Why Big Red Diary?
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1999 Arlaud, Chambolle-MusignyMar. 2012
Rather deeply coloured, and it still looks quite young. The nose is deep and a little meaty, yet is classically (some might say clichéd) Chambolle-Musigny with its very pretty floral top notes – the bass notes are perhaps meatier than your average Chambolle but that’s probably the slow march to maturity. Round, clearly with plenty of extract and a lovely diminuendo into the mouth-watering finish. The tannins give a little astringency if you keep the wine in your mouth, but if you ‘just drink’, the word that comes into my mind is ‘luxurious’. Young but very drinkable. I can only dream that the rest of my 99s would perform to this level right now.
2006 Arlaud, Chambolle-MusignyJul. 2008
The colour is more red than cherry or purple. The first snif did not impress – no focus, dirty oak, no fruit, in fact soupy. The flavours were not dissimilar, no chambolle, just sweet soupy oak – yuk! I try to be fair, so stoppered it up and left it for 2 days: The nose has transformed; red fruit melded to caramel and a faint note of brioche. In the mouth there is also a tightening, some fat and more red fruit. A reasonable extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate though the acidity needs a little more zip…
2005 Arlaud, Bourgogne La RoncevieAug. 2007
Medium-plus colour with more than a hint of purple at the rim. The nose is (for me) disappointingly more like Beaujolais than pinot – for 60 minutes it’s completely unchanging. If the aromatics don’t really impress, I have to say the palate is a little more interesting: A narrow, lithe entry, quite some depth and dimension plus there’s lovely acidity pushing the finish rather long – probably too long for gamay! Overall I’m a little disappointed – the wine ‘only’ costs around €12 but tastes like a (almost good) €10 Beaujolais – I think it’s sourced from Gevrey vines but I get little sense of pinot, never mind Gevrey. In the interests of fairness I left some for day 2, when it smells more like pinot – still understated, but almost good – it’s well crafted and there are no hard edges. Perhaps then, it will be more interesting in 2-3 years.
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