Why Big Red Diary?


You are browsing the site archives.

jean grivot clos de vougeot

jean grivot 1996 clos de vougeot

I admit that I rather fell out with the wines from this domaine following the release of the 1997 and 1998 vintages, wines with hair-raising tannins and little redeeming features to balance – or at least to stake a case for patience – but the 1995’s and 1996’s I always loved. A handy half-bottle provides the opportunity for a status report – given the performance I’m sure my Richebourgs will not be touched before their 20th anniversary… 1996 Jean Grivot, Clos de Vougeot Still medium-plus colour, now it’s quite ruby-red though still a slightly cherry-red reflection remains. The nose is super-deep, chocolate-coated undergrowth with just a hint of more volatile elements. Lithe – actually quite muscular – with fading velvet tannin and real extra dimension [….]

vintage 2008 update

“A month ago I wrote that August and September were the all-important months in making the quality of a vintage. Well, August is almost done and to be honest, it has been grim – about 2ºC cooler, and already 40% wetter, than average. Thank goodness the forecast is perfect for at least the next week.” Read the words of David Clark…

christophe pacalet 2006 chiroubles

christophe pacalet 2006 chiroubles

2006 Christophe Pacalet, Chiroubles Medium-plus cherry-red. Beaujolais aromatics, but in the best sense – fruity but with a serious and quite dense core. Soft velvet across the tongue. Raised red fruits – a little plum – perfect acidity and a slightly savoury edge to the fruit-driven finish. Very tasty wine – of which I drank a little more than my usual share… Rebuy – Yes The thing about bottles like this is that they are only one thrid the price of most well-known producers’ villages wines from the Côtes – it’s clearly not pinot noir – at least it bears no relation at this age, but I’m seriously(-ish) considering whether I should replace a portion of my drinking (20%?) with BJ, I’d save plenty of [….]


olympic footnote

Vincent Laforet’s image stolen from this super Newsweek page. Congratulations to China; they certainly had no cash/personnel resource issues for the Olympic Games, but that’s not the same as delivering, and they delivered! Sport was the clear winner – apart from Taekwondo maybe… What about human rights? Well frankly ‘the west’s’ higher ground is very shaky from the self-interest vantage points of Iraq and Georgia, though I do tend to side with Dan Wetzel ripping into IOC president Jacques Rogge for his naïve criticism and targeting of Usain Bolt’s antics after winning his medals – I loved every minute of it – it seemed Usain’s (non-competitive) competitors did too. The wider issues remained under the table! Lastly, what the hell was that dirty green bus [….]

two chambolle-musignys

2006 chambolle-musigny from arlaud and lignier-michelot

Chambolle still has many nice wines in 2006, but at the villages level, there is clearly not the density to be found from the 2005 vintage. That said, I continue to buy a number of tasty, balanced wines – one of these two made it into the basket, the other not. I literally found this terrible on opening – an already open Potel-Aviron 05 Morgon Côte du Py was so much better on every level (at about 30% of the price) – a little (actually a lot of) patience helped considerably! 2006 Arlaud, Chambolle-Musigny The colour is more red than cherry or purple. The first sniff did not impress – no focus, dirty oak, no fruit, in fact soupy. The flavours were not dissimilar, no [….]

burgundian weather…

Decanter: “The 2008 Burgundy harvest will be smaller than last year, following a poor fruit set and hailstorms in the region. Although insiders say it is too early to judge the quality of the vintage, regional trade body, the BIVB, said fruit set had been adversely affected by a cold and wet spring. “ Of-course many growers will tell you this was a good thing as the yields were ‘naturally’ reduced and they have much smaller berries with a higher solids to juice ratio. With another month to go, there’s no point second-guessing… And from Clive Coates August 9th. 2008 : HAIL IN SOUTHERN BURGUNDY “The southernmost part of the Mâconnais and the northern sector of the Beaujolais suffered a devastating hail-storm during the night [….]

offer of the week

The 2007’s of Henri Boillot – excellent as I expect them to be, at these prices I do not expect to buy more than a few ‘halves’ for testing… VILLAGES BLANCS MEURSAULT 2007 37,5cl 29.00 Swiss francs MEURSAULT 2007 75cl 54.00 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 2007 37,5cl 30.00 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 2007 75cl 56.00 PREMIERS CRUS BLANCS MEURSAULT Les Charmes 2007 75cl 85.00 MEURSAULT Les Genevrières 2007 75cl 89.50 MEURSAULT Les Perrières 2007 75cl 95.00 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Les Perrières 2007 75cl 89.50 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Clos de La Mouchère 2007 37,5cl 47.00 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Clos de La Mouchère 2007 75cl 89.50 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Les Caillerets 2007 75cl 89.50 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Les Pucelles 2007 75cl 95.00 GRANDS CRUS BLANCS CORTON CHARLEMAGNE 2007 75cl 149.00 CRIOTS BATARD MONTRACHET 2007 75cl 215.00 BIENVENUES BATARD MONTRACHET 2007 75cl 249.00 BATARD [….]

2006 roulot bourgogne aligoté

2006 Roulot, Bourgogne Aligoté Maybe it was because I was just back from a 10 mile run, but this is/was a wonderfully refreshing drink. Soft and high-toned. Perfect balance and reasonably concentrated in the mouth – the acidity plays wonderfully across the tongue. On the negative side it’s rather simple for its price-tag – I think all the Roulot Bourgognes are priced above their quality level now, at least from European retailers – but it is a super summer drink. Rebuy – Yes

guy breton morgon p’tit max 2005

guy breton morgon p’tit max 2005

2005 Guy Breton, Morgon – p’tit Max Medium, medium-pale colour. A high toned, slightly volatile nose. In the mouth that hint of volatility remains but the mid-palate shows a nice depth and also good texture. Reasonably well balanced with little overt tannin, but at best, an okay wine. Rebuy – no

marchand-grillot gevrey champerrier vignes centenaire 2005

marchand-grillot gevrey champerrier vignes centenaire 2005

This villages wine costs the same as the producer’s premier crus – why? – the words ‘vignes centenaire’ give the game away… 2005 Marchand-Grillot, Gevrey-Chambertin Champerrier Medium, medium-plus colour. A somehow silky nose the starts with chocolate then higher-toned herbal aromatics over a tight red-fruit core. Good fat in the mouth and fine texture, the acidity works very well but there’s just a little spritz (which stayed for the whole 3 hours it was open) which gave the faint tannins a little extra texture. Persistent flavour – this really is a superb villages wine, less complex but currently more enveloping than the producer’s premier crus. Expensive but super. Rebuy – Yes Anyone care to suggest a list of wines made from 100 year-old (plus!) vines [….]

bordoverview ++

Nice Burgundy visit reports from this Bordeaux-centric site… And is it April the 1st?

beaujolais plastique…

“This year, Boisset Family Estates is the first winery ever to announce that all Beaujolais Nouveau wines imported to North America will be packaged exclusively in lightweight PET plastic bottles,” Here. Comments to follow… Maybe my title sounds a tad negative, but given that I see this in a generally positive light, it’s not really meant that way.  Why so?  I remain convinced that ‘Nouveau’ is what has caused the slow leaching (away) of esteem from crus Beaujolais.  If this can help better differentiate Nouveau from the highest quality wines in buyer’s minds, this will be positive.  Mandatory plastic packaging for Nouveau anyone?

Page 1 of 212