my lips…

​Tasted last month, a small New Zealand session:

2015 Rippon, Riesling
A lovely nose – open and inviting. Fresh attack, direct, a little mouth-watering sweetness and perfumed finksh. Lovely.

2013 Rippon, Pinot Noir
Smells of some whole-cluster – round and attractive. Mouth-filling, a little astringent, but long flavours of freshness and interest.

2013 Rippon, Tinkers Field
A deep nose, of whole-clusters, sweet, really attractive. Lots of volume, melting flavour, long and with good concentration too. Yum.

2013 Prophets Rock, Central Otago
A more perfumed width of pinot fruit. Energy, complexity, slightly floral finishing. All these NZ wines are very aromttic so far.

2014 Prophets Rock, Home Vineyard
A deeper nose, dirty pinot, whole-clusters, perhaps reduction too – it sounds terrible but it’s quite lovely. Round, mouth-filling and complex, a good compbination of energy and sweetness of cherry-plum fruit style. Tasty wine.


1997 Nicolas Potel, Volnay
This nose starts a little bulky but given time it opens – becoming an absolute belter! – really complex, alluring and a little floral too. The palate like the nose, also starts a little bulky – monolithic even – the acidity is a little forward and unbalanced. Unlike the nose, these two traits remain completely consistent. Maybe just this bottle (I have other opportunities to check this) but not a balance to enjoy – a shame because the nose is beautiful cliché Volnay…
Rebuy – No

2006 Louis Chenu Père et Filles, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Talmettes
Hmm – lovely, fine, wide, simmering red fruit with a little sweetness and a suggestion of roses. Wide across the palate, modest intensity but beautifully balanced wine. Delicious, airy, never profound but always satisfying wine. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

weekend corkscrew work – week 14 2018

A little late out of the blocks – so more of a reminiscence than real notes:

1998 Christian Adine, Chablis 1er Montmain
Not a name that I know, half-blind (I knew it was Chablis) the aromas shouted 2008 to me – but it was a 1998! From magnum, but still in a beautiful condition – what a super wine to have so much of – mineral yet comfortable – an easy rebuy – if ever seen!
Rebuy – Yes

1990 Maurice Chapuis, Corton-Charlemagne
I opted to decant this from the start – as it turned out, despite an almost caramel colour, there were no oxidative notes to dissipate. Big wine, rich and ripe wine – with balance though. I would never have guessed that it was a Charlemagne, but a well-preserved, totally mature wine of plenty of interest was never in doubt. Good wine!
Rebuy – Maybe

1995 Gérard Mugneret, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
Wax-topped – the domaine doesn’t do that anymore. The nose was deep, leafy, almost textured but at the same time rather inviting – still, not a cliché pretty/floral Chambolle. In the mouth too, a wine of power and modest tannic rusticity to the texture – but also of depth and full interest. Relatively mature but will hold for as long as you like on this performance. Tasty wine!
Rebuy – Maybe

jogging around beaune yesterday

The rain actually stopped in the morning, so a jog seemed appropriate in the afternoon – 15 km around Beaune/Pommard – Strava seemed to take the regular photo-opportunity stops in its stride!

a few pics from yesterday…

All Côte de Nuits, mainly in-between the rain-storms:

guy castagnier’s 1999 clos de la roche

1999 Guy Castagnier, Clos de la Roche
Having tried the 97 and 98 in the last 10 days it seemed only fair to open one of these 99s too. I bought a couple of 6-packs way-back-when, and I may have already finished one of them – this the first from the next case.
The nose is far from forward but has very fine and pure fruit of great direction. It’s the same on the palate – a joyous line of crystal-pure dark-red, mouth-watering fruit with super persistence. My first glass empties very quickly. Subsequent glasses have aromas that sometimes betray a faint whiff of brett – then they are clean again – maybe time to start drinking these then – and why not, this bottle was emptied the night it was opened – usually the best of signs. Super wine.
Rebuy – Yes

Plus some wines recently tasted blind with (mainly) Grand Cru company – the grand crus will appear in my April Report – notes as written before seeing the wines:

2005 Robert Denogent, Pouilly-Fuissé La Croix Vieilles-Vignes
White 1 – Older colour. The nose has a sweet vibration and a suggestion of oxidative development – but it remains a great invitation. More direct over the palate than the nose suggests, but still with an engaging blend of fresh and sweet. Quite narrow into the finish. Eventually a super nose and a more modest palate – apparently mature and delicious but not profound – from the Mâcon?

2015 Buisson-Charles, Meursault 1er Les Cras
White 2 – A young nose, wide, not so deep but clearly this is a very inviting and fine wine. Supple, deep, a little oak – quite young and rich, plenty of minerals and long. Excellent and young – Chassagne 1er? After being told I could clearly smell the ginger spice on the nose, silly me – oh well.

2015 Buisson-Charles, Meursault Vieilles-Vignes de 1945
White 3 – A sweeter and more mature core of aroma. Wide, melting flavour, richness but with great mouth-watering balance. Long – super again – a great set of whites here. This has tension – from Puligny? Even when revealed, I couldn’t see the ‘Meursaultness’ but I could still see great wine – I rated it higher than the 1er cru!

2015 Buisson-Charles, Bourgogne Pinot Noir Hautes Coutures
Red 5 – Bright, fresh and very much younger aroma than previous bottles – with fine pure kirsch notes. Wide, pure, very fruity – a baby. Lots of volume, good concentration, very fruit forward but with balanced acidity. Long and super but a grand cru? I don’t think so…

2003 Bourgogne-Devaux, Pommard
Red 6 – Wide, vibrantly deep red fruit aromas, less pure than the last due to some residues of oak. More richness of texture, more concentration, much more maturity of flavour. A good older wine – – also probably not (a good!) grand cru.

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