Why Big Red Diary?

saturday in the vines…

There’s still a lovely light in the Côte d’Or, but the vine colours are less intense now as the vines begin to lose some of their leaves – the temperatures are not quite cracking the 20°C-mark now, but still we have none of the (normally!) ubiquitous fog of October…

for your (late) christmas stockings!

I’m thankful to Laurent Gotti for the alert about this:

After “Climats et lieux-dits des grands vignobles de Bourgogne“, Marie-Hélène Landrieu-Lussigny and Sylvain Pitiot’s reference work dedicated to the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits (Editions de Monza – Editions du Meurger 2012), the pair continue their exploration of the Burgundy terroirs by publishing “La Côte Chalonnaise – Atlas et Histoire des Noms de Climats et de Lieux” (also Editions de Monza – Editions du Meurger). I like to call this ‘The Third Côte‘ – the Côte de Dijon having been long-time lost to us…

Mercurey, Givry, Montagny, Rully, Bouzeron are covered by their associated maps and the names of their 561 Climats.

Now, cleverly, bi-lingual, so no need for two editions. I know that I will use it a little less than their first ‘atlas’ but it remains a ‘must have!

weekend wines – week 41 2018

Well, it was my birthday – so they tell me – I stopped counting a long time ago!

Just passing comments: The 2014 Jean-Claude Courtault, Chablis was fresh, phenolic, questionably ripe, but unquestionably energetic and enjoyed – then once the guests had all arrived I opened the champers! The Jacquesson Cuvée 741 is my style of wine – the nose could certainly have been more precise but the mid and finishing flavours had both nice energy and an engaging clarity – good! Then came three 2016 Pouilly-Fuissé, Roc de Boutires – samples – but why not let an audience appreciate them – details to follow. Then a brace of Chambolle-Charmes from Alex Gambal – the 2007 had a nose that was approaching if not fully volatile but as it began to blow off became engagingly floral. The palate was round but balanced and tasty – good. The 2008 was much nicer with more drive to both aromatic and flavour – it lingered well too – definitely a notch higher interest here. The 1998 Maume, Mazis-Chambertin will be written up in my forthcoming Burgundy Report (on 1998s) – but it was, just for the record, excellent. Lastly a half-bottle of something that looked like engine oil – a magnificent half-bottle of ’20 year-old’ Pedro-Ximenez, Fortnum & Mason – bought there in the summer – magnificent (encore!), great wine – totally unperturbed by either ripe Epoisses or desert. Fabulous stuff!

the end of ‘hearty burgundy’ et al?

cite: Image – Gallo® Family Vineyards

I wonder if this was once pillow talk for Jean-Charles Boisset and Gina Gallo? Anyway, I note the following from a couple of weeks ago – perhaps it portends the end of stolen geographical labels – though the French are equally naughty in other foodstuff markets!:

WASHINGTON – On september 26, the Wine Origins Alliance (WOA) praised the passage of a bipartisan congressional resolution, S. Res. 649, that recognizes the uniqueness and value of American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

The Senate resolution, introduced by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), acknowledges the distinctiveness of American wine regions and the contributions they provide to the U.S. and global economy.

The WOA is a unified global force in the winemaking industry dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of location to winemaking and protecting the integrity of wine region names worldwide. Its members include 24 winery and grape-growing organizations in nine countries spanning North America, Europe and Australia. Bourgogne and Chablis joined the WOA in 2012.

In March, the Alliance released a consumer survey that found 94 percent of American wine drinkers support laws that would protect consumers from misleading wine labels. The group also released a short film featuring winemakers explaining how the complete environment of a wine region’s location makes their wines unique.

bang! 1945 romanée-conti – half a million a bottle…

Lots 84 & 85 Romanee Conti 1945 – phote from Sotheby’s – cropped

And so it came to pass on Saturday, when two bottles of 1945 Romanée-Conti broke the auction record for any bottle of wine – they sold for US$558,000 and US$496,000 to Asian and American collectors, respectively – including buyer’s premiums. Robert Drouhin’s roughly 100 bottles achieved $7.3 Million – I last saw Robert a couple of weeks ago, impatiently driving his Range-Rover through Beaune, seemingly expecting all the runners in a charity 10km to stop for him in his car!

The pre-sale estimates were US$22,000-32,000 per DRC RC 1945 – I told you to expect at least $250k – so what did I know!? Those were short-lived records for Henri Jayer – but there’s nothing else in Burgundy that fetches such high prices; Leroy, Roumier, Rousseau and Coche – strictly second division vs Jayer and (old) DRC in the auction market…

Interestingly a bottle of whiskey went for 60% more – US$843,200 anyone?!

offer of the day – bruno clavelier’s 2016s

Bruno Clavelier 2016:

Vosne-Romanée La Combe Brûlée 2016 75cl 84.00* (Swiss francs)
Vosne-Romanée Les Hautes Maizières 2016 75cl 84.00

Gevrey-Chambertin Les Corbeaux 1er Cru 2016 75cl 123.00
Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts 1er Cru 2016 75cl 137.00
Vosne-Romanée Aux Brûlées 1er Cru 2016 75cl 137.00
Chambolle-Musigny Combe d’Orveaux 1er Cru 2016 75cl 147.00

Corton Le Rognet V.V. Grand Cru 2016 75cl 144.00

These prices are not delivered, but do include the Swiss 8% purchase tax.

It’s a long while since I bought wines from here – I enjoyed every one of them (that didn’t have a cork-related problem) – The prices are, perhaps, an indication of why it’s been so long …

#2017burgundyreport – the winemakers of week 41, 2018

A modest number, but not modest selection, of vignerons pouring their 2017s this week, and that’s to add to this happy group from last week and another 14 (so-far) booked for the week after next.

This ‘predominantly white producers‘ report will be online at the end of November – subscribe below 🙂

I just had to order a new SD card today – right – after a camera problem this week. I hope that fixes things – or it’s finally time for the new one – which I’d anyway planned for November. Anyway, that’s why this week a couple of the producers were photographed with my backup – the iPhone – it’s not bad, but no cigar!!

A Burgundy Report EXTRA! subscription costs 85 Swiss Francs per year.

two days in the côte de beaune…

It was supposed to be great weather this week, but Monday only saw some hazy sun from the late morning, Tuesday and Wednesday resembled January with two misty days on the côtes – but today quickly warmed and delivered much afternoon sunshine. Visits, photos, jogging, more photos – the usual stuff!

Note: We seem to have reached peak autumn gold in and around Volnay-Pommard – Beaune and Corton are not far behind…

icymi – week 41 2018

Looking over Volnay Caillerets today…

I’ve been collecting and saving these up over the last couple of weeks – I’ve lost a few too – I’ll take more care next time!

  • examining-the-science-of-wineglass-shapes
    Of-course Jancis gets a star billing – I think I already have too many glasses to research further – I don’t break them often enough – that’s my main problem!
  • montrose-owners-buy-into-burgundian-estate
    One has to hope that the new (part) owners will get direct input into the running of the estate – it’s a property with massive potential – despite the good intentions of the sons, the father is seemingly (to me) still quite dominant and seems set in his ways – let’s see!
  • the-science-behind-decanting-wine
    An oldie but a goodie. I wouldn’t dream of decanting old wines – though sometimes make an exception for a reductive 30 year-old white – yes, that used to be a thing! But young wines of both colours, often bottled with too much CO2 gas, plus sometimes a reduction will benefit no end…
  • tastevinage-102e-edition
    The winning wines from the last Tastevinage blind tasting – I should have been there but had guests, so…
  • chablis-the-purest-chardonnay
    A simple abc of Chablis…
  • montys-2018-organic-biodynamic-audit
    I like this piece very much – another level vs the linked article on Chablis as there is detail, there are statistics and there is much to mull over – excellent!
  • The effect of root exudates on rhizosphere water dynamics
    Actually, far more interesting than it looks at first glance – It’s not every day you get to reference Jethro Tull!(1)
  • foulee-des-vendanges
    I’m considering it – because it seems I have to drink Bouzeron rather than take on the Beaune Half-Marathon!
  • global-warming-has-moved-burgundys-top-sites-uphill
    Well, one assumes that there has to be some effect – notably in the earlier ripening vintages, Hautes Côtes and other higher vines do very, very well – I’m still waiting for Romanée St.Vivant to best Romanée-Conti though – I think it may be a long wait for that one…

I note that this week the Henri Boillot 2017s offer has once-more winged into my inbox – almost one month after its first circulation. At first it looks the same – but then it’s interesting to note that the most expensive stuff is now all gone; no more Chevalier-Montrachet, Montrachet or Chambertin – the others are hanging on. From some very limited perspectives – the market remains strong – shame that’s only 0.1% of production…

1 Tull J. 1762 Horse-hoeing husbandry: or, an essay on the principles of vegetation and tillage. London, UK: printed for A. Millar.
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