Why Big Red Diary?

aoc beaujolais – still a bit of a mess…

Although Beaujolais producers have had the right label their wines Burgundy since 1937, it has long been a source of dispute between the two regions. Burgundy wine makers have been campaigning for tighter restrictions, particularly with the production of white wine.
Decanter News

BUrgundy and Beajolais continue their legal separation: Beaujolais (the former ‘Rhone’ part) has not counted as a ‘part’ of Burgundy for a couple of years now; yet the confusion continues. If they wanted a halfway-house, then why not (only) Bourgogne-Gamay(?) Of-course it works for the reds, but then there is still the problem of the whites…

Essentially, the solution is simple; Beaujolais is part of Burgundy so can use the label Bourgogne X, or it is not part of Burgundy so will have to use the label Beaujolais X.

Naturally enough, the ‘simple’ approach trashes generations of use and could impact the livelihood of some producers – either way, I still feel it a better approach that the current ‘intermediate’ (indeterminate!) approach.

a few site updates…

I must admit that after nearly nine years, this site is getting hard to keep up with – there are many pages, begun with the best of intentions, that need maintaining. Three I finally got around to are the following:

Discovering Burgundy:

Actually that last one was more like copying, pasting and slightly tidying the list that I put together about 2004-2005 – a few things have moved on since then! If you see some new producer websites, feel free to let me know – or comment on that specific page.


2005 potinet-ampeau volnay 1er carelles sous la chapelle


Doesn’t this wine have just the prettiest name?

2005 Potinet-Ampeau, Volnay 1er Les Carelles sous la Chapelle
Deep color. The nose starts with very little, but bit-by-bit opens with fruit that’s very 05; intense, certainly ripe but still pure, uncooked fruit – it’s very nice. Mouth-filling but without obvious puffery, just intense, clean and lithe muscle. Good finish – open and captivating. Yum.
Rebuy – Yes

last pics from saturday…

From Nuits and Seurre…

more pics from Friday and Saturday…

A few pics in and around Meursault, Beaune and Premeaux…

a short beak in the côtes…

When I last drove to the Côtes – about 4-5 weeks ago – the sunflowers in the fields were just bowing their heads, now they are blackened and need harvesting. If the sunflowers have lost their beauty, to balance, the Côtes are resplendent; 26°C+ every day (for a few days already) and more to come.

Frankly I’ve never seen the vines and scenery so picturesque – such a shame then that in the last two days I’ve had so little time for photos, but hopefully I can make amends tomorrow…

Just a few snaps:

jean-claude bachelet 2008 puligny-montrachet…


This wine followed a Gilles Bouton 2009 St.Aubin 1er, Dents du Chien – and was clearly a better wine despite the premier cru label of the former – but it costs twice as much, so that’s fair I suppose…

2008 Jean-Claude Bachelet, Puligny-Montrachet
Medium yellow. The nose is fresh though with a ripe slab of yellow fruit at the centre-stage. In the mouth this has a slghtly oily, fat texture – absolutely not a negative with such a buffer of very good acidity. There is understated power and a very good energy, particularly I like the gooseberry flavoured finish. Fine Puligny villages.
Rebuy – Yes

thomas morey 2008 santenay 1er grand clos rousseau


2008 Thomas Morey, Santenay 1er Cru Grand Clos Rousseau
Deep colour. Forward red and black cherry – shaded towards black with some background herb. In the mouth there’s balance but ebullience too. Plenty of punchy fruit-led flavour – again a dark shade of red – but far from rustic. Juicy, nice acidity. I must confess, a bottle that was finished rather quickly. Fine value wine here.
Rebuy – Yes

tollot-beaut 2008 savigny 1er les lavières…


This is a wine that I (unfortunately) often forget about; but every time I return I am reminded that I should have bought more.

2008 Tollot-Beaut, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Lavières
After the Bachelet, here is also some oak, but rather than a smothering sweetness, it’s delivered with a spicy element that is more than amply buffered by a growing, crooning floral aromatic – perfect violets. The last drops in the glass offer a beautiful ‘come-hither’ red fruit. In the mouth there is sweetness, but the acidity urges you into the mid-palate where you have the impression that the wines bursts further into life. Long with a mineral end-note. I might buy a magnum or two for rainy day – if I’m not too late!
Rebuy – Yes

harvest – nicolas rossignol (volnay)

A vintage summary and some nice pics from Nicolas Rossignol:

Many pictures and stories !

A tricky vintage in all the world , a winemaker from NZ came to work with me and he told me hard vintage in NZ this year, see the best and the worst !

As in france !

I spent time with Olivier Lamy, Thomas Bouley and Davis Croix in the vineyard before harvest, to taste our grappes, to decide when to start, and we saw the grapes of some neighbours …. not the same vintage for everybody, for people how worked hard in the vineyard vintage will be easy, beautifull small grappes, small berries, black and blue, ripe ( even with a low level of sugar, 11.5 12 % no more ) perfectly healthy, that’s why i used so much whole bunch ! With pommard fremiers and volnay chevret 100% ! , no more than 5 % rot in the worst vineyard ! when some people said 15 20% and pink grapes!
At the end: dark colors, lot of nice fruits, élégant tanins, really charming wines, not for a long keeping but very well balanced, and like each time good estate gonna make very good wines for the others it’s gonna be very hard !


2008 jean-claude bachelet st.aubin 1er derrière la tour


This domaine gets a lot of good press, though from what I’ve seen it’s for their whites – let’s see what a red looks like…

2008 Jean-Claude Bachelet, St.Aubin 1er Derrière la Tour
The nose starts with quite a lot of sweet toasty oak, eventually there’s a higher toned sweetness that’s not particularly oak-based. Given time (totally blind) I could be convinced by the aromas that this a white wine, with a Meursault-style gingerbread note in evidence. In the mouth the first impression is of a rather thin wine but there is quite some intensity welling up. Good acidity with a faintly sweet medium finish. In the end this is a very tasty drop, but also a highly stylised drop of wine that talks of barrels, not of St.Aubin – it could be from anywhere – well not quite anywhere but you get my drift; all of which leaves me disappointed.
Rebuy – No

corks – gone to the dogs…

From the American kennel Club Gazette (no-less!):


Page 142 of 270« First...102030...140141142143144...150160170...Last »