Why Big Red Diary?


Half a billion dollars of fake wine are ‘out there somewhere.’ And that’s only Rudy Kurniawan’s contribution to the pot!

Really an important topic for us all…

sporting deadlines

WP_20151109_14_34_41_ProAmazingly (sounds like a well-worn record…) today’s the second consecutive day for shorts and a T-shirt whilst out jogging. The last time was probably in September.

Report deadlines are not the only ones in Beaune just recently, there was also the entry for next Saturday’s Beaune 1/2 marathon last week, the day after which, something ‘popped’ in my hamstring after 85 minutes of a 90 minute run – humph! Yesterday, it was only problematic after 45 minutes of running, requiring to be stretched every 5 minutes to avoid any potential for exploding. I’m currently working on the strategy of lots of stretching, anti-inflammatorys, and that’s about it. Oh and there was some Latricières-Chambertin too – I’m sure that will help, despite being from 2004 😉

Truth be told, the hamstring’s never properly recovered since it popped during a race almost 2 years ago – that’s old age I suppose – I can go ‘forever’ at 5 minutes per km (8 minutes/mile), but wind it down to 4 mins/km and something shouts ‘stop!’ I’d love to run 1h35 on Saturday, but probably won’t finish the race (unlike the Latricières) if I go for that pace. Hmm – who wants to run 1h45 anyway? – I guess I’ll just run faster and see how long it takes to break…

côte dijonnaise…

An addition to the glossary:

#cote-dijonnaise :
“…At the end of the 1600s, there were over 300 vignerons in Dijon, mainly centred in an area called Saint-Philibert (now called Condorcet). When last measured before the onset of phylloxera (late 1800s), there were 1,200 hecares of vines…”

are sommeliers really responsible for global warming?


Weekend bottles: My first thought when I picked up the Jadot was ‘Wow! That’s heavy.’

For my second thought, ‘wow’ had already been replaced by sorrow for the people who have to deliver these wines into retailers and cellars. The bottle of the Bouchard wine is maybe less than half the weight, and certainly of less ‘thick’ glass, I assume, or at least hope, that this is out of their respect for the environment, a wish for modest use of raw materials, or indeed Bouchard’s general wish to keep their CO2 burden of modest proportions. Even Bouchard’s Montrachet is similarly modestly packaged. Jadot, on the other hand are moving in the other direction – more and more of their ‘labels’ are beginning to receive the ‘luxury packaging’ attention.

And that’s the thing; burgundy, as the prices have spiraled, has apparently become a luxury item, so evidently ‘requires’ luxury packaging.

Is the world falling into environmental chaos, simply because marketing departments in Beaune want bottles that weight one kilogram, or more, before there’s actually any wine in said bottle? Why is everyone heading in the direction of these ‘sommelier’ bottles? That’s what everyone here calls them – ‘sommelier bottles’ – wait, it’s not the marketers of Beaune that are sending us into hail, flooding, and damnation by the fire of global climate change – it’s the sommeliers!!! And it seems that it’s their own personal fetish; people at table only get shown the bottles, they don’t get to handle them…

2013 Domaine des Heritiers Louis Jadot, Beaune 1er Clos des Ursules
Once a little bit of warm-up weights was completed and I had a small sheen of sweat, I knew that I was (eventually) ready to try to lift this bottle from its case. A wide, fresh and complex palate of aromas, if, initially, rather tight. Slowly, an elegant and pretty red fruit note starts to show amongst the oak spice. Over the tongue there’s weight and an impression of volume. Wood tannin is all around, coating the flavours, but with only a hint of textural drag. Fine finishing fruit flavour, of really brilliant complexity – super! – once it eventually works its way through the slowly melting wood tannin. Such a baby, today it’s clearly a less than modestly oaked wine, but one with excellent potential. Past precedent shows this wine comes around fabulously – the 2000 has already been a super drink for a few years, and the 1993 is now approaching 7th heaven…
Rebuy – Yes

2013 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils, Meursault 1er Les Genevrières
A wide and faintly ginger-spiced nose, though underneath there’s a discreet note of reduction too. Slowly the nose opens with more and more sweetness. A large, modestly opulent texture but showing good acidity and a ginger-infused mid-palate flavour of utter deliciousness. Very yum!
Rebuy – Yes

the perfect late-summer weekend (in november!)


Well, it almost seems to be getting silly.

It was a couple of degrees cooler today, but still almost nudging 20°C. For virtually the first time since we were harvesting the 2015s, out came my (long) shorts, and the air-con flickered into life in the car. You expect the reality of the season to show when you walk into the shade and the breeze – but none of it. Perfect late-summer weather on the 8th of November!

Today, touring in Meursault, Saint Aubin and Gamay:

‘super saturday’


Of-course, as it’s Saturday, the morning started in a very leisurely way; coffee and croissants – plus, for a change after this weeks misty weather, sun and blue sky! Friday afternoon the weather had turned warm – approaching 18 degrees, but today we topped out at about 22°C – the 5th of November too – it should be 5 or 6° – and wet!

Lunch at the Auberge du Vieux Vigneron in Corpeau – excellent – then a walking tour around Chassagne-Montrachet. There’s still nice colour in the vines, though they’ve lost 90% of their leaves – now it’s the ground-cover and the trees that are offering the colour contrasts.

Returning to Beaune I spotted a man and his horse below Criots Bâtard-Montrachet, only a village lieu-dit called Les Perclos, still on the Chassagne side. He was taking a lot of rests, so during one pause I asked: apparently the weeds/ground cover is very thick. Normally it would be dying off now, but as the summer was so dry and the last weeks relatively damp and warm, the ground cover is growing again. “Hard work for the horse, he’s not used to weather like this in November, in fact I’ve never ploughed like this in November before.

the producers of week 45…

A selection of producers from this weeks visiting schedule. It’s a very hectic time, but fun too…

1-burg 15

mist and happy fish

Saturday evening, Sunday day…

une samedi vivant…

Above Saturday’s fog of Beaune, a spectacular view and just a little ‘culture’ too…

le weekend, les wines…


2000 Nicolas Potel, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Peuillets
Ooh! This smells fine; deep, faintly musky, with warm leaves and an appealing sweetness. Fine texture on the tongue with a sweetness of mature red pinot fruit. I love Peuillets, having also collected the Camille Giroud version since the 04 vintage. This is too good for typing – I have to drink – sadly though, this is my last of these…
Rebuy – Yes

2013 Maison Harbour, Gevrey-Chambertin La Justice
Nicely packaged – hand numbered on the back-label and capped with a sturdy black wax top. The nose starts with a little reduction – perhaps no surprise given that it’s sealed with DIAM30. Give it air, and there’s a little white pepper over a hint of mineral and a tight but interesting dark fruit. Ample width with more than an implied weight, too. Very silky, with a bright, indeed pretty mid-palate fruit. Mouth-wateringly moreish. I drank this over two nights, and it was even better on the second night!
Rebuy – Yes

sunday – hospices plus pommard et meursault

bouchard’s 1994 cuvée carnot – drinking at last!


Who would of thought – One of my 1994s has come around!

1994 Bouchard Père, Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot
Well, normally these have both smelled and tasted rather ‘hard’ but here is a rather welcoming, sweet and warm aroma – slightly stewing fruit, but attractive all the same. In the mouth there a nice line of sweetly, mouth-watering flavour and certainly an overall maturity to the experience with modest energy too. I can honestly say that I’m enjoying this. There, I said it!
Rebuy – Maybe!

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