Why Big Red Diary?

p.ox-y mischief


Having mistakenly opened a (remarkably super!) 2007 M&M to follow-up on my p.oxed 2005, here – eventually – are a couple of 2005 follow-ups. Sadly, and in my cellar at-least, these are for the fish or chicken sauce – only.

2005 Mischief & Mayhem, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Caillerets
Deep colour. Basically like the last bottle – it smells more like an exotic blend of fermented marmalade with a large helping of Jura wine. This is such a shame because this wine was a stunner 6-7 years ago – shame on me for not drinking them all at that time.
Rebuy – No

2005 Mischief & Mayhem, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Gain
Deep colour – exactly the same as the last wine. This also has the fermented marmalade / cider / sweet honey nose – though in this case without a clear note of Jura. Less exotic than the Caillerets, but equally compromised. In the mouth there’s a good line and excellent concentration of flavour – but also a wine for the cooking, not the Riedel…
Rebuy – No

I shall be rounding up all my remaining 05s – save the Leflaive Chevalier – probably for cooking with…

20 responses to “p.ox-y mischief”

  1. Jerome F Hasenpflug

    What a pity! A refund is in order…

  2. nickma

    What do M&M say – poor corks? To be fair I’ve had loads of knackered 05s, which seems to be particularly badly affected as a year, so maybe not about the corks….

  3. Sycamore

    Pretty hard to get a refund on an 11-year old wine in most cases!

  4. Mark in Pernand

    Rolled the dice on a couple of my older white burgs this past weekend, namely a J-M Pillot 2006 Les Noyers Bret and an Arnaud Ente 1998 Meursault 1er Goutte’ D’Or. Both of these have been in long term professional storage since EP purchase until 6 bottles of each were pulled out a few weeks back to my cool garage ‘cellar’. Prior to this weekend I’d had a single bottle of each – the Pillot Puligny quite delicious but the Ente was ‘shot. Without being able to explain why (gut feel only) I was confident the second Pillot would be ok (it was) but less sure on the Ente. Very relieved though, after a bit of a struggle to shift a long & very tight indeed cork, on pouring to note an ok colour & sure enough, hurrah, a fairly classic, complex, very drinkable and aged Meursault was much enjoyed both on its own & with salmon salade. Am I confident re the remaining 4 Ente bottles, err nervous cough !

    On 2005’s I’ve been drinking my way through a ‘collection’ of Lafon 2005 Macons this year. Not had a totally shot one yet albeit one or two heading there fast. They have been all sorts of colours and levels of ‘enjoyment’, but all very rich and, whilst I’m not sure what the methodology is now, one reason I kept them a while was the. for me, too heavy handed oak treatment which is still evident.

  5. Michael L. Ragg


    Many thanks for your thoughts and feedback.

    I was unaware that you had any of our 2005 white wines still in your cellar.

    Your comments on the wines in their youth, ” these were brilliant wines when purchased ” are appreciated, as is the fact that you reference that our 2005 PM Les Caillerets was a stunner 6-7 years ago.

    The longer we have been making wines here, the more I take the view that our Premier Cru whites are approachable after 2 years, and ” in the zone ” ( which for us means clean, linear, pure, mineral and with a tight acidic core ) at anything between 3-7 years. This may seem a short drinking window, but you pretty much reference the same time frame yourself, in order to ensure that the wines be enjoyed at their best.

    Of course, it is dependent on vintage – I have never felt that 2005 was a great vintage for white wines ( call it 7 out of 10 ), which is why I am a little surprised that you still had these in your cellar. I sincerely regret that you have not been able to enjoy the wines at their peak – we tasted our 2005 Meursault Charmes a couple of months ago direct from the cellar and it looked like young Chablis, tinged with green, beautifully fresh and balanced.

    I suppose this variability, more than anything, is what frustrates lovers of great Burgundy, but I can only re-iterate that my view, for what it’s worth, is that the white wines at this qualitative level, at least those that we make, are at their best between 3-7 years. There are exceptions to this of course ( I saw that you recently pulled the cork on our 2007 Meursault Charmes, which is in beautiful shape ) but as a general guideline it holds true.

    Come over and taste the 2014’s soon !

    All the best,

    Michael L. Ragg

    Mischief and Mayhem

  6. Mark in Pernand

    Hi Bill,

    Interesting exchange between Michael & yourself – but never having owned or drunk any M&M wines I’ve no ‘skin in that game’. Reading Michael’s comments before getting to your response, my immediate thought was “But Michael, you don’t explain why white burgundies used to age but there have been all the issues since whenever (96/97 ?) i.e what changed, what was responsible and why isn’t it possible to revert to ‘the old ways’ ?” I wish someone could explain that for me, as still the owner of way too many oldish whites (plenty back to 95 and the early noughties).

    Otherwise, am doing my best to keep the faith – tested every time I open a white burg of age !, but came here to reply to your harvest comment. Not sure about the loins (oooerr missis) but am doing my best to improve fitness levels in readiness for my 9th harvest and return to dear ole Morey – if Cyprien will put up with me again 🙂 ! You made me smile at the mention of October as I recall, acknowledging that was some months back & maybe premature, when I previously referenced a late Sept harvest possibility you sort of ‘told me off’ 🙂 . The more and more dire weather reports I’ve been reading the more I’ve been thinking of the likes of the character building grimness of 2013 as went into October but we’ll see I guess. As madame and self have a week’s stay in Beaune booked for mid November (my 60th) if the harvest gets very late it will almost not be worth coming home to GB !

    Hoping to share some celebratory nice bottles with you if you are around in November – you can write them up to save me the job 😉 (D’s never been in Bar du Square or certain Beaune restaurants but we would like to return to La Ferme one evening). Maybe I should fetch some older whites over for harvest time for our joint research purposes, free time allowing ? I don’t have any Leflaive GC’s but do have Pierre Morey 2001 Batard untouched hum plus numerous premiers!

    Will let you know what I’m up to as the weeks tick by. Assume you haven’t been back to see Cyprien on BR business ?

  7. Michael L. Ragg


    Your questions are important.

    In my 13 years here however, I have yet to hear an entirely conclusive explanation as to why a number of white wines, post-1996, have developed in the way that they have, and oxidised at a proportionately faster rate than historically was the case for equivalent wines from the 1970s and 1980s.

    If I had answers to all of your questions then I would be unique in the region !

    As Bill points out, the majority of these wines have been made in broadly the same way over the entire period.

    I have outlined my own thinking behind drinking times, and raised a couple of points re. the definition of ” premature ” in my note to Bill above.

    As indicated, these are simply my personal views based on both my experiences, and on my stylistic preference for the ” youthful ” elements of these white wines.

    All the best,


  8. Mark in Pernand

    Thank you Michael (and Bill).

    If you’ve yet to hear an entirely conclusive explanation then the ‘rest’ of us have no chance have we 😉 ? Frustration continues to rule for us all then.

    I’d love to be able to follow your drinking time recommendations but I’ve way too many older white burgundies to ‘deal with’ before applying what now has to be reality – but maybe I’ll get there one day. Meantime, noting Bill’s mention of Caillerets, maybe I should stop putting off opening my last home bottle of Lambrays 2001 Puligny Caillerets (predecessors ain’t been ‘good’ !). Alternatively, maybe BdM’s 1997 Charlemagne ! Glutton for punishment ? Mais oui 🙂

    Hope to see you on the Cote perhaps one day soon – have driven past your place numerous times, normally in a hurry to get to Pernand (Dubreuil-Fontaine). Maybe, if Bill and self get round to it, you could join us having a go at some of my older whites – for research purposes – but perhaps not the ‘best’ offer you’ll ever have !



  9. Mark in Pernand

    Final (for now) word for me here. Opened the Lambrays 2001 Puligny Clos du Caillerets yesterday. Encouraging initial pour showing decent (as in not orange !) colour. Lovely complex nose then just flat out delicious & complex en bouche. Phew ! Regret that this is my last one but relief it was so good. Some of its predecessors were shocking ! What a funny (strange), frustrating and mixed up business we have with these white burgs.

  10. David Bennett

    Having popped in to M&M ( and missed Michael – but Fiona was ever present and most gracious as I piled in on the off chance as our group was barrelling through Aloxe, en route to “that” restaurant…) I can report to you all that the 14 Corton was, probably, the most excitng thing I have tasted for along time…as for the other 14s then my car was not nige enough to take the minute quantities for the delicious other wines …. I’ll be back for more..

  11. Greg Sewell

    Hi Bill,

    After reading your depressing experiences with M&M white burgundies over the past few weeks I rounded up my last 3 bottles of M&M 2005 Corton Charlemagne and am happy to report that all 3 were pristine, taut and delicious textbook examples of this grand cru. They were the last of an assortment of M&M 1er and grand cru white burgundies from 2004 and 2005 purchased at auction in Sydney. So they had experienced the long voyage to Australia and matured at a higher temperature relative to cooler European cellars. My experience of the maturity profile of the 1er crus matched the frank assessment of Michael Ragg. To add to the mystery last week I opened a bottle of 1998 Chablis Montmains from Domaine Francois Raveneau. It showed almost no age!

    Best wishes,
    Greg Sewell

  12. Greg Sewell

    Bill, I am with you on the cork issue. In Australia with Riesling vintages under screw cap going back to the 1980’s the closure has proved itself and in my experience development occurs at roughly the same pace as cork. Twisting the cap off does remove some of the ceremony and anticipation although the older tops can gum up and turn opening the bottle into a performance to equal any crumbling cork.
    Cheers Greg.

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