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billn

guyon 2010 chambolle plus a few hills

guyon 2010 chambolle plus a few hills

It’s true, I took a short red break from my 4 Vaillons – the next two are (of-course) still on their way! To develop a thirst for the Chablis I set myself a task on Saturday – to run from Lauterbrunnen up to Mürren, have lunch then do 4-5 hours of walking. The run didn’t go quite to plan; a couple of times I needed a 2 minute walk ‘recovery’, and by the time I got to Winteregg I was ‘done-in’ so took lunch there and changed into my boots. Actually I felt ashamed whilst walking from Winteregg to Mürren as it’s virtually flat – I could have run another 15 minutes – no problem, oh-well, maybe next time… First, an ice-cream stop in Mürren [….]

va-va-va-vaillons….

va-va-va-vaillons….

The other day, from a retailer’s sale selection, I could buy 4x Chablis Vaillons spanning the 2007-2010 vintages – so why not! Here are the first two (not an auspicious start!)… 2007 Domaine Servin, Chablis 1er Vaillons The cork smelled fine, but what happened to the colour? – deep, almost amber. The nose hasn’t a hint of traditional ‘oxidation’ but it’s clearly there in another form; the colour and aroma are of cider, indeed not just the smell of apples, but bruised apples – there’s a little lanolin too, which you normally have to wait 15+ years for, not 5! Flavour-wise, again no sherry-style oxidation, but the bruised apple theme is a consistent one. The acidity is good and this is concentrated and silky – [….]

bouchard père 2007 vosne les suchots

bouchard père 2007 vosne les suchots

2007 Bouchard Père et Fils, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots Well, what a gorgeous welcome this wine offered! Medium-plus coloured with a depth of faint spice and warm fruit – ‘drink me’ the label could have said! Round, sweet and supple with a fine supporting acidity. The texture has just a hint of cushioning and there’s certainly a bit of 1er cru dimension in the mid-palate. The finish becomes stricter and more stony – good, I don’t want everything too welcoming and friendly. A 2007 that will amply repay opening right away. Drink Me indeed! Rebuy – Yes

fourrier 2003 combe aux moines

fourrier 2003 combe aux moines

I only started with three of these, and last year I opened two, within a few weeks of each other, and both were corked. I came across this lonesome bottle the other day and thought to myself – ‘what’s the point of it taking up space if it’s also going to be corked(?)’ Of-course the wine gods play tricks on you, don’t they… 2003 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Combe aux Moines The tell-tale small bubbles of CO2 in the neck, as the cork slid out, told me that this would need a shake or decanting, but of more immediate concern, how did the cork smell? Hmm… it smelled of sweet fruit – excellent, we are in business! The first pour was indeed a bit like cola [….]

bertagna’s 2005 chambolle-musigny le village…

bertagna’s 2005 chambolle-musigny le village…

I’m off the whites for a bit – after 34,35,37,28,26°C during the last working week, we are now dumped back into 15-17°C – something to warm my heart is required… 2005 Bertagna, Chambolle-Musigny Le Village Medium-plus colour. The nose is concentrated essence of dark cherry with hints of cherry stone too – it needs no time to warm-up in the glass, staying very primary over the 30 or-so hours it was consumed. In the mouth this is concentrated and smooth, initially part of the flavour components had a volatile impression but it was soon gone – that’s the thing with volatility I guess 😉 Wide, plenty of impact – super acidity balances the impressive concentration and finely textured (lurking) tannin too. I thought this brilliant [….]

hasard’s mercurey 2010 les marcoeurs…

hasard’s mercurey 2010 les marcoeurs…

Not sure How I ended up with this one – part of a mixed ‘summer’ case I think. Turns out to be quite nice: 2010 Alain & Isabelle Hasard, Mercurey Champs de l’Abbaye Les Marcoeurs Deeper and more intense colour after the Duband wine. Likewise, the nose seems deep, and the dark cherry notes give a polished impression. In the mouth, this really is quite silky and competent, yet, it never really fires the imagination like the Duband did – it just lacks some defining character – it is simply a silky, pretty wine, and perhaps a slightly riper wine than the Duband. I note that it also costs about 25% more so I would say offers less value too. All that said, it remains [….]

david duband 2010 bourgogne hautes côtes de nuits

david duband 2010 bourgogne hautes côtes de nuits

All my early experiences of the wines of David Duband proved that, for me, they were very commercially styled wines, and frankly I didn’t like them. I’m not sure when the change was exactly – 2005? 2006? or maybe 2007? But there has been an extraordinary change of course by this winemaker, not just eliminating the sickly-sweet oak, but also embracing the whole cluster. Because of the latter trait, they may not be to everyone’s taste, but you have to applaud what’s in the glass… 2010 David Duband, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Louis Auguste Medium, medium-pale colour. The nose is rather stemmy for the first few minutes but becomes ever-more interesting – eventually it is a simply beguiling blend of redcurrant and smoky wild [….]

flowering…

flowering…

Pic, Caroline l’Estime I hope I’m not writing this just a little too early, but yesterday and today were forecast to be stormy, and given the awful experience of growers in other places this week we shouldn’t get carried away, yet the hail has so far been absent in the Côtes. No hail, but still 40 mm of rain yesterday, and there was further heavy rain this afternoon too. As for flowering, I’d already reported the first stirrings at the end of last week – mainly Côte de Beaune chardonnay – but there was already a little flowering pinot on Monday in the warm spots of Beaune and Corton Vigne au Saint – I’m sure there were others too! Today I’ve seen pics of flowering [….]

remi jobard 2011 bourgogne aligoté

remi jobard 2011 bourgogne aligoté

I really don’t remember what I paid for this – it was part of a mixed-bottle order – but I assume that it wasn’t particularly expensive, so, I clearly didn’t buy enough, and I’m sure the fact that it was 33°C outside didn’t sway my verdict one bit! I hope there’s some left at the merchant, but preferably with better corks – seldom have I seen a cork with so many creases and lenticels – the moment it was extracted I thought the wine would be bad, but what do I know!? 😉 2011 Remi Jobard, Bourgogne Aligoté Medium-pale lemon yellow. The nose starts with a hint of savouriness, but that doesn’t hang around long – what’s left for the longer term, is a waxy [….]

alex gambal’s 2010 chambolle les charmes

alex gambal’s 2010 chambolle les charmes

2010 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes A wine that was finished all too quick – though that’s a good sign! The first notes had just a hint of reduction, but less than 10 minutes after opening, those notes were gone. What remained in the glass was just a little more about barrel than vineyard I felt, but it was a pretty, spicy impression with just an undercurrent of fruit – only the last drops in the glass delivered a beautiful acid-cherry note. In the mouth, this is little more than a middle-weight, but one with plenty of complexity and interest – again there seems to be many barrel references, but there is an innate and captivating balance and grace to this wine – such [….]

…that brings some good? floraison…

If Thursday evening brought a few wind-related losses, then Friday delivered the most precocious of flowers: Just one or two were reported by Olivier Lamy in Chassagne, but with the warm weather (we are enjoying!) set to continue, probably much of the Côte d’Or vines will be in flower by the end of this week. There are storms forecast for Wednesday; let us hope that they will be inconsequential! Anyway, add 100 days to Friday 14th of June, and you arrive at: Monday 23rd September… (Just saying…)

it’s an ill wind…

Yesterday, late afternoon, and up and down the Côtes was a bit of a storm. No worries about hail, and the rain that fell wasn’t really damaging as the flowers haven’t yet opened – but! There were heavy gusts of wind on the more exposed slopes, such that the long shoots that haven’t yet been tied down – say 1 metre in length – were often ripped straight from the vines and thrown to the floor. That will sicken those who had been hoping for better yields…

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