Why Big Red Diary?

updated vintage chart – v.1.7

Updated to include, among other things, my early thoughts on the 2015s.

The ‘other things’ include:

  • A small increase in the average score for 2007 reds – a nod to their opening out
  • Increasing the number of ‘red flagged’ white vintages – i.e. ones to drink up to minimise your exposure to oxidised bottles.
  • Lastly a small reduction in score for the ‘best’ 2013 whites. I still enjoy them very much, but they are clearly not as good as the same from 2011, 2012 and 2014…

And that’s about it!

1996 hospices de beaune corton charlotte dumay

1996 Hospices de Beaune Corton Charlotte Dumay – Prosper Maufoux
Hmm, a miserly cork – about 45mm worth – I expect better from my half-bottles!
I had 4 bottles of this remaining from a whole case bought many years ago for a good price in Switzerland – but I’ve never seen anything even vaguely hinting at maturity, or overt drinkability come to think about it. Let’s see how it is, now that it’s more than 20 years old!

There’s a hint of smoke, and an almost vibrant quality of red, macerating, semi-mature fruit. Fresh and narrow starting in the mouth, but opening out very quickly. There’s the 1996 acidity, but it’s balanced. Broad waves of flavour that extend even wider as your mouth waters with just enough sweetness to make this a tasty thing. I’d say that, for the first time, this wine has transitioned from ‘impressive but too young’ to some semblance of enjoyable drinkability – very good!
Rebuy – Yes

tastevinage – version 100

The images for this post were stolen from the website of www.tastevinage.fr.

Next week I’ll be attending the 100th edition of Tastevinage tasting in the Château du Clos de Vougeot – as a little background, here’s what I previously learned and wrote about the Tastevinage tastings.

The twice-yearly tastings have been organized since 1950, but for the 100th edition, the organisers are trying add a little extra interest for the millennial generation.

The underlying question “Would you recommend this burgundy to a friend?” remains unchanged, but there is a more ‘modern’ approach to the labeling, and instead of the usual Coups de Coeurs – i.e. the wines liked unanimously by the table of tasters – will henceforth become, more internationally, the Majors – “And their should be not much more than 25 per session” notes Arnaud Orsel of the organising committee.

So, on the face of it, just a little tinkering – as the concept seems to work well in practice. The most interesting ‘change’ will be novel new tasting glasses – apparently specially designed for the tasting of burgundy wines – specially to cover both the reds, whites and crémants that are part of this tasting. You will even be able to buy the glasses at the shop in the Château du Clos de Vougeot – I’ll report back on what I think of them.

And, perhaps, in a nod to the general market aspirations of Burgundy, Jeannie Cho Lee will be the president of the day for this tasting number 100.

lafon’s 1992 monthelie les duresses

1992 Comtes Lafon, Monthelie 1er Les Duresses
The last bottle was corked, but this is fine – unfortunately it’s my last.
A wide, fresh and open nose with a depth of faintly spiced raspberry. The palate starts narrow – and like the nose, fresh. After a fine set of 1997 grand crus over the last few days this seems rather meager but slowly the wine opens, still with a little tannin holding on. A nice line of flavour that slowly melts in a mouth-watering finish with just enough sweetness. A very good wine for a modest, 25 year-old vintage! Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2017 harvest – 19 september

99.9% of the harvesting is now over, only the late finishers of the Côte de Nuits (and maybe Hautes Côtes!) such as Damoy, Ponsot and Grivot seem to be unfinished. Even Marko de Morey finished his harvesting yesterday – surviving a weekend bout of a sore throat and heavy head-cold – so didn’t join us for breakfast on Sunday! The weather wasn’t particularly great at the weekend, but is set fair and quite cool this week – perfect for those who are finishing off.

To confirm previous discussions, wines – red and white – seem to have pHs of about 3.2-3.3 with normal, roughly equal, quantities of tartaric and malic acids this year. This is fine for the reds, if rather more modest (pH) for whites.

I have this in my mailbox from the people at Interbeaujolais – bigging-up their 2017 harvest:

The harvest ends in the Beaujolais, the focus moving from the vineyards to the cellars.
“The highlight of the harvest took place the first fortnight of September an ideal time for the winemaker. 2017 will remain a year strongly influenced by the hazards of the weather. A little spring frost, violent hailstorms in early summer, and fairly widespread drought conditions.

In the areas most affected by water stress a ‘saving’ rain just before the harvest allowed the grapes to recover the freshness that was missing for optimal maturity, allowing the Gamay can express its fruity and aromatic potential. There were no disease pressures in 2017, only a lack of water, the state of health was perfect and the grapes of very high quality – they were concentrated, with a nice acid balance – the thick and firm skins, shot berries and low juice proportions being the guarantors of a good concentration.

The first tastings reveal wines perfectly balanced between acidity, fruit and tannins. The roots had to dig deeper into the soil to feed, and it seems that the remarkable terroirs still express better than usual. While it is still early to qualify precisely, the 2017 vintage looks in any case of great quality. The volumes, as unfortunately in many other French vineyards, will be low.”
Source: Inter Beaujolais Press Office

marko de morey’s côte de nuits harvest gallery – day 7

Nuits St.Georges:

weekend wines – week 37 2017

Some great wines – nearly all 1997s – but that’s the start for a write-up about the 1997 reds – 20 years on – to be published in my September report. But there was a lovely Ampeau too!

1995 Robert Ampeau, Meursault 1er La Piece Sous la Bois
The nose is deep and slightly toasty, perhaps even still a suggestion of reduction together with an attractive sweetness. The finishing notes have a similar salty sweetness. Wide, melting flavor – not incisive, not mineral – or hardly – but simply delicious wine that I’d never have guessed to be a 1995. Very yum!
Rebuy – Yes

marko de morey’s côte de nuits harvest gallery – days 5 + 6

marko de morey’s côte de nuits harvest gallery – days 2+3+4

2017 harvest – 15 september

Nuits St.Georges – almost a double rainbow 5 minutes later…

Today was more like April – despite a dry forecast – the showers came blustery and sometimes heavy. There was even hail at lunchtime at Gevrey rail-station – but the localised nature of these squalls seems to have completely missed the Route des Grands Crus. A quick coffee in Gevrey (with Huguette!) and then we took the vineyard road as far as Vosne-Romanée before the route nationale back to Beaune.

Yesterday there was almost no-one in the vines – there weren’t many today, but first we met a small team from Henri Rebourseau who were picking Mazis-Chambertin. A little further down the road, on the other side were a team from Pierre Damoy who were bringing in some Chapelle-Chambertin. Further down the hillside in Charmes-Chambertin was another team – but I decided not to slide down the wet grass bank to ask who!

Approaching the invisible boundary with Morey St.Denis there was the smallest team I’ve seen – two people! – in Latricières-Chambertin – from Chantal Remy in Morey. They said that they would probably be finishing their harvest on Sunday. The team seemed to be mainly cleaning at Domaine Ponsot – apparently they will finish in a little less than one week – they are still waiting for the maturity in Monts Luisants and their Clos de la Roche. At Taupenot-Merme are close to finishing their harvest, a little aligoté passing over the triage table was one of their last vineyards to be picked.

Onwards towards Vosne-Romanée and up a side ‘street’ a team was getting involved in some Echézeaux picking – this was Domaine Grivot – and they have at least another 5 days of harvesting to go. Then onwards through the rainbow back to Beaune!

And for a little fun – do you want to see how much work Thibault Liger-Belair’s team put into their Richebourg? Hand-destemming every grape…

marko de morey’s côte de nuits harvest gallery – days 1 + 2

marko de morey – arrival day plus day 1 – côte de nuits harvest…

Our man in Morey is fully on-station this year, unfortunately his James Bond supply of electronics has let him down. But his camera is working, if unfortunately sans commentary this year.

Photos from 05+06 September:

Page 10 of 270« First...89101112...203040...Last »