Why Big Red Diary?

burgundian wine theatre…

 Pic taken at the weekend…

There’s more than a touch of theatre to the (work in progress) new cuverie of JC Boisset in Nuits St.Georges. It’s not going to be ready for this year’s harvest – but that’s probably just as well given the low yields in 2016 – Can’t you hear the obvious conversation that would ensue?

“Why did we make is so big?”

a few wines from the château de meursault

DSC00846A chance weekend tasting 😉
Whilst the local pricing is rather high, these wines really do have more than a pretension to be high-value wines these days…

2013 Beaune 1er Les Grèves
Optical sorting with 3 different cameras, foudres too since 2013
A really super depth of aroma – clearly edged with oak notes, but this nose is really inviting. Good volume in the mouth, fresh fruit, lots of complexity too. This is very tasty, the oak component is not too overt and seems quite attractive here.

2013 Pommard 1er Clos des Epenots
A more obvious floral aroma, pretty, though cushioned red fruit. Layered, complex, very faintly salted – I find this very much more elegant and gorgeously tasting than the Beaune. A long line of flavour, faintly herbed, but fabulous!

2013 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
‘The only plot in Volnay where you will find white marl – something much more common in the Côte de Nuits’ – says our host…
A deep nose of dark red fruit, faintly herbed. Lovely mouth-feel – there is a tannin that you can chew, almost, but velvet and no dryness. A wine of more volume than the Epenots, but super, super in the mouth.

2013 Corton
A faintly smoky-fruited nose, but there are no stems. Pure silk – hmmmm… This has fine freshness and a cushioned delivery of flavour. Really not the most powerful of Cortons and rounder rather than direct and sinewy – but really something to appreciate in the glass. More mineral and faintly saline in the finish. Super stuff to drink, already!


2014 Bourgogne Clos du Château
From the vines planted in the front ‘garden’ of the Château.
A discreet nose, rounded. Fresh, direct, round – a growing complexity with a slowly growing mouth-watering aspect. A sneakily good wine.

2014 Meursault 1er Charmes
A wide fresh, not super-powerful nose, but I find the width super. Hmm, layered, growing in volume. Just a great wine. Some tightness but really a rather haunting length – just a brilliant wine in the making.

2012 Meursault 1er Perrières
A bigger, rounder nose, accented with a faint barrel vanilla. Big, clearly mineral, layered and complex – honestly I’d like just a hint more acidity, but that won’t matter at all in a couple more years.

2013 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Canet
A lovely bright bouquet of fresh yellow citrus. Silky, mineral, very silky – this is lovely. What a super and elegant wine. Excellent!

legal: don’t speak to him…

It is said in Nuits that the people of Maison Ilan or their legal representatives have contacted suppliers, warning them not speak to the journalist inquiring about Mr. Walker’s woes – apparently with “discrete but obvious legal threats…

I assume that those representatives no-longer want grape business from their previous suppliers, hence, 2015 would effectively be the last grapes ‘bought’ by Maison Ilan…

move over drc – for expensive bouchard père…

bpf-1865You didn’t think that I’d let this slip by eh?

I may have previously mentioned that I bought wine at the last ex-cellars sale of Bouchard Père et Fils wines, in that particular case from Sothebys. At the weekend there was another sale, again featuring ex-cellars wines, but this time it was Christies with the gavel, and just for good measure, the venue Hong Kong, not London.

Of-course it was the impeccably stored 19th-century bottles that took the honours – no less than the 1865 Chambertin, re-corked in 1991 – a snip at USD 39,661. And that’s despite the sale catalogue having to resort to a tasting note dated 1995!

I note that on a per-bottle level, this was easily the most expensive bottle in the sale – and that despite the presence of plenty of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s best…

a little pre-harvesting change of scene…

Breakfast at 2,350 metres on the Niesen – and a great breakfast too vs most in the Swiss Alps.

offer of the day – leroy…

Or maybe that should be offer of the millennium?

It would set you back a mere $43,400 for one each of these wines – a little over $800 as an average bottle price – clearly a bagatelle for some, though on the other hand, probably enough to fit wells and sanitation to a number of sub-Saharan villages. You pays your money…

Red Burgundy
2013 Domaine Leroy Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (750ml) $2,375.00  (US Dollars)
2013 Domaine Leroy Clos de la Roche Grand Cru (750ml) $2,650.00 
2013 Domaine Leroy Nuits St Georges Aux Bas de Combe (750ml) $555.00 
2013 Domaine Leroy Nuits St Georges Aux Lavieres A.C. (750ml) $555.00 
2013 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots (750ml) $555.00 
2013 Domaine Leroy Richebourg Grand Cru (750ml) $2,800.00 
2013 Domaine Leroy Romanee St Vivant Grand Cru (750ml) $2,700.00 
2013 Domaine Leroy Savigny Les Beaune Les Narbantons 1er Cru (750ml) $925.00 
2013 Domaine Leroy Volnay Santenots Du Milieu 1er Cru (750ml) $925.00 
2013 Domaine Leroy Vosne Romanee Les Beaumonts 1er Cru (750ml) $975.00 

2012 Domaine Leroy Vosne Romanee Aux Genevrieres (750ml) $825.00 
2012 Domaine Leroy Vosne Romanee Les Beaux Monts VV 1er Cru (750ml) $1,375.00

2011 Domaine Leroy Latricieres Chambertin Grand Cru (750ml) $1,950.00 
2011 Domaine Leroy Nuits St Georges Aux Bas de Combe (750ml) $550.00 
2011 Domaine Leroy Nuits St Georges Aux Boudots 1er Cru (750ml) $850.00 
2011 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots (750ml) Qty3 $580.00 
2011 Domaine Leroy Savigny Les Beaune Les Narbantons 1er Cru (750ml) $800.00 

2010 Maison Leroy Cote de Beaune Villages A.C. (750ml) $130.00

2009 Domaine Leroy Nuits St Georges Aux Lavieres A.C. (750ml) $555.00 
2009 Domaine Leroy Romanee St Vivant Grand Cru (750ml) $2,950.00 
2009 Domaine Leroy Savigny Les Beaune Les Narbantons 1er Cru (750ml) $825.00 

2009 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Rouge (750ml) $63.00 
2009 Maison Leroy Gevrey Chambertin A.C. (750ml) $405.00 
2009 Maison Leroy Pernand Vergelesses A.C. (750ml) $155.00 
2009 Maison Leroy Santenay A.C. (750ml) $100.00 
2009 Maison Leroy Vosne Romanee A.C. (750ml) $425.00 

2007 Domaine Leroy Nuits St Georges Aux Allots 1er Cru (750ml) $425.00

2006 Maison Leroy Pommard 1er Cru (750ml) $510.00

2005 Maison Leroy Beaune Belissand 1er Cru (750ml) $425.00 

2000 Domaine Leroy Chambolle Musigny Les Charmes 1er Cru (750ml) $650.00 
2000 Domaine Leroy Chambolle Musigny Les Fremieres (750ml) $650.00 
2000 Domaine Leroy Nuits St Georges Aux Allots (750ml) $425.00 
2000 Domaine Leroy Nuits St Georges Aux Bas de Combe (750ml) $725.00 
2000 Domaine Leroy Nuits St Georges Aux Boudots 1er Cru (750ml) $725.00 
2000 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots (750ml) $400.00 

1996 Domaine Leroy Volnay Santenots (750ml) $765.00

1995 Domaine Leroy Savigny Les Beaune Les Narbantons 1er Cru (750ml) $440.00 

White Burgundy
2011 Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Aligote A.C. (750ml) Qty17 $95.00 
2011 Domaine d’Auvenay Lalou Bize-Leroy Auxey Duresses Clous (750ml) $645.00 
2011 Domaine d’Auvenay Lalou Bize-Leroy Bourgogne Aligote A.C. (750ml) $2,016.00 
2011 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Aligote A.C. (750ml)$65.00 
2011 Maison Leroy Meursault Blagny 1er Cru (750ml) $162.00 
2011 Domaine d’Auvenay Lalou Bize-Leroy Meursault Les Narvaux A.C. (750ml) $1,100.00

2010 Maison Leroy Chassagne Montrachet Morgeot 1er Cru (750ml) $240.00

2009 Maison Leroy Auxey Duresses A.C. (750ml) $185.00 
2009 Maison Leroy Meursault Perrieres 1er Cru (750ml) $330.00 
2009 Maison Leroy Puligny Montrachet Sous le Puits 1er Cru (750ml) $255.00

2008 Maison Leroy Chassagne Montrachet Les Embrazees 1er Cru (750ml) $270.00 

2007 Domaine Leroy Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru (750ml) $2,350.00

2002 Domaine d’Auvenay Lalou Bize-Leroy Auxey Duresses A.C. (750ml) $600.00 
2002 Domaine d’Auvenay Lalou Bize-Leroy Meursault Les Narvaux A.C. (750ml) $1,025.00 

1983 Maison Leroy Auxey Duresses A.C. (750ml) $400.00

weekend wines – week 34

Quite a ‘classical’ weekend selection:

More concise reflections/recollections than full tasting notes:

The Faiveley 2000 Mazis-Chambertin wore a normal Faiveley label to the front, but a Tastevinage label to the rear. This opened up very slowly from an ultra-discreet start to something that opened out ever-wider on the palate. Not an amazingly complex wine, and not a hairy-chested Mazis either – but really a tasty and surprisingly elegant one – even the sediment was tasty 🙂
Next up, the 2007 Clos des Epeneaux – decanted! This started as typical direct, sinewy Clos des Epeneaux – typically unyielding. About 30+ minutes in the decanter and it was starting to become more friendly and certainly more interesting.
Similarly the 2007 Forge de Tart was also decanted – in this case to aerate and hopefully reduce aromatic and flavour aspects imparted by the wood elevage. It needed at least 30 minutes to have some effect, but I must say that, eventually, this was my favourite wine of three – really a fine and complex nose, a wine of power and enjoyment. Yum!

boisset’s turn of the screw (cap)…

DSC00873I don’t consider myself to be an ultra-classicist, actually I really don’t know what to call myself, but (not so) secretly I’d prefer my whites to be sealed with DIAM these days – not having personally experienced a bad bottle. The producers will tell you that the best corks produce the best bottles, but frankly that’s fine for them to say, if they are opening dozens of bottles each day – but most consumers have perhaps one chance per week to open something good. I understand that screw-caps can also be good, but it’s not often I get the evidence in my hand – like today.

I know it’s personally galling for the winemaker that the market for wines sealed like this consists of just a few countries – the rest have no interest. In my conversations with him he says that he’s still never experienced a ‘tired‘ bottle sealed in this way by him.

2007 JC Boisset, Savigny-lès-Beaune
A simple villages, if from a great year. At about nine years-old this tastes more like 4 or 5 – apparently this is the most permeable membrane for the Stelvin Luxe seal of that (2008) time. Frankly you won’t taste better Savigny blanc, villages Savigny blanc at that!
Still a medium lemon yellow, with just the merest suggestion of gold. A little cushioning and flowers on the nose. Fine acidity and cushioned texture – less direct (acidity) than most villages wines in this vintage. The intensity comes to a fine point just before you swallow. Just a super wine, perfectly aging – yum!
Rebuy – Yes

a little weekend imagery…

The mid-afternoon heat was quite oppressive this weekend – about 37°C’s worth – but the views were good!

a few chartron 2014s…


An impromptu visit chez Chartron at the weekend in Puligny. Much is already sold out from 2014, what remains is thoroughly drinkable too! One bottle of 2014 Montrachet remains, but for €650 we didn’t open that one 🙂

2014 Rully Montmorans
Open, fresh, an attractive nose. Here is a lovely citrus intensity and a suggestion of salinity. Fine personality. A faint, but still attractive metallic taste in the finish – and it’s also very long – delicious.

2014 Saint Aubin 1er Les Murgers des Dents de Chien
Fresh, but with a more intense, riper lemon. More intense still, more energy, still a fine lift of energy. Really a much longer finish – this is really super wine – bravo!

I’m thinking, given their cheese content, that these bottles may have been open a day or two longer than the first ones:

2014 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Benoîtes
Certainly a fresh nose but seems cheesy to start – then it’s gone. Hmm, this is certainly a richer, but fine and fresh-flavoured – coconut perhaps in the finish. This is very tasty wine but with a more obvious oak than the chien – though only in the finish… this not only tastes great, despite its oaky impression, I can drink this very easily too…!

2014 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières
The nose starts with a hint of cheese, like the Chassagne – but becomes more perfumed as you swirl – definitely gets nicer with glass-motion. More concentrated, penetrating flavour, agrumes, mouth-watering flavour. An intensity on the good side of painful – fine indeed!

2hl/ha? it ain’t half hot mum!

 Beaune, 21h00 tonight

This morning really reminded me of 2015 – getting the gardening done before 10am – before the temperatures got too high.

Late afternoon Beaune sweltered in 37°C – long live aircon I say, having travelled 4 hours from Bern!

Despite this week’s similarity to 2015, this time last year the Côte d’Or whites had already been largely harvested, fewer growers were in the reds, but the equivalent of next week was (red) D-Day for most producers. This year, I don’t expect much to happen before the 20th September, maybe closer to the 26th…

But what are they going to pick? The Côte de Nuits is not THAT bad, but I spoke to David Croix today, who this week was back from two weeks of holiday. “Well, we did quite the most thorough evaluation of the grapes in the Domaine des Croix vineyards that I’ve ever done, it it doesn’t look good. The average was less than one cluster per vine – about 2-3 hectolitres per hectare. I might be a little out and could be surprised and get 5 – but I won’t be getting 15. And we thought that 2012-2015 was bad! Okay this year we pruned late and had a lot of weeds in the vines – that seemed to exacerbate the effect of the frost. I might make 10 barrels this year” How many do you usually make? – was the obvious question – “oh, about 100…”

On that note, maybe it’s better to concentrate on the pretty sky this evening!

a mid-week pair, gueguen and bichot…


Two lovely mid-week wines, both eminently ‘recommendable’ but the Gueguen comes first on a scale of absolute deliciousness!

2014 Gueguen, Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Chardonnay
A pale lemon-yellow colour. It’s a fresh nose, and honestly, if I told you it was a nice crisp Chablis with a hint of salinity and some citrus fruit – you would believe me. Bright, pretty citrus, mouth-watering with that sweetness and (in this case a modest) minerality that I associate with Chablis. Modest in length but so über-tasty. Deliciously perfect Summer wine – really!
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Albert Bichot, Beaune 1er Champimonts
Cold from the fridge, there’s more than a suggestion of vanilla to these aromatics, but as it warms, those barrel notes disappear completely – what remains is a lovely, dark, sour-cherry impression, padded with faint violet notes – nice! This rolls over the tongue in fine fashion – like the nose, the fruit offers an attractive sour-cherry character, freshness and a nicely delivered acidity that welds flavour to your gums in the finish. Really tasty and really attractive wine as it comes to its 10th birthday – no rush either, this is still a baby! Excellent.
Rebuy – Yes

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