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               Why Big Red Diary?

red burgundy vintage 2001 with howard ripley

Another good showing from this UK based Specialist Merchant. First a quick word on the whites; I love the aromatics, but they don’t show the consistent interest and balance of the 1999 & 2000’s. Consistent is the operative word, there are some fabulous wines, but ‘some’ not lots, I certainly haven’t tasted any ‘bad’ wines yet, only some which are a little un-interesting. I think Chablis had a tough time compared to the Côte d’Or. There were no Chablis whites in this tasting. For the whites, go here.

Now the reds. For me 2001 has similar lovely fruit to 2000, but turned up a notch for intensity. The acidity is good, but the really obvious difference vs 2000 is the much more robust tannin. The colours are less deep than 99 or 98, but deeper than 2000 – but so what? It’s the concentration and the pleasure they bring, not the extraction of colour and I think there are definitely hot spots for Pommard and Vougeot 2001, and most of my purchases seem to come from Gevrey-Chambertin. I also think it’s hard to call on many of the Côte de Beaune reds because the structure on the bottled cask samples seems to be overpowering the fruit, but from barrel this seems not to be the case – remember bottle shock etc., these are still not finished wines in most cases. So for me 2001 is good/very good vintage for the medium/+ term.

THE RED TN’s

In the order tasted. Those marked with (CS) are cask samples, put into bottle, and then driven to the UK the day before the tasting. The rest are already in bottle. The notes ignore such things as ‘bottle shock’ and are as written at the time.

Domaine Didier Fornerol, Bourgogne Rouge
Pale. Oaky but sweet cherry and raspberry nose. Fine acidity and some tannin. Reasonable concentration. Rather good.

Domaine Didier Fornerol, Cote de Nuits Villages
Slightly deeper cherry colour. Nose is sweet and slightly minty. Similar volume to the basic, but silkier tannins. Good

Domaine Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Bourgeots (CS)
Medium ruby red. Nose is high toned. Very furry tannins and good acidity. Perhaps the fruit is struggling with the structure. The finish is persistent – so there’s still hope.

Domaine Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune Aux Grands Liards (CS)
Again medium ruby red with a high toned nose. Tannins are have just a little less grip on the tongue and teeth compared to the ‘Les Bougeots’ but finish a little bitter. Good fruit though.
Domaine Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er, Aux Forneaux (CS)
Deeper colour, now cherry red. A reticent but pure cherry nose. Palate is much more obviously fruity than the village wines. Good acidity and tannins. Good wine.

Domaine Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Aux Vergelesses (CS)
More ruby than cherry colour. Reticent nose again. Very good acidity and tannin which dominate the wine somewhat. Nice fruit though so still good.

Domaine Paul Pernot, Beaune 1er Les Teurons
Medium-plus ruby red. Some oak and plummy fruit on the nose. Smaller scale and smoother tannins. Good acidity with persistent fruit. Good.

Domaine Paul Pernot, Pommard Les Noizons
Medium+ cherry colour. The nose is high toned with sweet oak. More tannic than the ‘Les Teurons’ but with nicer acidity and more interesting fruit.

Domaine Guy Amiot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er, Clos-Saint-Jean (CS)
Deeper cherry colour. Nose is clean,but in the background a little kerosine(?) Nice fruit with medium tannins and good acidity. Quite persistent. Good.

Domaine Bruno Clavelier, Vosne-Romanée Les Hautes de Beaux-Monts (CS)
Pronounced purple colour. Some earthy notes on the nose. Quite a soft wine with lovely fruit. Very good.

Domaine Bruno Clavelier, Vosne-Romanée La Montagne (CS)
Not quite as deep purple as the ‘Hautes de Beaux-Monts’. Lovely pure fruity nose. A little more tannin and good acidity. Nice style again.

Domaine Robert Arnoux, Vosne-Romanée(CS)
Medium colour but purple tinged. Earth and sweet wood on the nose.. Furry, velvetty tannin and nice acidity. Persistent fruit. Good-plus.

Domaine René Engel, Vosne-Romanée (CS)
Medium cherry colour. High toned fruit on the nose. Sweet lovely high toned (raspberry and redcurrant) fruit on the palate too. Good acidity, though hefty tannins and a little astringent. One to lay down, good.

Domaine des Lambrays, Morey-Saint-Denis (CS)
Medium-plus cherry colour. Lovely high toned red fruity nose. Also red fruit on the palate. Furry tannin, good acidity, persistent & structured. Very good.

Domaine Frédéric Esmonin, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur
I found the 2000 vintage of this wine a little dull, but not this time. Medium-plus colour with a purple tinge. Some oak but lovely fruit on the nose. Palate has medium-plus tannins, good acidity coupled with persistent fruit. This is definitely good.

Domaine Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Echézeaux (CS)
Medium-plus cherry colour with a hint of purple. Nose has integrated sweet oak. Good fruit here, medium tannins and good acidity. A nice wine.

Domaine Géantet-Pansiot, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Jeunes Rois
Medium-plus colour with some purple. Not an obviously pinot nose, perhaps a little reduced. Pronounced but velvetty tannin, soft centred. Could perhaps benefit from a little more acidity. Not bad though.

Domaine Géantet-Pansiot, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
Deep cherry colour with purple rim. Nicer cherry nose than the ‘Jeunes Rois’ with some oak. More fruit extract here, but once more soft in the middle. Still a better wine though.

Domaine Géantet-Pansiot, Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs
Deep colour. High toned very forward nose. The best of this trio, but still seems a little soft in the middle. Quite good.

Domaine Robert Arnoux, Nuits Saint Georges(CS)
Medium-plus cherry colour. Sweet though reticent nose. Good fruit, acidity and tannin. A very nice wine.

Domaine des Lambrays, Morey-Saint-Denis 1er (CS)
Medium-plus cherry. High toned flowery nose – nice. Good acidity with quite strong furry tannin. Good length too. A nice wine.

Domaine Bruno Clavelier, Vosne-Romanée 1er Aux Brûlées (CS)
Medium-plus cherry. Reticent high toned nose. Good fruit and acidity, the tannin creeps up on you. This is very good.

Domaine Robert Arnoux, Vosne-Romanée 1er, Les Chaumes(CS)
Medium-plus ruby colour. Sweet, well integrated oak nose. Furry tannin with good acidity build a wall around the fruit. Seems okay though.

Domaine Bruno Clavelier, Chambolle-Musigny 1er, La Combe d’Orveaux (CS)
Medium-plus cherry colour. Pronounced fruity nose coupled with sweet well integrated oak. Good tannin and acidity. Lots of volume. Best wine so far.

Domaine Géantet-Pansiot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er, Vieilles Vignes
Medium-plus cherry. Nice fruity nose with no obvious oak. Good acidity with medium-plus tannins. The fruit is good here, again in a soft style. Good.

Domaine Robert Arnoux, Nuits Saint Georges 1er, Les Procès(CS)
Medium, bright red colour. Some sweet wood and red cherry. Nice acidity and tannins – the fruit is good here. Nice wine.

Domaine Robert Arnoux, Nuits Saint Georges 1er, Les Corvées Pagets (CS)
Very reserved nose, but strong fruit on the palate. Good acidity and medium-plus tannins. Very persistent fruit too. Very good.

Domaine Frédéric Esmonin, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er, Estournelles Saint Jacques
Medium cherry red. Reticent nose with a hint of caramel. Good friut and acidity with pronounced tannin. Very long, this very good.

Domaine Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er, Les Goulots (CS)
Slightly paler cherry red. Cherry, strawberry and raspberry on the nose. Good fruit and tannin with excellent acidity pushing the finish long. This is very good.

Domaine Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er, Les Combe aux Moines (CS)
Medium-plus cherry red. Red fruit nose with well integrated background oak. Stronger tannin than the ‘Les Goulots’ with good acidity and fruit. Very good.

Domaine Géantet-Pansiot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er, Les Poissenenots (CS)
Medium-plus cherry red. Deeper nose than the ‘Combe aux Moines’ with some oak and baked cherries. Good tannin and acidity. Fruit is quite good here. A good wine.

Domaine de Courcel, Pommard 1er Les Fremiers (CS)
Paler cherry. Lovely sweet, high toned nose. Lighter style but still with strong tannin – I like this.

Domaine de Courcel, Pommard 1er, Grand Clos des Epenots (CS)
Medium-plus cherry with purple hints. High toned nose has flowers and fruits. Wow, extra strong tannin and high acid, like a top Grand Cru in stature if not quite fineness. The fruit is definitely a match though. This is excellent.

Domaine de Courcel, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens (CS)
Medium cherry colour. Lovely nose. Soft entry onto the palate, though full tannins and acid. Again the fruit is up to the battle. Very good.

Domaine Robert Arnoux, Vosne-Romanée 1er, Les Suchots(CS)
Medium-plus cherry colour. Softer than the last Pommard. Medium tannins the acidity pushes lovely fruit very long into the finish. This is very nice.

Domaine Frédéric Esmonin, Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Medium-full cherry. Understated cherry nose Very lovely fruit with medium tannins and good acidity. Very good.

Domaine Frédéric Esmonin, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru
Medium-plus cherry. Subdued nose has lovely pure cherry. Another quite soft entry, but strong structure here. Very long and very good.

Domaine Frédéric Esmonin, Chambertin Clos de la Bèze Grand Cru
Medium-plus cherry. Subdued nose again, but sweet cherry pies in the background. This has lovely fruit. Good tannins and long acidity. Fine.

Domaine Frédéric Esmonin, Chambertin Grand Cru
Medium-plus cherry with some purple. Understated nose but has lovely purity if you swirl enough. Again concentrated fruit here. Good acidity and full tannins, Even more concentrated than the last wine. Also very fine.

Domaine des Lambrays, Clos-des-Lambrays Grand Cru (CS)
Medium-plus cherry with some purple. This has deeper more ‘cooked’ fruit than the previous Chambertins. But still excellent structure. Very good.

Domaine Fourrier, Griottes-Chambertin Grand Cru (CS)
Medium-plus cherry. Whilst quite reticent, this is still a nose to fall into. Lovely very pure fruit with medium-plus tannins and very good acidity. I liked this a lot – Fine.

Domaine du Clos de Tart, Clos de Tart Grand Cru (CS)
Darker cherry. Very lovely high toned nose. Lovely fruit with medium-plus tannins and good acidity. Almost creamy fruit. Another fine effort.

Domaine Jean Grivot, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (CS)
Medium-plus colour. Thick cherry compote nose. Lovely fruit, thick tannins and good acidity. This has an earthy character and is a touch astringent, but is very good indeed.

Domaine Robert Arnoux, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (CS)
Medium-plus cherry. Also a lovely nose, this time high toned fruits and cherry. Great fruit, strong tannin and acidity. Long and lovely.

Domaine René Engel, Grands Echézeaux Grand Cru (CS)
Medium cherry. Nose is more reticent than the preceding wines. Lovely fruit lingering with the tannin. Also long and lovely.

Domaine Armand Rousseau, Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru (CS)
Medium cherry. Very obvious, unsubtle oak on the nose, but there is something sweet and red behind this wall. The oak is a little less obvious on the palate, nice mouthfeel with very good fruit. Still a good wine.

Domaine Armand Rousseau, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos-Saint-Jacques (CS)
Again medium colour. The nose whilst subdued is more interesting than the previous ‘Ruchottes’. Lovely in the mouth – great fruit. Mouth-watering acidity and good tannin. Excellent.

Domaine Armand Rousseau, Chambertin Clos-de-Bèze Grand Cru (CS)
Deep cherry colour. Very subdued nose, faint cherry perhaps. Intense fruit on the palate with good acidity and medium-plus tannins. This is lovely.

Domaine Armand Rousseau, Chambertin Grand Cru (CS)
Medium-plus cherry colour. This has a fine, high-toned nose. Tannic palate but intense fruit to match. Very good acidity too. Last year at this stage I prefered the ‘Bèze’. This year I prefer this.

My Picks
More uniform quality this vintage than for 2000, still the best producers seem to have hit the spot, Arnoux, Engel, Rousseau and for consistency I think Esmonin is worth adding to the list. I liked very much the Clos de Tart, but pricing is high. Also for the second year running I loved de Courcels Pommard’s – in fact this year I’m going to buy some!

Okay, it’s put your money where your mouth is time. Quite hard to choose this year as the overall standard is higher than last. In the end financial considerations had to be addressed, so I didn’t buy the most expensive wines, only the wines which I thought offered the best value. My purchases are up on 2000. In fact, my purchases are also up on 1999 in terms of variety, though down in terms of volume. So this is my shopping list:

Domaine de Courcel, Pommard 1er, Grand Clos des Epenots
Domaine Frédéric Esmonin, Ruchottes-Chambertin
Domaine Frédéric Esmonin, Mazis-Chambertin
Domaine Frédéric Esmonin, Chambertin Clos de la Bèze
Domaine Frédéric Esmonin, Chambertin
Domaine Fourrier, Griottes-Chambertin
René Engel, Grands Echézéaux


THE WHITE TN’s
Domaine Gérard Chavy, Puligny-Montrachet
Very pale. Nose is a lovely fruit assortment. Palate shows nice acidity with concentrated fruit. Good length too. Very nice.

Domaine Gérard Chavy, Puligny-Montrachet Les Charmes
Pale yellow. Deeper nose than the last wine, not obviously oaky. Palate is a little more mineral with good length too. Good.

Domaine Paul Pernot, Puligny-Montrachet
Pale yellow. Deep nose with well done oak. A little buttery, nice acidity – good balance here. Very nice.

Domaine Gérard Chavy, Puligny-Montrachet 1er, Les Folatières
Pale yellow. Dried, sugared fruits on the nose. Nice mouthfeel, on the follow through I thought the fruit had a ‘dirty’ finish, actually I think this is oak. Still a good wine.

Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux, Meursault
Pale yellow. High toned, understated nose. Good volume in the mouth and nice acidity – hard to find the fruit though!

Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux, Meursault 1er, La Goutte d’Or
Pale yellow. Reticent nose with background toast. More fruit than the last wine. Acidity is okay. Quite good.

Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux, Meursault 1er, Les Perrières
Pale yellow. Subdued nose. Much more mineral and nervous than the ‘Goutte d’Or’. Seems a little one-dimensional though – until you hit the finish which comes with a lovely burst. Very good.

Domaine de l’Arlot, Nuits Saint Georges Blanc, Jeunes Vignes du Clos de l’Arlot Blanc
Pale yellow. Yeasty sweet nose. Nice acidity and reasonable fruit. Quite good.

Domaine de l’Arlot, Nuits Saint Georges Blanc 1er, Clos de l’Arlot Blanc
Pale yellow. Nice nose, sweet & sherbet. Deeper grapefruit palate. Very long. Not my personal style favourite, but this is very good.

Domaine Vincent & Francois Jouard, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er, La Maltroie
Yellow colour. Sweet melon and grapefruit nose. This has intense fruit, goodish acidity and reasonable length. Good wine.

Domaine Vincent & Francois Jouard, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er, Morgeot ‘Les Fairendes’
Pale gold colour. Lovely nose of pineapple and sherbet. Concentrated fruit, good acidity and a lovely finish. Very good.

Domaine Guy Amiot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er, Les Macharelles
Pale yellow. More melony nose than the previous ‘Morgeot’. Palate is less full, but good fruit, good acidity and very long. This is good wine.

Domaine Guy Amiot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er, Champgains
Pale yellow. Understated nose. The palate is more mineral. Good acidity and reasonable length. Good

Domaine Colin Deléger, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er, En Remilly
Pale yellow. Again an understated nose. There’s good acidity and another wine that finishes with a burst. Good

Domaine Colin Deléger, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er, Les Chaumées
Pale yellow. Understated nose with some oak. Sweeter palate than the ‘En Remilly’. Again an interesting finish. Again good wine.

Domaine Paul Pernot, Bienvenues Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru
Pale yellow. Another subdued nose. Palate is much wider than the preceding wines. The finish comes with a crescendo of fruit. Spoiled by just a hint of spritz, despite that, a fine wine.

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