Why Big Red Diary?

a quick peek at 1996 with the help of Grivot …


What can you learn from opening only two bottles – half bottles at that – and from the same producer too. Actually quite a bit I think, after the premier cru I decidied not to open a Clos de Vougeot! Okay, Grivot is not your average producer, but useful data (to me) all the same. That data says ‘wait’ but nothing to worry about. I guess I have to drink more from 2007-09 plus 70s stuff!

1996 Jean Grivot, Nuits St.Georges Les Lavières
Medium colour. The nose is wide and a little wild, perhaps a soupçon of brett? Maybe not, a clearer fruit note does come through, but there is plenty here that suggests a measure of aromatic maturity. If the nose hints at maturity, the palate less so; excellent acidity is the base of a taught and wiry aspect to this wine – quite narrow and primary in the mid-palate. I would say, despite the aromas, this needs at least another 3 years in the cellar for something equating to the first stage of marturity. That said – it is quite drinkable now – in this format.
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Jean Grivot, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Roncières
Medium-plus colour. The nose has a junior version of what I thought a hint bretty in the villages wine, but to be honest, I do like it at this low level where it seems more mineral. Well behind is a very dark red and black fruit bubbling under the horizon. After the villages, this is a big mouthful of wine – plenty of furry tannin, very good acidity and even more impressive intensity. It remains a little linear at the core, but the finish lingers well. Not surprisingly this seems less mature than the villages, but frankly today it is quite exciting and just as drinkable as the Lavières. I’m so glad that I have some ‘big’ bottles waiting too!
Rebuy – Yes

1978 henri royer-lebon pommard 1er pézerolles


Henri Royer-Lebon was a négoce business based in Beaune, but a great vintage and a good vineyard apparently is a good foil to lack of renown. So there you have it – forget its masculine name-tag BS and buy as much 2005 Pommard as you can find, then drink between 2035-2045 with your iPuppy and iGeisha. It seems that I’m already getting too old for this game, but hopefully the corks will last that long even if I don’t!

1978 Henri Royer-Lebon, Pommard 1er Pézerolles
Bright medium. medium-plus red mahogany colour. The nose is very clean, showing both width and depth, initially a depth of prune overlaid with strawberry preserve and a hint of chocolate – a great start. Lovely in the mouth, just slightly plush but borne on a carpet of fine acidity that really slides you through a mid-palate ‘pop’ of red fruit before prolonging a finish whose final note is of a bitter chocolate. Tannin can be found, but only if you chew long enough. Despite its silken grace this is a wine of minerality that is far from decline – it might still improve!
Rebuy – No Chance!

jancis on oak…

Interesting, but clearly the sub-editor didn’t realise that it went to print without the name on Grégory Patriat’s label!

offer of the day – louis jadot 2009…

DOMAINE LOUIS JADOT 2009 – Subscription

SAVIGNY-LES-BEAUNE La Dominode 2009 75cl 34.00 (Swiss francs)
BEAUNE Clos des Ursules Monopole 2009 75cl 54.00
BEAUNE Clos des Ursules Monopole 2009 150cl 113.00

CORTON Grèves 2009 75cl 78.00

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Boudots 200975cl 78.00
VOSNE-ROMANEE Les Beaux-Monts 2009 75cl 89.50
VOSNE-ROMANEE Les Suchots 2009 75cl 89.50
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Les Baudes 2009 75cl 79.50
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Les Amoureuses 2009 75cl 199.50
GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN Clos Saint-Jacques 2009 75cl 109.50

CLOS DE VOUGEOT 2009 75cl 109.50
ECHEZEAUX 2009 75cl 138.00
CLOS SAINT DENIS 2009 75cl 199.00
CHAMBERTIN Clos de Bèze 2009 75cl 249.00
BONNES-MARES 2009 75cl 229.00

Comment? Pricing is mess. Let us at least start from the basis that 2009 is a very good vintage, and work from there. Savigny pricing is not cheap but ‘reasonable’, likewise the pricing of their iconic Beaune monopole leaves little real scope for complaint. Overall, there is little I can complain about in their Côte de Beaune pricing.

Côte de Nuits – oops – let us not forget that this is a subscription offer, theoretically therefore with advantageous pricing. Their premier crus are rather expensive, I assume the ridiculous price for Amoureuses simply reflects what the market will pay – and I also assume that they anyway don’t have many barrels. More pertinent, can Bonnes-Mares and Bèze really be worth double the price of their Clos de Vougeot and Echézeaux – no, clearly not. Assuming those two lower priced grand crus are not completely rubbish, I can only assume it is their pricing policy which is rubbish!

very ‘umble…

…Mr. Engerer has been holding off on showing the Burgundy wines until now, because he wanted two years he was proud of to be bottled and ready for tasting. He brought the 2007, the first year he says he mastered, and the 2008 to Hong Kong…

I didn’t meet Mr Engerer when I visited Domaine d’Eugénie, Bordelaise über-klasse or not, I’m sure he was miss-quoted here 😉

(Hint; does that mean everyone who paid at least €150 per bottle of 2006 Grands-Echézeaux have bottles that Mr Engerer isn’t proud of…(?) Clearly a case of miss-quotation, probably!)

PS I see they have a shiny new website – or perhaps I should say webpage.

l & a lignier 2007 morey st.denis clos les sionnières


An enforced drinking holiday right now due to seasonal sniffles…

2007 L & A Lignier, Morey St.Denis Clos Les Sionnières
This is rather a meaty and powerful villages – for a 2007 anyway. Good, frank, red fruit aromas. On the palate it shows a nice acid balance plus good impact in the mid-palate. The tannins seem a hint rustic but that’s just part of the party. On day two the package is smoother if not quite meriting the label ‘refined’ – but who is searching for refinement in villages Morey? Day three a cold intervenes, but it seems smoother still.
Rebuy – Yes

2007 seigneurs de bligny gevrey-chambertin 1er clos du chapitre

2007 Seigneurs de Bligny, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos du Chapitre
Medium colour, just. The aromatics are open sweet and just a little simple – though there is some oak derived (coconut/vanilla) complexity. Forunately there is none of the rubber oak and reduction that the 2006 eventually blew off. Here is a nice, slightly plush mouthfeel, transient sweet red (strawberry mainly) fruit before a finish that reflects the nose, plenty of vanilla flavour. Let’s be clear that this fulfills it’s primary purpose – it’s a tasty wine – I’m sure it will also improve with time, but given its position across the road from the Clos St.Jacques, I really expect a lot more. Even in 2007 and even in such relative youth!
Rebuy – Maybe

1978 musigny – daniel moine-hudelot


It was a long hard week, so why not indulge a little?

1978 Daniel Moine-Hudelot, Musigny
Medium mahogany colour. The nose is full but round, a deep core of baked fruit coated with herbs, the fruit just gets fresher and fresher, eventually having a distinct rose-petal aroma. Silky but still a lick of bitter tannin waits in the mid-palate. There’s a lot of fruit here and it’s a big wine in the mid-palate. Good finish. Rather primary to start with, but if you’d been told blind it was from the 90s you’d believe it. Not a life-changing Musigny, but impressive given no lack of power and such a youthful display and, okay, perhaps maybe just a little beguiling.
Rebuy – No Chance

Domaine Moine-Hudelot was sold off in 2008 to Patrick Landanger of Domaine Pouse d’Or when Daniel Moine, former mayor of Chambolle-Musigny retired. The Musigny vines, however, were split (as far as I know) between domaines Leroy and Drouhin-Laroze.

wines of their vintages…


Been busy the last days but there’s still chance to look back at a few bottles, all of them showing their vintage roots. The Morey has the ripeness of the vintage but the acidity is good enough – I didn’t think the remnants of day two as good though. The Liger-Belair also bears the mark of its vintage, but that’s a different mark. Left open overnight, I was able to drink it on day two. The Corton, despite its 1997 vintage, still has that tight central core that is equally central to the wines of the hill, you could probably guess the vintage from the slightly diffuse chocolatey aromatics but there’s still enough material in the mouth to make old bones.

A couple of stories worth passing your way on a Sunday:

  1. Doing well that boy from Rhys
  2. Farmers in Pommard

ponsot/chézeaux 2008 clos st.denis tvv…


I decided I’d had enough of that old wine – time for some good new stuff 😉

2008 des Chézeaux (Ponsot), Clos St.Denis Très Vieilles Vignes
Ardea sealed and these things are frankly a pain in the arse to remove. Medium-plus purple-rimmed colour. The nose starts dense and unyielding but very quickly develops a dark macerating fruit aroma, then slowly evolves, adding dimension with beautiful high-toned berries – they take on an exquisite almost jellied dimension. I think I am in the presence of greatness – but before getting carried away, let’s taste. Silky, but it’s pure sinew and muscle, there’s not an ounce of fat. There is plenty of acidity but the flavours it helps introduce are incredibly intense and long lasting – those flavours start as essence of fruit and end as rocks. I dare say that I could really bore you with a long list of adjectives if I follow it for a couple of hours – but I only need five minutes to confirm what the nose suggested: I’m in the presence of greatness.
Rebuy – Yes

Maybe I taste too much nice stuff these days, so rarely do I find that emotional dimension – but it is here.

félix clerget volnay le crot martin 1972


1972 Félix Clerget, Volnay Crot Martin
Medium-pale, there’s a core of bright red colour but it’s more like old mahogany at the rim. Deep, slightly dark aromas of clean soil and baked red fruit, eventually there’s a nice, quite young acid cherry. This is very silky and shows lovely acidity. The broad mid-palate flavours are sweet enough and for some reason remind me of the complexity of old Maderia, but interestingly without any overt flavours (or aromas) that indicate oxidation. Slowly the finishing flavours develop a raisin character. I must say, this bottle performed well-beyond my modest (40 year-old villages) expectation. Very good.
Rebuy – No Chance!

2008 seigneurs de bligny gevrey 1er craipillots


2008 Seigneurs de Bligny, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Craipillots
Medium, medium-plus purple-edged colour. The aromas have a musky depth though the core of fruit shines through, above is a higher tone of faint cedar. Precociously sweet fruit has a little bitter tannin to balance, and balance it does. The acidity is very well judged too. Slowly mouth-watering in the good and mineral finish. Medium density but more than medium interest, I have to say it’s much nicer than I expected.
Rebuy – Yes

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