Why Big Red Diary?

Adventures in Burgundy, Lincoln Russell (2008)

lincoln-russell-burgundyA book that arrived in the post last week. I’ve seen it in the Athenium bookstore in Beaune, but otherwise I found it available only from the book’s own website and this is quite canny if you’re publishing yourself; you receive the full $50 per copy, not $5 or whatever you get from amazon while they discount it to $22! Of-course you are much harder to find without amazon…

This is a reasonably large size book, roughly the same size as ‘Remington Norman’s’ updated book – but its 168 pages are in landscape format versus Norman’s portrait. Matt, burgundy cloth covered, it’s only decoration is a wine-bottle styled label.

If it’s not obvious from the title, this is a book of Côte d’Or photos, shot over about 2 years – and what lovely photos they are too – you almost have a sense of getting under the skin of region.

As I normally moan about ‘forewards’, this book laughs in my face with a ‘foreward’, an ‘introduction’ and then an ‘afterword’ – but then it needs them as it is the only text – that the words are contributed by Aubert de Villaine, Allen Meadows and Guillaume d’Angerville lends them a certain gravitas.

There’s no getting away from it, this is a very pretty book but it is also a coffee table book. Given that my coffee-table remains clutter-free I find I don’t engage with such books enough. You spend many hours with a written book before consigning it to the bookshelf, photobooks are looked at only a few times before finding their place on the shelf; I don’t regret buying it, but personally get more value from a book with words.

1989 louis latour echézeaux


1989 Louis Latour, Echézeaux
The bottle is a heavy one – statement bottles are not just the current bling. The capsule spins and the cork comes out in almost 3 pieces – fortunately none into the bottle. On pouring there’s quite a mahogany caste to this wine, but it looks to retain a nice core of of clear red colour in the glass. The nose starts quite understatedly, a little sweet musk, low-level turned leaves – perhaps there’s something to be said for flash pasteurisation in killing the brett. Slightly thick texture, the acidity starts with a slighly harsh edge but I’m impressed by the burst of energy and flavour in the mid-palate. If I’m honest the acidity adds a touch of austerity rather than delivering a mortal wound, though I’m not convinced enough to splash the cash for the meaining bottle. The last third is consumed on day two and if not perfect, it’s just a little softened with a chocolate depth and it lingers well. I’d rebuy on day two…
Rebuy – Maybe

live links – dead links…

If anyone’s having problems – sorry.

The whole site was re-linked (with redirections) overnight. The site will be easier to manage but you might experince quite a lot of dead links if you’ve bookmarked any particular pages – just so you know. The NoteFinder is today’s biggest casualty – hopefully back later today…

l’arlot 1999 nuits 1er clos des fôrets st.georges

1999 l’Arlot, Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Fôrets St.Georges
The cork shows sign of some seepage. Medium-plus and quite young in colour. The nose is right from l’Arlot’s more gothic implementation of stems – it’s a bit harsh and imposing, not quite what I’d call perfume – there’s also a strong mineral element that veers towards, without ever quite matching, the vintage character of 2004. Aromatically it’s a mixed bag then. In the mouth it’s intense, brooding and shows very good acidity. The tannin only comes a little to the fore in the mid-palate and onwards. It’s also quite long finishing. There’s a little cohesion missing though the individual parts seem good – I don’t think I caught it on a good day….
Rebuy – Maybe

burgundy forum

Burgundy Forum is here.

I made a forum – I have to say, it was surprisingly painless to install.

What won’t be painless, and will most likely take at least a week of part-time fiddling, will be my attempts to make it look like it fits to the site, rather than some techie add-on.

Have fun, and note that there’s only one rule – be civil!

Domaine names?

I am warned from overseas today:

Following are all the domain names and internet Keyword which are submitted by Matua company:
1. Domain names:
2. Internet Keyword:

However, I can block them if I wish (it’s a small time window of-course) by buying them all myself…..

wow – erobertparker…

I just checked, but it’s not April 1st.

I considered it superfluous before – but let me know – should Burgundy-Report have it’s own forum? On second thoughts I might have to do more work – a lingering death for wine-bulletin boards? Well given the reach of that site, comment will now be all the poorer for erp members (subscribers); passing winemakers and ‘experts’ in general will no longer be able to contribute. Comment and info will certainly be diminshed for the subscribers by this, though perhaps other sites will be strengthened…

Please note that the Bulletin Board will be closed until Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at approximately 6:00 p.m. EDT in order to convert the forum to subscriber-only access. Please note the statement released by eRobertParker.com today:

—————– Back in November, 2001, we launched eRobertParker.com with the goal of creating the world’s best wine information site. Our objective was simple. We wanted to provide independent reviews of the best wines in the world and encourage open discussion of them to the benefit of the participants. Toward that end, we invited Mark Squires to bring his Wine Talk Bulletin Board over to the site and offered it openly and freely to all, subsidized by our subscription revenues. Virtually overnight the board became the Internet’s premier forum for wine discussion. It has grown dramatically in size and stature as the population of wine lovers grew. At the outset, we asked Mark to maintain his philosophy of insisting on real names and email addresses. This approach sought civilized, non-commercial discussion of wine. Over the years the Internet and the board have changed. Supervising the huge volume of posts has become increasingly time consuming and expensive. At the same time, we’ve noted that the subscriber-only forums we created some time back are increasingly popular and much easier to manage. Moreover, we’re committed to providing even more functionality and greater coverage of wines for our subscribers in the near future. This will require us to spend wisely. We are a small company with limited resources and, after months of deliberation, we’ve come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of the people who count most – our subscribers – that we change our policy with regard to the bulletin board. On April 27, the entire Mark Squires’ Bulletin Board on eRobertParker.com will become a subscriber-only forum, open only to subscribers of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate or eRobertParker.com. A notice to our print subscribers on how to continue/gain access to the subscriber-only board was sent with the April print edition. Once an eRobertParker.com subscriber is logged onto the site they can access the BB but they must logon to it in order to post. Change is always difficult but, like this action, often necessary. We are sorry to say goodbye to those posters to Mark Squires’ Bulletin Board who are not subscribers, and who have made valuable contributions. We will miss you, but our overwhelming goal is more focused support and assistance to our subscribers, who are our bloodline of support and make all the fascinating features of the bulletin board possible. We look forward to better serving our loyal subscribers through a more focused effort on them. As always, we wish each and every one of you all the best in wine and life.

Maybe it’s back to the paywall debate or perhaps the erp winos were just too tough to handle. Anyway wasn’t it clever of them to shut everything without warning, so that I can’t delete all my old posts!

jean raphet 1999 chambertin clos de bèze


I decided to buy the last bottles at the shop before publishing this, shame there were only 2 left! If I were you I wouldn’t believe the winesearcher result for switzerland for the next few days 😉

This wine is not yet the ‘full package’, but in terms of aroma and texture, coupled to no flaws, this is easily the most compelling wine I’ve drunk at home so-far this year!

1999 Jean Raphet, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
Medium-plus colour. The nose is a precocious and heady mix of sweet dark red and black fruits covered by a heavy floral scent; what’s the word I’m looking for(?) – ah yes – Gorgeous! It becomes a pure beacon of blackcurrant as some other great 99s show. Silky smooth with a hint of fat – there is real executive texture here. No fireworks, this 99 is restrained and linear right the way into the mineral / fruit with a creamy undertow finish. Subtle but very, very long. Wow, where have you been all my life Jean Raphet(?) Despite how friendly it is, clearly the palate is just a little tight yet there is ample material here for the future – such a shame there were only 2 more.
Rebuy – Yes

2002 pousse d’or volnay 1er clos des 60 ouvrées


2002 La Pousse d’Or, Volnay 1er Clos des 60 Ouvrées
Medium, medium-plus colour but quite an amber caste – I wonder how this has been stored. The fruit has a pronounced jammy aroma and some dried cranberry, eventually widening to give a dark cherry and some dark minerality at the core. Sweet in the mouth and there’s fine texture, too – the acidity has a slightly bitter prominence, but not enough to make you wince or regret the next sip. Actually it drinks very well. I have the feeling that it might have been stored at a high-ish temp at some stage during its lifetime, but it clearly survived the trip to all the way to the bottle-bank…
Rebuy – Yes

fooey fuées!

Lots of Chambolle 1er Les Fuées with Jacky Rigaux last night – while the site was looking a bit odd after the server change – if odd for half a day is all I have to put up with, that’s fine!

Back to the Fuées; when I say lots, it was ‘only’ ten wines. If I add a few more it could be the basis of (okay, I’ll say it before you do – the ‘padding’ for) a vineyard profile – hmm – perhaps in the Autumn Burgundy Report, Summer is already booked 😉 Of note, there were 2 wines from the 2004 vintage and let me just say, you didn’t need sight of the label to guess the vintage!

hi-tech ponsot…

hoping the sky doesn’t fall in!

In the next few days the whole of this site will be moving to another server. I’m quite sure that this is a tried and tested process and that nothing can go wrong. That said, this is my last entry until all is done – 2 days, 3 days or the sky falling in – we will see.

Signing off – hopefully for a short time….

david clark 2006 bourgogne au pelson


Well, it’s not Musigny Vieilles Vignes, but it is very drinkable…

2006 David Clark, Bourgogne Au Pelson
Medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose has dark flashes of oak, suggestions but never any hard evidence of reduction and a very nice brambly dark fruit. Intense, very good fruit and a good villages-level of depth and complexity. Mouth-watering modestly in the finish. David delivers another superb bourgogne. He confided in me that maybe his 2007s were not so exciting as his 06s or 08s – I’m quite content to pay to find out. Stunning bourgogne and even better that the BGO…

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