Why Big Red Diary?

today’s walk in chablis

Chablis Grand Cru Valmur, 10th August 2017 – after the rain.

Due to the rain, it was a modest tour in the muddy grand crus of Chablis. I would say a rather meagre looking quantity of fruit on the vines if compared to the Côte de Beaune, but like in the Côte d’Or, no obvious signs of rot, et-cetera…

Oh, and did I mention the temperature? 13°C at 3 in the afternoon – brrr… Back to 30° on Monday, says google weather…

touring the vines in the côte de beaune

Starting in Beaune, finishing with coffee in Puligny. We started in sunshine, ending with threatening, dark cloud – still a little muggy but dry.

Here in the Côte de Beaune we are 3-4 weeks from harvesting and there looks to be plenty of grapes on the vines – in good shape too – there is a little loss due to sunburn, but I saw neither oïdium, nor rot. The grape clusters are all of varying colours and sweetness for now – or sourness – it depends how you want to look at it 🙂

Fingers crossed!


Ta-da! Back from 8 days on the island of Sicily.

It’s relatively easy to summarise the time – lots of chilling despite 38°C – sometimes more.

What we liked (usually a lot):

  • The people
  • The food
  • The landscape
  • The (nero d’avola) wine – €13-20 in a restaurant…
  • Cefalu
  • Siracusa – actually the ‘island’ of Ortigia – it’s connected by a couple of bridges. My favourite!
  • Our hotel
  • Warm brioche with ice-cream!
  • 2 espressi for €1.80!

What we didn’t like:

  • The litter
  • The litter
  • The litter
  • The litter…

Now back to Beaune – later today a wander in the vines to see how things look – there will be harvesting in 3 weeks!

weekend wines – week 30 2017

2012 Raveneau, Chablis 1er Butteaux
I was lucky enough to drink the 2010 of this at Au Fils Du Zinc. in Chablis, last month, and it was open, ready and fabulous. This wine is also fabulous, but it’s a long-way away from being ‘ready.’ The nose is all rocks and citrus – it’s a great invitation to drink. The palate has a tight minerality but from the end of the mid-palate into the finish it opens out and the flavours hold tenaciously. Not yet delicious, but certainly tasty and rather compelling and moreish too. Super stuff – but wait 3-5 years while drinking the 2010 – if you are so lucky!
Rebuy – Yes

2004 Pierre Bourée, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
The cork is soaked right through but manages not to break in half – I expect because it slides out so easily – probably best that this bottle was now opened, given this cork. Quite a deep colour, the nose starts with an overt pyrazine, but shaded differently to when young. Slowly but surely there’s a nice, slightly plummy, but still fresh, dark fruit on the nose – it’s an intriguing nose and quite inviting at the same tine. Supple, silky entry, a slowly growing grain of tannin into the mid-palate and finish. That minerally pyrazine note is more forward on the palate than on the nose, making the finish just a little bitter. I couldn’t for a moment describe this as delicious, but am happy to stay with intriguing. Overall, complex, interesting, and I would say starting to drink – certainly it’s a much easier drink now than when it was young!
Rebuy – No

melchsee frutt

A little weekend wanderings on the Melchsee Frutt:

a few wines chez domaine tortochot

I visited chez Tortochot in June, but putting everything together for my June report I see that there isn’t really enough content for its own published page – so here you go. Chantal wasn’t at the domaine so Beatrice took us through a couple of 16s in barrel then a small but perfectly formed group of 2015s.

Beatrice on 2016:It’s a good vintage, the grapes were good when harvested, though it was a modest quantity – we lost 40%. But the wines show volume, intensity and energy.

So two 2016 from barrel for a quick look, first up Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Champerrier Vieilles-Vignes (the oldest vines of the domaine – from 1920) which showed faint reduction and faint malo – normally this is bottled in November. Next came their Mazis-Chambertin from a 0.4 hectare plot, a wine which was equally unwilling to be tasted but did show a little extra salinity.

Then some 2015s:
35% yield-loss here in this vintage as the grapes were small – so not much juice.

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Corvées
Nearly 0.9 hectares worth owned by the domaine.
A little peppery red fruit aroma. Beautiful shape and fine texture, waves of red flavour. There’s a little tannic spice and texture as you reach the finish. But super.

2015 Morey St. Denis 1er Cuvée Renaissance
From two parcels totalling about 0.46 hectares – usually a lighter cuvée here as the vines are from the Chambolle side of the appellation; Clos Baulet and the Clos des Ormes
Modest colour. It’s a modest nose too. Redder fruit style with a good and growing intensity. Relatively tannic, but a wine that belies its colour for sure. The nose slowly expanding in the glass.

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Champeaux
From a little over 0.8 hectares of east-facing vines.
Deeper colour. Here is a fine and intense red fruit with a little spice too. Lots of volume in the mouth, lots of energy too – a super intensity showing waves of finishing flavour. This is a baby – wait 3 years – but there’s super purity of fruit here. Excellent…

june 2017 burgundy report, now online

Online today – the June 2017 Burgundy Report

Ten reports covering new and revisited domaines from Chablis to Beaujolais – the latter, a modest tasting of 34 wines from the appellation of Moulin à Vent. Normally, I aim for at least a dozen reports per month in this ‘off-season’ time – but having ‘lost’ my car for 3 weeks, it’s fair to say that the logistics were not on my side in June – but I almost made it 🙂

Particularly nice was the opportunity to visit and taste 15s with Thierry Brouin at Domaine des Lambrays – in his last days at the helm of the domaine (since 1980!) before retirement. Such a great character…

1982 sauzet puligny

1982 Etienne Sauzet, Puligny-Montrachet
Of-course this is orange wine, but it’s orange for a reason – it’s 35 years-old. The nose has a toasty, reductive, biscuit-crumb and lanolin style – but there’s really no sherry-style oxidation here. In the mouth it’s actually large-scaled, in an almost overblown style, yet, as the shouted flavours fade, this clings on with a nice line of finely textured flavour – this is the vintage – still easily discernable. There are older wines that you can enjoy completely on their own, but this, however, needs a little food. I tried with cheese and biscuits – I anyway prefer whites with most cheese – though in this case (I’ll admit that) the Stilton was likely to be overkill. But no! All in proportion, the captivating nose was retained and the shouting palate was much more disciplined and enjoyable. Yum – some left for tomorrow too!
Rebuy – No Chance – luckily I already have more in the cellar 🙂

This is exactly the type of wine that spits in the face of somebody attempting to explain to me that a 7 year-old oxidised grand cru is old and should already have been drunk…

a mid-week malconsorts…

The last of my small cache – 3 excellent bottles and a less good bottle – the previous one.

In this 2001 vintage Camille Giroud bought a couple of half-finished wines, post-malo, but still in barrel – both from the same source. The other wine was a single barrel of Romanée St.Vivant – of which I also have some left, but with the original seller’s label – Nicolas Potel. This was a time of cash-flow issues for the quickly growing Potel business, which in the first instance caused Nicolas to look for sources of finance, hence, some barrel sales. We know only too well what happened to his business in later years.

But back to this wine:

2001 Camille Giroud, Vosne-Romanée 1er Aux Malconsorts
Directly this is clearly head and shoulders above the performance of my last ‘problematic’ bottle. The nose has both freshness and aromatic clarity, plus there’s a fine complexity – more impressive still is the faintly spiced depth of bloody, cherry-fruit – it’s a beautiful invitation. Wide, good freshness and a growing intensity of flavour – peaking in the mid-palate before a nicely tongue-staining, steely, mineral finishing impression. Simply an excellent wine from an excellent vineyard. That’s double-excellent! The last half-pour from the bottle is unavoidably cloudy – normally I’ve no problem with this, but on this occasion the taste simply isn’t as good as the rest – it’s the most minor of complaints…
Rebuy – Yes – if only you could!

weekend wine – week 29 2017

Of-course there were others, etrangers, but I thought I’d concentrate on this one.

I bought a few of these at a Swiss auction a few years back – though I later stopped buying from the auction house concerned as there were too many ‘questionable’ bottles for sale. But this has always had GREAT potential – if, more often than not, unfulfilled potential! The first bottle was magnificent. The second bottle would have been magnificent – if it hadn’t been modestly corked. The third bottle showed bacterial spoilage – it was smelly and cloudy. This wine, if only for a modest amount of time, returned to the theme of greatness.

I’ve previously written about this wine and the Savour Club – apparently this Chapelle having been selected by Troisgros with a provenance from Damoy:

1991 Le Savour Club, Chapelle-Chambertin
Ouf! Gorgeous aromatics – perfect Côte de Nuits of the highest class – earthy, leafy, almost white mushroom too – but with that special ‘clean’ quality that separates the great from the good. Likewise in the mouth this zings across the palate with mega-complexity and fine acidity – I could ask for a hint more sweetness, but only that. It’s simply fabulous wine. But. In the glass after about half an hour the amplitude of everything is on a more moderate level and there’s just a suggestion that the wine isn’t any more perfectly clear. Now it’s only very enjoyable – as opposed to superb. It really looks like this particular bottling is fading – I must dig out those remaining (1 or 2?) bottles and wish them a fond farewell…
Rebuy – Maybe

monday morning in st.amour…

A little blustery and – not surprising given the ‘active’ cloud – there were some rain-showers here and there.

The vines go high here, with breath-taking views – though Mont Blanc was absent this morning: ‘Good‘ said the vigneron – ‘When we can see Mont Blanc, it means that bad weather is coming!‘ We talked about the development of the grapes this year, and basically there is very little veraison so-far here. I mentioned that I took a photo of some coloured grapes in Chambolle on Saturday – so, not to be outdone, the vigneron eventually found some in St.Amour too 🙂

In this neck of the woods, they normally estimate 45 days from first veraison to harvesting. Those early estimates of harvesting around the 25 August seem to have softened and they are now considering the first few days of September as highly possible. Of-course we have a little altitude here, so it will be earlier in the south of Beaujolais…

3 things to note from this weekend:

Fantasy Pricing #1
If in Gevrey, and if not taking a coffee at Jeanette’s, then I like to sit on the big sofas of the Rotisserie for drink. The drink prices are okay for such a place – but stay with the drinks. I ordered a couple of (disappointingly small) early-afternoon sweets to go with our drinks – small blueberry tarts with a little ice cream – though I should add that they were delicious. But the bill was €30! Yes, that’s right, €10 per plate of tiny desert. The daily menu here (one of my favourite restaurants, Chez Lucien) is less than €20. So be warned – don’t order the sweet unless you are the restaurant. Two pieces of (not much smaller) chocolate cake came gratis with last Thursday’s coffees! NB Two coffees and two glorious pâtisseries at Pâtisserie Fabien Berteau in Beaune cost about €15…

Fantasy Pricing #2
The new ‘domaine shop’ of Champy in Beaune is very nice – beautifully fineshed and just a stone-throw from the Hôtel Dieu. There are lots of well-priced wines here too – villages and Mâconnais wines mainly – and it’s a nice showcase for their new label design and of-course there are plenty of Domaine/Maison Laroche wines too. The prices of name wines is completely another thing though; €100 for Puligny Folatières, or (wait for it!) €315 for 2015 Mazis-Chambertin? I know that this wine is, year-in, year-out, their best wine, and I have to assume that they know the market pricing better than me, or rather what the market will bear, but €315 – really………(?)

Really, it seems that now is the time to say ‘Goodbye Bejot’
I know that today was a Sunday, so why shouldn’t Bejot’s old premises on the D974 look deserted(?) But a second glance reveals that all the signage has been removed – no single reference to Bejot remains…
(Bejot’s old news)

Page 18 of 273« First...10...1617181920...304050...Last »
Translate »
%d bloggers like this: