Why Big Red Diary?

guy castagnier 1996 bonnes-mares


About 10 years ago I filled my boots with 1996 GCs from this domaine – all of which cost me a little over 60 Swiss francs per bottle – in those days that was about £23, at today’s exchange rate it would be £39 – anyway, occasionally one comes out for a test…

1996 Guy Castagnier, Bonnes-Mares
Medium, medium-plus ruby-red colour. The nose is quite mineral, edged with macerating dark fruits and the faintest hint of brett – at this level it’s quite nice. There is still a velvet texture to the (now) medium tannins, and despite its age there is still more than enough fruit extract to balance the acid-led mid-palate flavour fireworks. It’s an impressive burst of power that leads you, mouth watering, into a very good finish. Perhaps there’s another 4 or 5 years left for absolute maturity, but this is very drinkable today, very drinkable…
Rebuy – Yes

2005 françoise et denis clair st.aubin 1er dents de chien


I usually found this wine to be a little ‘soft-focus’ versus (for instance) the Gambal version, but it was aways keenly priced. Recent bottlings have taken a significant upward route for pricing. The wine will have to have improved to warrant the extra outlay, but here at least, the 2005 is a greatly valued effort.

2005 Françoise et Denis Clair, St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents de Chien
The aromas start in a surprisingly floral/perfumed vein, slowly becoming more sedate with a faintly ripe yellow fruit and there are still hints of the almonds of it’s youth. Dense and ripe flavours that finish with a little agrumes. There’s plenty of fat and just enough acidity to balance. Certainly a very rich performance but very drinkable after a little aeration. I normally have in mind feminine adjectives with white wines, but there’s a builder’s muscle in here.
Rebuy – Yes

de poxing the cellar…

After the oxidised Roulot bourgogne yet another (fotunately my last) p.oxed Bouchard Père 2002 Meursault Perrières yesterday. I though the case was already finished until I found this singleton, I must have been saving it for a happy day in the future….

The replacement was a Françoise et Denis Clair St.Aubin 1er Dents du Chien – a decent bottle (note to follow) – and also a decent bottle of Castagnier 1996 Bonnes-Mares. Finally some success!

1997 armand rousseau clos de la roche


One of my favourite 97s is Rousseau’s Clos des Ruchottes grand cru, a wine that could come from any good vintage and showing none of the potential pifalls of this one. How good is the Clos de la Roche?

1997 Armand Rousseau, Clos de la Roche
Medium, medium-plus colour. From top to bottom this nose is impresses with quality dark red fruit, there is the faintest edge of something a bit looser – caramel and redcurrant – but overall this is super. In the mouth there is a silky density that drives rather too fast into the finish. Swirl it around over your tongue for longer and then the intensity builds, but with it comes some slightly bitter tannin. The finish holds much longer now but with a little of that bitterness. A bit of a monolith in the mid-palate, I’ll save some for tomorrow to see if it opens. Day two and the aromatics are more subdued though the palate is indeed a little more open. A good wine, even in the context of the vintage, but I’d still rather have the Ruchottes…
Rebuy – Maybe

a break from the winter…

It was clearly the first day of Spring today, maybe not according to the calendar but according to the warmth and for the first time this year the smell of tree blossom – today it is then!!!

Maybe during my lunchtime run I was smelling the blossom a little too much – the result, a broken bone in my hand – you hit the ground pretty fast when you trip, particularly if you’re running. Winded, with (now) nicely developing bruises to the knee. elbow and shoulder, I suppose I should be happy; happy that I didn’t end up one metre to the left – in the Rhein.

It seems, according to the ‘impressed’ doctor that I have a very unusual fracture that will probably need surgery – he was sad that his colleague wasn’t around to take a look. I hope that won’t interfere with my 4 days in Burgundy next week! Anyway my (3 or 4 fingered) typing is far from disadvantaged, I can’t say the same for my mouse-skills though – oh-well!

Anyway, I plan to celebrate my first official broken bone (well there was the skiing incident in 1981, but a nose is only cartilage right(?)), together with the first day of Spring with a bottle of Armand Rousseau’s 97 Clos de la Roche 🙂

2006 tollot-beaut savigny 1er champs-chevrey

2006 Tollot-Beaut, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Champs Chevery
Medium colour. Heavy floral notes that are accented with toffee mainly obscure a pure red fruit note – but occasionally it shines through. In the mouth it’s currently a bit disjointed, that said, all the pieces are pretty good – good volume, background tannins and tasty fruit that’s edged with licorice as it slips into the finish. Not a bit tight, but not showing well either. The last glass is reserved for day 2 and it’s far less the roller-coaster of the previous day. Still the ‘value’ wine of the T-B range.
Rebuy – Yes

2001 château puligny-montrachet folatières


As mentioned yesterday, this was the ‘stand-in’ for the oxidised Roulot, and if anything was even deeper coloured!

2001 Château de Puligny-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières
A rather deep, initially worrysome colour. Fortunately the nose betrays nothing unmentionable though it’s a little heavy, indeed ponderous. In the mouth it’s wide, a little fat and certainly has lots of mid-palate flavour. There is just about enough acidity for balance. The fruit starts sweet but the finish is a little more sour. The finish has a decent length. Whilst this was a beauty when younger, if I had more in the cellar I’d be drinking them all this year.
Rebuy – No

offer of the day – Domaine Faiveley 2008…

’tis the season…

Côte de Nuits
GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN Les Cazetiers 75cl 58.00 (59.00) Swiss Francs (2007 pricing)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Saint-Georges 75cl 75.00 (75.00)
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Combe d’Orveau 75cl 89.00
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Les Fuées 75cl 89.00 (98.00)

Grand Crus Red
CORTON Clos des Cortons 75cl 89.00 (95.00)
CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 99.00 (99.00)
MAZIS-CHAMBERTIN 75cl 118.00 (119.00)
CHAMBERTIN Clos de Bèze 75cl 165.00 (169.00)

Grand Crus White
CORTON CHARLEMAGNE 75cl 149.00 (159.00)

Relatively steady pricing versus 2007 for Domaine Faiveley…

tyding up, 1, 2, 3…

Clearly a rubbish title for this hotch-potch mess of a post, but I was too lazy to come up with something better while I ‘dowloaded’ a few bits and pieces…

First – something about wine, dark coloured and a little oxidised wine at that. I’ve been pulling older whites out of the cellar and last night was one of Roulot’s 1999 Bourgognes. A peach of a wine and relative bargain for quite some years after release. This one was quite dark coloured, with a nose partly between baked pear and oxidised aromas. More obvious oxidation on the palate, but ‘just’ drinkable I thought – halfway down the glass I changed my mind and ditched it. The reserve bottle was a 2001 Château de Puligny-Montrachet, Puligny Folatières. A worringly similar colour but no oxidation was perceptible. Slightly monolithic on opening – I’ll provide a full note tomorrow.

Second – a couple of articles worth sharing that I read in the last week:

Third (and last) – I note today that some people are very excited that Facebook has just passed Google as the most visited site in the US. I have to say that I’m bemused as to why they should be so excited; assuming you have a thriving bunch of ‘friends’, why would you need to ‘look for something’ more often than interact with them?
That’s enough from me…

smudged spectacle(s)

I tuned in to watch the ‘spectacle’ of Formula 1 yesterday. Actually, it turned out to be the spectacle of ‘racers’ saving their tyres i.e. not driving too close to car in front! As big an F1 fan as I am, what a waste of 2 hours only to see people following each other, but not too close…
(if I hadn’t been out from bed for only a couple of hours it might have been enough to drive me to drink)

2001 leflaive, mugneret-gibourg & fevre


This weekend. friends, food and three 2001s:

2001 Leflaive, Bourgogne
  Medium-plus yellow colour. The nose had plenty of struck match and savoury elements – even intruding on the (quite) big flavours. Initially seemed a little too fat. I decanted and returned after 3 hours. Smooth interesting and fruit driven aromas, the struck match is gone and the balance is better – or maybe my palate is better! It’s a concentrated and ripe impression – high quality.
2001 Fevre Le Clos   Chalk and cheese versus the Leflaive – actually (way back when) this wine was only about 10% more expensive than the Leflaive. Sharper, finer, still quite ripe but a wine of focus and precision. If anything the Leflaive had more overt concentration, but not the intensity.
2001 Mugneret-Gibourg, Vosne-Romanée   Has a decent, dark colour. The nose is dark-fruit shaded and shows the village spicyness. In the mouth it has lost the fat and impact of it’s youth – it’s narrower and more taught. There is certainly some development of mid-palate complexity and a decent length. To drink today it’s quite okay, but reward is at least 7 or 8 years away.
For all: Rebuy – Yes

Actualy, there was also a bottle of 1995 Wolf-Blass ‘Black Label’ – not sure how that got there 😉

tollot-beaut 2004 savigny 1er champ-chevrey

Always a favourite cuvée of mine, but that’s not quite enough to overcome the vintage imperfection – not yet anyway.

2004 Tollot-Beaut, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Champ-Chevery
Medium colour. A clear, if not stomach churning, vintage character, below is a deep, dark and slightly sweet fruit base. The combination of acidity and faintly astringent tannin have a not too mouth-puckering affect, and the texture is quite interesting. The fruit has just enough sweetness to deliver a level of balance.
Rebuy – No

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